BORN OF THE GOSPEL
Despite a religious climate replete with false teachers and false teachings, most who name the name of Jesus are sincerely convinced in their belief that they have the truth and are truly born again heaven-bound Christians. Their lives are filled with Bible reading, Church-going, prayer times and many other religious exercises. They talk ‘jesus’ all day long and love to meet with others who ‘love jesus’, too. Yet there is one very peculiar trait common among most professing christians today and that is the very sad and disturbing fact that they cannot define and, in most cases, have never actually heard God’s True Gospel. Perhaps of even more concern is the tragic fact that most who profess to know God, who have heard the Gospel and say they believe it remain convinced that they were truly born again before they ever heard it. This, in spite of the fact that the Bible clearly teaches that a true believer, that is, a born again believer, a new creature in Christ, is born of the Seed of God, His Word. This book will show clearly from the pages of God’s Holy Scriptures that the new creature in Christ springs from the Seed of God, His Holy Gospel Message, and that the life of the true believer begins at the Gospel and does not eventually lead one to it; that none can truly claim to be of God if they have never heard His Gospel, for IT is the power and wisdom of God unto Salvation.
"...Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God" (Jn. 3:3). When the Lord Jesus Christ informed Nicodemus the Pharisee, in John 3, that a man needs to be born again in order to see the Kingdom of God, He was not, as Nicodemus wrongly assumed in verse 4, referring to a man’s being physically re-born. Christ spoke of the necessity of being born again spiritually, of being born from above or born of the Spirit. As is the case with the procreation of man requiring the seed of man, so, too, the spiritual birth of man requires a seed. As with any birth, spiritual birth has a beginning and needs a source. What that Seed is, that necessary and vital ingredient to a person’s being born again, and without which no man can be born again, is made perfectly clear in Scripture. 1 Peter 1:23 tells us that every justified sinner is made spiritually alive by: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible (Seed), BY THE WORD OF GOD, which liveth and abideth forever." Peter is here teaching that a man’s being made alive unto God is not something which comes from within the realms of human ability, nor is it something which a man is enabled to do, but a man’s being made alive unto God is a work performed exclusively by God without the aid of man: "...Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9). As a plant cannot will itself into being or come into existence unless it be by way and means of a seed, so, too, the spiritual creature cannot come into being unless it is by way and means of a seed. If there is no seed there will be no plant and if there is no Gospel Seed there will be no new creature in Christ. The apostle John says that sons of God—those who believe on His name (Jn. 1:12)—are born "...not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but OF GOD" (Jn.1:13; see also 1 Cor.1:30; 1 Pet.1:21). One is not made a new creature in Christ by parental heritage; it is not something we inherit from Christian parents; man cannot will himself into becoming a new creature in Christ and no man can make another into this new creature. The new creature comes from one source and one source only: the Gospel of Almighty God. The beginning of the spiritual life of every true believer can be traced back to its place of origin: the Gospel of God. It is most important to note at this point that "No man was ever converted by the mere effect of truth without the agency of the Holy Ghost, any more than seed germinates when laid on a hard rock".
According to the apostle Peter there are only two kinds of seed: that which is corruptible and that which is incorruptible. The corruptible seed referred to in 1 Peter speaks of the seed of man by which we are born. The product of that seed, the human body, is subject to decay and corruption and will eventually die. The Christian, however, is a creature which will not perish, for he has been born of the Seed of God which is incorruptible and its fruit eternal. "...as God is ever living, that which is produced directly by Him in the human soul, by the instrumentality of truth, may be expected also to live forever." Though the body will one day die, the spiritual being which has been born of that Seed lives on, in God, forever. As one man has put it, ‘being born again, not of corruptible seed’ carries with it the meaning "Not by virtue of any descent from human parents". Nothing corruptible can issue forth from God, therefore the ‘corruptible’ referred to here by Peter must mean ‘that which man produces’. It must be pointed out that even the best a man can produce by way of religious effort, can only be described as corruptible, for "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit" (Jn. 7:18; see also Psa. 39:5).
So we see, that for a man to be born again he must be born of that incorruptible Seed which comes from God and not from anything which proceeds from the man himself or from any other human agency. The new birth is not the result of a man’s initiative but purely and solely something which God initiates and completes. The apostle James bears this out in the following verse of Scripture: "Of HIS OWN WILL begat He us WITH THE WORD OF TRUTH..." (Jas.1:18). James here tells us that it is solely because of God’s will, not man’s, that a new creature is born and He does this through His very Word. Peter, in 1 Peter 1, describes this ‘Word’ as the Word of God. James defines this same medium as the Word of Truth. The word ‘begat’ in James 1:18 is used metaphorically of spiritual birth by means of the Word of God and literally means ‘to give birth to’, ‘to breed forth’, ‘to generate’ or ‘to bring forth’, terms synonymous with a beginning or birth. As sin is pregnant with and brings forth death, so, too, the Word of God brings forth eternal life in those who are born of it. The Bible states that Christ Jesus has "...abolished death, and hath brought LIFE and IMMORTALITY to light THROUGH THE GOSPEL" (2 Tim.1:10). God gives birth to His new creatures in Christ by means of His Word, the Gospel, and no other. Just as there is no other name but the name of JESUS whereby a man is saved (Acts 4:12), so, too, there is no other means but the GOSPEL by which a man is saved. Thus we learn, that as with the natural birth of a man being something quite impossible unless it is by the means of man’s seed (sperm or semen), so, too, the spiritual birth of a man is something which, according to the Bible, is an utter impossibility unless it is by the means of God’s Seed which is His Word. Christ proclaimed that the only way a man can be sanctified, that is, made holy or set apart from other men unto God, is by way of the Word of God: "Sanctify them THROUGH Thy Truth: THY WORD IS TRUTH" (Jn. 17:17). Christ is said to have given Himself for the Church "That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water BY THE WORD" (Eph. 5:26). Clearly, from these two verses of Scripture we see that there is, and can be, no sanctification, no cleansing or washing without the instrumentality of the Word of Truth. Even after this brief look at the Scriptures, the evidence is resounding: Peter says a man is born again BY the Word of God; James tells us that God has begotten us WITH the Word of Truth; Paul says in 2 Timothy that Christ has brought life and immortality THROUGH the Gospel; Paul also states in 1 Corinthians that in Christ he has begotten us THROUGH the Gospel; and Christ Himself tells us that we are sanctified THROUGH the Truth. The whole work of salvation from start to finish is accomplished by means of the Word. "It was not by external ceremonies, and not by any miraculous power on the heart, but by faithful application of Truth to the heart." But what is this Word of God, this Word of Truth, exactly, without which no man can be born again? Is it the Bible in general which is referred to here, as some attest, or is it something more specific. The answer is found in God’s Holy Word.
Further down in 1 Peter 1, we see in verse 25 precisely what this Word of God, this incorruptible Seed, actually is. Peter explains: "But the Word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the Word which by THE GOSPEL is preached unto you". It could not have been made any clearer for us. In the context of this passage from 1 Peter, we learn that the incorruptible Seed described as the Word of God in verse 23 which liveth and abideth forever and by which a man is born again, is the Word of the Lord mentioned in verse 25 which endureth forever, and is no less than the very Gospel itself! There is no fancy manipulation of words here or eisegesis—a reading into the Scriptures what it plainly does not say—but is a proper exegesis and contextual rendering of what is being referred to as the incorruptible Seed, the Word of God and the Word of the Lord, and as we shall see, is supported by many other Scriptures throughout the Bible. For instance, Acts 8:4 speaks of those who went forth preaching the Gospel as they that "...went everywhere preaching the Word", a phrase found in a myriad of Scriptures. The two terms are used as if they are one in Acts 8:25: "And they, when they had testified and PREACHED THE WORD of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and PREACHED THE GOSPEL in many villages of the Samaritans." The Book of Acts includes within its pages a record of the extensive preaching done by the apostles and other disciples of Christ. This preaching was often referred to as the preaching of the Word, or the Word of God, or the Word of the Lord Jesus or the preaching of the Word of the Lord. In Acts 15:7 Peter introduces a new term: "...that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear THE WORD OF THE GOSPEL, and believe." A similar, and more encompassing term, is used in Colossians 1:5: "For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in THE WORD OF THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL." The Scriptures makes it all irresistibly and abundantly clear. The Word of Truth, the Word of God, the Word of the Lord Jesus etc., are all references to THE GOSPEL of God and none can be born again without it.
James 1:18, as we have already discovered, talks of the Christian being brought forth, or given birth to, by the Word of Truth. Another key verse which lends further support to the Word of Truth being the Gospel, is found in Ephesians 1:13: "In Whom ye also trusted, AFTER that ye heard the Word of Truth, THE GOSPEL of your salvation..." Paul the apostle is speaking here of the Ephesians and their trust in Christ rightly being their only hope for salvation. Significantly, he states that they trusted in Christ only after they heard the Word of Truth which he immediately defines as being none other than the very Gospel of God, the Gospel of their salvation. We learn then from Paul’s statement that none can be said to truly trust in Christ before they actually hear the Gospel of God, for it is only within the confines of that Gospel that Christ, and His Righteousness, is revealed: "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation...for THEREIN is the Righteousness of God revealed..." (Rom. 1:16,17). Additional support to the fact that none can savingly know God prior to hearing and believing the Gospel of God, may be found in the following passage of Scripture where Paul was thanking God for the Colossians since he heard of their faith in Christ Jesus, and "For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before IN THE WORD OF THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, SINCE THE DAY YE HEARD OF IT, and KNEW THE GRACE OF GOD IN TRUTH" (Col. 1:5,6). The only place these Colossians heard of the hope of heaven was the Gospel and the only time the evidence of its fruit was manifest was since the day they heard it and not prior to that glorious day when they heard of and knew the God of grace IN TRUTH. The only place where you will hear of the grace of God in truth is the Gospel of God. Only then can a person truly believe in the God of all grace. Trusting in Christ is inextricably connected with the Gospel of Christ. Therefore, without the hearing, understanding and believing of the GOSPEL OF CHRIST, there can be no true trusting in the CHRIST OF THE GOSPEL. In other words and in accord with Peter’s statement in 1 Peter 1:23, none can possibly be born again of the incorruptible Seed of God unless they have heard the Gospel, understood it and believed it (see 1 Pet. 1:25).
There is no new birth without the Gospel. It is the most central, vital and core element to the creation of a new creature in Christ and without it there is simply no life (2 Tim. 1:10). Many may claim to trust in Christ but, as we have seen in Ephesians 1:13 and Colossians 1:5,6, the Holy Word of God declares that none can trust in Him for they do not, and cannot, know Him unless they have, by His will and by His Gospel, been born again. Listen to the language of the apostle Paul as he reminds the Corinthians as to how they have come to be born again and made new creatures in Christ: "...in Christ Jesus I have begotten you THROUGH THE GOSPEL" (1 Cor. 4:15). The word ‘begotten’ here means ‘to procreate, to regenerate, to bear, be born, bring forth, conceive, make, spring’. The word ‘begotten’ is used metaphorically in this verse for 'one who by means of preaching the Gospel becomes the human instrument in the impartation of spiritual life' (see also Philemon 10). This is yet another occasion in Scripture where we see man’s spiritual birth inseparably connected with the Gospel of God. As he is no Christian that is without the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9), so, too, there can be no new birth without the Seed of the Gospel of God by which a man can be cleansed and sanctified. There can be no new creature without the Gospel of God and there can be no Bible-based trust in Christ the Savior unless the eternal Gospel has been received by means of hearing and understanding it, for the True Christ is revealed and found only in the Gospel (Rom. 1:16,17). The only time a man will hear of the True Christ is when he hears the True Gospel. Anything before that is a false gospel and a counterfeit christ. The Gospel is the vehicle in which God has placed the eternal and essential truths concerning His Son, Jesus Christ.
Scripture literally teaches that to be born again is to be BORN OF THE GOSPEL!: to actually be given birth to by the Gospel Message applied to the heart by God’s Holy Spirit. There is no new birth before it or without it and none can be born of God whilst in ignorance of His Gospel. The Gospel Message is the very Seed of God wherein eternal life is encased. The Word of Truth by which a man is sanctified (made holy) is the Gospel of Christ. No one can rightly say they have been born again, born of God, unless they have heard, understood and believed the Word of God, His Gospel, which is the Seed that must be sown in their hearts that there might be life. Unless they have had that Seed of God sown in hearts prepared by God to receive it, it will not take root and they cannot bear good fruit. In the parable of the sower, the Lord Jesus identifies the Seed sown by the sower as the Word of God: "Now the parable is this: THE SEED IS THE WORD OF GOD" (Lk. 8:11; see also Mk. 4:14; Matt. 13:19). Christ explained in Matthew’s record of the parable: "But he that RECEIVED seed into the good ground is he that HEARETH the Word, and UNDERSTANDETH it; which also beareth fruit..." (Matt. 13:23). We see then that receiving the seed into good ground is defined as hearing the Word and understanding it. The only time there can be any evidence of the fruit of the Gospel is AFTER it is sown, or preached, and received into good ground, or heard and understood (see also Col. 1:6).
In light of this, it stands to biblical reason that if there is no hearing of the Gospel, if that incorruptible Seed of God is not sown into good ground, that is, into a heart prepared by God to receive it, there can be no new creature. Imagine someone expecting a plant to pop up out of the ground before the seed has been sown! First must come the seed then the life. If there is no seed there is no life and if there is no life then there can be no evidence of regeneration. No amount of will power could ever be the catalyst for plant life, so, too, no amount of religious traditionalism or sincere religious zeal or will power or flowery sentiment or experiences or tears of remorse can bring about spiritual life. THERE MUST BE A SEED and it must be God’s Seed, the Gospel, for there is no other seed which can produce a new creature in Christ! It must be noted that simply because there has been seed sown, that is no guarantee that it will bear fruit. Just as there is no fruit from the seed which is scattered upon a rock, where there is hearing but no understanding of what is heard, there can likewise be no new birth according to Scripture, for if there is no understanding, no comprehension, there can be no believing, in the biblical sense of the word, and therefore no genuine trusting. Again, what the Bible calls true trusting in Christ can only occur AFTER the Gospel is heard and believed (see Eph. 1:13). Understanding, and therefore believing from the heart, is a sure sign that the person is no longer dead to God and His glorious Message, but that God, by His wonderous grace, has made that person alive to Him. The Light of the glorious Gospel has shone upon him that understands, savingly, and the Gospel is no longer hid from him (see 2 Cor. 4:3,4).
Again, James tells us that the born again person is one who is made so by the immutable WILL OF GOD with the Gospel Message, by the preaching of it, which is the means God has chosen to make His Message heard (see 1 Cor. 1:21 & Jas. 1:18). The passage where 1 Corinthians 1:21 is from shows that that preaching is the preaching of the Cross of Christ (see 1 Cor. 1:17-24), which lies at the heart of the Gospel Message. Man is not born again of his own will and in his own way, but by God’s will and by God’s Way: the Gospel. Man is not born again out of his own sincerity or because of any conviction that a certain religious experience he once had, or is having, came from God. SINCERITY IS NOT THE SEED and therefore no amount of it can bring forth a new creature in Christ, for this is wholly the domain of the True Seed of Christ: His Gospel. Sincerity of belief is not the evidence, proof or qualifier for salvation. Everyone believes something and most are very sincere in their beliefs, but it is WHAT a man believes that is the central issue and not how sincerely he believes it. Sincerity is not the key to freedom, it is the TRUTH of God which makes a man free: "And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free" (Jn. 8:32). It is vital for all to realise that GODLY SINCERITY IS ALWAYS ACCOMPANIED BY GOD’S TRUTH. Joshua 24:14 says: "Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve Him in SINCERITY and in TRUTH: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord" (see also 1 Cor. 5:8; 2 Cor. 1:12; 2;17). Sincerity without Truth always leads to false gods and false religions. Man is not born again through some mystical experience or practice, real or imagined, no matter how wonderful it may make him feel or how ‘spiritual’. Man is not born again through anything which is not tangible. He is not born again by means of anything outside of the Gospel. Man is born again through hearing and understanding the Word of God, which is His Gospel. This is what the Scriptures teach. It is important to note that a man can, over a period of time, hear the Gospel and gradually reach the point where he understands and believes it, but the man is not born again during this period but only AFTER he has fully understood and believed the Gospel: "In Whom (Jesus) ye also trusted, AFTER that ye heard the Word of Truth, the GOSPEL of your salvation: in Whom also AFTER ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise" (Eph. 1:13). We see then that NONE can be sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise before they have believed the glorious Gospel, and NONE can trust in Christ before they have heard His Mighty Gospel. In John 6:44, the Lord Jesus says that "No man can come unto Me, except the Father which hath sent Me DRAW him..." (see also Jer. 31:3). This drawing is done by their being taught of God: "...And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath LEARNED of the Father, cometh unto Me" (Jn.6:45). Just as a net full of fish being drawn to shore or into the boat is not in the boat or on the shore until the drawing is completed, so, too, none can be said to be in Christ whilst the drawing (dragging) is taking place but only after the process is completed. The new birth of any man is by the will of God and the means He uses for each and every man’s spiritual birth does not differ. It is always by His Mighty and Glorious Message which is His Gospel: "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for IT IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION to everyone THAT BELIEVETH..." (Rom. 1:16; see also Psa. 19:7).
Reference was made earlier to those people who claim to be Christians and yet have never heard the true Gospel, who basically judge themselves saved based on their sincerity, regardless of whether or not they now believe the Gospel, and to those who claim to believe the Gospel but insist they were saved long before they ever heard it. The only consistency in such warped and unscriptural views as these is their inconsistency with what the Scriptures teach. We have just learned what the Scriptures clearly say concerning being born again: precisely how and when a man is made a new creature in Christ. Yet most who profess to believe in Christ remain in a dead state without God, for in saying that they were born again before they heard the Gospel, they deny the very Gospel itself and its exclusivity of power to save, without which no man can be born again. No person can rightly say they fully believe God’s Message if they insist that they were born again before actually hearing it, for the Message itself condemns all those who do not believe it, including all those who say they were born again without it. If God has said that no man can be born again unless it is by His incorruptible Seed, i.e. The Gospel, and a man says that he was born again without having heard this Gospel, or having a limited understanding of it, or even agreeing with most but not all of it, it is clear that the man stands deluded; that he contravenes the Word of God; that he calls God a liar and that he has embraced a false gospel, which brings with it a false sense of security and a counterfeit salvation. Any gospel that speaks peace to you and assures you that you were saved before you ever heard it, is a false gospel which has not come to you from God but from a lying spirit. If the power of God unto salvation is identified by Scripture as the Gospel (Rom.1:16) and the preaching of the Cross (1Cor.1:18), then by what power, it may be well asked, were those ‘saved’ who claim to have been saved without the Gospel? Anyone who claims that they were saved before they heard the Gospel is really saying that they were saved without the power of God!! The children of delusion who say they were saved before hearing the Gospel are saying that for a certain period, at least, in their lives they were saved outside of hearing and understanding the Gospel Message, without which no man can be saved. If receiving the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation, consists of hearing and understanding it, how can any rightly say they were saved by the power of God before they ever heard and understood the Gospel of God?
It is made abundantly clear in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in the following Scripture that there is no life prior to, or without, the Gospel of Christ. Immediately after commanding His disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, Christ said: "He that believeth (the Gospel) and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not (the Gospel) shall be damned" (Mk. 16:16). In light of these words by the Son of God, how can any man rightly say he is born again unless he has had that incorruptible Gospel Seed of God sown in his heart? How can any man be in a saved state before believing the Gospel, when Christ has plainly stated here that any who do not believe the Gospel are in a damned state! The number one identifying principle as to whether a man is saved or not is: DOES HE BELIEVE THE GOSPEL! If so, then he is saved. If not, or he has not heard the Gospel, he is lost. Nothing could be simpler for our minds to grasp and by which we can scripturally draw the line between saved and lost. Not only will those who do not believe the Gospel be damned if they remain in this state, but according to Christ’s words found in John 3:18, they already stand condemned: "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." Believing in the name of Christ is equivalent to believing the Gospel, for His name speaks of His Person and Work, which is what the Gospel is all about (see Matt. 1:21). I am sure this is all made abundantly clear, even to the simplest mind, and needs no scholarly intellect or Bible college degree to grasp what is being said here. However, I believe it would require a scholarly mind and a professorial degree to make any sense of the empty and nonsensical argument held to by those who profess to have been born again without having heard and understood the Gospel.
Multitudes of people place unflinching trust in their many and varied religious experiences, in their sincerity, in their faith, in their religious leaders and in what they call their ‘love for God', not to mention all the ‘answers to prayer’ they have witnessed in their lives and see all this as irrefutable evidence that God had saved them long before they ever heard the Gospel. As one man has wisely stated, "Everyone thinks they are saved, before they are saved, until they are saved." It must be added at this point that most professing christians have never been presented with the True Gospel but a phony one which cannot save. And, it must also be said that the bulk of men who have set themselves up as ‘christian’ ministers do not knowingly set out to deceive their listeners with a false gospel, but are just as deceived by the counterfeit gospel they proclaim as their listeners are. Nevertheless, Christ states: "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch" (Matt. 15:14). They are false teachers whose message offers no true salvation and speaks of another jesus (see 2 Cor. 11:13-15). Another of the key factors which convinces people they are truly saved and have found the true God, is the moral reformation that they have experienced since the time of their perceived conversion, in their turning away from immorality to morality. They see the evidence of a moral life accompanying their beliefs about God, and count it as godliness. This is a fatal error and one which deceives the whole world. If all that godliness means is a high level of morality, then we must count Mormons, among others, as saved people. The reason most professing christians would scoff at this is because they know full well that, despite the high level of morality in the lives of Mormons, their various doctrines about Who Christ is and what Christ has done show conclusively that they do not hold to the doctrine of Christ, and that they are even in disagreement with some of the most basic tenets of the Christian Faith.
Many see how ‘lovely’ and ‘nice’ and ‘christian’ their friends are who attend the same church as they do, and promptly judge them all saved. Generally, most believe that they began their Christian lives in ignorance of most of what the Bible teaches, but claim to have believed enough to convince themselves that they definitely were converted on such and such a day. They also subscribe to the popular notion that ‘it really doesn’t matter what you believe, but how you live is what is really important.’ Most believe that all one needs to believe at the beginning of their Christian life, and whilst in their infant state as Christians, is that Christ died for sinners. Some even quote 1 Corinthians 15:3,4 and say that all one needs to believe to be saved is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. If this were true, then every Roman Catholic and Mormon out there would have to be considered as truly saved people, because they, too, all believe that Christ died for sinners. What these simplifiers of the Gospel—what they really are is minimizers—do not realize, is that the Scriptures just mentioned, which they often refer to, include one very important qualifier and that is that a Christian believes in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES! "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES: And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES" (1 Cor. 15:3,4). The death, burial and resurrection of Christ, as mere historic events, is NOT what the Bible teaches. What it does teach is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES and not according to anything or anyone else. The Scriptures spoken of here is a reference to the Old Testament, whose types and sacrifices all pointed to the coming Messiah, and to the prophecies made regarding the Messiah and what He would do.