Spring/Summer 2015 Issue

The following posts are part of the Spring/Summer 2015 issue. This was originally a free issue, which was downloaded by many who gleaned. Articles that are in this issue contain information about Christian headcovering, false doctrines most people are believing, what it means for a heart to wax gross, and more.

full course

Throwing Away the Gift of Salvation… accidentally

Estimated Reading Time: 29 minutes

Begin reading each section of the article below:

Legalism and Hypocrisy

What is this lie that is being shared throughout Christianity that “we will never be perfect,” “there is nothing for us to DO,” and what are these lies about what “legalism” is to hinder people from perfecting themselves? The word legalism is not in the Holy Bible. Legalism is defined in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary App as a “strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code .” If that is the case, then Christians are legalists because the law, or commandments that we diligently adhere to, have not been done away with—as some would suggest—because we restrict ourselves from the freedom to sin, lest we die.

The comparison of legalism, to the hypocrites that Jesus rebuked, misleads many Christians into thinking that the hypocrite’s hypocrisy was all about their strict adherence to the law and moral codes that they added. However, this is not accurate because it suggests that those hypocrites, some of whom were Jewish leaders, were strictly adhering to God’s law and their own codes that they made up, but they often did not. They were just telling everyone else to adhere to them. This made them hypocrites and this is what Jesus hated. “Legalism” in this comparison suggests that God did not want His people to strictly follow His commandments that He set forth from the beginning. It would be hypocrisy for God to lay out the commandments and then send Jesus to tell everyone, especially the Jewish people, that they were hypocrites for strictly following them.

“Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill Me?” ~John 7:19 KJV
Man's Doctrine of Legalism

Now, it is true that anyone trying to establish their own righteousness legitimately, but without Christ, is a legalist. However, this has become a negative term that is used in the wrong context. It is more accurate for us to apply the term “hypocrite” to a hypocrite rather than create a new one like “legalist” to the ones that Jesus rebuked. Hoards of “Christian” people have taken the word “legalism” and sprinted with it to justify their negative opinion of someone who upholds “rules” of scripture that the sprinter feels they can outright ignore. This has created a doctrine from man, not a doctrine from God, which is exactly what the hypocrites did. However, today’s hypocrisy in using the legalism belief has led many away from the fear of God and into a fear of adhering to law. Just stop and think for a moment, the Holy Bible is the Word of God containing the commandments of God to which we must adhere. Whether old or new, the law itself has not been eradicated.

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. ~Matthew 5:18 KJV

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. ~Galatians 5:14 KJV

Preachers Who Preach Legalism

Now, this false doctrine of the “legalistic,” hypocrite Pharisee has been adopted by many preachers. They tell their attendees that Christians are no longer under the law and they relentlessly harp on the topic of “being saved means no law.” They do this without being scripturally sound in what they claim. They give examples of how the Pharisees wore long clothing to appear righteous, but the pastor fails to tell their listeners that it wasn’t about the appearance of righteousness that was the problem. It was about the fact that the outside didn’t match the inside because the hypocrite was not trying to be clean in his heart. Even the preacher himself, in his fancy outfit, gleefully confesses to the congregation that he is a sinner just like everyone in the church—as if somehow it can’t be helped—and if someone seems to have a standout appearance of a strict, holy doctrine, they are “legalists” living under the law. Meanwhile, the misled preacher uses scriptures like,

“Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? ~Galatians 3:3 KJV

This scripture is about Peter’s hypocrisy. Paul, a former Jewish Pharisee, but now an apostle of Jesus Christ, said this statement to the Galatians because there was an incident where Peter sat with the uncircumcised Gentiles, but deserted them when the circumcised Jews arrive, which caused others to follow his manner. Paul rebuked Peter for being a hypocrite because Peter lived like a Gentile, but was desiring for the Gentiles to live like the Jews who had the circumcision of the flesh. However, the circumcision not longer mattered.

[18] Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. [19] Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. [20] Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. ~1 Corinthians 7:18-20 KJV

Paul reveals later in Colossians chapter 2 verse 11 that we are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ. Therefore, the preacher who preaches the “legalist” doctrine often brings a confusion about the law and what Paul was saying.  The Galatians’ and Peter’s sin of “are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” was hypocrisy over circumcision because there were those who desired to make a show of the flesh and glory in other’s cut flesh.

Two things to understand:  Under the circumcision of the flesh, you needed a high priest.   Christ is the High Priest who became our circumcision.  This is why sin brings us back into bondage, which brings us back under the law of the flesh, which brings judgment. This is why we need Christ to repent.  Peter was putting himself back under the law of the flesh through the old circumcision, which means he would not have Christ because he trusted in the flesh of the cut circumcision. He would have thrown away his salvation by trusting in the flesh, which is the same for any Christian who trusts in sin.  Anyone not under Christ is judged by the law rather than grace.1.

Legalism teaches that strict routines are bad and law is bad, meanwhile, holiness is subtly removed from the equation through the demonstration of the lifestyle of the false preacher.

Legalism VS Strict Doctrine
Let us not confuse being under the law, with the adherence to the strict, New Testament manner of doctrine. Preaching about perfection through rejecting sin and practicing holiness is better for the congregation2 rather than redundantly preaching “how to be saved” or “being saved means no law” to reduce life in Christ to nothing more than a “cool kids” group.

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,…” ~Hebrews 6:1 KJV

[18] But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. [19] Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these ; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, [20] Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, [21] Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. [22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, [23] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. [24] And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. [25] If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. [26] Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. ~Galatians 5:18-26 KJV

Remember take note that when this scripture states that “ye are not under the law” and “there is no law” it is referring to the bondage of sin itself; “cast out the bond woman.” It is not referencing that a holy life or strict doctrine is not required. However, because of the legalism belief, people fear and shun strict or righteous routines.

Legalism Believers Push the G.W.W.A.S Doctrine
The inherent problem with the “grace without works after salvation” doctrine is that it creates a lazy Christianity. Many people believe that since Christians are under grace, we are inherently and automatically without sin because somehow God no longer sees any sin that a Christian decides to commit because God only sees His Son instead. This works well with the “legalism” doctrine and is a false doctrine. When Paul talks about being under the law and being under grace, He makes a comparison to sin and Spirit. If we live in sin, we automatically are under the law of judgment and there remains no grace for us. However, if we walk in the Spirit of God through obedience to Jesus Christ, we are under grace. Consequently, as stated in the previous scripture, Paul tells us that in walking in the fruit of the Spirit, there is no law, but again, this does not mean that we ignore the rest of the New Testament because his comment is in the context of “not sinning” rather than the law of God3 being tossed out.

Recognizing the Difference About the Law

Three comparisons regarding the law should be recognized:

a. The Law is in the Spirit: The law itself was contained “in ordinances,” which has been tossed away because of faith in Jesus Christ, but the law is now contained “in the Spirit.” (We saw this example in Peter’s hypocrisy and self-righteousness.) Therefore, it is the containment, also known as the letter, which has changed so that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us. (See Ephesians 2:15 KJV, Colossians 2:14 KJV, Romans 7:6-8:4 KJV, 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 KJV, 2 Corinthians 3:6 KJV)

b. Walk in the Spirit, for the Law of the Spirit is life. Walk in the flesh and die by the Law of Sin and Death: The law of the flesh activates whenever someone pursues sin or worldliness. With our mind, we serve the law of God and with our bodies the law of the flesh, but if we follow after the Spirit, our bodies will not serve the lust of the flesh. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (See Romans 7:14-8:2 KJV)

c. Press Forth Through Suffering by the Laws of Faith: Sin does not have dominion over someone who is under grace through faith in Christ—meaning that they do not live in sin because they are dead to sin. By the law of faith, we obtained salvation and we press forth forgetting those things behind us and suffering the loss of all things so that we may be found in Christ, not in our own righteousness by serving the flesh and earthly things, but through living in—and being led by—the Spirit, if indeed, you have the Spirit of God in you. (See Romans 3:27 KJV, Philippians 3:7-10 KJV, Romans 8:1-4 KJV, Romans 8:9 KJV, Galatians 2:16 KJV, Galatians 3:11 KJV4

Now it is true that anyone trying to establish their own righteousness without Christ is a legalist, but so is a Christian because we strictly adhere to law too (law of the Spirit and the law of faith)5, so legalism is not a bad word. Therefore, this all comes down to faith. When people believe that the hypocrite’s problem was legalism, they are greatly misled. It was their lack of faith and hypocrisy. Moreover, it is easy to confuse the matter of laws and also to assume no law exists, but God does not desire for us to be “law”less from His law of the Spirit and the law of faith6.

For example, we do not willfully sin, and if we accidentally sin, we immediately repent. Paul committed an accidental sin when he rebuked the high priest.

[3] Then said Paul unto him, “God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?” [Paul was rebuking him as a hypocrite who was upholding the law, but not upholding it.] [4] And they that stood by said, “Revilest thou God’s high priest?”
[5] Then said Paul, “I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, ‘Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.’” ~Acts 23:3-5 KJV [Exodus 22:28 KJV states, “Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.”]

Notice here that Paul quotes the Old Testament. Now, why would Paul quote the OT if the law itself had been done away? It is because the law has not been done away with, but has been completed in full through walking in the Spirit so all the law is contained in the Spirit. Take note that when Jesus brought the new covenant, there were some changes in the law, but not all things changed. So we must work out our salvation with “fear and trembling.” Therefore, a person who teaches that we are “without law and that there is no imperative need for preparation,” as convincing as they are, shows no reverence for the fear of God. They live life on their own terms and call it “freedom in Christ.”

Time and time again, false doctrines are floating through the churches and around the internet about grace and love. People say, “It’s all about grace. We’ll never be perfect. Nothing could separate us from the love of God.” The final statement is scriptural, but is often misused in a misleading context that we have no work of perfection to do as disciples. People also say this to justify the “once saved, always saved” mentality—another false doctrine. The truth is, the doctrine of Jesus Christ is all about faith, walking in the Spirit, and the fear of the Lord and nothing can separate us from the love of God when we are in Him. In the context of God’s elect, the Bible says in Romans 8:35 KJV,

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”

and in Romans 8:38-39 KJV,

“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.”

If not in Christ, a person can be separated from His love because of sin. Hence, we perfect ourselves.

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. ~2 Corinthians 7:1 KJV

For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection. ~2 Corinthians 13:9 KJV

Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. ~2 Corinthians 13:11 KJV

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. ~Matthew 5:48 KJV

Yes, A Person Can Get Cut Off From Christ

Plenty of scriptures reveal to us how easily we can be cut off because of rebellion—especially as a non-Jew. This is the fear that we need to have of the Lord. The reason a person can get cut off, meaning lose their salvation, is because they do not take God seriously. Here are two examples (but, there are others in this article):

And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. ~Matthew 3:10 KJV [John the baptist refers to believers as a tree.]

[21] For if God spared not the natural branches, [His Jewish people] take heed lest He also spare not thee [the Gentile]. [22] 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 11:21-22 KJV [*Paul refers to those who can be cut off as a wild branch that were engrafted into the Olive tree. Jewish people are natural branches of the Olive tree who can easily be put back in, Gentiles are wild branches who can be replaced if they do not conform and produce in thankfulness to God’s generosity for adding them and continue in His goodness, not their own.]

Legalism and Fear of the Law

Remember, the “legalistic” doctrine has people thinking that we should fear any “righteous routines” that cause us to appear “holier-than-thou” and perhaps even religious, and it is tagged onto the Pharisee. Listen, please understand that certain Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes were not righteous at all because they were hypocrites, not “righteous-routine-doers.” If they had remained faithful, they would not have been hypocrites in the first place (See Luke 1:5-6 KJV, Philippians 3:4-7 KJV). Furthermore, the Pharisees were not believers so their hypocrisy was different from Peter’s because Peter was saved.

The devil is probably loving this because anyone who is ensnared in this “legalistic” Pharisee belief is not taking Jesus seriously because Jesus is the Word and we apply all of it in righteous routine. In other words, Christians work on sanctification, but do not fall under self-righteousness by going back to a thing like circumcision, which is by the letter of the law, yet we also learn from the hypocrisy of the Pharisees who said one thing, but did another and through all this, we still adhere to the law now contained in the Spirit.

[2] For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. [3] For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: [4] That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; [5] Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: [6] That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. [7] For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. [8] He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us His Holy Spirit. [9] But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. [10] And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; [11] And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; [12] That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing. ~1 Thessalonians 4:2-12 KJV

Therefore, wrapped into loving your neighbor comes back to loving God. It is terribly sad, if after many years, a person can’t perfect these points in their life and yet, has not even entered into the separated, Christian lifestyle that calls us to do things such as meeting together daily from house to house, considering headcovering, women being silent in church or keepers at home, having real modesty, sobriety, and submission to a husband, elders, and governing authorities. These were not customs, but rather a demonstration of living righteously in a strict manner. Yet, haven’t we been convinced that some of these things stated by the apostles aren’t relevant? Doesn’t it make us, who would follow this manner, a target for the created “legalism?”

In Galatians chapter 3, Paul rebuked the Galatians for being under the law. This chapter tells us how the “law” was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. We no longer need that schoolmaster because faith has come.  As we continue to read the next two chapters, we see that Paul talks about how the Galatians were “observing days, months, times, and years” and getting circumcised. The Galatians were being rebuked by the Apostle Paul who was referring to their slip back under the law of the flesh, RATHER THAN, remaining in the new law of the Spirit. This has everything to do with their lack of faith.  This, however, has nothing to do with rejecting the strict doctrine of the New Testament – as many would have us believe today- and those who are trying to keep us lax will try to say that we are trying to put them back under the law.

Hmmm, certain parts of the New Testament no longer apply? Do you really believe that? Click To Tweet

Legalism and Lawless Teachings

If you’ve been told that “we’ll never be perfect,” “there’s nothing left for us to do,” and you have the idea that people who are modest, or strict in doctrine, or say things against sin in the body of Christ, are “legalistic,” you are believing false doctrines.

Now let’s look at common references in the Old Testament that support the lawless teachings. Some use the examples of the prophets and the acceptance of their imperfections (e.g. David was an adulterer, Moses was a murderer, etc., which by the way is often used inaccurately) rather than looking at the New Testament perfections of the body of Christ. Those old prophets were saved through faith, and so are we, but after receiving salvation, we go on to perfection of sanctification because we have the promise of the Holy Spirit within us to help us, which the old prophets did not have.

[39] And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: [40] God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. ~Hebrews 11:39-40 KJV

The legalism false teachings create followers who only perfect themselves to the point of the Old Testament prophets. Yet if God, through a brutal crucifixion of His only Son, has given us His Holy Spirit so that we might be made perfect, what do you think He will do if people ignore that Gift? (See Hebrews 6:4-8 KJV) Therefore, if the perfection process of sanctification is thrown away because of the fear of a created “legalistic hypocrisy” due to the “legalistic” belief, then a person who throws it away does not truly believe in every Holy-Spirit-inspired word of God nor do they know God.

Summing It All Up

First, consider what Paul tells us about the foundation he has laid.

[10] According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. [11] For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. ~1 Corinthians 3:10-11 KJV

Paul’s foundation, as a master builder, is Jesus Christ. So when he tells us about how we should conduct our lives, believe him. Consider what he says next about our work. Notice the three points made below: The man who’s work abides, the man who’s work is burned, and the man who defiles the temple of God.

Oo-O, the Apostle Paul is a wise, master builder. This is why we must trust him. #ChristianDoctrine #Christianwomen Click To Tweet

[12] Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; [13] Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. [14] If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. [15] If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. [16] Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? [17] 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 3:12-17 KJV

Please read what Jesus tells us about how the temple is defiled in Matthew 15:8-20 KJV.

Notice the word holy. Now although the law of commandments contained in ordinances has been abolished, remember the law itself is not abolished, but is now contained in the Spirit and not in the letter. This is still a strict law, our holy God’s law, but now kept by grace through faith operated by good works, which is liberty. These good works, which deny the works of the flesh (sins) and that demonstrate righteousness, have been given to us that we should walk in them.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. ~Ephesians 2:10 KJV

Additionally, and most importantly, people who believe that we have “no law” and are convinced to fear anything that appears to be “legalistic” or religious, avoid it and become easy-going in their doctrine. They avoid righteous routines, blaspheme the scriptures, and believe that we will never be perfect here on earth. This is heresy and can cause someone to throw away their gift of salvation accidentally through ignorance because they look just like the world and pick and choose their scriptures.

Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. ~Romans 3:31 KJV7

Top Things to Grasp from This Article:
  • Stop believing the false doctrines that support a fear of “adhering to law,” which causes a disbelief in adhering to the entirety of the New Testament, and makes powerless Christians.
  • Do not confuse the (a) fruitless work of obtaining salvation by works with the (b) fruitful work of working salvation out with fear and trembling in the sanctification process.
  • Fear God, keep the holy doctrine, and also don’t be like the hypocrites.
  • Perfect yourself for the coming of the Lord because faith without works is dead. 

Therefore, do you see how believing in a twisted view of legalism stifles your perfection? Do you see how this will dramatically change how you live the Christian life because now the entire New Testament doctrine opens up? Jesus gives us a summation of these things in Matthew chapter 5, 6, and 7 and the apostles—through the power of God’s Holy Spirit—continue to demonstrate what our manner of life and doctrine should look like, which is still relevant for today. The Apostle Paul says,

[10] But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, [11] Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. [12] Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. [13] But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. [14] But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them ; [15] And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. [16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [17] That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. ~2 Timothy 3:10-17 KJV

[11] And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; [12] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: [13] Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: [14] That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; [15] But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: [16] From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. ~Ephesians 4:11-16 KJV

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. ~1 Corinthians 1:10 KJV

You must have faith in God’s holy doctrine, NOT man’s false doctrine. 

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Cite this article: Please update the Accessed or Retrieved date (September 13, 2015).

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“Throwing Away the Gift of Salvation… accidentally.” A Woman {Saved} Magazine Online. Ed. Bobbie Chariot. Savior Sanity LLC., 1 Mar. 2015. Web. 13 Sept. 2015. <https://awomansaved.com/throwing-away-the-gift-of-salvation-accidentally/>.
“Throwing Away the Gift of Salvation… accidentally.” A Woman {Saved} Magazine Online. March 1, 2015. Accessed September 13, 2015. https://awomansaved.com/throwing-away-the-gift-of-salvation-accidentally/.
Chariot, B. (Ed.). (2015, March 1). Throwing Away the Gift of Salvation… accidentally. Retrieved September 13, 2015, from https://awomansaved.com/throwing-away-the-gift-of-salvation-accidentally/.

Thank you for reading!

Bobbie Chariot

Bio: Founding Editor

Legalistic Pharisee is a sneaky false doctrine.

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