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Good Sex, Bad Sex

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All of God's creatures are designed with exquisite perfection! There are no flaws. Everything works perfectly. “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:31 Genesis 1:31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
American King James Version×
).

However, only we humans were blessed to be made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26 Genesis 1:26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
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). The human body and mind, including the human spirit, are incredibly awesome. “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalms 139:14 Psalms 139:14I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well.
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).

The second thing God said about humans was that they would have dominion “over all the earth” (Genesis 1:26 Genesis 1:26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
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). In other words, everything else on earth was made for our use and enjoyment!

Significantly, the third mentioned feature of humans is their sexuality—their maleness and femaleness (Genesis 1:27 Genesis 1:27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
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). The world is a much better and more interesting place with two complementary sexes. “Vive le difference!”

“And the Lord God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him'” (Genesis 2:18 Genesis 2:18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
American King James Version×
). God was primarily referring to His plan for marriage—the union of one man to one woman.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24 Genesis 2:24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall join to his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
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). Thus God intended for them to form a separate household with their primary loyalty to each other.

Good Sex

“One flesh” means a powerful and permanent partnership that would draw them into ever-closer intimacy physically, mentally and spiritually. God clearly meant for it to include regular sexual relations to foster that intimacy (1 Corinthians 6:16-20 1 Corinthians 6:16-20 16 What? know you not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, said he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body. 19 What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? 20 For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
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; 7:2-4). That is good sex, even godly sex—God's precious gift to be shared exclusively by husbands and wives.

What Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:20 1 Corinthians 6:20For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
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about “glorify God in your body and in your spirit” has many applications. However, the context shows Paul was specifically referring to glorifying God by abstaining from sex before marriage and then enjoying it to the full within marriage.

God instituted marriage, but let's also remember that a desire to marry should be much less important than to “seek first the kingdom of God ” (Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
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). The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 7 even explains some strong advantages in remaining single.

When God ordained marriage, His plan was for most married couples to have children—to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28 Genesis 1:28And God blessed them, and God said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.
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). God is in the awesome process of greatly expanding His family! And children are a great blessing (Psalm 127 and 128).

Especially precious in God's sight are “godly offspring”—children who are “holy” because their parents are holy (Malachi 2:15 Malachi 2:15And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And why one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
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; 1 Corinthians 7:14 1 Corinthians 7:14For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
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).

Bad Sex

Any sexual relations or activities outside of marriage are bad. They are sinful and evil as they break God's laws; adulterate or pollute the sanctity of marriage; do much harm physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually; and blaspheme the profound portrayal of the marriage of Jesus Christ with the Church (1 Corinthians 6:9-18 1 Corinthians 6:9-18 9 Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 12 All things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. 14 And God has both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. 15 Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 16 What? know you not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, said he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body.
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; Ephesians 5:25-33 Ephesians 5:25-33 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
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; Revelation 19:7-9 Revelation 19:7-9 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9 And he said to me, Write, Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me, These are the true sayings of God.
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).

Those who want to discredit the Bible accuse God of being repressive, ascetic, antipleasure and antisex. This couldn't be further from the truth! God is the One who designed us, made us sexual and instructed married couples to “become one flesh”! The Song of Solomon describes ideal married love, which is sensual and sacred, passionate and pure.

Just think, God carefully designed every detail of our bodies and minds, including our sexual organs, hormones, etc. The sexual organs of animals are designed only for reproduction, whereas those of humans are intended also for pleasure—even when conception is not possible. Our unique biology and anatomy demonstrate God's wonderful love for us.

Physical bodies are not the least bit evil, and sex in marriage should not seem shameful. When the Bible speaks of “sins of the flesh” (Colossians 2:11 Colossians 2:11 In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
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), the word translated “flesh” does not mean the human body—it means sinful human nature (compare the New International Version translation).

Proverbs 5:18-19 Proverbs 5:18-19 18 Let your fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of your youth. 19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and be you ravished always with her love.
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illustrates the purity, beauty and sensuality of marital love: “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured [captivated, exhilarated, intoxicated] with her love.”

But notice the strong warning before and after this scripture to only “drink water from your own cistern”—get sexual satisfaction only from your spouse (verse 15 and the rest of chapter 5).

We also see the contrast between godly sex and immoral sex in Hebrews 13:4 Hebrews 13:4Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
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: “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” The Greek word translated “bed” is coitus —which is now also an English word meaning sexual intercourse.

God's Laws Are Good for Us

“God is love” (1 John 4:8 1 John 4:8He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.
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). Out of love for us, He gave us His perfect laws—to keep us from harm and to bring us maximum blessings.

All types of sexual sins are prohibited by the Seventh Commandment: “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14 Exodus 20:14You shall not commit adultery.
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). To protect the blessedness of marriage, the Bible specifically warns against extramarital sex (adultery), premarital sex (fornication), homosexuality, incest, bestiality, prostitution, sexual worship, gender confusion (cross-dressing) and sex during a woman's period.

The Tenth Commandment is closely related to the Seventh. “You shall not covet [lust for] your neighbor's wife… or anything that is your neighbor's” (Deuteronomy 5:21 Deuteronomy 5:21Neither shall you desire your neighbor’s wife, neither shall you covet your neighbor’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is your neighbor’s.
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). This shows that obeying God with our minds and hearts is as important as obeying God with our actions.

This is partly because thoughts lead to actions—sinful thoughts lead to sinful actions. When one allows lust in his mind, he is tempted to take further steps to pursue that lust.

But that is not the only reason. God looks on the heart and He wants us to have a heart like His (1 Samuel 16:7 1 Samuel 16:7But the LORD said to Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.
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; Deuteronomy 5:29 Deuteronomy 5:29O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!
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). He wants us to wage spiritual warfare against wrong thoughts to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
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). God says one purpose of the New Covenant is to “put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts” (Hebrews 8:10 Hebrews 8:10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, said the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
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).

Jesus Christ made it clear in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 through 7) that we must obey God in the spirit of the law as well as the letter of the law.

He said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28 Matthew 5:27-28 27 You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery: 28 But I say to you, That whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.
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).

Think carefully about this. This is a “hard saying,” especially for us men, but Jesus meant what He said—literally. Just because practically “everyone is doing it” is no excuse. The immodest dress and actions of people in this highly sexualized society makes it tough, but that is no excuse either. Jesus was dead serious. In fact, it is a matter of life and death, because the penalty of sin is death in the lake of fire.

This means more than the technical wording. It of course means that when a woman lusts for a man, she is committing adultery as well. The Bible often states the most common example to represent the general principle.

It also means that all mental lusting is sin, even when not looking at a woman. At least in Western society, there is more lusting over pictures, images on a screen, and/or fantasies and imaginations than while looking directly at women. This has been Satan's world for thousands of years, but now modern technology makes many more opportunities for sin. For example, the vilest pornography can easily be brought into one's home via the Internet.

Flee Temptations!

Jesus went on to say more. In His next two shocking statements, He is referring back to what He just said about not committing adultery in your heart. “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell [Greek, gehenna ]” (verse 29).

Then Jesus practically repeated Himself, using a slightly different example, to put maximum emphasis on this principle. “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut if off and cast it from you” (verse 30).

It should be obvious that eyes and hands are not the causes of sin. Jesus meant that we should do whatever it takes, no matter how drastic, no matter how great the sacrifice, to keep from sinning. We should get away from temptations or get the temptations away from us as quickly as possible. It is foolish and dangerous for one to stay near a temptation trusting in his own fragile strength to resist it because “the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41 Matthew 26:41Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
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).

God makes it absolutely clear that He expects His people to flee from temptations. “Flee sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18 1 Corinthians 6:18Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body.
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). “O man of God, flee these things [love of money and other temptations]” (1 Timothy 6:11 1 Timothy 6:11But you, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
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). “Flee also youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22 2 Timothy 2:22Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
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).

This includes not “hanging out” with people who are of weak character and are potentially bad influences. The Bible frequently warns about this danger. See Proverbs 2:16 Proverbs 2:16To deliver you from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flatters with her words;
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; 4:14-19; 5:1-23; 6:23-35; 7:1-27; 9:13-18; 13:20; 14:7; Romans 16:17 Romans 16:17Now I beseech you, brothers, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned; and avoid them.
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; 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 9 I wrote to you in an letter not to company with fornicators: 10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortionists, or with idolaters; for then must you needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortionist; with such an one no not to eat. 12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not you judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judges. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
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; 15:33; 1 Peter 4:4 1 Peter 4:4Wherein they think it strange that you run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
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; and Revelation 2:14 Revelation 2:14But I have a few things against you, because you have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication.
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, 20.

Proverbs is a book of wisdom, and notice that the first several chapters are largely devoted to warning people to stay away from those who are provocative and seductive.

Likewise, we must do our best to never be a bad influence, to never be a “stumbling block” to someone, to never cause “one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin… woe to that man [or woman] by whom the offence comes” (1 Corinthians 8:9 1 Corinthians 8:9But take heed lest by any means this liberty of your’s become a stumbling block to them that are weak.
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; Matthew 18:6-7 Matthew 18:6-7 6 But whoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
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).

Those who are called by God to become part of His Church should have the highest standards for choosing companions (2 Corinthians 6:14-18 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 14 Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what concord has Christ with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Why come out from among them, and be you separate, said the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 18 And will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, said the Lord Almighty.
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). We should only consider marriage with someone with whom we are highly compatible. “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3 Amos 3:3Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
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).

And God's Word makes it clear that if one is called to be in God's Church (“in the Lord”), he or she can only choose to marry someone “in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:39 1 Corinthians 7:39The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
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).

The things God created with the greatest power and potential for good also have the greatest potential for evil. One of those is our sexuality. An extremely important part of our character is how we rule over our sexuality.

Immoral sex has always been one of the greatest temptations down through history, even for members of God's Church and their children. Practically every book in the New Testament warns about the great danger of sexual temptation! Speaking of children, parents—please teach and prepare your children well!

Remaining morally pure means much more than just not “going all the way.” When one correctly thinks of sexual intercourse as being the whole process of initial intimacy and arousal all the way through to the climax and after-play, it becomes clear that engaging in any part of it outside marriage is contrary to God's will.

Much of what has been called necking, petting, making out, fooling around, etc., was meant by God to be the intimacy, stimulation, wooing and foreplay that would be special and sacred for a husband and wife because they had never been shared with anyone else.

You can read in Ezekiel 23 about how God is dismayed and disgusted with the immorality of His people, characterized by women whose “breasts were fondled and their virgin bosoms caressed” (verse 3, NIV).

If you are single, please protect until marriage what is of incredible value—your virginity. “Virgin” is a beautiful word. We speak of virgin forests, virgin land and virgin wool. It means unused, unspoiled, uncut, unplowed, uncorrupted, innocent or spotless. “Don't excite love, don't stir it up, until the time is ripe—and you're ready [you are married]” (Song Of Solomon 2:7 Song Of Solomon 2:7I charge you, O you daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that you stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.
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, MSG).

If a person has already lost his or her virginity before marriage, the person should dedicate himself or herself to a life of what has been called “secondary virginity.” That means one deeply repents, is forgiven by God, abstains from sex from then until marriage and prays for God to “create in me a clean heart, O God!” (Psalms 51:10 Psalms 51:10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
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). God will mercifully respond with gradual healing and cleansing of the mind and heart.

The Church is to be a “chaste virgin to Christ” awaiting His coming and “the marriage of the Lamb” to His Bride (2 Corinthians 11:2 2 Corinthians 11:2For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
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; Revelation 19:7 Revelation 19:7Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready.
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).

May we be deeply inspired to follow that pattern of loyalty, patience and purity. Then when one relies on God to be his or her Matchmaker and ultimately gets married, he or she can experience the full joy of God's blessings without any shame or mental and emotional scars. Such a person can truly say, “I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine” (Song Of Solomon 6:3 Song Of Solomon 6:3I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine: he feeds among the lilies.
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).

In the next issue, a second article is planned that will primarily be for men and teenage boys . In the following issue, an article is planned that will primarily be for women and teenage girls .

Be sure to read our wonderful new booklet, Marriage and Family: The Missing Dimension , for more on all the points in this article!

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