Thursday, 15 November 2018

The Life Of The Sons; Seeing Beyond The Activities In The Natural

This post belongs to a series and is the third of that series. In the first we talked about the son being utterly dependent on the Father as the Father is both the source of his life and the sustainer — without the Father he cannot have life. In the second post I explained how the son must be in constant fellowship with the Father, how he must learn of the Father in living this life (the Christian life). In the life of the son there must be an uninterrupted fellowship with the Father. Now this will rely heavily on the son's ability to see beyond the natural and recognize the effort of the Spirit to pull him into fellowship with the Father.

Again, the fellowship is uninterrupted, that means in everything the son does he must do it in fellowship with the Father. When he is reading the Bible he is not just reading a book and storing up mental information, rather he is pulled in the spirit into fellowship with the person of the Word as proceeding from the Father. When he is going about his daily work he is not just busy trying to make money, he is caught up with the Father, exploring His wisdom, walking with Him and demonstrating His authority. In everything he does he is always occupied with the Father in that activity.

To the son, living is not about doing stuff, rather it is about fellowshiping with the Father to do stuff. Over the years the Lord has taught me to be more conscious of the fellowship with him than any other thing. When I write it is not about me carrying out an activity called writing, rather it is a fellowship by the Spirit with the person of the Truth (Christ) as he flows from the Father. It is always about me being caught up in the Godhead, I try to spend every moment of my life caught up in the Godhead. I always try to see beyond the activity before me and enter into a living fellowshiping with God.

That constant awareness of the fellowship with the Father influences the son and transforms him into maturity in the stature of the Father. Sadly most of us are more conscious of the activity than the fellowship with the Father in that activity. We spend most of our day drowning in activities and then at night we remember that we have to fellowship with the Lord before going to bed. Fellowship is not something you do at a particular time of the day, it is something you do through out the day. And this will require eyes that can see beyond the activity presented before us, to see a fellowship with the Father in that activity and enter into that fellowship by the Spirit, so much that we spend the whole time enjoying fellowship with the Father.

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Sunday, 11 November 2018

The Life Of The Sons; Fellowship With The Father

This post belongs to a series and this is the second post of that series. In the first post we talked about how the Father is the source of the life of the son and how He also sustains it. The moment the son separate from the Father he would die, for he has no life of his own, his life comes from the Father. As a result the son is utterly dependent on the Father, he finds sufficiency only in him. In case you haven't read it, please go and read it; The Life Of The Sons; Utter Dependence On The Father. Now we must move on to today's post

Out of the riches of fellowship with the Father does the sons live the Christian life. In this fellowship the Father gives the son life and teaches the son obedience to this life. Because the Father is both the source and sustainer of the life, the son must live this life in fellowship with the Father. He is totally dependent on the Father to live this life.

The son does not go about living the life on his own, he cannot, he needs the Father. This is is why he must remain in close fellowship with the Father. The life came from the Father, the Father has been living the life long before the son, He has mastered the life, he owns the life. As a result the son must stay close and learn from Him.

"So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does." (John 5:19).

Do you see how the son is being mentored by the Father. He can do nothing by himself, he cannot go about living the life on his own, he does not have the sufficiency in himself. He must stay with the Father and watch the Father. Whatever he sees the Father doing he does. He is modeling the Father, for that is the only way to live the life that the Father gave him.

Look at us who are sons, we have gone our way, we have pursued to live the life in the way we think we ought to. And in the end rather than living the life of the Son (Christ), we end up living a religious life. We are in over our head following our so called doctrine and religious rites. We get so occupied with all that and we think we are living the Christian life. There is no Christian life without an intimate walk with the Father, a walk where we watch the Father and model Him.

I see Christians teaching their concept of marriage and trying to practice this teachings. We think we can just take the bible, pick up some moral lessons and then start practicing. No, you must know the Father, see what he is doing, how he dealt with his woman, how he loves her, how he stick to her, how he chose her (on that you can get my book; The Divine Romance).

It is the Father we are watching in order to practice Christianity. We are not looking at morality, don't and dos, traditions etc. If we are not modeling the Father then what we are practicing is not Christian. We must strive to see Him, to always see Him, what He is doing, for without that there is no way we can live the Christian life.

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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Authority, Service And Submission

"Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”  “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”" (John 13:3-8).

Notice the sequence, Jesus knew that the Father has given him authority and then he began to wash his disciples feets. You see, authority is for service. In Christ authority in not for dominating people, it is not for bossing people around, and it is definitely not for ruling over people. Authority compels you to serve, it brings you to wash the feets of others. In Christ authority does not make you lord over a fellow brethren, rather it brings you under service to a fellow brethren. While Jesus was washing his disciples feets, Peter objected to this, because he is still carrying the mentality of the world. That mentality that the masses must serve those with authority, is a thing of the world. We need to be resocialized into the reality in Christ. Just because someone has authority doesn't mean we should bow down and start licking his feet. Authority in Christ is service, and we must come to understand this truth in Christ. 

"And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth." (Rev 5:10).
In Christ we are all kings reigning together, this means we are all given authority. And if we all have authority then we are all called to service. We are called to wash each other's feets, for this is true authority. When Christ was given authority, his whole body was given authority. When you placed a crown on the head of a person his whole body has become king, the whole now has authority. When you touch the person's hand you are touching the king, when you touch his shoulder you are touching the king, and wherever part of the body you are touching, you are touching the king. The rest of the body are drawing from the authority placed on the head, this is the reality of Christ. Because Christ, the head, has been given authority, the whole body now has authority. When one died all died (2Cor 5:14), so also, when one is given authority all is given authority (it is the principle of the body). But each part of the body is different from the other. 

The hands has authority as an hand, the nose as authority to be a nose, the eyes has authority as the eyes, and each part has authority in that which they are. Each member of the body of Christ has authority in what they are in Christ. If you are a teacher, you have authority to teach, if you are a help giver you have authority in that area, if you have the gift to give wise advice then you have authority in that, and so on. A measure of the riches of Christ has been placed inside every one of us — since Christ has been given authority — we have authority in that measure of the riches of Christ placed inside of us. 

We must recognize our authority and come into the service of that authority. We must serve each other; each one of us with different authority and different services, serving each other. In the opening verse Jesus was carrying out a service but Peter protested. We refused to submit his feet to be washed by Jesus. If you want somebody to serve you, then you will have to submit to that person. For example when you get to a saloon to cut your hair, although the barber is serving you but you have to submit to him. You have to submit yourself and give your hair to him. You have to move your head however he wants you to, you must do what he wants or else he will not be able to carry out his service. If you refuse to yield to him then he would do a nasty job and you won't be happy with yourself. To submit does not mean that you are lesser, rather it means that you will be greater than you use to be. 

"Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ." (Eph 4:11-13).

Christ has pour out all these gifts and all these service to the Church so that we can serve each other and build each other until we are all mature, measuring up to the fullness of Christ. The hand must submit to the service of the eyes to see, it must trust in the service the eyes is rendering and yield itself to be guided by it. The leg cannot say the ear is too small and as such will not submit to its service, but it must yield itself to whatever the ear is earing and allow the head to direct it on what to do about it. Each one of us are a unique part of Christ, carrying authority in that area, and requires submission to effectively carry out the service for the benefit of the whole body. 

Our Lord wants all to be filled with him and this would be possible through the many services. That is why he told Peter that, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.” To paraphrase Jesus's words for the sake of our topic we would say, “unless you allow me serve you you will not be filled with the fullness of me". The Lord wants to serve you through each member of his body. But you must submit to his service through that member and allow the Lord wash your feet. You must see the Lord in that member whoever that person may be. It is the Lord trying to serve you in other to get you filled with his fullness. It's sad that Christians don't like to submit to each other. You are so full of yourselves, you think that you are the only one that God has given authority. The authority was given to Christ, and it is for the whole body. 

You must stop focusing on yourself and start focusing on Christ, you must learn to see the Lord in each member of the body demanding that you submit to him so that he can serve you and bring you into fullness. You must be able to see the Lord in that person no matter who the person is as long as he is a member of the body. You must see the service that the Lord is trying to carry out through that person and submit yourself to that. The person may be younger than you, he may not be educated as you, he may not have the status that you have, but he is a member of Christ and you must be able to see the Lord in that person, and you submit yourself. It is not the person you are submitting to, but it is the Lord in that person. If only we can be like this; being able to see the Lord in each member, recognizing his authority in each member and submitting to his service through each member, then we would grow in all ways into the fullness of God 

"to comprehend together with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." (Eph 3:18-19).

You can't do it alone, you alone cannot enter into the width and length and depth and height of Christ, and grow into the fullness of God. You need the whole member of the body, only with the whole member would you be able to apprehend the width and length and depth and height of Christ. Together with all the members we would grow into the fullness of God. We are all kings, we all have authority, we are all in service to one another. We are to mutually submit to one another and serve one another. We are a body, and as they say, one hand cannot wash itself. The first hand needs the second hand to help get it washed, but it must also learn to submit to the second hand, and stay still so that the other hand can carry out this service. And when the second hand is through it must now submit to the first hand too so that it can help it get washed. It is a mutual submission, and a mutual service. This is the life of the body, and it is the way to fullness.

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Saturday, 6 October 2018

Christ Is The Visible Image Of The Invisible God

"Christ is the visible image of the invisible God." (Col 1:15).

The Son has always been there to reveal the Father; whenever God is revealed it is Christ. In whatever way God manifest it is Christ, even before anything was created Christ has always been there to make God visible.

"who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see." (1Tim 6:16).

No one can approach God, not even the angels. God makes Himself visible through the Son. Whenever they look and see God, what they are actually looking at is the Son. This is the role of the Son in the Godhead. Even while Jesus was on earth the Son was still in Heaven making God visible.

We must understand that God is omnipresent, he is everywhere at the same time, and Christ is God. When the Israelites were waiting for the Messiah there weren't waiting for "the Son of God", they were waiting for God Himself. But God cannot manifest (make himself visible) excerpt through the Son. The Israelites didn't have the theology of the trinity, all they know is that God will manifest (create an avatar of Himself) and deliver them, ruling them Himself.

For He is their king, he has always been their king, we can see all through the Old Testament. God has always been their king but when they asked for a have leader He gave them men to represent Him as king. But they know that someday He would come and rule by himself. They did not know that any such thing as "the Son" exist, it was God coming to rule His people. But whenever he makes Himself visible it is the Son. When He makes Himself visible by His word, that word is the Son (John 1-14).

"Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God." (1Cor 1:24).
"He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine]," (Heb 1:3).

Whenever God makes Himself visible by his power, it is the Son. When he makes Himself visible by His glory, it is the Son. Even when the angels look and see God, it is the Son they see. In whatever way God makes Himself visible, whatever it may be, that thing is Christ. And when God decided to make Himself visible in the flesh, it is also Christ.

Christ is not just that flesh, he is also that light, that glory, the power, the word and every other thing that manifests God. Christ is not limited to one place, he is omnipresent, and he is everywhere revealing God, making God visible. Two thousand years ago he was on the earth making God visible in the flesh, but at the same time he was also in heaven making God visible to the angels, and at the same time whenever God speaks it is still Christ making God visible as the word. He is everywhere making the invisible God visible.

God Himself is invisible, He is unapproachable, He is too supreme, too great for anyone to behold, whether angel or man. Just as the natural eyes cannot see the spiritual realm because it is too great for the natural eyes to see, so also is God too great for any eyes to see, whether natural or spirit. He is immensely great for any created thing to behold. This is the Creator, the very beginning of all existence, all realms all realities. He is a realm on His own, a reality too great for any to reach. This is where the Son comes in.

The Son is how this immensely supreme being makes Himself visible to all that he has created. This unapproachable and invisible God is now seen and approached because of the Son. The Son brings God to a level that He can be seen and approached by the created.

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Christ Is The Power Of God

When you mention the word power to religious and spiritual people, the first thing that comes to their minds is a force or an act of a spiritual being (God). And among Christians, when the word power is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is the gifts of the Spirit. But the power of God is not just an act of God and it is not just the gift of the Spirit but it is a person — Christ.

"Christ is the visible image of the invisible God." (Col 1:15).
"He [Christ] is the radiation of His [God] glory and the expression of His nature," (Heb 1:3).

The Son has always been there to reveal the Father; whenever God is revealed it is Christ. In whatever way God manifest it is Christ, even before anything was created Christ has always been there to make God visible [you can read more about this in the post, Christ Is the Visible Image of the Invisible God]. And the same Christ is the one always expressing the Father. He is the action of the Father, for when God speaks it is the Christ (John 1:1), and whatever God does is Christ.

"Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God." (1Cor 1:24).

 Christ is the power that God manifests. Christ is the power that parted the red sea, the power that sink the wall of Jericho, the power that caused fire to fall from the sky, shake the civilization of the Egyptians, cause manna to fall from heaven, raised the dead, healed the sick, won great victories and gave us salvation. It has been Christ all the way.

Now back to the Christian and the gift of the Spirit. If Christ is the power of God what then is the gift of the Spirit. First we must understand the relationship between Christ and the Holy Spirit. One of the functions of the Holy Spirit is the Helper.

"the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses" (Rom 8:12).

As we pursue Christ and his fullness (maturity in Christ) the Spirit helps us in the weakness (shortcomings) of immaturity. He helps us by giving us a foretaste of that fullness.

Christ is the Power of God, and as we grow into Christ we are growing into the power of God. But in the state of immaturity, where we have not fully grown into Christ (the power of God) the Spirit comes to our aid and allows us have a foretaste of that fullness even though we have not yet grown into it, hence, the gifts of the Spirit.

The gifts of the Spirit are the Holy Spirit coming to our aid in our state of immaturity to give us a foretaste of the fullness (maturity). The fullness in this case is Christ as the Power of God. So through the gift of the Spirit we enjoy now a fullness that we are yet to grow into. We have not yet grown into it but we are enjoying it via the gifts of the Spirit.

You see how the Helper has helped us, seeing that we would need this power even though we have not yet grown into it.

Still, we must understand that Christ is the Power; he is the one we must pursue. Yes, the Spirit will help us in our infirmities and that is good, we can always count on the Spirit, but that gift of the Spirit is not the power itself but a foretaste of that power which is Christ himself.

So when we say we are pursuing power, we do not mean that we are pursuing gifts of the Spirit, but we are pursuing Christ, the fullness. And on the way to that fullness the faithful Spirit helps us. But we must not pitch our tent on that "help", rather moving forward to attain fullness.

It is sad how many have pitched a tent on the help; they have focused on the help and pursued it as if it is a goal. The help is only there to assist you as you pursue Christ (the power of God). Our goal should always be Christ. The help is not the fullness (the power) but a foretaste of that fullness that is why it is very limited. You see, we have nine gifts of the Spirit but the power of God is unlimited, it is infinitely rich and diverse.

"until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph 4:13).

Our goal should not be foretaste; it should not be that which is limited. God wants nothing less than fullness for us; he wants us to come into the fullness of Christ, the fullness of His power. So enough discussion on the gifts of the Spirit let us focus on Christ. The Spirit came not to speak of himself but to speak of Christ, to point us to Christ. We miss the purpose of the gifts when we start focusing on the gifts. Its purpose is to speak of Christ, to point us to Christ the power of God.

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Tuesday, 28 August 2018

The Seed Of The Church

There was a time I was there waiting at the feet of the Lord with a desire to know how to do church. I sat there over a span of a few years, pressing in to learn of him. Then he showed a seed and how in that seed is encoded all the information about the tree. That seed is Christ and God has put this Christ inside of us.

If it is an Orange tree, in the seed lies all the information about how an orange tree should be. And to produce an Orange tree you cannot begin to look at the pattern of an orange tree and try to copy and reconstruct it. Such would only produce an artificial Orange tree, a man-made tree, with no life.

To produce an authentic orange tree all you have to do is to take the seed, plant it, cultivate it, nurture it, and wait patient with complete faith in the Lord and in the life of an orange tree in the seed. And at the end you will have an orange tree germinating. Not an artificial one, but the one that has life, the one that can produce fruit.

However, the knowledge of the pattern is not useless, but we understand the place of such knowledge. The knowledge of the pattern is not meant to be use for the construction of the tree, rather the knowledge is used for the recognition of the tree. If you know how an orange is supposed to look like and then you see a tree you would be able to recognize if that tree is an orange tree or not.

You see a people who claim to be a church but do not have any of the pattern of the Church, because you have the knowledge of the pattern of the Church, you would be able to know that these people are in deception. This is the place of knowledge and we must not try to displace the position of the life and replace it with knowledge. This is the error that the Church over history continue to fall into and we must prevent this error in our time.

A local church is born out of the Life. All of the patterns about the church is in the life, just let the life grow and you will birth a church according to God's eternal thought. By Life, I am not talking about some kind of abstract concept. The heavenly Father is the source of the Life and to grow in the life involves growing in intimacy with the Father. He is the source of the Life and the more you get intimate with Him the more life you get.

Yes, intimacy with the Father is the way to grow in the Life. Where you have a group of people, organize for the pursuit of this life, you will have the church according to God's eternal thought. The mistake we keep making is that we organize people to pursue knowledge, mere knowledge cannot birth the church. Some organize a group of people to follow a pattern, that too cannot birth the church. Our fathers have organized people to carry out a rite, ritual, ceremony, a list of activities they call worship etc. Non of these can birth the church.

The Church according to God's eternal thought can only be birth by a people obsessed with the pursuit of Life.

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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Financial Prosperity; The Communal Life

This is an addition to a series on financial prosperity. I believe no topic in Christianity is complete without talking about the communal aspect of it all. You might also want to read the full series.

"But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift." (Eph 4:7).

There are various grace in Christ and each of this grace is meant to benefit the whole body of Christ. Christ has set some with the gift of healing, so that through these ones those who do not have enough faith to receive healing directly from Christ can receive it through these gifted ones. Christ wants to ensure that each of his member benefit from the things he has won for us. He has won healing for us, for by His stripes we are healed (Isa 53:5). And to ensure that all benefits from this healing he has placed in the body the gift of healing — men who supernaturally draws healing from him.

"Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving... For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich." (2Cor 8:7,9).

Just as he was wounded so that we might be healed, he also became poor so that we might be rich. This means, in his body he has given riches that all might benefit.

"Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." (Rev 5:12).

He was slain to receive riches in his body. And to ensure that his whole body benefit from this riches he has place some in his body with the supernatural ability to make wealth. We can see the evidence of this truth in the Old Testament.

“And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day." (Due 8:18).

The Old Covenant is a shadow of the New Covenant, and in the Old Covenant we see a gift of the ability to make wealth. If this is found in the shadow, the lesser covenant, why would it be missing in the perfect covenant, the reality of the shadow. There is no need to argue about it, in the New Covenant there is a gift, an ability to make wealth. This ability is accessible to everyone by faith, yet not all may operate in it, because there are those that are not mature enough in this area. Just like healing, it is there in the body but sometimes some people can't access it, and they need help from the rest of the body, especially from those who are well gifted in this area.

In his body, Christ has set men that are gifted with the supernatural ability to make wealth. Yes, there are men who have this special gift where angel work with them, they receive supernatural help from God and things just supernaturally fall into place when it comes to making wealth. You may not know them but they exist and as the body of Christ grows into fullness we would see more of these people. Yes, this ability to make wealth is available to all in the body, yet there are some that have it more than others, and these ones — like those with healing gifts — are supposed to allow other member of the body benefit from this wealth. They are suppose to share their wealth with the rest of the body, this is the reason Christ gave them this gift. He became poor so that his body might enjoy wealth, the wealth belongs to the whole body.

The healer do not have the gift of healing for himself, the prophet do not have the gift of prophecy for himself, whatever gift that any member has is for the whole body. This is the life of the body, it is a communal life, they life for each other, share everything with each other. The riches of the wealthy is not for the wealthy, but for the body. God did not give him wealth so that he can live an extravagant life. It has given him this grace so that those who have not been able to draw directly from Christ, the wealth he has won for them, will receive it through these special ones. Because of the Individualism that has plagued Christianity we have emphasize financial prosperity in an individualistic way, but it is not individualistic. The body of Christ is one, they live a shared life, everything that one own belongs to all.

Not all can have the gift of healing, not all is a prophet, not all can performs miracle, so also not all would become supernaturally wealthy. Lack of this understanding is the fault plaguing the prosperity preaching of today. We preach that all can be supernaturally wealth, but this is not often so. Many struggle and struggle yet they can't enter this grace and they get frustrated and disillusioned. Some have been able to mature in this area, while Christ has given some this special gift of making wealth so that they can share with those who cannot enter into this grace, this way all will benefit, whether mature or immature — one way or the other, all will partake from the riches that Christ has won for them.

"If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance." (1Cor 12:26).

The body is one, when one suffer then all must come under that suffering. If a brother is suffering poverty then the rest must come under that poverty or else give whatever they have to bring that brother out of the poverty. It is better they suffer the poverty together than one is suffering and the other is enjoying — that is body life. This is how the body of Christ is expressed.

"Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal." (2Cor 13-14).

You do not give and become poor so that your brother would be rich, rather you give to maintain that equality. What I am trying to say is that if you have a loaf of bread and your brother has non, you are not suppose to give your brother the whole bread and then stay hungry. Rather you break the bread into two halves, so that you the brother can have the same measure. That equality of the body must be maintained. If you are flourishing then all your brethren must flourish with you or else don't flourish at all.

That attitude that when you get supernaturally blessed by God financially then the best you can do for your brother is to tell him the principle and leave him to continue to suffer until he presses upon God and receive the same financial blessing, such an attitude is not Christian. What is Christian is refusing to enjoy the blessing until your brethren comes and enjoy it with you, you are to share with your brother — the Christian life a shared life.

You share your knowledge of the principle and also your blessing (the wealth) with the brethren, that is Christianity. The body of Christ is a community and every resources in this community should be evenly distributed. The Life that comes from the Lord must be evenly distributed, the healing that comes from the Lord should also be distributed, so also is the wealth. Everything must be shared, all must partake of the fullness of Christ.

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