Program#L8—“The Theological Adventures of Johnny Lukewarm andPastor Loophole:  What Must I Do To Inherit EternalLife?”

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Radio Show Transcript, © 2001, Persuade TheWorld Ministries, Gordon James Klingenschmitt, Servant.  Copyingand distribution (without editing) is highly encouraged. 

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<Manymore transcripts and free MP3 radio shows CLICK HERE>

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Opening introduction by MarkMcWilliams…

Welcome and thank you for joining this radiobroadcast of Persuade The World Ministries.  You’reabout to hear our radio production of the book written and taughtby Gordon James Klingenschmitt, entitled “License To Sin,The Number One Reason America Is Losing Its MoralFoundation.”  If you call us in the next hour,we’ll mail you a free cassette tape of today’sbroadcast, which you can copy and give to your friends.  Justcall our toll-free phone number:  866-Obey-God.  That’stoll free, 1-866-O-B-E-Y-G-O-D.  Gordon JamesKlingenschmitt is a graduate of the United States Air ForceAcademy, and a seminary graduate of Regent University, holdingboth M.B.A. and Master of Divinity degrees.  He’s alsothe founder and servant of Persuade The World Ministries, a501(c3) tax-exempt religious non-profit corporation in ColoradoSprings, dedicated to persuading individuals in America andthroughout the world to forsake their sins and submit theirhearts and minds to the loving rulership of our Lord, JesusChrist.  And now with today’s teaching, here is GordonJames Klingenschmitt. 

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Teaching by Gordon JamesKlingenschmitt…

Thanks Mark.  Today we continue ourmini-drama entitled “The Theological Adventures of JohnnyLukewarm and Pastor Loophole.”  You may remember ourcharacters, Johnny Lukewarm, and Pastor Loophole from our lastbroadcast.  But before we re-introduce these two characters,let’s read again from 2nd Timothy chapter 3. “For the time will come when men will not put up withsound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, theywill gather around them a great number of teachers tosay what their itching ears want to hear.  Theywill turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside tomyths.”  People often turn to counselors who tellthem what their itching ears want to hear.  As is the casewith our character, Johnny Lukewarm, who comes into PastorLoophole’s office to get advice…

           (Lower) “Please have a seat, Johnny.  What seems to bebothering you today?” 

           Johnny’s brow furrows with concern.  (Higher)“Pastor Loophole, I’m very upset about this particularpassage of scripture.  It seems as though God is commandingme to do something I really don’t want to do.  Do Ireally have to repent, and stop sinning, and obey God?  Oris there some other alternative? 

           (Lower) “Why, certainly there is, Johnny, you just relax. I can offer you dozens of alternatives, and give you very logicalreasons why you don’t have to obey God.” 

           (Higher) “Oh, thank goodness.  For a minute there, Ithought I’d actually have to change my behavior and obeyGod!”  Johnny breathes a sigh of relief.  He sitsforward eagerly, with his itching ears searching for some way ofescape from the Holy Spirit’s conviction.  But theSpirit of God is grieved away, and He slowly withdraws hisconviction from Johnny’s life. 

(Start) But PastorLoophole continues his excuses with Loophole #5, entitled“Let’s not get into legalism.”  SoHere’s Loophole #5: 

(Lower) “Jesuscame to abolish the laws of God, Johnny, so any preacher who says‘you have to be holy in order to be saved’ is preachinglegalism.  That’s why Paul wrote to the Galatians: ‘Youwho are trying to be justified by law have been alienated fromChrist; you have fallen away from grace.’ [1]   So don’t fall away fromgrace, Johnny, by thinking that holiness, or obedience toGod’s law are required for salvation.  Grace means thatGod forgives you even while you continue to enjoy your sins. Grace alone through faith alone, Johnny.  Just believeyou’re forgiven and that makes it true.  You don’thave to repent or be holy, and you can still go to heaven.  Preacherswho demand repentance are just being legalistic.  And wedon’t want to get into legalism, do we?”

 

TIME OUT !!  Let’s look at thescriptures everybody, and analyze Pastor Loophole’s advice. Let’s rightly divide the word of truth, and separate thetruth from the lies in the advice given by Pastor Loophole. First, I want to acknowledge the true part.

           It’s true that Christians are not justified by obedience tothe laws of Moses.  The Old Testament laws of Leviticus andDeuteronomy are no longer required for salvation.  Wedon’t have to obey the laws of Moses in order to be savedand going to heaven.  But the false part is that Christianscan be saved without obeying any laws of God or laws of Christalso known as the laws of love.  The lie is that youdon’t have to love God with all your heart, and you canstill go to heaven.  But here’s the truth to replacethat lie.  Christians are justified, made right with God,saved from hell, granted entry to God’s kingdom, sent toheaven, given eternal life, by one thing:  obedience to thelaw of Christ, or the law of love.  You know the ApostlePaul taught salvation by faith, but Jesus taught salvation bylove.  Now I’m not saying Jesus and Paul disagree, but ifI have faith that can move mountains but have not love, I amnothing.  The Bible says Through love andfaithfulness sin is atoned for…[2] 

           There’s a lot of theories out there about “how to getsaved” and “how to know for certain you’re goingto heaven when you die.”  Christian theological giantslike Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Finney, and evenBilly Graham today all have their opinions about how to getsaved.  But there’s one theologian who has moreauthority than all these preachers combined—His name isJesus Christ.  

 

           “On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to testJesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do toinherit eternal life?”   I want you to readthis for yourself, in Luke chapter 10.  This is what I callLuke 10 soteriology.  He asked Jesus, what must I do toinherit eternal life? 

           “What is written in the Law?” Jesus replied.“How do you read it?” 

           The man answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with allyour heart and with all your soul and with all your strength andwith all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor asyourself.’” 

           “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Dothis and you will live.” [3]

 

Oh my.  Did you hear what Jesus said? Love God and neighbor.  Do this and you’llinherit eternal life.  Now does any theologian in historyhave enough authority to overrule this commanded way to getsaved?  Jesus demanded love the Lord your God with all yourheart and love your neighbor as yourself.  Do this andyou will live.  Now does anybody out there thinkthere’s a different way to get saved, without obedience tothese two laws?

Let me to labelthese two laws “The laws of Christ.”  These arethe laws of Christ.  Jesus said “love Godwholeheartedly, and love your neighbor as yourself.”  Ifyou obey these two laws, you’ll gain eternal life.  Lookthat up for yourself in Luke Chapter 10. 

           Jesus didn’t recite “the four spiritual laws,” orlead the man down “the Romans road.”  Hedidn’t even pray “the sinner’s prayer” ortell him to just “believe and receive.”  Jesusgave a different method—almost never demanded bytoday’s evangelists—If you want to inherit eternallife, you must obey the laws of Christ.  Love God andneighbor.  Do this and you will live. 

And Jesus alsosaid, This is love for God: to obey his commands.[4] Now I ask, can you claim to love God with all your heart, whileyou refuse to obey his commands? Jesus said, “If you loveme, you will obey what I command.” [5]  So can you love God,without submitting to his authority as your commanding Lord? Can you be saved from hell without inviting Christ to rule yourheart?  Johnny Lukewarm, if you’re out there listening,obey what Jesus commands.  Love God and neighbor.  Dothis and you will live. 

 

           Now when Jesus says you have to love God in order to be saved, itcauses great consternation and anxiety in Pastor Loophole’smind.  All his lies will come to the surface at once:  (Lower)“But we’re saved by grace (tolerance) not by the law. We’re saved through faith alone (or mental assent alone). If you require obedience to God’s law to be saved,that’s legalism!”  But Pastor Loophole’sargument isn’t against me, it’s against the words ofJesus Christ.  If preaching obedience to God’s lawas a requirement of salvation is legalism, then Jesus Christ isthe biggest legalist of all time.  Jesus directly madeobedience to God’s laws of love the primary requirement forsalvation.  Let’s read that passage again.  LetChrist’s words sink in. 

           ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with allyour soul and with all your strength and with all yourmind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor asyourself.’…Do this and you will live.[6]  Now what must youdo to inherit eternal life?  Write this down.  Post iton a wall somewhere.  Memorize Luke chapter 10, soyou’ll never get it wrong again.  Love the Lord yourGod with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. Obey the laws of Christ.  Do this and you will live. 

           Now what if you don’t love God with all your heart and youdon’t love your neigbor as yourself, are you going to hell? The Bible says this:  We know that we have passed fromdeath to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does notlove remains in death.  Anyone who hates his brother is amurderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.[7] Everyone who loves has been born of God andknows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God.[8] 

(Higher) “Butwho is my neighbor?” asks Johnny Lukewarm.  “Imean, do I have to love all my neighbors to get intoheaven?”  Well that’s the same question the expertin the law asked Jesus.  But Jesus eliminated every loopholewhen he answered with the parable of the good Samaritan.

           Why did Jesus tell the parable of the good Samaritan?  Whydid Jesus compare the priest (who did not obey the law oflove), and the Levite (who did not obey the law of love),to the Samaritan (who did obey the law of love, byproviding food, shelter, and care to a stranger)?  Why didJesus compare these three men?  Here’s why:  Todistinguish those who are saved and going to heaven from thosewho are unsaved and going to hell.  People who don’tlove God and neighbor are going to hell; but people who love Godand neighbor are going to heaven.

           (Higher) “So are you saying, that if I don’t go outonto the highways and take care of poor people, then I’mgoing to hell?” asks Johnny Lukewarm. 

           Well, what if it were true, Johnny?  Would it change yourbehavior?  How can you claim to love God, whom youhaven’t seen, when you don’t even love your neighbor,whom you have seen?  If you don’t love Godwholeheartedly, and love your neighbor as yourself, Luke chapter10 says you don’t have no hope of inheriting eternal life. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Loveyour neighbor as yourself.” [9] Carry each other’s burdens, and inthis way you will fulfill the law of Christ.[10]

 

           In Matthew 25, Jesus told another parable, the parable of thesheep and the goats.  So why did he distinguish the sheepfrom the goats?  Why will Jesus say to some,

           “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take yourinheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation ofthe world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something toeat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was astranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothedme, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and youcame to visit me.” [11]

And why will Jesussay to others, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, intothe eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  ForI was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty andyou gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did notinvite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I wassick and in prison and you did not look after me.” [12] Why the big contrast in this parable?  To distinguishthe saved (who love their neighbor) from the unsaved (whodon’t love their neighbor.) 

           (Higher) “So are you saying,” asks Johnny Lukewarm,“that if I don’t feed the hungry and thirsty, or clothethe naked, or welcome strangers, or visit people in prison, thenI’m going to hell?”

           What if it were true, Johnny?  Would it change yourbehavior?  Jesus said, Whatever you didn’t do to theleast of these, you didn’t do it unto me.  If youdon’t love God and love your neighbor, Matthew 25 says youhave no hope of inheriting eternal life.  But on the otherhand, Jesus says in Luke chapter 10, Love God and love yourneighbor.  Do this and you will live.

           Think about that for a moment, while we take a short break. 

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Middle segment by Mark McWilliams…

Thanks Gordon.  He’ll be back injust a moment.  But first, do you know somebody who needs tohear today’s message?  If you call our toll-free numberin the next hour, 866-Obey-God, we’ll mail you a freecassette tape of today’s broadcast, which you can copy andgive to your friends.  All our tapes are copyable and free,but please remember we need your donations to stay on the air andto give away these free tapes.  So please pray and obey,then send us your best possible donation, after you receive yourfree cassette.  (Gordon:  Hey time out!  Ifit’s your first time calling us, no donation is required! Just call us!)  Our toll free number is 866-Obey-God,that’s 1-866-O-B-E-Y-G-O-D.  And please specifyyou’re requesting today’s program.  Do you believeAmerica needs to hear these messages?  If so, then we needyou to sponsor us, by joining the Persuader’s Club with amonthly pledge of just $15.  If you join thePersuader’s Club, we’ll also send you an autographedcopy of Gordon’s book that you’ve been hearing.  Justvisit our web-site at persuaders-club.com.  Or call us inthe next hour at 866-Obey-God.  Right now, let’s returnto Gordon James Klingenschmitt. 

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Teaching continued by Gordon JamesKlingenschmitt…

Pastor Loopholedoesn’t want to believe that loving God and loving yourneighbor are requirements for eternal salvation.  (Lower)“Oh, no.  We don’t want to get into‘Legalism,’ here.  We can’t require thatpeople obey God’s laws in order to be saved.  That’slegalism.”  But that’s a lie.  Here’sthe truth.  Jesus said: “Do not think that I havecome to abolish the Law...not the smallest letter, not the leaststroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from theLaw...Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandmentsand teaches others to do the same will be called least in thekingdom....unless your righteousness surpasses that of theteachers of the Law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom ofheaven.” [13] But Pastor Loophole says the opposite.  (Lower) “Youdon’t have to obey God’s laws, and you can still go toheaven.”  

Jesus didn’texcuse people from God’s laws, he made them more strict. “You have heard that it was said...‘Do notmurder’...but I tell you that anyone who is angry...will bein danger of the fire of hell.”  And again, “youhave heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully hasalready committed adultery with her in his heart.” [14] 

When Jesus demandswe repent, and change our hearts, and obey the spirit ofGod’s law, Pastor Loophole cries (lower) “Legalism! Judaizers!  Pharisees!  Don’t put me under thatyoke of the law!”  But in avoiding legalism, but hepreaches lawlessness.  Holiness and obeying the laws of loveare not legalism.  If obeying spirit of God’s law islegalism, then Jesus was preaching legalism when he told us tolove our neighbors.    

 

Now Jesus rebukedthe Pharisees for teaching legalism.  What is real legalism? It’s when you obey the letter of the law, but ignore thespirit of the law.  The Pharisees obeyed the details of thelaw, but they didn’t love God or love their neighbor.  Jesussaid to them: “Woe to you, teachers of the law andPharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more importantmatters of law— justice, mercy and faithfulness.”

These Pharisees didn’t love God orlove their neighbors.  Sure they looked righteous on theoutside, because they attended church and paid their tithes andthey memorized all the rules, but in their hearts theydidn’t love God or love their neighbors.  Jesus said tothem, “On the outside you appear to people as righteousbut on the inside you are full of hypocrisy andwickedness…You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will youescape being condemned to hell?”[15]  So why did the Pharisees go to hell? Because they didn’t love God or love their neighbor.  Dothis and you will live.    

Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Youdiligently study the Scriptures because you think that by themyou possess eternal life.  These are the Scriptures thattestify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to havelife.” [16] Yeah, the Pharisees obeyed all the detailed rules, but they lovedGod so little that they didn’t even recognized God when hewas standing right in front of them!  Why do you think theydidn’t know God when they saw him? Because they didn’tlove God with all their hearts!  Whoever does not lovedoes not know God, because God is love.[17]

Paul taught thesame thing when he confronted the Judaizers.  Judaizerstaught that you had to get circumcised in order to be saved. They preached the letter of the law.  But Paulpreached the spirit of the law, the law of love.  He taughtthat Christian salvation requires a change of heart—fromselfishness to love.  When you change your heart fromselfishness to love, that’s called being born again.  Neithercircumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is anew creation.[18] A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor iscircumcision merely outward and physical.  No, a man is aJew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision ofthe heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.[19] Paul said, “though I myself am not under the law[of Moses]… I am not free from God’s law butam under Christ’s law…[20] Circumcision isnothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’scommands is what counts.[21]So love God and love your neighbor.  Do this and you willlive. 

 

           Legalism, technically, is just expanding the bigger law of loveinto smaller, more detailed laws, like “don’t steal,don’t murder, don’t lie.”  You take thespirit of the law, and you “legalize it” into specificdetails.  This in itself is not a bad thing.  Even God“legalized” the laws of love into many detailed pieces,when he gave the Old Testament law to Moses.  Whenpeople’s hearts are hard and stubborn, sometimes they needmore detailed laws.  For example, if people won’t obeythe bigger command to love their neighbor, maybe at leastthey’ll obey a lesser, more specific law which says,“don’t kill your neighbor.”  Sometimes peopleneed more details to help them understand what the spirit of thelaw means.  But the problem comes when people say “OK,I won’t murder you, but I can still resent you.”  Well,yeah, they’re obeying the letter of the law by not killingtheir neighbor, but they still disobeying the spirit of the law,because they still refuse to love their neighbor.

           Or here’s another example.  Let’s imagine that ina particular city the crime rate is really high, and a thief isstealing car stereos.  So an outraged lawmaker begins withthe spirit of the law “Thou shalt not steal.”  Butsince he’s a lawyer, he legalizes it, and writes a moredetailed, more specific law.  “Anyone caught stealingcar stereos in our city will spend 30 days in jail.”  Hetakes the spirit of the law, and “legalizes it” into aspecific detail for a specific time and place.

           So the thief thinks to himself, well, I don’t want to go tojail for 30 days, so I’ll steal truck stereos instead of carstereos.  Or I steal them out in the country instead of inthe city.”  So he obeys the letter of the law, butbreaks the spirit of the law.  He stays out of jail, but inhis heart, he’s still a thief.  The local authoritiesdon’t punish him, but God casts his soul into hell.  That’show legalism can deceive you into thinking you’re safe, whenyou’re really not.  If you obey all the rules in theBible but you don’t love God with all your heart,you’re still a lawless rebel bound for destruction in hell. 


So what about you? Do you follow the details of the law, but ignore the spirit ofthe law?  The commandments, “Do not commitadultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do notsteal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever othercommandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule:“Love your neighbor as yourself”…Therefore love isthe fulfillment of the law.[22]

 

           (Lower) “Don’t put me under that yoke of God’slaw,” says Pastor Loophole.  But he refuses to submitto the authority of Christ’s command to love.  Hethrows out the baby with the bath water.  He throws out boththe letter AND the spirit of the law.  He thinks he’smoving away from legalism into grace, but he’s really justmoving away from legalism into lawlessness. 

You know, preachers of legalism andpreachers of lawlessness have one thing in common?  Neitherone wants to love God with all his heart.

           Jesus said, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart,and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’…Do this andyou will live.[23]

(Higher) “Soare you saying” asks Johnny Lukewarm, “that if Idon’t love God with all my heart, and love my neighbor asmyself, then I’m going to hell?”  Yes, Johnny,that’s exactly what I’m saying. 

           Let’s pray for a moment.  Would you pray these wordswith me to God?  Stop what you’re doing for a moment,and pray these words with me to God.  “Father inHeaven, I’m sorry I haven’t loved you with all myheart.  I’ve been selfish, and I’ve loved myselfmore than I’ve loved you.  I haven’t loved myneighbors either.  I repent, right now, Lord.  And Ire-dedicate the priorities of my heart, to loving God with all myheart, soul, mind and strength.  And I re-prioritize my timeschedule to going out into the highways and the byways to showlove to my neighbors.  I love you Lord, and I choose to lovemy neighbors too.  I receive your mercy, and your eternallife.  In Jesus name, Amen.”

           Did you pray with me just now?  If you prayed with me, sayAmen.  Go ahead, say it out loud.  Amen, Lord Jesus. Some of you are receiving a physical healing in your bodies rightnow, as God’s love takes over in your heart.  But ifyou said Amen just now, I hope you’ll write to us and get acopy of this book you’re hearing.  I’ve been veryfortunate and blessed to have this book read and endorsed bypeople like C. Peter Wagner, and professors Tony Campolo and JonMark Ruthven, Pastors Ted Haggard and Floyd McClung, and JoyDawson and Bill Hamon. 

So you know it’s trustworthy.  Inour book and in our future broadcasts, we’ll answer thequestions you may have about faith versus works or eternalsecurity, and you’ll hear more theological adventures ofJohnny Lukewarm and Pastor Loophole.  So I hope you’llwrite us tune in again next time.  Now I love you, and Icare about you.  So here’s Mark with more information.

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Closing trailer by Mark McWilliams… 

Thanks Gordon, and thanks everybody forlistening. Do you know somebody who needs to hear today’smessage?  If you call our toll-free number in the next hour,866-Obey-God, we’ll mail you a free cassette tape oftoday’s broadcast, which you can copy and give to yourfriends. All our tapes are copyable and free, but please rememberthat we need your donations to stay on the air and to give awaythese free tapes.  So please pray and obey God about howmuch these teachings are worth to you, and return to us your bestpossible gift after you receive your free cassette.  (Gordon: Hey time out!  If it’s your first time contacting us,no donation is required!  Just call us!)  Our toll freenumber is 866-Obey-God, that’s 1-866-O-B-E-Y-G-O-D,and please specify you’re requesting today’s program. Now do you believe America needs to hear these messages?  Ifso, we’re specifically asking you to join thePersuader’s Club, and to sponsor this radio broadcast with amonthly pledge of just $15.  If you join thePersuader’s Club as a monthly partner, we’ll send youan autographed copy of the book you’ve been hearing, writtenand taught by Gordon James Klingenschmitt, entitled,“License To Sin, The Number One Reason America Is Losing ItsMoral Foundation.”  Just visit our web-site atpersuaders-club.com.  That’s persuaders-club.com. It’s the monthly donations of our Persuader’s Clubpartners who keep this program on the air.  Now if you havecomments or questions about today’s broadcast, you can emailus at  “persuadetheworld@yahoo.com,” Or you canwrite to us.  Or you can always call us toll free, at866-Obey-God.  And if you remember, please tell us the callsign of the radio station you’re listening to.  May Godbless you, and thank you for supporting Persuade The WorldMinistries.  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, wepersuade men. 

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<Manymore transcripts and free MP3 radio shows CLICK HERE>

 

 



[1] Galatians 5:4 (NIV)

[2] Prov 16:6 (NIV)

[3] Luke 10:25-28 (NIV)

[4] 1 John 5:3 (NIV)

[5] John 14:15 (NIV)

[6] Luke 10:25-28 (NIV)

[7] 1 John 3:14-15 (NIV)

[8] 1 John 4:7-8 (NIV)

[9] Galatians 5:14 (NIV)

[10] Galatians 6:2 (NIV)

[11] Matthew 25:34-36 (NIV)

[12] Matthew 25:41-43 (NIV)

[13] Matthew 5:17-20 (NIV)

[14] Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28 (NIV)

[15] Matt 23:23-33 (NIV)

[16] John 5:39 (NIV)

[17] I John 4:8 (NIV)

[18] Galatians 6:15 (NIV)

[19] Romans 2:28-29 (NIV)

[20] 1 Corinthians 9:20-21 (NIV)

[21] 1 Corinthians 7:19 (NIV)

[22] Romans 13:9-10 (NIV)

[23] Luke 10:25-28 (NIV)