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Who is Christ?

 

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that:

  • Jesus was the first creation of God [1]
  • God created all ‘other’ things through Jesus [2]
  • It is not proper to pray to Jesus [3]
  • It is not proper to worship Jesus [4]
  • Jesus is a god, but not God [5]

What does mainstream Christianity believe?

Q1. Why focus on Jesus so much?

Answer: How we honour the Son reflects how we honour the Father

God has placed Jesus centre-stage: the “name above every name” (Phil 2:9-10), the fine shepherd carrying us to His Father whom he reveals (Luke 15:4-7; John 14:9-10), the source and goal of our faith and love (Eph 3:14-18; Heb 12:2). John 5:23 “that all may honour the Son according as they honour the Father; he who is not honouring the Son, doth not honour the Father who sent him.” (Youngs)

Our personal relationship with Jesus is highlighted through certain prepositions:

THROUGH him

Rom 5:1-2,11

Our Mediator, our bridge to God. Redeemer. Reconciler. High Priest.

ON him

Rom 10:11-13

Jesus is our foundation. Rest our life – body, soul, spirit – on him.

IN him

John 15:1-8

As his body, building and bride we share his life.

UNDER him

Eph 1:19-23

Our Lord who invites us to find rest under his kind authority.

FOR him

2 Cor 5:15

Christ’s love impels us to live, speak and suffer for him.

WITH him

John 17:24

He is always with us and one day we shall enjoy him face-to-face!

TO him

Rom 14:7-9

Our Master. All our relationships and works are as to the Lord Jesus.

Q2. Does Jesus possess attributes of Deity?

Answer: Consider his eternity, immutability, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience

 

1. eternity

Isa 9:6 and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father

Mic 5:2 Bethlehem … from you shall come forth … ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. [עֹלָם ʻôlâm; time out of mind (past or future), eternity; as in Ps 90:2 “from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”]

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word [the imperfect tense of “was” – not ‘came to be’ – indicates Jesus was already existing before creation]

Col 1:17 He is before all things

Heb 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God (the sun’s rays radiate as long as the sun has existed; so likewise, the Son of God with God the Father)

Heb 7:3 [Melchizedek]…having neither beginning of days … resembling the Son of God

1 John 1:2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us (1 John 5:11, 20 identifies the Son as eternal life)

2. immutability – his changeless nature

Heb 1:8-12 But of the Son he says, … “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.”

Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

(Also, Mal 3:6; Num 23:19)

3. omnipotence – all powerful

Isa 9:6 his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Note that Isa 10:21 also calls the Lord (Jehovah) “mighty God.”

Matt 28:18 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (No time is stated when this transaction took place – see Matt 11:27).

Phil 3:21 [Jesus] who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

(Also, 2 Cor 12:9; Heb 1:3)

4. omnipresence – present everywhere

Ps 139:7 “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? “

Matt 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Matt 28:20 “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Eph 1:22-23 “The church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all” (also Eph 4:10)

Eph 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith

5. omniscience – all knowledge

1 Chron 28:9 The Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought.

Matt 9:4 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?

Mark 2:8 Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts?

Rev 2:23 I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.

(Also, 1 Kings 8:39; Matt 12:25; 17:24-27; Luke 9:47; John 2:23-25; 21:17

Additional info here and here

Q3. Is Jesus revealed as being Jehovah in the Old Testament?

Answer: Yes, but note this does not make Jesus the Father

The following table uses scriptures from the NWT Bible to show the same titles were applied to Jehovah in the Old Testament as Jesus in the New Testament, that’s because Jehovah was revealed as being Jesus.

Role as God

Applied to God/Jehovah in the Old Testament (NWT)

Title

Revealed to be Jesus in the New Testament (NWT)

Genesis 17:1

When Aʹbram was 99 years old, Jehovah appeared to Aʹbram and said to him: “I am God Almighty. Walk before me and prove yourself faultless

Almighty God

Rev 1:8

“I am the Alʹpha and the O·meʹga,” says Jehovah  God, “the One who is and who was and who is coming, the Almighty.”

Rev. 22:20 shows Jesus is the one coming

“The one who bears witness of these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’”  “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus.”

Psalms 89:26

He will call out to me: ‘You are my Father, My God and the Rock of my salvation.’

Isaiah. 9:6

For a child has been born to us, A son has been given to us; And the rulership  will rest on his shoulder.  His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

God

Hebrews 1:8

But about the Son, he says: “God is your throne forever and ever, and the scepter of your Kingdom is the scepter of uprightness.

John 20:28

Next he said to Thomas: “Put your finger here, and see my hands, and take your hand and stick it into my side, and stop doubting  but believe.” 28  In answer Thomas said to him: “My Lord and my God!”

 1 John 5:20

But we know that the Son of God has come,  and he has given us insight  so that we may gain the knowledge of the one who is true. And we are in union with the one who is true,  by means of his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and life everlasting.

Additional Info 

Jeremiah 32:18

the One showing loyal love to thousands, but repaying the error of the fathers to their sons after them, the true God, the great and mighty One, whose name is Jehovah of armies.

Note all mainstream Bibles translate this as “mighty God” i.e.

You show love to thousands but bring the punishment for the parents’ sins into the laps of their children after them. Great and mighty God, whose name is the LORD Almighty,

Mighty God

Isaiah 9:6 (OT Reference)

For a child has been born to us, A son has been given to us; And the rulership  will rest on his shoulder. His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,  Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 45:22

Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth, For I am God, and there is no one else

Only God

1 Tim 1:16,17

Nevertheless, I was shown mercy so that by means of me as the foremost case, Christ Jesus might demonstrate all his patience, making me an example to those who are going to rest their faith on him for everlasting life. 17  Now to the King of eternity, incorruptible,  invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Jeremiah 10:10

But Jehovah is truly God. He is the living God and the eternal King.  Because of his indignation the earth will quake, And no nations will endure his denunciation.

True God

1 John 5:20

But we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us insight so that we may gain the knowledge of the one who is true. And we are in union with the one who is true,  by means of his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and life everlasting.

Titles

Applied to God/Jehovah in the Old Testament (NWT)

Title

Revealed to be Jesus in the New Testament (NWT)

Isaiah 44:24

This is what Jehovah says, your Repurchaser, Who formed you since you were in the womb: “I am Jehovah, who made everything. I stretched out the heavens by myself, And I spread out the earth.  Who was with me?

Creator

Col. 1:16

because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All other things have been created through him and for him.

John 1:3,10; Rom 11:36; Heb 1:1-8; 3:3-4

Isaiah. 9:6

For a child has been born to us, A son has been given to us; And the rulership  will rest on his shoulder.  His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Father

Matt. 6:9

“You must pray, then, this way: “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.

Isaiah. 44:6

This is what Jehovah says, The King of Israel  and his Repurchaser, Jehovah of armies: ‘I am the first and I am the last. There is no God but me.

First & Last

Rev. 1:17

When I saw him, I fell as dead at his feet. And he laid his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last,

Isaiah 6:3

And one called to the other: “Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah of armies.  The whole earth is filled with his glory.”

Holy Holy Holy

Rev. 4:8

As for the four living creatures, each one of them had six wings; they were full of eyes all around and underneath. And continuously, day and night, they say: “Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah  God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is coming.”

Rev. 22:20 shows Jesus is the one coming

“The one who bears witness of these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’”  “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus.

Exodus 3:14

So God said to Moses: “I Will Become What I Choose  to Become.”  And he added: “This is what you are to say to the Israelites, ‘I Will Become has sent me to you.’”

Note all mainstream Bibles translate this as “I AM” i.e.

God said to Moses, “I am that I am.” And he said, “You must say this to the Israelites, ‘I am has sent me to you.‘”

I Am

John 8:58

Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to you, before Abraham came into existence, I have been.”

Note all mainstream Bibles translate this as “I AM” i.e.

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.

JW Interlinear renders it correctly as “I am” but this is removed when translated into English

Gen. 18:25

It is unthinkable that you would act in this manner by putting the righteous man to death with the wicked one so that the outcome for the righteous man and the wicked is the same!  It is unthinkable of you. Will the Judge of all the earth not do what is right?”

Judge

2 Tim. 4:8

From this time on, there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness,  which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me as a reward in that day, yet not to me only, but also to all those who have loved his manifestation.

John 5:22-23; 2 Cor 5:10

Psalms 29:10

Jehovah sits enthroned above the flooding waters; Jehovah sits enthroned as King forever.

King

Rev. 17:14

These will battle with the Lamb, but because he is Lord of lords and King of kings,  the Lamb will conquer them. Also, those with him who are called and chosen and faithful will do so.”

Deut. 10:17

For Jehovah your God is the God of gods  and the Lord of lords, the God great, mighty, and awe-inspiring, who treats none with partiality and does not accept a bribe.

Lord of Lords

Rev. 17:14

These will battle with the Lamb, but because he is Lord of lords and King of kings,  the Lamb will conquer them.  Also, those with him who are called and chosen and faithful will do so.”

Jer. 3:14

“Return, you renegade sons,” declares Jehovah. “For I have become your true master;  and I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.

Only master

Jude 4

My reason is that certain men have slipped in among you who were long ago appointed to this judgment by the Scriptures; they are ungodly men who turn the undeserved kindness of our God into an excuse for brazen conduct and who prove false to our only owner  and Lord, Jesus Christ.

JW Interlinear renders it correctly as “master” but this is removed when translated into English

Isaiah 44:6

This is what Jehovah says, The King of Israel and his Repurchaser, Jehovah of armies: ‘I am the first and I am the last. There is no God but me.

Repurchaser

Gal.3:13,14

Christ purchased us,  releasing us  from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse instead of us, because it is written: “Accursed is every man hung upon a stake.” 14  This was so that the blessing of Abraham would come to the nations by means of Christ Jesus,  so that we might receive the promised spirit through our faith.

Deut. 32:4

The Rock, perfect is his activity, For all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness  who is never unjust; Righteous and upright is he.

Rock

1 Cor. 10:4

and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they used to drink from the spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock meant the Christ.

Isaiah 12:6

Cry out and shout for joy, you inhabitant of Zion, For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

Holy One

Act. 3:14

Yes, you disowned that holy and righteous one, and you asked for a man who was a murderer to be given to you,

Isaiah 43:11

I—I am Jehovah,  and besides me there is no savior.”

Isa 45:21 and Hos 13:4

Savior

Luke 2:11

For today there was born to you in David’s city a savior,  who is Christ the Lord.

Tit 1:3; 2:13; 3:4-6

Psalms 23:1

Jehovah is my Shepherd.  I will lack nothing.

Shepherd

John 10:11

I am the fine shepherd;  the fine shepherd surrenders his life in behalf of the sheep.

Other Descriptions

Applied to God/Jehovah in the Old Testament (NWT)

Title

Revealed to be Jesus in the New Testament (NWT)

Psalms 97:9

For you, O Jehovah, are the Most High over all the earth; You are exalted far above all other gods.

Above all

John 3:31

The one who comes from above  is over all others.  The one who is from the earth is from the earth and speaks of things of the earth. The one who comes from heaven is over all others.

JW Interlinear renders it correctly as “above all” but this is removed when translated into English

Psalms 107:29

He calms the windstorm; The waves of the sea grow quiet.

Control the elements

Matt. 8:27

So the men were amazed and said: “What sort of person is this? Even the winds and the sea obey him.”

Psalms 146:10

Jehovah will be King forever, Your God, O Zion, for generation after generation. Praise Jah!

Endless kingdom

2 Pet. 1:11

In fact, in this way you will be richly granted  entrance into the everlasting Kingdom  of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Psalms 93:2

Your throne was firmly established long ago; From eternity you have existed.

Everlasting throne

Heb. 1:8

But about the Son, he says: “God is your throne forever and ever, and the scepter of your Kingdom is the scepter of uprightness.

Psalms 108:5

Be exalted above the heavens, O God; May your glory be over all the earth.

Exalted

Phil. 2:9

For this very reason, God exalted him to a superior position  and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name,

Mic 7:18-19

Who is a God like you,

Pardoning error and passing over the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?

He will not hold onto his anger forever,

For he delights in loyal love.

He will again show us mercy; he will conquer our errors.

You will throw all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Forgives

Mark 2:5-7,10

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic: “Child, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were there, sitting and reasoning in their hearts: “Why is this man talking this way? He is blaspheming. Who can forgive sins except one, God?”…But in order for you to know that the Son of man has authority to forgive sins on earth—”…

Psalms 103:19

Jehovah has firmly established his throne in the heavens; And his kingship rules over everything.

Over all

Rom. 9:5

To them the forefathers belong,  and from them the Christ descended according to the flesh.  God, who is over all, be praised forever. Amen.

Psalms 102:25-27

Long ago you laid the foundations of the earth, And the heavens are the work of your hands.i 26  They will perish, but you will remain; Just like a garment they will all wear out. Just like clothing you will replace them, and they will pass away. 27  But you are the same, and your years will never end.j

No end to years

Heb.1:10-12

And: “At the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the works of your hands. 11  They will perish, but you will remain; and just like a garment, they will all wear out, 12  and you will wrap them up just as a cloak, as a garment, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will never come to an end.”

Zech. 12:10

“I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of favor and supplication, and they will look to the one whom they pierced,  and they will wail over him as they would wail over an only son; and they will grieve bitterly over him as they would grieve over a firstborn son.

Pierced

Rev. 1:7

Look! He is coming with the clouds,  and every eye will see him, and those who pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief because of him.  Yes, Amen.

2 Sam. 7:23,24

And what other nation on earth is like your people Israel? God went and redeemed them as his people, making a name for himself by doing great and awe-inspiring things for them.  You drove out the nations and their gods in behalf of your people, whom you redeemed to yourself from Egypt. 24  You established your people Israel as your own people for all time;  and you, O Jehovah, have become their God.

Redeemed people

Titus 2:14

who gave himself for us  to set us free  from every sort of lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people who are his own special possession, zealous for fine works.

Note all mainstream Bibles are clearer by actually using the word “redeem” i.e.

who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Psalms 102:27

But you are the same, and your years will never end.

Num 23:19; Mal 3:6

Same

Heb. 1:12

and you will wrap them up just as a cloak, as a garment, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will never come to an end.”

Heb. 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever.

Psalms 95:6

Come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before Jehovah our Maker.

Worshipped

Matt. 28:9

And look! Jesus met them and said: “Good day!” They approached and took hold of his feet and did obeisance to him.

Note all mainstream Bibles use the word worship rather than obeisance i.e.

Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.

Additional Info


Q4. Is it proper to pray to Jesus?

Answer: Many Christians enjoy direct fellowship with him

John 14:14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. (The word “me” is found in the oldest and most reliable manuscripts)

Acts 7:59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

Acts 9:10-17 Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem.” (See Acts 22:16-19)

1 Cor 1:2 All those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours. (In the OT “to call upon the name of the Lord” referred to prayer to God – 1 Kings 18:24,37; Ps 116:4)

2 Cor 12:8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. (In Paul’s writings “Lord” (kurios) usually signifies Jesus; “God” usually the Father)

Rom 10:9,11-13 Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord … for “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Rev 22:20 Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! (John could have said, “Father, may the Son come.”

(Also, 1 Tim 1:12;1 John 1:3)

Additional Info

Q5. Is it proper to worship Jesus?

Answer: Yes, honour him just as we honour the Father

 Matt 4:10 ‘You shall worship the Lord your God. (The Greek ‘proskenyo’ can denote an act of respect which falls short of worship, there are instances in the NT where the context clearly demands the stronger translation)

Matt 28:9 And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.

[The two Marys first caught him by the feet, the respectful act of bowing, and then further they ‘proskenyo’ him – cf. Acts 10:25-26; Rev 19:10]

John 5:23 All may honor the Son, just as (καθώς ‘in proportion as, in the degree that’) they honor the Father.

Phil 2:9-11 bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.

Heb 1:6 ‘Let all God’s angels worship him’ (Clearly, the Son is certainly not an angel but is superior to the angels – the creator of the angels)

Rev 5:8,12-14 To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

 (Also, Matt 2:2,8,11; 14:33; 28:16-17; John 9:38)

Additional Info

Q6. What form did Jesus assume when he came to the earth?

Answer: Mainstream Christianity teaches the Incarnation: Jesus is fully God and fully human.

Matt 1:23 “They shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

John 1:14,18 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

John 17:1-5 “Father, … you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. … I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

Rom 1:3-4 His Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord

Phil 2:5-7 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form

Col 1:19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell

1 Tim 3:16 He [God] was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

1 John 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

(Also, Matt 20:23; 24:36; John 5:19; 8:28;14:28; 20:17)

Additional Info

Q7. In heaven, does Jesus subject Himself to His Father’s headship?

Answer: Yes

1 Cor 3:23 You are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

1 Cor 11:3 The head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.

1 Cor 15:24-28 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

(Also, Phil 2:11; 1 Pet 1:3; Rev 3:1 2)

Additional Info

30 Summary statements regarding Jesus Christ

  1. He is from everlasting (Mic 5:2)
  2. He was in the beginning, before all things (John 1:1; Col 1:17)
  3. He existed in the form of God, sharing His glory (John 17:5; Phil 2:6)
  4. He was God (John 1:1)
  5. He is the Son of God (John 10:36; 1 John 5:20)
  6. He is the Firstborn of all creation (Col 1:15)
  7. He was one with the Father (John 10:28-33; 14:7-9)
  8. All things were created by him and for him (Col 1:16; Heb 1:2)
  9. All the angels of God worship Him (Heb 1:6)
  10. The Jews believed that He made Himself equal with God (John 5:18)
  11. He forgives sins (Luke 5:24)
  12. He gave men power to be born of God (John 1:12,13)
  13. The Father’s name has been given to Him (John 17:11,12)
  14. He would raise up His body (John 2:19,21)
  15. God raised, highly exalted, and glorified Him (Acts 2:24; 3:13; Phil 2:9).
  16. Heir of all things, better than angels (Heb 1:2,4; John 16:15; 17:2).
  17. He is the First and the Last, as is Jehovah (Isa 44:6; Rev 1:17,18).
  18. In Him dwells all the fulness of the Deity in bodily form (Col 2:9).
  19. He is the exact representation of God’s nature (Heb 1:3).
  20. He sustains all things (Col 1:17, Heb 1:3).
  21. He is eternal Father, Mighty God (Isa 9:6).
  22. All authority given to Him; Lord of Lords (Matt 28:18; Rev 17:14).
  23. He is mediator between God and men (1 Tim 2:5-6).
  24. Call upon name Jehovah to be saved – applies to Him (Rom 10:9-13).
  25. All men should honour Him as they do the Father (John 5:22,23).
  26. It is proper to pray to Jesus (John 14:14)
  27. It is proper to give glory and worship to Jesus (Rev 5:12-14)
  28. Jesus is sovereign with His Father (Phil 2:9-11)
  29. Jesus is God, as is His Father is (John 1:1)
  30. Jesus is Jehovah, as is His Father is (Joel 2:32 cf. Rom 10:13)

Endnotes:

  1. Enjoy Life Forever! —An Interactive Bible Course. Lesson 15
  2. Insight Vol 22 p 52
  3. Watchtower 2015 Jan 1st pp 14-15
  4. Awake 2000 April 8th pp 26-27
  5. Insight Vol 2 pp 53-56

Article Credits: KevinQuick.com

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