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Question: God is just, so what would be God's justification according to the Bible of Not allowing the choice of annihilation of yourself if you found out Jesus actually never knew you after death?

This question is in my Baptist church view

This is so you would not be in complete doom and torment for eternity in hell. In Baptist and many other dominations you get once chance on Earth to repent and that's it. Then you either go to heaven for eternity or hell for eternity.

The reason I ask this is I don't see how someone can be 110% sure they are saved on this Earth unless something miraculous happened such as an angel coming down and telling me I'm permanently saved for example. (I need 110% confirmation if I'm ever to have peace and depression removal). Also, you have no choice in being born. The decision of being born is by your two parents (conception) so it's not your own choice. I also don't believe in Calvinism (So I don't believe God creates most of the worlds people just to allow them to be in torment for eternity). Matthew 7:13

(Post was Edited to give a more unique Question so it's not similar to: "Why should a sinner suffer forever in hell fire?")

marked as duplicate by Flimzy, 3961, Affable Geek, Narnian, warren Sep 9 '14 at 20:28

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Welcome to the site. First, please see the question type the community finds acceptable. You will notice that you question does not fit well into any of those. You can edit this post to see if you can make it more like one of those types, however, I think we have seen this at least twice 1 2, making it a duplicate. Coincendentally, they don't fit well into any of those types either. – 3961 Sep 8 '14 at 5:11
  • To answer your question, not all Christians believe in eternal Hell (cf. Annihilationism). – 3961 Sep 8 '14 at 5:11
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When God created Adam, Genesis 2:7 He breathed in his nostrils His breath. Since God cannot die so does our soul. For that reason God created eternal hell. He has given us ample opportunity to correct our way of life even sacrificed His Son that we can have redemption through.

I understand everyone deserves hell because of sin, but God allowing eternal suffering of the very humans God loves so much who never truly knew Jesus makes zero sense to me.

Jesus said that

‘This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.’ ( Matthews 24:14 )

So everybody will know about Jesus whether they accept this message 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 or not.

Isaiah 29:21 We cannot complain that God why did He made me? We are part of His plan. Just keep in your prayers and God might show you, your purpose of life. And regarding getting confirmation, you just need to have faith in Christ scarifice.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; ( Ephesians 2:8)

And this verse confirms the redemption and salvation.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life . John 3:16

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The only one who can answer your question is God himself, since he alone knows his reasons for creating things and why they must end as they do.

That being said we do have some guidance about this in the Bible.

All Scripture is quoted from the King James translation, unless otherwise noted.

As a lifelong Southern Baptist I can pass on to you what I have been taught over the years, and give you the references I have from the Bible itself.

  1. The lake of fire is a place of eternal torment:

Revelation 20:10 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.

The lake of fire was apparently created as a place for the eternal torture of Satan and the rebellious Angels, the reason for believing that is lies in the fact that:

Revelation 19:19 through 21 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

It should be noted that:

  1. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet

  2. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

  3. the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse,

The beast, the false prophet, and the Devil are all cast into the lake of fire immediately; since they were judged at the cross when Jesus paid for our sins.

But let's look at point number 3 which what has to do with us. That says that the remnant of the Army at Armageddon were slain and their Earthly bodies were eaten by the fowls of the air, in consonance with:

Revelation 19:17 and 18 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

So that is the disposition of Satan the Rebellious Angels and the Earthly bodies of man. and that is in accordance with:

Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

but then we have:

Revelation 20:11 through 13 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.

So if the Earthly bodies have returned to dust, then who are these dead I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God;

Our first clue to identifying these comes from:

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Our second clue comes from:

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

According to the words of Jesus; the body can suffer death, but only God can kill both body and soul in Hell!

However we have already determined that the earthly body will return to dust, and the dust is a part of the Earth, so then how can it be destroyed in Hell along with the Soul?

The answer to that is not so easy to determine, but lets see what we can find in the Bible to help untangle this mystery.

1st Thessalonians 4:13 through 17 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

So now we have a conundrum, in that Paul says; For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. and later on in that same statement he says; the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Unless I am misreading this first he is bringing back the dead with him and in the second statement they are rising up to meet him in the air. How is this possible?

It is only possible if that refers to two different people or rather two different eternal beings. These would appear to be the Soul which returns with Jesus and the resurrection body which we inherit at that time, since the last verse says we who are still alive will also be caught up. That cannot refer to our earthly bodies since God has decreed that they must return to dust.

So now lets tackle that part about the unsaved being tortured forever in the lake of fire, and incidentally it is not eternity in Hell, since:

Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Hell is a temporary holding place for the unsaved dead, awaiting the great white throne judgment. We know this because Jesus told the thief on the cross next to him:

Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

So those that are saved will be with Jesus the same day we die our physical death. and if we go back to 1st Thessalonians 4:16 if we die before Jesus second coming our souls get to return with him to get our resurrection bodies.

So lets determine if we can learn who exactly the saved refers to:

Matthew 10:16 through 22 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. 21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

So this is the how we get saved, but still who is evasive, since Jesus is saying that only the ones who endure to the end will be saved. So consider:

Matthew 19:23 through 30 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. 27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

What Jesus is telling us here is that man it is impossible to live up to the standards of God, but salvation is possible through the works of God, since God is omnipotent and nothing is impossible with him. So salvation is out of our hands, with one exception:

John 3:13 through 19 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 18 He that believeth on him is not 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

This is the most quoted Scripture when talking about salvation:

John 3:16 and 17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Even though this is sufficient to explain God's gift of Salvation, lets consider the entire passage of Matthew 19:23 through 30 and see if we can extract more from it, and how that is related to Johns 3:13 through 19.

In verse 23 Jesus says that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. This does not say as some believe that a rich man cannot enter heaven, only that he shall hardly enter. What Jesus is actually saying is that a rich man trusting in his riches gives little consideration to his eternity. We see this today in the U.S. where we as a nation are wealthy by comparison to most of the World.

In verse 24 Jesus says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven, an impossible task in our material world, but not in God's spiritual world where physics has no dominion. This brings to my mind many instances in the movies where an object becomes fluid and goes through a small opening. Spirits have no material form and it is as easy for a camel in the Spirit realm to go through the eye of a needle as for our sun to come up in the morning.

In verses 25 and 26 Jesus is actually telling his Apostles that they have to quit thinking in Worldly terms and start thinking in Heavenly terms.

At this point we need to look at another of Jesus teachings:

Matthew 5:2 through 12 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

When Peter asked Jesus "27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?" the remainder of this passage is contingent on Matthew 5:2 through 12, since these are the basic concepts of being a Christian, and are the very same characteristics Jesus himself demonstrated on the Earth.

Now that we have established that punishment is eternal for the unsaved, can we find any reason for being eternal?

The Lake of fire was actually created as a place of eternal punishment for Satan and his demons, and that was in response to their rebellion. Now it appears that since man has also rebelled against God that a just God has determined that man should have equal justice with them.

John 5:26 through 30 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

How those Scriptures interact with John 3:16 and 17 is that Jesus who came down to earth and lived in a human body is well aware of our strengths and weaknesses. He knows that we do not have the strength to live the life God intended for us, but he also knows that we have the innate ability to trust in his sacrifice to atone for our sins. He also knows that we will sometimes be given the spirit of unbelief in our salvation by Satan in an attempt to steal our souls away from God. However he gave us a way to counter Satan, in that:

1st John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we believe that Jesus death on the cross paid our sin debt in full and if we confess our sins and ask God for his forgiveness he will forgive and we have been saved, and will inherit eternal life, and we must adhere to this belief since it is the only basis for Salvation and Satan has no power to change that.

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God doesn't create people for the sole purpose of leading a tormented eternal existence in hell. God is love. God is so much love and justice that we cannot even begin to grasp the concept of it. Every person will be judged according to their personal situation, according to what personal obstacles and understanding or lack of it they were exposed to. God judges the heart, while man judges the outside... he can see our inner most thoughts and even anticipate our needs. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1401923773369009

Also, the reason you cannot just annihilate yourself...is because you were created eternal, you're a forever being..... the main reason that hell will be so torturous is because there will be no God in there... being away from God is torture... to top it off Judaism which is the root of Christianity teaches that people will suffer from personal demons that they themselves created... so every sin you committed you will be subjected to suffer for. On earth which is predominantly where satan has free reign, every single human being, regardless of race, class, or beliefs is subjected to both good and evil... we get a tiny taste of both which allows us to understand the difference between the two and choose if we will be good or evil.

I used to be in the exact same place as you, I was raised a conservative pentecostal (which is like a southern baptist that believes in prophecy, miracles, and speaking in tongues). When I was a kid I was secretly afraid of one day waking up and seeing that my parents were missing but that I would be left behind (rapture). Even though I was a good kid, I didn't think I could be perfect enough to be saved. I also, wished that I could have just not been born instead of being subjected to such an impossible thing as being perfect enough and boring enough to be saved.

Now I understand how foolish I was and what a sin it is to not appreciate the awesomeness of life. Not fully understand what a fantastic opportunity this is. When you realize how transient life is...and that tomorrow you're opportunity to have a human experience can end, you really begin to look at things differently. And today I know for a fact that if I die I will be saved. The reason I know this now... is because I have experienced what a personal God, God is, and how much he actually loves me, even inconsequential imperfect person like myself. I had to go through some tough experiences, health and emotional wise to understand how close God really is... but its totally worth it, imo. Hard times really do make you wiser and separate you from the world enough to were you become closer to God.

Whenever, you are feeling doubtful, or start to feel like God is far away and unreal, hang in there and pray look up at the sky and marvel at his creation and you will be able to see him all around you. Watch this on youtube, I really like this video about how involved God is in every detail https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAuGRhZsMCs you can also research fibionacci sequence and golden rectangle. Remember there is a difference between having knowledge of something and actually understanding it...

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Question: God is just, so what would be God's justification according to the Bible of Not allowing the choice of annihilation of yourself if you found out Jesus actually never knew you after death?


Answer: This question cannot be answered from any Christianity and from the Bible because it is essentially asking why God has established things contrary to the way some mistakenly think he should have established them.

That hell is eternal, souls go there, and some people will end up there, is from scripture. cf. Mt. 25:46, Rv 20:10, etc.

The furthest Christianity can go - we are a faith and reason religion - is to see the reasonableness in the Goodness and Justice of God in the way he has established things.

For that, one would need to review Christian Philosophical arguments (e.g. Hell | New Advent) but that would not be answering 'according to the Bible the why of Not allowing the choice of annihilation of oneself'.

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Can a creation annihilate itself?

A computer cannot shutdown by itself unless it was programmed. A pot cannot make itself fall down and break into pieces unless someone or something pushes it. A soul cannot make itself vanish or even heal itself from it's corrupted state. You may kill your body but you cannot kill your soul. Only God is capable of destroying your soul and body in Hell.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28, NIV)

(that is, to torment and punish both body and soul "in hell", in everlasting burnings; for neither soul nor body will be annihilated - Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible)

Can God annihilate the soul?

The Bible is not clear at this point. My argument is that, if God were capable of annihilating the soul, He would have done it long ago. It is not just at all if God allowed only a few enter Heaven and the majority suffer eternal torment. Why can't God simply make us all vanish? Maybe God is not able! Perhaps this is the reason why God had to sacrifice His one and only Son for us, who was flogged, tortured, mocked, crucified and died, only with the hope of saving some souls.

  • Not yet voted because of the section Can God annihilate the soul? Specifically: The Bible is not clear at this point and Maybe God is not able!. Like the approach though. – user13992 Sep 10 '14 at 4:21
  • If hell isn't eternal conscious torment then there's no reason to make everyone vanish. Why annihilate everyone now because of a few rotten apples when you can just annihilate the rotten ones later? And the only way God is incapable of annihilating a soul is if Plato was right that souls are pieces of God that broke off...which is obviously not biblical. – david brainerd Sep 11 '14 at 7:12
  • @davidbrainerd Few rotten apples? No! Rather, it's few good apples. (Matthew 7:13) – Mawia Sep 11 '14 at 7:15
  • And what makes John Gill an authority on the meaning of Mattew 10:28 to the point that you let him tell you "destroy" really means "torment." On other passages to defend the traditional (and horribly vile) doctrine, he will tell you that "perish" equally means "torment." To "die" he will say means "torment" as when Paul says "the wages of sin is death." Kind of amazing, isn't it, that none of the New Testament writers knew how to write "torment" when that's supposedly what they meant in all these places!! – david brainerd Sep 11 '14 at 7:15
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The idea of eternal conscious torment is one of those traditions carried over from medieval Catholicism that's heavily defended in Protestantism but not really taught in Scripture, or if it is, not plainly. It can be defended with proof-texts to be sure, but is it explicitly and clearly taught? No.

In large part the idea of eternal conscious torment in hell is based on the Platonic concept of the natural immortality of the soul. Plato and the Platonizing "church fathers" believed the soul to be so immortal by its very nature that God could not destroy it even if he wanted to. The result is that all God can do with the souls of the wicked in this philosophy is to dump them somewhere for all eternity.

But does scripture teach the natural immortality of the soul, or does it teach that souls are only immortal so long as God deems them to be so by his will?

1 Timothy 6:15-16 NIV "which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen."

According to Scripture, God alone is immortal by nature. The soul then is only conditionally immortal. That is, only immortal if God says so. That means the biggest presupposition that caused the "church fathers" to develop the theory of eternal conscious torment is false, according to scripture.

Once you understand that, you will find a different story in Jesus' sayings on the subject. You will be free from the tyranny of Platonic philosophy and tradition based thereon, which before prevented you from taking Jesus at his word when he said:

Matthew 10:28 NIV "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell."

He said "destroy" but tradition has always forced us to interpret "destroy" as "torment"! If we re-evaluate the tradition, and correct the root problem (Platonic misunderstanding of the nature of the soul) we no longer have to force ourselves to misinterpret the Bible in this way.

There's an entire website dedicated to a growing movement of Protestants who are Rethinking Hell, which is the name of the site: http://rethinkinghell.com/

As to the question of whether this is a Baptist position

One article at Rethinking Hell mentions a few Baptist academics who hold (or held, for the one who has already gone to his reward) to the annihilationist position:

E. Earle Ellis was a professor of theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Southern Baptist Convention) until he fell asleep. Similarly, Dale Moody taught at Southern Baptist Seminary (also SBC). I bet you never thought conservative Southern Baptists would hold this view! Claude Mariottini, Old Testament professor at Northern Baptist Seminary (American Baptist Convention), is also an annihilationist.

And furthermore, there is one verse in the Bible that positively clinches the case by explicitly stating the wicked will be devoured by fire:

But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. (Psalm 37:20 KJV)

But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish—like smoke they vanish away. (Psalm 37:20 ESV)

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    A nice answer David, but the problem with answering questions as this one is worded is that it is just as legitimately placed here as the one by FMShyanguya. With that said, if the question were edited, I think it would tend toward not "What is the support for annihilationism," which you have written, but "What is the support for the immortal soul and eternal hell." It could go either way. Until then, don't be surprised if you get a few downvotes simply because people don't belive this position. – 3961 Sep 8 '14 at 5:17
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    The gloss you place on Matthew 10:28 undermines the particular sense of the verse - why on earth should we be more afraid of 'the One' than 'those who kill the body' in the case of annihilation? Is mere non-existence after death in any way more frightening than our non-existence prior to our conception? – bruised reed Sep 8 '14 at 6:52
  • This doesn't look to me like the baptist understanding of hell ... If I'm mistaken, please cite some baptist sources! – svidgen Sep 8 '14 at 13:59
  • @bruisedreed Matthew 10:28 clearly establishes a competency differential regardless of interpretation. Naturally, more competent parties may responsibly be regarded with more fear. Likewise, non-existence on death has an alternative, whereas non-existence prior to life does not. Moreover, using conception in your statement does not represent clear theological consensus and should most likely be edited to a more open term regardless of personal beliefs. – Calvin Sep 8 '14 at 14:59
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    @question, There is not one single verse that teaches eternal conscious torment. There are verses saying the fire is not quenched, but they don't say the person is not destroyed by the fire. Like I said, you think scripture says this, only because tradition has hammered it into you. – david brainerd Sep 9 '14 at 3:23

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