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Salvation Apart from the Gospel?
I'm interested in people's responses to this article on the site: https://christianrethink.co.uk/the-parable-of-sergeant-dodd/
Hello Keith, just happened to be here and seen you logged a post , my names Paul I was recently called to God and filled with the Holy Spirit. I was a heavy Smoker so that was the first thing had to go 😬 hard habit to break thank God with the word and prayer I done it, after that it was surrender to Jesus so I must stop being a control freak or playing God as nothing is within our control just have faith that everything is taken care of before it even happens, not without daily challenges but faith tells us the challenges happen for a reason, any way I was intending to ask if your on Instagram or Facebook?
You're a bit off-topic for this post, but that is nothing compared to you beginning your journey with Jesus. I'm delighted to hear that "things are happening", and hope and pray that you continue to move deeper into truth.
With regard to your Facebook question, there is a page called Christianity Rethink. However, I set it up a long time ago, and do little if anything with it. That's because I found that on Facebook (and I suspect even more so on Instagram) people generally make very shallow, thoughtless, and often offensive comments. I rarely get that on the website. Also, Facebook, through the way it's structured, is really only suitable for making fairly simple, single points. The website, on the other hand, can show the depth and breadth of research and thinking people need to do to escape the media or church mindset. The website also gets far more visits that the Facebook page ever got. I might ask "Why are you asking?"
A far better read that either FB or my website is the Bible! I recommend everyone to read it cover to cover, just as you would any other book. Only a lot more times than you'd read any other book! Reading about four pages a day gets you through in a year. It won't all make sense straight off, but I've always taken the view that it's my responsibility to read it, and that allows God to show me what He wants me to get from it. I can have days of completely uninspired reading, and then suddenly something I've read many times before jumps right out the page at me. Just keep reading. And definitely without using any scheme that has notes to tell you what to think about what you just read. Ideally, when reading a popular text, forget about what you've been told it means; just try to take the words as they are and see what they say to you.
You're at the start of a journey, which, as you've already discovered, has all sorts of revelations, effort, disappointment, fulfilment, peace and much more. I hope you find the site useful to help you on the way. And do stay in touch.
Thank you Keith and God Bless you for your time and wisdom , I do find it incredible how Christians come to the exact findings not through colluding but through the word of God, seeking truth. Anguish i feel is a big part not many understand when your eyes open the emotion turns to physical pain, it’s anguish for people that might not be saved , you actually love strangers and are worried about them and pray for them but they just call you a bible basher or something which I understand...For let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil-doer, or as a meddler in other men’s matters: but if a man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this name.”
1 Peter 4:12, 15-16 ASV
I understand I’m well off topic lol, I follow a few good pages on insta and Facebook messenger of the most high is so so, you are definitely right about the comments and the Bible the armour of God ,the shield of faith and the sword. I watch alpha and omegas videos on YouTube and follow them on Instagram, sometimes I need that extra kick.
Again Thankyou Keith and Prayers for you and your work
I enjoyed the article and I am aware of the many Jews that are against Zionism. The man interviewed seems like an honourable man. I have faith that Jesus will judge fairly. I did a study on salvation recently. My conclusion would not be considered orthodox - will paste it below. In short, I do believe you have to believe Jesus was the Christ to be saved from our sins but that is just the start. It doesn't mean you have eternal life. Would be grateful if you or anyone on the forum can point out errors in my logic and/or use of scripture.
My opinion - there are 2 salvations.
- Salvation from our sins.
- Salvation from the lake of fire - eternal life.
Joh 3:16 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.
When we believe in Jesus we have the possibility of not perishing and we have the possibility of everlasting life - Jesus says “should not” and not “will not”.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
If you do not believe Jesus was the Christ then you are immediately condemned to destruction. If you do believe then you are not condemned, you have a chance of eternal life.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Joh 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
We must come into the light so that our “deeds may be made manifest”. We will be judged by works and they must be “wrought in God” (labours for God).
This ties in with Ephesians.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Works are therefore critical as affirmed by James.
Jas 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Jas 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Jesus explained it.
Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Jesus was declaring God through the works he was doing.
Joh 5:36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
Joh 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
We must follow the example of Jesus to be God’s light in the world. There will be reward for believers in the Kingdom based on those works.
Mat 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
There will however be Christians who think they are saved who Jesus will reject even though they believe in Jesus and they have works.
Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Such believers have been saved from their sins by believing in Jesus but when Jesus says he never knew them, that does sound like they will not have eternal life.
At the judgement we will all be judged by our works.
Rev 20:12 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.
What Jesus says to the church in Sardis reveals that salvation from the Lake of Fire is not guaranteed. It is only for those that overcome sin who will not be blotted out of the book of life.
Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
It seems to me that all of humanity was saved from sin when Jesus went to the cross as per John 3:16. All we have to do is believe that Jesus was the Christ that died for us to reconcile us back to God. To simply believe is not a work. Then the journey begins to earn eternal life.
Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
That tells me that the salvation of the Philippians is not a done deal.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Paul is encouraging them so that at judgement day all of Paul’s work for the Philippians will not be for nothing.
It seems to me that Eph 2:8 is an event on the world’s timeline when Jesus rescued the whole world. Sadly most people reject it. Some accept it by faith but that doesn’t mean they have eternal life. We must have works ordained by God for that. Christians that do not overcome sin (the lukewarm) would be better off cold.
2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
2Pe 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
The analogy I would use is that we are floating hopelessly lost in the ocean, Eph 2:8 is a life vest that we can put on so we don’t drown and then we need to get on the rescue boat skippered by Jesus by overcoming sin to reach it. We must die daily to our selfish desires and pick up our cross. The only way we will make it is with help from above.
I am concerned that mainstream Protestant christianity teaches the doctrine that we are saved by faith alone. I think that creates massive complacency.
I am also concerned that most Christians are in breach of the first commandment because of the trinity doctrine. This doctrine is so evil because it means Christians subconsciously have an excuse not to overcome sin as Jesus only did it because he was actually the God man. Going back to my analogy, they’ve put on the life vest, got themselves on to the rescue ship but it’s the wrong ship as it’s not skippered by Jesus Christ and it’s never going get back to port because that ship breaks the most fundamental commandment. It is actually being skipped by Satan! It is idolatry akin to the golden calf. It is an anti-Christ doctrine.
1Jn 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Hi John, and thanks for posting.
From my perspective, I think what you're saying is fairly orthodox, in the best sense of that word. In short, yes, we are saved through Faith/Confidence/Trust in Christ (I prefer the words confidence or trust, since many people think of "faith" as about closing your eyes and pumping yourself up to believe. I have zero faith that God exists; that is clear from what He has made. I have trust in His promises.) But following that we "work out our Salvation", since, obviously, faith without works is nothing. I guess I want to add here that what I think counts as "works" is quite variable; someone who comes to Christ when their life is a complete mess - adultery, drugs, whatever, - is showing a great deal of "works" simply by raising their game. You are fine-tuning the understanding of this, but I don't think it makes a huge difference practically, especially when one compares the Calvinist view that it's all of God and all of faith. Tragically, that view seems to predominate in the churches.
My question is whether someone like Rabbi Beck is saved through the Grace of Christ even in spite of not acknowledging Him in this life. That is certainly NOT orthodox! I remain of the view that his commitment to the God of the Bible, albeit incorrectly understood, is stronger than anyone else I have ever met. If the 30,000-odd paid church leaders in this country were like him, I fancy the churches would be full to bursting!
I agree with you regarding works although Eph 2 does mention that God has prepared good works for us to do. I think in that sense those works are not our own but rather God’s and that makes them of worth to God. Our works are filthy rags.
I hope this man is saved. He is right to discard orthodox Christianity because the triune God is 3 god’s and it is idolatry in my opinion. One of the many reasons why that doctrine is so wicked - it stops many Jews and Muslims coming to Jesus.
Perhaps the Lord God will have mercy on the souls that have been deceived but have lived a life of loving God with all their heart, mind and strength. All theses decisions are well above our pay grade!
The best thing we can do is promote true monotheistic Christianity so that Jews and Muslims can see that there are Christian’s that believe God is indeed one and that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah.
The reason that good men such as this rabbi may not be saved is the reason that Jesus gave to Nicodemus - we must be born again with a new spirit the only way to receive that spirit is to acknowledge Jesus as Lord
I’ve just read Rom 8 and 9. Following verse regarding unbelieving carnal Israel
Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
That verse seems clear.
Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
We need to preach the good news. Sadly mainstream Churchianity has been taken over by Satan. I know that’s strong but it is biblical.
1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2Co 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
2Co 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
I think the above scriptures apply more than ever. Christianity has been subverted hence your website Keith. Good on you for being a light.
I will pray for this man that he will see that the Messiah did come and that it was Jesus
P.S. just googled the rabbi - I’ve seen a documentary on him before and recently an Al Jazeera interview.
Interesting that you say "He (Beck) is right to discard orthodox Christianity because the triune God is 3 gods", since when I was with him he said "Christianity has three gods." I was taken aback and about to disagree when I realised he was referring to the trinity.
Yes, I agree with your estimate of mainstream Christianity, aka the churches. Their role is partly to convey a false image of God that drags His Name through the gutter, and therefore turns people away from Christ. Tragically, this site makes very little, if any, difference. I was promoting it until the end of last year, but currently I've stopped. There are a tiny number of folk who like the site, but it always seems to be because they had come to more-or-less the same conclusions anyway, as you have. This is in spite of tens of thousands of visits from people who care enough about Christianity to spend time googling it. I was hoping for people to RETHINK, but that never seems to happen. It seems that today people only ABSORB whatever "facts" are broadcast on the media, or in the education system, or through the churches. It's as though there's a well-respected law against actually thinking.
You've seen Rabbi Beck on TV, rather than Youtube, twice??? I'm amazed. I didn't think he'd got that much coverage. He's protested the anti-semitic stuff with the Labour Party outside their Liverpool Conference last year. I thought the Labour Party would see him as a friend, since he clearly showed the difference between anti-semitism and anti-zionism. However, I more recently discovered the Party basically regards him as an enemy, since it is itself very, very strongly zionist.
I think we have a slight difference of emphasis on things like Salvation and works. I know what the Scripture says about both, obviously take it all very seriously, and I'm sure it's totally accurate in most cases. However, I don't believe God is a legalist, and am quite certain that his final, over-riding law is the Law of Love. Love is the fulfillment of the Law, and Love covers a multitude of sins. God is just, patient, forgiving and loving. At the same time as He gives us some very clear guidelines, I think that in His love and wisdom there is some "wiggle-room" for those who genuinely love Him. This won't apply to very many people! Certainly not to any who profess to follow Him, but basically lead the same life as everybody else. And certainly not to those who just don't care. But Beck is in a very special category. I can't imagine a Loving God condemning him to Hell. Perhaps he comes to acknowledge Jesus somehow before he dies. But that would put tidal waves of shock through his community; and that community right now serves a purpose in highlighting the difference between real, obedient, Old Testament Jews and modern, atheist, Zionist ones. The difference may be hidden from the West, but it is well reported in the Arab Media, and may help many Muslims to get a more positive perspective on the God of the Bible. So perhaps Beck is fulfilling a purpose for God in doing what he does? We'll never know this side of Glory; but like I said, I think God's highest law is the Law of Love, which means that with God all things are possible.
I'm quite open to a degree of disagreement among genuine Christians. We are the ultimate free-thinkers! And with 750,000 words of Scripture to go at, plus thousands of years of History, and all the wrinkles in the news, plus all of our own personal experiences, it's inconceivable that our understandings will line up as mirror images. But we do have a solid agreement on the key points, and are not wandering off into Catholicism, Calvinism, Darwinism, Violence, etc.
Amen to your last paragraph Keith. This is an amazing journey of discovery and I for one want to keep seeking the truth. I believe the Lord honours that motivation and through his holy spirit we are led to the truth. It is a process and I am open to other ways of looking at things. After I woke up to the deception all around us I would study something with the starting position of "what if this is actually true". I was very concerned when I applied this to Calvinism as it initially seemed persuasive! Deep down though I knew it couldn't be right. I am 100% confident in the goodness of God and I trust his moral perfection. Any doctrine that suggests God's character is not morally perfect must therefore be false. I believe many doctrines in orthodox Christianity actually slander God.
With regards to salvation outside of the Gospel, I hear what you are saying. There will be many morally upright and kind atheists out there for instance that from a human perspective "deserve" salvation. It may be the case that God takes into account the circumstances that led them to reject him or not find him but I presently can't see that happening based on scripture. I do believe however that in order to be born again (physically resurrected), we need to receive a new spirit. In that regard there is a process to go through and I'm not sure that God would cherry pick individual people to save that have not gone through the baptism of Christ as that then could be a form of favouritism.
With regards to the rabbi, he has a very good reason to reject Jesus as the Messiah - the doctrines of orthodox Christianity. Hopefully one day he will say "what if"..... I think it would help if he knew that there are Christians that believe the Father is the one God, that Jesus was the long awaited Son of David and that the Holy Spirit is simply God's spirit which is holy. If he could understand that the early church was exclusively Jewish and that the gentiles were grafted in. The gentiles have of course made it all about them!
Christianity is actually the fulfillment Jewish religion - sadly most Jews rejected Jesus as their messiah. As Jesus was the ultimate representative of the Father, they were actually rejecting God.
Rabbi Beck is worshipping the living God though unlike many Christian's that are worshipping a triune idol. Perhaps King Jesus will appear to sincere and God seeking Jews and they will readily accept him as the Messiah like Saul did. Saul had rejected Jesus and yet all it took was for Jesus to appear to him and the penny dropped.
Is it possible to write to rabbi Beck?
The site has been a major blessing for me Keith. I was feeling very isolated when I found your site and it gave me a boost. I am sure the Lord will reward you for your efforts. Don't give up!
We have a lot that we can talk about! Feel free to give me a bell. I'm available mostly from about 10am to 10pm every day of the week (retired.) I can't remember the number, but it's on the Contact Page.
Sorry, just picked up your post. I will give you a call ASAP.
I came upon your site in a search for other Christians who were concerned about the very common heresy in evangelicalism these days of believing that there are 2 distinct peoples of God, The nation of Israel and Christian believers. This now seems so prevalent in the U.S.A.and beyond that it is affecting the way Christians evangelise!
However, I feel that your hypothetical situation considers the wrong reasoning. If this allegory is to properly reflect the position of Rabbi Elhanan Beck, then Sergeant Dodd is not guilty of obeying the previous set of orders and ignoring the later orders. He is guilty of misunderstanding the previous orders which caused him to distrust the new orders!
Too often we treat the Old Testament as though it is saying something totally different to the New Testament, but nothing could be further from the truth. Adam and Eve found themselves to be naked and only the sacrifice that God made covered their nakedness, the fig leaves (religion) were useless. Abel offered a blood sacrifice thereby showing his understanding of this situation, whereas Cain offered the fruits of his own labours and was rejected. Abraham was not saved by his works, his faith was accounted to him as righteousness. Jacob was born grasping after the “heel”. The whole of the Old Testament reveals a relationship between God and His people that is based on “faith” or “trust” in His promise of salvation, rather than on our works to please God. Yes there is “the law”, but it is an impossibility to keep to the letter of the law by fallen man. Yes there is the ritual of sacrifice, temple worship, high priests etc.... but all of these are there to point God’s people towards the coming Messiah. The faithful Israelites didn’t make “a sacrifice” to please God, they offered a sacrifice to remind them of God’s promise that He would atone for their sin, His sacrifice would save them, His seed would bruise the serpents head, His offering would clothe them in righteousness.
Dear Rabbi Elhanan Beck sounds like a decent chap, but if he thinks that a religious observance of the law and a devout practise of the Old Testament rituals will somehow make things right between him and God, then he has never understood Hosea 6:6 “ For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings”. This text is not contradicting anything that has come before in the Torah - it is highlighting how religious observance is futile if it is observed with the head, but not motivated from the heart. Sacrifices are offered in remembrance that God has promised that he will atone for our sins by His sacrifice - this sacrifice was made 2000 odd years ago, yet Rabbi Elhanan refuses to accept it despite knowing his Old Testament that points to it on nearly every page. He is clinging to a form of religiosity without realising that it’s feasts and sacrifices are there to point him to The Messiah. If he rejects the Messiah, then he is also rejecting the truth and meaning behind his OT religion.
You go on to quote from Romans 2 as though it teaches us that Gentiles can be doers of the law and yet I fear this misunderstands the whole meaning of the passage. For none of us are doers of the law, we all fail at the first hurdle (Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind). Romans 2 ends with these words - “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 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.” - if this describes Rabbi Elhanan, then he would recognise and rejoice in Jesus Christ as his saviour and the fulfilment of all that he had been trusting in for his salvation. Isaiah begins and ends his book with a robust rebuttal of religiosity that observes the religious practises but has no heart for God. Can Rabbi Elhanan really understand Isaiah and yet not recognise Jesus? The answer is assuredly “No” - either he is ignorant of what God has said through His prophets, and consequently cannot see Jesus in the pages of his Torah. In which case his religion is outward and empty - mere fig leaves that attempt to cover his nakedness - or else he would joyfully lay hold of what God has done through His Son, the suffering servant, and worship Him as his long awaited Messiah.
Sergeant Dodds was found guilty of totally miss understanding the original command from HQ and consequently causing the needless death and destruction of 20 troops. Rabbi Elhanan is guilty of far worse if he continues to refuse the hand that God is holding out to him.
You're post is well argued and hard to refute. I quite accept that. However, the conclusion you reach is that Rabbi Beck, like Sergeant Dodd, has misunderstood the first set of orders. I don't believe that our loving and merciful Father God places a determined lover of God and Truth in Hell for a misunderstanding. That is precisely the point of the article. I accept the orthodox view that Salvation comes through Jesus, and that in the vast majority of cases it is through a specific acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Saviour. What I cannot reconcile is the view that Jesus, who died for all who love Him, as well as all those who don't, would not extend His Salvation to a man like Rabbi Beck. I should perhaps repeat that I have NEVER MET ANYONE who is as dedicated as Beck to what he understands as the truth of Almighty God found in the Bible. Hence my view is in no way an easy "Get Out Clause" for people to be Saved apart from a deliberate acceptance of Jesus. Living Rabbi Beck's life is very, very far from easy.
Thankyou for replying to my post and for your courtesy. I do not know Rabbi Beck, but I know a fair number of very decent, God fearing people who faithfully attempt to give praise and worship to their God while rejecting the Jesus of the Gospel who says “I Am The Way, The Truth and The Life, and no one comes to The Father except through Me”.
Religion was the curse of the Old Testament people of Israel and is also the curse of the church and the modern day children of Israel. We cannot make things right between us and God. He alone can save us and has done through Christ’s death and resurrection - so fulfilling vast swathes of Old Testament feasts, ceremonies and sacrifices. It is surely our work to bring this beautiful truth, this vast unfathomable act of loving sacrifice, this fulfilment of Israel’s place in God’s plan, to the attention of all who have ears to hear it. I believe that there will be a large ingathering of Jewish believers as we get closer to the end of the age - in fact, there already is a marked increase in the number of Jewish followers of Jesus as Messiah. However, it would be a dereliction of our faith if we allowed the people of Israel to believe that adherence to Old Testament practices while denying their fulfilment in Christ, were enough to get them over the threshold. It’s not a matter of “a loving and merciful Father God” placing anyone in hell for a misunderstanding. It’s a matter of us turning our back on God’s outstretched hand and marching straight to Hell ourselves!
Abel understood, while Cain “misunderstood”, the same is true of Jacob and Esau, and many others throughout the Old Testament narrative. Is Rabbi Beck trusting in The God who revealed Himself to His People through His great works of redemption in their history? Who spoke through the prophets? and who ultimately revealed Himself in His Son? (Hebrews chapter 1). Or is he trusting in his observance of feasts and festivals, of temple worship and observance of the law, of offerings and sacrifices that are divorced from their original purpose?
God has put us here to bring the gospel to people such as he. Many modern day evangelicals fail to see the import of this task, misguidedly supposing that there are two peoples of God and two ways of salvation. Paul is quite emphatic that there are not, there is now “neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for all are one in Christ Jesus”. Pray God Rabbi Beck will apprehend this Truth and the scales will fall from his eyes as they have from many others.