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Monday
Oct152018

Is Violence Coming to America? 

I have been convinced for some time now that we will see civil unrest in America like we have never seen it before. The anger of the younger liberal thinking people will not accept any other worldview but their own. We live in America where our system used to have tolerance for all ideas, but that is no longer reality. Some of the older liberal leaders have fueled this violence by telling their followers to kick the Republicans or harass them in public places. Since when do we promote an ideology that requires violence to intimidate our opponents?  Are we reliving 1930’s Germany where the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazis as they become known as) was seeking the control of the German government? These tactics are very similar in spirit and intent. Here is just a small reminder of what I am talking about:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_9YD4M4Juk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSImj9w37Ro

We have a dangerous worldview that is trying to dominate the West. That worldview has, at its core, the promotion of death to individual freedom and rights in exchange for more power by the State. Call it socialism, call it equality for all people, call it what you want, but the bottom line is we are no longer unique individuals, no longer National States, we are being pushed to become a global network of people whose value is in belonging to everyone else. This extreme form of tolerance accepts everyone, believes in everyone, and has no variance for individual freedoms; we think as one, move as one, and believe as one. 

We are heading slowly toward a global village. We have political parties in the United States who want to get rid of borders so anyone can live and move to wherever they want without any customs or immigration laws. Open borders will not filter out the bad guys and they will have the freedom to pursue their dark deeds among us. We already cannot control organized crime or the cartels bringing in illegal drugs into our country. We cannot control human trafficking in this country, and just think of the problems we would have as we open our borders to more of it. We live in a lawless age, and the Bible predicted that would be the case in the last days. They will be days of deception, and we in the Church will have little to no discernment to counter the lies that are perpetrated as the truth. We have municipalities who decide they aren’t going to follow Federal law as it concerns illegal immigrants and propose that their city or their state become a sanctuary for these illegal immigrants. This is not healthy for any community let alone a city or a neighborhood. 

If you look at history, you discover that most civilizations crumble from within. The Roman Empire was defeated because the empire was too divided and corrupt to build a defense against their enemies. The Roman Empire was first destroyed from within and then they were conquered from their enemies around them. The United States of America is following that same pattern. 

I have always asked the question, “Where does America appear in Bible prophecy?” and most Bible scholars will tell you that America does not show up. Some have tried to look at scriptures that they think may be coded verses that indicate America is mentioned, but in reality America is nowhere to be found. If that the case, what happens to America? Does she implode to the point she is no longer a force to be reckoned with on the world stage? If so, how does that happen? It happens because we lose our discernment and we accept lies for the truth. It is that simple and that precise. When I talk to Christians many are clueless about most of the things this blog addresses. And some of those who do read this blog don’t care because if it doesn’t affect them, it doesn’t matter.

I want to address you, Christian, who is reading this right now. I am not a doomsday prophet, but I think most Christian believers are not preparing for the world that is slowly moving into place. Our country is so severely divided that it will not be mended by human effort. There will be a need for a supernatural healing that comes from God. Don’t dismiss this statement, because it is the reason this blog was written. Without a return to God and Him healing our land, our land, as we know it, will erupt into violence - a result of our deep divide. It was spoken thousands of years ago, and it rings true today: 

2 Chronicles 7:14

14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

If this does not happen, we will see our nation ripped apart because of the clashing of worldviews that are emotionally charged. We will have a new civil war, a war of ideologies that will turn families against each other, and against any lawful presence that disagrees with their point of view. We have already been told as Christians that if the powers that be try to make us serve a godless law or a godless state we will have civil disobedience. That is exactly what the politically left are doing now since Trump was elected. 

This division will not heal itself - it will come to violence in your world and mine. 

Trying to provide a commentary on what potentially could happen based upon what the Bible says will happen in the last days. 

Keeping it honest and truthful…K 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
Oct092018

The Future Division Among Us 

Recently this blog made reference to the following themes. These two links bring a warning of what will come in the last days: 

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/diverse-evangelicals-take-back-faith_us_5bb4fdf5e4b028e1fe3a0dbd

https://thebostondeclaration.com

Jesus told us that we will suffer from enemies within our families, and I believe it can be extended out to those who say they follow Jesus. 

Jesus doesn’t compromise truth, and when we see Christians trying to insert their social agenda into the plan of God, we have crossed a line. 

Matthew 10:34-37

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn a man against his father,a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[a]

37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

My fear is that the people described in those two links will propose their ultimate left leaning agenda as godly and it will win the hearts of the people in the land. Discernment is all but dead in the American church and few will see how this agenda will pit us against them in vying for the love of the American people. 

Jesus said He came with a sword to divide and not peace that consoles. That division is about truth, it is about God’s plan and not the plan of social activists who want to use their justice to rule the land. First of all, I am not against justice, but I am old enough to know there is only one kind of justice, and it is not the kind that is being pushed by these groups. Justice has one aim - to be right with God. That justice comes from the cross, and it does not have a political agenda. Its agenda was to defeat sin and transfer His justice to us. That justice came from the cross and it exchanges the justice of His death for our lives. These phony counterfeits don’t have that message. Its not about the cross, it’s not about Jesus changing hearts, it is all about changing government policy. These people are no different than any other revolutionaries that overthrew their governments in history. They however have aligned themselves with the social justice message that is accepted by all left leaning politicians. They have hijacked the gospel to make it fit into their plan and make it sound like a godly cause. 

Don’t be fooled! I see a day coming when anyone who does not see the Church in the light of how these folks preach will be ostracized and considered racists, homophobes, and haters of people. These folks will be the new true Christians because they care about people, and they care about justice for all people at the expense of the America as we know it. These folks are revolutionaries, but their end game is not to teach Biblical truth. They teach a hybrid truth; an emotional gospel that wants nothing to do with the Jesus of the cross. Instead, they only care about the Jesus who fed the 5,000 because that was real human compassion. The greatest human compassion however was not feeding the poor, clothing the naked, or healing the sick, which is all part of caring for people, but the true message of human compassion was at the cross. That is what changes hearts and gives motivation to help people. It is a gospel that loves God first, and from that love you assist your fellow man. These folks I guarantee do not have the cross at the core of their message because the cross is an irrelevant force to them. They are no different than Judas Iscariot who betrayed Christ because he thought it would trigger God’s judgment upon the Roman occupiers of his day. Judas was wrong then, and these Judas-like followers are wrong today. The spirit of these folks is what the late David Wilkerson labeled as the ‘false church of the end times’ because they deny the true Jesus of the Bible. 

I want to circle back for a moment and say that there is coming a false church. We can dress up this false church in the language that sounds godly and this church can do great works of kindness, yet at the end of the day, it still doesn't know Jesus. I am convinced that unless you know Jesus from a surrendered heart, I would question whether you really know the Savior. Remember Jesus told His disciples that there will be those that did great works for Him, but He never knew them. If our agenda as a Christian isn't about surrendering to Him, I would be suspect about any testimony that brags of knowing Him.  

Keeping it honest and truthful….K  

 

Monday
Oct082018

The Boston Declaration 

Someone wrote to me recently and asked what I thought about the “Boston Declaration.” So here is my response. The document is a little longer than the italicized portion in this blog, but I think you will get the point. Documents like this surface from time to time and appear to have a faith component to them, but as you wade through the spiritual language you begin to see it for what it really is. It is an ideological paper that wants people to think that Jesus would be carrying a sign and marching on behalf of social justice. I am sure God isn't against justice for all people, but that justice starts with the cross, and that is the message Jesus would carry a sign and march for, because it is the basis for all justice. This document is strictly political, period. The italicized words is the exact wording of the document itself. 

First of all I do not trust any document that begins by accusing people of racist motives…

“We are outraged by the current trends in Evangelicalism and other expressions of Christianity driven by white supremacy, often enacted through white privilege and the normalizing of oppression.” 

Personally I do not think it is proper interpretation of who Jesus Christ is to associate Him with all the social issues in our day and insert a socialistic theology into the plan of God.  

We declare that following Jesus today means fighting poverty, economic exploitation, racism, sexism, and all forms of oppression from the deepest wells of our faith.

Following Jesus doesn’t start by concentrating how wicked the world is, we start by submitting to Him and His kingdom, denying self, picking up the cross and following Him. You can’t move God’s heart by your social agenda; you move the heart of God by your surrender to Him and you move God by your thinking and what you believe in your heart. This statement does not sound like a person who has entered into a place where the cross has deeply affected them to “speak for Jesus”. Unless you based your opinions about Jesus around the cross, you are only inserting your theology into Christianity. This Boston Declaration sounds like any radical voice using Jesus to convince others that their cause is righteous. Their cause is personal and has an agenda that is not about His Kingdom, but rather about focusing on a kingdom here on earth. Christianity was birthed in the height of the Roman Empire, and the emphasis of the New Testament wasn’t about the government or the injustice of authorities, it is about the sin in our own lives and how sin prevents us from knowing God. Jesus didn’t come the first time to remove or change human government; He came to set up His kingdom in our hearts. 

And yet, we live in a moment when death and evil seem to reign supreme in the United States, when those with the power of a uniform or the president’s pen or a position of authority or fame or economic tricks of capitalization and interest or sheer brute force… again and again choose death rather than life. In a moment when too many who confess Christ advocate evil, we believe followers of the Jesus Way are called to renounce, denounce, and resist these death-dealing powers which organize and oppress our world, not to embrace or promulgate them.

Our job as Christians is to follow Christ regardless of the system in which we find ourselves.  Division among us is the result of our own folly, our own inventions of human ideology, and it is because we don’t follow the dictates of God’s Word. 

This is a political statement more than it is anything else. Put this over the template of the scripture and it will fall short. It is more critical than it is healing, it is more about an agenda for radical change, and not a heart change that is ruled by God. 

We acknowledge and lament the realities we see around us: broken lives, broken homes, a broken social system that incarcerates more people than any other nation on earth. We lament a broken and corrupt police system, a broken economic system that prioritizes profits over people, a broken sense of national identity. We lament national boundaries that make our worries about security a pretext for destroying the lives of others, and a broken church that disrespects and marginalizes many people rather than honoring and embracing them.

This document is a clever way to deceive people into thinking they are spiritual and their movement has a spiritual base rooted in Jesus. I always ask this question when trying to discern whether something is of God or not. “Who is on the pedestal?”

To me, the Boston Declaration and its ideology is on the pedestal - not Jesus.

This document continues:

We reject the false ideologyof empire building and the myth of racial laziness and substance abuse that harms the people of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the US territories.

We reject the false ideologythat peace is achieved through military strength and that violence is the necessary foundation for freedom, safety, or security. We stand against the manufacturing and proliferation of weapons, which continue to drown the planet in the blood of millions through global war and the terrorism of domestic mass shootings.

We reject the false ideologyof the corporate ruling class that services and supports the US military, dispossess and represses poor communities of color, and which erodes and blocks real empowerment of the most vulnerable of peoples and of any real people's democracy.

We reject the false ideologyof American exceptionalism and the evil of political corruption, calling for integrity in our elected officials and multilateral governance. It is this myth by which moral responsibility is suspended in the pursuit of its interests.

We reject the false ideologyof white normalcy and bigotry. We reject the false identification that exclusively binds whiteness with Christianity, true humanity, and United States citizenship. We reject antisemitism, which is driving much of white Christian nationalism.

We reject the patriarchal and misogynistic legaciesthat subject women to continual violence, violation, and exclusion. We stand strongly against sexual abuse and harassment in the highest offices of power.

We reject violations against the Earth,especially the stripping of her resources and polluting that harms her and the creatures that inhabit her soil and seas.

We reject economic policiesthat are grounded in an illusion of extreme individualism and favor the accumulation of wealth for a few to the detriment of the many.

We reject Islamophobiaand anti-Muslim bigotry.

We reject homophobia and transphobiaand all violence against the LGBTQ community.

We reject all anti-immigrant rhetoric and policiesthat fail to recognize the contributions of immigrants who have come from every corner of the world to strengthen the fabric of this nation—culturally, economically and spiritually

I am not buying it. There are too many categories here in this last statement that basically suggests we accept evil as good. They do not place God at the core of who they are. God is being hijacked to legitimize their world- view. 

Here is another attempt to associate Jesus with a socialistic movement that wants to bring change to a world created in the image of man’s ideology and not after the cross, which is God’s ideology. Don't be fooled by cheap imitations of truth, stick with the Bible, it's all you need to discern and be concerned about the matters in life. 

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

 

Sunday
Oct072018

What Do We Call Ourselves? 

(this blog is longer than normal, but it’s important)

 Acts 11:26 

26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

Yes they were first called Christians in Antioch.  It was a very mixed group of people - from Jews who believed in Jesus, to Gentiles who also came to faith. They were known by what they preached, and their message was Christ. 

Today, however, it is more difficult to identify what you mean by Christian. There are groups of people who formulate Christian churches who don’t believe in the Bible, they don’t believe that Jesus is the only way of salvation, and they don’t believe in the moral values of the Bible. Yet they call themselves Christians. Jesus told His disciples to go into the world and teach what He taught them and make disciples based upon His teachings. This is why they were called Christians in the first place, they taught the teachings of Christ. 

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”   -Matthew 28:19-20

Today you can go into some churches and it seems like they are filming a segment for Dr Phil. A ‘Finding Your Best Life Now’ series would be in full swing in those churches.

In other churches you would find the ‘Dream A Little Dream of Me’ crowd, where visions and dreams guide the crowd in a mystical environment. New visions every week keep the crowd guessing and coming back.

And in other churches you would find the social justice mantra where Jesus is an activist for those who fundamentally want to change everything that’s wrong about America. 

Here is an article from Religion Magazine that is an example of what I am addressing. 

A diverse group of evangelicals is joining forces to reclaim a faith tradition it says has become dominated by older, conservative white men who are blindly loyal to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Thirty-nine evangelical leaders released a declarationon Wednesday that attempts to disrupt the narrative that evangelicals as a whole are white, right-wing Trump supporters, who are indifferent about social justice.

In fact, the leaders say, many evangelicals of color and younger evangelicals are fiercely committed to combating economic inequality, defending immigrants and refugees, resisting racism and patriarchy, and caring for the environment.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/diverse-evangelicals-take-back-faith_us_5bb4fdf5e4b028e1fe3a0dbd

This is an anathema to God. They are using Jesus to further an agenda. Once again the cart is before the horse, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to stop it. ‘Good things’ replacing the message of the cross. It is no different that the old argument where someone says, “but I am a good person, why can’t I get into heaven?”  These social justice themes are good themes that help bring equality to our world, so why isn’t God for it?  Simple! You have replaced Jesus for your social justice agenda. You have violated the first three of the Ten Commandments. These people are not bringing healing or hope - they are bringing division and deception. 

I am so disappointed in the evangelical community. We have seen good pastors give in to the seducing spirits of our age. Andy Stanley is confusing people by suggesting there is no need for the Old Testament and the Virgin Birth is not important. 

 “Christianity doesn’t hinge on the truth or even the stories around the birth of Jesus. It hinges on the resurrection of Jesus.”  -Andy Stanley

“[But] not Christianity. The Bible did not create Christianity,” Stanley adds. “The resurrection of Jesus created Christianity and launched Christianity. Your whole house of Old Testament cards can come tumbling down [but] the question is: Did Jesus rise from the dead? And the eyewitnesses said He did. I know that’s a little disturbing for some of us. I know for many of you, this is liberating. -Andy Stanley

This is not an attack against Andy Stanley, yet how can such a gifted man go down this path of thinking? Does he have a new revelation, or does he not understand that the whole Bible is God’s Word - it didn’t start at the resurrection, it started in Genesis. 

I know I have readers who have been influenced by Stanley, but if he believes the stuff he has been saying lately, this isn’t a healthy teacher of the Word of God.

I have said for years that we are in for a big surprise in the body of Christ. We haven’t seen anything yet. We have seen the evangelical church accept homosexuality, we have compromised on abortion, we have ignored Biblical prophecy, and the list grows every day. But here is my reminder to you: It’s only the beginning, so you had better beware.  Everyone tells me “Larry, give us some hope”, and my response is “I am”. My hope is in Jesus Christ, and nothing the Church or this world tells me will replace it. The Church is backslidden for the most part and the world/culture is controlled by the evil one. And people are upset if they don’t get coffee and donuts when they come to church. My years of being a Christian (46) warn me to prepare. Test everything, and I mean everything.

So what do we call ourselves?

I call myself a follower of the Biblical Jesus, period. I don’t even want to be called an Evangelical or a Christian anymore, because there is too much baggage in those titles. You may think I have gone off the rails, but after reading the article linked to this blog I can only say, “GOD HAVE MERCY.”

That article is just the beginning.  In an upcoming broadcast (Oct 20, 2018) Jan Markell tackles homosexuality and will illustrate how some pastors have compromised Biblical truth for the respect of our culture. 

So if you are looking for a nice, kind, sweet Christianity, it doesn’t exist in the Bible. The Bible is a revolutionary book that changes the heart of a person into a God fearing and God honoring human being. The Bible requires faith to read it and faith to believe it, and God accepts nothing else. 

Living by faith is swimming upstream and you had better prepare for this upstream journey as followers of Jesus, because it will not get easier. 

So when you go to church Sunday, I hope your pastor drives a nail into the coffin of the sweet and nice Jesus kind of Christianity, because He is not coming back again to be sweet, He is coming for a Church who will stand and fight for His right to be heard in the land. He is coming back as King, and everyone, whether they like it or not, will bend a knee and confess Him as Lord at His appearing.  

Regardless if you think I am nuts or not, consider my words, because the Bible confirms it gets tougher before it gets easier.  But know this, our hope is only in Jesus Christ, and nothing else.  Just saying….

Keeping it honest and truthful…K  

Thursday
Oct042018

The Difference Between Judgment and Wrath

The timing of the return of Jesus Christ is a much-debated theme among Christians today. As I stated in yesterday’s blog, I have always held to a pre-tribulation view of this event. I think the Biblical evidence supports this view better than the other views. However, as I stated yesterday it’s not up to me or you to determine when He will return. The scripture teaches it will be up to the Father when He brings Jesus back to earth. As I have spoken to other Christian leaders, I’ve found that views on this topic are varied. One view is of a pastor/friend whom I highly respect, even though we differ in our views; I am pre-Tribulation, he is post-Tribulation. He bases some of his evidence for his view on the way the words judgment and wrath are defined and used in the text. So I have asked him to explain them in the way he would when he defends his post-Tribulation view. 

Here is Pastor Jay Christianson’s response. Jay is the pastor of Issachar Congregation in Minnesota and the host of the teaching podcast known as “The Truth Barista.”

Wrath:

Biblically, it is the divine judgment upon sin and sinners. It does not merely mean that it is a casual response by God to ungodliness, but carries the meaning of hatred, revulsion, and indignation. God is, by nature, love (1 John 4:16), however, in His justice He must punish sin. The punishment is called the wrath of God. It will occur on the final Day of Judgment when those who are unsaved will incur the wrath of God. It is, though, presently being released upon the ungodly (Rom. 1:18-32) in the hardening of their hearts. 
Wrath is described as God's anger (Num. 32:10-13), as stored up (Rom. 2:5-8), and as great (Zech. 7:12). The believer's deliverance from God's wrath is through the atonement (Rom. 5:8-10). "For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 5:9). 

Judgment:

Judgment is condemnation. It is the carrying out of the legal penalty on someone due to breaking the Law. There are several judgments: the judgment of the believer's sins (John 5:24), the judgment of the believer's self (1 Cor. 11:31-32), the judgment of the believer's works (2 Cor. 5:10), the judgment of the nations (Matt. 25:31-46), and the judgment of the wicked (Rev. 20:11-15). There is no judgment for the Christian in respect to salvation (Rom. 8:1). We were judged in Christ on the cross 2,000 years ago. However, as Christians, we will be judged according to our works (2 Cor. 5:10) with, most probably, varying degrees of rewards.  But remember, the judgment of our works does not affect our salvation.

So here’s my take on it:

“What’s the difference between God’s judgment and God’s wrath? 

Here’s an illustration. Suppose I break the law by murdering someone. I stand before the judge who rightfully judges me guilty of murder and I am sentenced to die for my crime. As I sit on death row, I am under judgment, but I have not yet experienced the court’s wrath. Is being under judgment pleasant? No. My freedom has been revoked, my existence is confined. When I step into the death chamber, the state will execute the judgment against me and I will experience the wrath of the state for my crime. Why is this important? Because justice must be served completely. For every crime, there must be a judgment and penalty (a form of wrath). How does this apply to Christians?

As an unrepentant sinner, I have broken God’s law and have been judged for (sentenced to) death – eternal separation from God. I sit on a spiritual death row awaiting spiritual execution. I’m under God’s judgment awaiting His wrath to be carried out. Since I’m waiting for God’s wrath to be carried out (execution), I am not only under judgment, but also God’s wrath. Because of His love, God has a provision allowing a substitute in my place so His judgment can be paid and His wrath executed preserving both justice and my life. Jesus stepped up and took God’s wrath. Therefore, God’s judgment has been paid and His wrath executed (fulfilling justice).

Now as a believer, I am no longer under God’s judgment and wrath regarding salvation, my spiritual condition. However, that doesn’t mean I’m immune from God’s judgment for sin. That would violate God’s justice. 

What if a Christian violates God’s law? We may not be under His wrath of eternal separation, but we will fall under His judgment (often as discipline) for sin unless we repent and once again claim Jesus’ payment for us. If we persist in sin, then we are in essence desiring to experience not only God’s judgment, but run the risk of falling back under God’s wrath for eternal separation (sorry, Calvinists).” 

Here’s the Tribulation implication:

  1. Christians aren’t under God’s wrath, but they can experience God’s judgment in this life.
  2. The Tribulation is God’s judgment on the world for rejecting Him and following themselves or the one who fights against Jesus (Anti-Christ).
  3. God pours out His judgment on the world, but His wrath – eternal separation from Him – is withheld until the Judge (Son of Man, Jesus) arrives to carry out the execution.
  4. Christians may experience the tribulation judgments rocking the world simply by living in the earthly environment (Example: Israel in Egypt during the start of God’s judgment on Egypt – the plagues #1-#3). And they may be preserved in the midst of judgment (Example Israel in Egypt spared from judgments falling on Egypt – plagues #4-9).
  5. Israel was spared God’s judicial wrath, execution of the firstborn, via a substitute. Christians will be spared from God’s wrath – execution of the wicked on earth – at the end of the Tribulation by being removed while living. For the already dead, that doesn’t matter, but God brings all His faithful people together in the Rapture. BTW – this is WHY we need to understand the OT/Exodus, because it clues us in on what’s coming. 

Thanks Pastor Jay. 

Again, Pastor Jay’s opinion is based upon the fact that we can experience God’s judgment but not His wrath, giving us yet another opinion on how the second coming of Jesus Christ could play out. Believers could go through the tribulation without being hurt and be protected in order to witness to those without Christ in the tribulation. This post-Tribulation view is a way to explain that Jesus comes back only once to earth and not twice as the Pre-Tribulation people believe. When I asked Jay about his post-Tribulation view, he mention that the early church had a view that placed Jesus coming back to earth only once to set up His kingdom for the millennium. It was only in the early 1800’s did the popular Pre-Tribulation view make an appearance that defined a pre-tribution rapture and a second return of Christ with those raptured saints at the end of the tribulaton period. 

Well at the end of the day, I hold to a Pre-Tribulation view, while Jay holds to a Post-Tribulation, either way we are both looking for His return. In the end we will find out whose right, but it probably won’t matter. 

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

 

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