Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The New Covenant commandments are sum up in three aspects; Believe, Trust, and Love

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These are what we are to teach and things we must observe in which Jesus commanded.

1.     Believe


Sources
Believe that Jesus is the Son of God, Matt 16:16, the One that God had sent so that whoever believes in Him may receive the gift of eternal life, John 3:16“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live””, John 11:25.  Salvation is an event not a process.  All it takes is to believe.  I am a firm advocate that once saved always save, Hebrews 13:5.  Jesus died for all sins, pass, present, and future.  Once we made that choice to believe Jesus as the Son of God and accepted him in our heart, we are forever His.  If we believe that we are saved because we belong to a congregation, or by our good deeds, we are deceiving ourselves.  It is through Jesus obeying the will of the Father that we are redeemed and given eternal life, nothing else, John 6:38-40.  We are not saved by our conduct or our works.  We are saved by believing only.  I encourage you to read this excellent commentary by Jack Kelly title, “OSAS, The Whole Story" Once Saved Always Saved.  Sin will never separate us from God…. our guilt and shame will.  Just do not do what Adam did, run away and hide.  Run toward the cross.  God is merciful; His Son Jesus is sitting beside Him as a beacon of the price Jesus paid for our sins.  We are His Children; therefore, He acts as a good father even better then our earthly parent.  He is rebuking us to teach us not to condemn us.  Got that?

2.     Trust

Trust.  This is part of a process called sanctification, “to set apart for special use or purpose”.  It is a life long process in learning to trust God to do His work in us.  It is called “Walking with God”.  The factor that helps us to achieve this is by understanding that God knows our destiny, 1 Tim 6:15, 1 Cor 4:8.  He knows what is important to us, Matt 6:32 therefore let us trust Him with all our need, Pr 3:5-6.  You may not be aware of, or perhaps you were taking God’s mercy for granted but showing a lack of trust toward God is an act of sin against Him.

From Apostasy Now (author unknown)

“And Job Said:

Job 3:25-26 “ For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.26 I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came”.

Note verse 26, Job accounted his basic insecurity and watchfulness as a hedge of protection against such tragedies. These were the things he greatly feared. Job accounted his TACIT CONFESSION that these things would or might come as a form of righteousness...he expected that by admission to his LIABILITY to such things, he was exonerated of the sin of presumption. Job was afraid that if he INSISTED THAT GOD would preserve him, that THIS would be THE sin that brought on the things he greatly feared. As it turns out, it was not his presumption on God's protection, but his DOUBT OF IT that invited and warranted these tragedies.

After a full life of health and prosperity, Job greatly fears that such tragedies are not far behind. He expected them. Do you?

Many years of walking with God, and many years of blessing, are not enough to convince Job that he is SAFE with his God.”


How many of us walk through life doubting God deep down in our mind.  We want to believe, nevertheless ‘the want to be’ is not faith, is not trusting.  Why?  Our mind is full of myths and false teaching.  We never challenge what we believe.  Take for example the theory of evolution.  There are many Christians who embrace such teaching as a possibility…maybe it did take 400 billion years for God to creates the earth and the universe and everything that live on it…  maybe Jesus was just a man with great humanity values…maybe there are more then one way to an after life higher existence… maybe it is by buying a lottery ticket that God will provide for me.   What causes doubts?    Like Sarah, Abraham wife, we do not wait, we just go ahead take action and assume that it is God’s will.  What causes us to sin?  Is 42:8, 48:11.

Please understand this, evolution is a process as for creation is by the word of God spoken.  In Heb 11:3 it is recorded that it is through faith that we understand that the worlds were frame, put together by the word of God: so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.  If you ever have spare time, take the time to read this article entitle “Evolution or creation, Which?” By A.T. Jones.


Again from Apostasy Now (author unknown)

“Job's righteousness was a real faith in a living God who could be prevailed upon to come to his rescue. Job had that faith that has been the same since the beginning of time:

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Romans 4:19-22 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

Abraham was accounted righteous BECAUSE HE BELIEVED A PROMISE. We are no where told that Abraham was accounted righteous because he believed a commandment or a threat of punishment: but because he BELIEVED A PROMISE from God!”

Did not God promise to take care of us?  A promise make is a promise kept.  How many make God a liar?  You wouldn’t dare accuse God of being a liar of coarse but you might justify your doubts, right?…as I am not good enough, God is not please with me, I have a secret sins that I kept avoiding discussing with God…etc.

From Apostasy Now (author unknown)

“True faith is not easy to attain to, because it requires a conscience that is void of offense. A conscience void of offense is not a rash presumption that God "has no objections to anything in me because Christ has died for me". A conscience void of offense comes from facing the facts about yourself; facing the truth of the Word of God, and living up to the light we already have. The Bible plainly says that an uncondemned heart gets WHATEVER IT ASKS FOR. (1 John 3:19-22)

The fact is.....that our heart may not ask for what our mouth asks for: a man asks for healing - but in his heart, he knows he shouldn't have it - he knows that his sickness is his just deserts. He knows that it would be UNRIGHTEOUS of God to give him what he is asking for; he does not really expect to get what he is asking for; he doesn't REALLY want what he is asking for despite his profession to the contrary. GET RIGHT, AND BE BLESSED.”

It is important to acknowledge our sin and our doubt.  Ask for forgiveness for our lack of trust.  We do not loose our salvation; we are temporary on hold from His fellowship and from receiving His favours.  This is “one” of the many other reasons why God does not answer prayers.  This is the way God rebuke us, gets our attention.  As Jesus explained to Peter, only the feet need to be wash not the whole body.  Jesus took care of the body by washing it with His blood.  We only need to take care of our feet, John 13:10.  God is quick to forgive and to restore our fellowship with Him, 1 John 1:9

Sources
Look at the life of Enoch.  Enoch lived for 365 years and walk with God (trusting God) for 300 years.  It took 65 years for Enoch to learn to trust God, Genesis 5:21-23.  I wonder sometime how he faced life before the flood.  I read that it was as bad as it is today, Luke 17:26, 2 Peter 2:5.  How long will it take us to learn that lesson?  How long will it take you to take Jesus at His Word?  Frankly, I would be afraid to go through life today without Jesus.  The Israelites were 40 years in the desert, sent in captivity for 70 years in Babylon, and yet as of today Israel as a nation have not learnt to trust God.  Israel is still God’s people, Zec 2:8, Ezekiel 37:11-12.  Hard to believe…. this only proves how secure is our salvation.  More may be found on this subject on trusting God by reading my commentary on the subject titled “Economic Crisis: As Christians, what are we to do?  Answer: "REST"” Trust is the element where 90% of Christians fail to apply in their life with Jesus.  Most live a defeated life; appear worrying, sad, and show a life of sacrifice instead of a live full in abundance of joy as it was intended, “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly”, John 10:10.  They either had bad teachers or just did not learn.  Too many are among thorns as I was:  “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the Word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word, and he becomes unfruitful”, Matt 13:22.  Failing to trust does not take away our salvation.  It just makes life miserable and unfruitful.  The sooner we learn to trust God the better so that we could go on and do what Jesus set us apart for and purpose.  To trust is a decision.  To please God is to trust Him.  To trust God is to please God.  We have heard of this saying; “God help those who help themselves”, surprise…that is not in the bible.  God help those who depend and hope entirely on Him.

Blessed is the man…/woman… who trusts in the LORD,
      And whose hope is the LORD. 
       For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
      Which spreads out its roots by the river,
      And will not fear when heat comes;
      But its leaf will be green,
      And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
      Nor will cease from yielding fruit.  Jer 17:7-8

nbsp;It is all about making the decision to trust.  STOP SINNING AND TRUST.  Romans 6


3.     Love

Sources
Love.  Paul couldn’t emphasised more on this subject,  “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love”, 1 Corinthians 13:13.  Read all John’s three letters.  It is sum up in this; 1 John 5:3: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.  And His commandments are not burdensome”, and in 1 John 4:21: “And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.  It does not say ‘should try, tolerate or worship apart’, Gal 5:14, 1 Tim1:5Mercy and grace we want, but how quick are we to do to others as Jesus did to us?  We may want to take the time to read the parable of the unforgiving servant Matt 18:23-35.  We are to show love in the form of mercy and grace not only toward a few and when ask for, but as an act of compassion without his/her asking, Luke 23:34.  To dispute over preferences, that appears to be common sense for some is not sinful, but is a good opportunity to show mercy and grace.  For someone to prefer different flavours then ours, which is important to us, is also a good opportunity to show mercy and grace. 

The New Covenant is based on love.  God’s love toward us and love between each other; 1 John 2:7-11, Matthew 22:34-40“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another,” John 13:34.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another,” John 13:35.  “ALL” meaning the whole of society will know that we are God’s disciples, if we love one another.  Do we understand now, why division hinders God’s Works“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against himself will not stand”.  Take a good look inside of many churches.  There are many empty pews and some who attend are too busy to live with all these added flavours and avoid living with love.  The churches are brought to desolation.  In my opinion, this is the one major cause for the prophetic event called the “falling away”, 2 Thess 2:3.  Jesus concluded with this strong assertion, “He who is not with me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” Matt 12: 30.  Let me put it this way; he who is not with Jesus by practicing love in the form of mercy and grace within the church communities is against Jesus, he who does not practice love, does not gather with Jesus but scatters abroad, breaks up the church or keeps people away.  Let us start practicing loving people in the church.  We may find it easier to love those within the world. 

It is very sad.  The loyal aging attendees are the one that suffer the most.  They remember the time when the church was alive and the pews were full.  Sunday was an all day family gathering from church to home.  Family would share meals, sing songs, and share their life experience.  Now it is only memories.  The church is empty, they return to an empty home.  Sad…very sad.

Ray C.  Stedman commentary on the Parable of the Leaven titles "The Case of the Sneaky Housewife" wrote:

“That is what is often lacking in the church today.  We have taken away the koinonia, the commonness of the body of Christ.  We have lost that to a great extent in the church in general.  But we have held onto the kerygma, the preaching, the proclamation.  We expect to convince everybody by an intellectual presentation of truth.  But the reason why the evangelical church of our day is rejected and set aside in so many quarters is that people who come to it are disappointed because they hear great Words but they don't see great lives; they don't see warmth, they don't see love and acceptance, they don't see understanding and forgiveness.  What they too often run into is strife and bickering and fighting and quarreling and unforgiveness, jealousy and bitterness, grudges and splits and feuds and divisions, hostility and anger, worry and anxiety.  They listen to the preaching of these great Words that the church has to say and then they look at our lives to see how it works.  And what they see convinces them that the Words are not true.  What they see is exactly what they find in their own lives and homes.”  

So they say to us, "What are you Christians talking about?  What's the difference?  What do you Christians have that we don't have---without the inconvenience of having to go through all the rites you go through.  What is so great about this message?  Why doesn't it do something for you?  Why should we believe it and go to all the trouble of becoming a Christian when we can live the same way ourselves?  We don't need the church or the Bible to teach us how to fight.  We don't need the gospel to help us to be angry and resentful and bitter and divided against each other.  We can do all that without it." And so there is an immediate loss of attention to the message that we are proclaiming because there is no evidence of the witness of communion.  What is missing is the oneness, the precious fellowship together of the people of God living the life of God.

Hypocrisy is what we display in the society.  The society is right to accuse Christians of being hypocrites.  What is so ironic is that many Christians do not want to face this truth…they prefer to be in denial and view themselves as victims of Christians persecution.  We are rightly being judge by the society and we do not listen.

Ray C.  Stedman continued with this strong accusation toward today’s churches: 

“What is the result of all this leaven that has come in?  Well, we can see it abounding on every side, can't we?  People come to church.  They listen, they sing a hymn, they stand at the right time, they bow their heads at the right angle, they close the book together, they sit down.  They go through the motions, but there is no exchange of life.  There is no oneness, no sense of openness, no acceptance, no forgiveness.  And homes, which are supposedly Christian, are often filled with strife and bickering and fighting, even physical attack.  These things are the result of the leaven which has permeated and pervaded the body of Christ.”

Ray Stedman then explain the cause and the solution:

“If the leaders of the church through the centuries had faithfully stuck with the Scripture…‘ the cone and the ice cream’… and had taught it as it is, these unhappy developments would have been prevented.  But everywhere I go as a pastor today, speaking to groups of other pastors, I find out that this is the great weakness -- pastors are not teaching the Bible.  They are not instructing their people from the Word of God and teaching what it actually says about how they are to live together.  They aren't saying a Word about that.  They are discussing remote doctrinal questions and giving their opinions on the social and political issues of the day…the flavours… instead of instructing in what the Bible is really aimed at -- the very personal lives of individuals and their relationships one with another.  If the leadership of the church were carefully going over the Scriptures together with people, unfolding the Word of God, the whole effect of leaven would be greatly minimized within the body of Christ.”


How sad to see what all these undesired flavours do.  It has destroyed the purpose of the Body of Christ. 

Lambert Dolphin commentary title “The Church at the End of the Age” point out:

“The church described as the body of Christ, with Christ the head of the Body (Ephesians 4, 1 Cor 12-14) is a reminder that the true church is a living organism, not an organization.  We need one another and depend on one another as the various organs and systems of the human body are interdependent.  Each member of the church reports directly to the Head, there is no hierarchical leadership in the church.  All members have spiritual gifts and all are called to the ministry.  "If one member suffers, all suffer, if one rejoices all rejoice."
>

Lambert Dolphin again in his commentary title, “Keeping Ready for the Return of the Lord” explained;

“One of the haunting problems in the church today is its identity crisis.  In many places, it seems to have lost the sense of what it was intended to be.  Instead of a body, with each one "members one of another" and ministering to one another in love and concern, it has become an organization operating various programs.  Paul wrote to the Galatians, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2).  But today's Christians often touch each others' lives on only the most superficial basis, and do not want to hear another's problems because they "don't want to get involved.”      

Further, in his commentary Lambert Dolphin clarify the intent of the church:

“Being ready means loving, trusting, and waiting for Jesus Christ, of course.  The faithful servant is faithful because he is expecting his Lord's return.  But it also has to do with faithful service, that is, continuing to carry out what Jesus has left us in this world to do.  We find the same idea in two of the three parables in chapter 25.  In one parable faithfulness is demonstrated by the wise use of the talents Christ has given (Matt.  25:14-30).  In the other it is seen in selfless service to those who are hungry or thirsty or have other pressing needs (Matt.  25:31-46).”

To live in the spirit of the church of Philadelphia we are to keep His Word, and not deny His name.  It is accomplished by believing, trusting, and loving.  The pure taste of ice cream should take precedent over all other flavours.  That is the simplicity of the church.  That is ‘in a nutshell’ the signification of the talents in the Parable of the talents in Matt 25:14; the talents are His love.  “For to everyone who has…love… more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have…love… even what he has will be taken away.” 

Love in it true form of grace and mercy is what we have received to invest.  The
Parable of the Creditor and The Two Debtors in Luke 7:41-43 explain in plain Words what the servant in the Parable of the Talent received.  Let read Luke 7:41-43

“There was a certain creditor who had two debtors.  One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both.  Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”
And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.”

The one that owned the most is the one that sins the most.  It is the one that suffer the most of the consequences of his/her sins…family broke up, lost of a job due to a dysfunctional behaviour causes by sins, ravage by health problems due to promiscuous sex, and left alone.  He/she is the one most grateful for receiving forgiveness and acceptance in God’s family compare to those who have little consequences of their sins.  These are the one that are rejected and set apart by some traditional denominations…they do not fit their mould.

Now let us put ‘grace and mercy’ in perspective in the Parable of the Talents Matt 25:14-16

Now according to these two parables, which servants will have a greater return on the goods…forgiveness ‘mercy and grace’…they received?  Which one would actively forgive, showing mercy and grace to others?  The answer is, “the one that love him more for receiving abundance of His mercy and grace”, the one that appreciated more the gift of forgiveness.  That is according to his/her own ability to do the same.  Ability to do what?  It is in the ability to love as Jesus loved us…the ability to love Jesus by obeying His commandment to love, to do the same…got it?

This is how we obtain a return on our goods that we have received; “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”, Matt 5:7.  Paul express in his own Word the demonstration of love…grace and mercy…defining the talents as ‘treasure in earthen vessels’ Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-15.  In v15, we see the return of our investment, “For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God”.  How do we spread grace?  The message from the parable of the Good Samaritan is all about what we are to do with the talents  (love…grace and mercy).  “Then Jesus said to him, Go and do likewise Luke 10:37.  Love is what we received in goods.  For what purpose, “that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” 2 Cor 4:10. 

Some have defined the talents as God’s Words with good reason….  however within the context of the New Covenant, love (koinonia) is more likely to be the right description of the symbol of the talents. 

In Micah 6:6-8 illustrate precisely, what Our Lord required from us, that is to love mercy over flavours:
“With what shall I come before the LORD,
And bow myself before the High God?
Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings,
With calves a year old?…Sunday after service barbecue…
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
Ten thousand rivers of oil?…fund raising….
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,…donations…
The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?…service to the community…
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly
To love mercy,

And to walk humbly with your God


The Philadelphia church and the Thessalonians church had this in common.  They did not need to be taught.  To the Thessalonians church Paul wrote:

“But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia.  But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 1 Thess 4: 9-10.  To the Philadelphia church Jesus stated:  “I know your works.  See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My Word, and have not denied My name, Revelation 3:8.  Paul understood the important of living in love between each other, “But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more”

We are to spread mercy and grace to all.  That is what sets Christians apart from this world.

Love in the form of mercy and grace is what we lose if not invested, separated from God forever.  “And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness.  There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Matt 25:30.  The unfaithful servant was a hypocrite, and a pretentious christian.  He/she was a tare.  He/she did not accepted Jesus love in the form of grace and mercy, he/she buried it, therefore never had the desire nor the intention to do the same to others.  They look and act like a gentile under the guise of Christianity but they are not saved.  They fail to apply love…mercy and grace.  So again, what are we to do with the tares in the church communities”?  Nothing.  It is not our business.  It is not for us to go on a witch-hunt to disclose them.  It is Jesus business.  Him only knows the heart.  Our business is to love in the form of grace and mercy.  We never know, we might even influence a tare to accept Jesus’ love.

Paul cautions the Corinthians to be aware to what is added on the cone and to the ice cream, 1 Corinthians 3:10b-15;
But let each one take heed how he builds on it.  For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw…all different kind of flavours… each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.  If anyone’s work, which he has built on, it endures, he will receive a reward.  If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” 

It is interesting to see that the result after being tested over what was built on Jesus is to receive a reward.  Salvation is not the reward.  We already acquired salvation through believing.  The reward is for those who had increased the talents even to a minimum.  To the ones who did not buried it. 

he fire that will test our love for Jesus and others is in our every day life challenges.  How do we react toward diversities?  Do we still trust God?  How do we react toward someone who deliberately makes our life miserable?  Do we still act in love…mercy and grace?  Do we forgive especially those in the family of God, our brothers and sisters in all denominations?  So, let us be conscience of what we put on the ice cream cone.  Our flavours hinder God’s works and hinder our understanding of His Word.  We live by His Word by being pure salt and true lamp. 


Philippians 1:27 "Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”  It is our conduct, by trusting Jesus and loving each other that make an impact in the society.  Here is a revelation for some; it is not a wide range of church’s activities that draw people to Jesus.  It is not by preaching moral values or the 10 commandments or of all the do’s and don’ts that draw people to God e.g.  on how to keep the Sabbath, not to play cards, not to drink wine, not to wear make-up, these are personal flavours….  God’s kindness, grace, and mercy are what draw people to Him.

Acts 2:46; “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of hear.”  With one accord by loving each other.

2 Corinthians 1:12; “For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you”.  Conducting ourselves in the society in love, in grace, and in mercy.

In conclusion:

Pray  for the unity of the Body of Christ, all the communities, and individuals whom live according to the spirit of the Philadelphia church.  Let us be united; let us practice mercy, grace and kindness toward each other even toward the tares…they are the one that need it the most for no one taught them.  Let us “LOVE ONE ANOTHER”. 

Last Words


I know who I am because Jesus tells me so.  I am first and foremost a son of God, Gal 3:26; my citizenship is in heaven, Phil 3:20; I am neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female; for we are all one in Christ Jesus, Gal 3:28, neither circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all, Col 3:11; I am not of Paul, or I am not of Apollos, or I am not of Cephas, I am not of Christ, 1 Cor1:12-13; I will reign with Jesus, 2 Tim 2:12; I am a holy brethren, and partakers of the heavenly calling, Heb 3:1; I am free, John 8:32, Rom 6:22; hence, I know who I am and I know where I belong …in the body of Christ. Thank you Father, thank you Jesus, thank you Holy Spirit.

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good Word and work”, (not flavours)…2 Thess 2:16-17.


References and reading suggestion:

·       The Case of the Sneaky Housewife, Series: Behind History, Author: Ray C.  Stedman at http://www.raystedman.org

·        “Keeping Ready for the Return of the Lord” by Lambert Dolphin at Dolphin from Lambert Dolphin’s Library http://ldolphin.org


·       The Church At The End Of The Age” by Lambert Dolphin from Lambert Dolphin’s Library at http://ldolphin.org/

·       Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done....  A book on prophecy by Ron Graff & Lambert Dolphin at http://ldolphin.org/   (It a must be read)



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Contact: Andre Delage, at simplicityinthegospel@gmail.com
                                                             Web: simplicityinthegospel.com



1 comment:

GRANNY GOOSE said...

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