What does Revelation 19:1-10 mean to us now?

2 10 2010

 

Our authentic vindication is that we have received our justification in Christ. It is sealed and is more valuable that we will ever know; evil has no vindication and will have no acquittal. When we are faithful, no matter what we have experienced or been through, He is with us, and He, Jesus Himself, will give us vindication. Then, the question we are to seek is how then do I live my Christian life? As a response to whom He is and what He has done, or rather, as I see fit? In context, this is also about bringing the Truth of Christ to our churches and using them to bring His Truth to the world. Thus, the church must remain in Him and see His Supremacy, not our feeble ideas and agendas that are contrary to His Word and call. This also means we are not to allow ourselves to bow to compliancy, idolatry, or apostasy!  

This passage is a proclamation not just to know and trust God, but to praise Him with a praise that anticipates His goodness and realizes His faithfulness, because we are already victorious in Christ.  This marriage supper is about our faith in, relationship with, and commitment to Christ; it is our response to Him from our gratitude and to declare to one another, His Church, to be prepared in knowledge and faith in Him, and to live our lives worthy for Him. Thus, this passage is also about discipleship; we learn of Him so to be in Him, and live worthy with our redemption that we have received (Eph. 5:25-27). 

Questions to Ponder: 

  1. What can motivate you more to serve Christ wholeheartedly and righteously? What about how you would lead and manage a church?
  1. How can the fact that Christ is all supreme, all powerful and strong, all mighty, and the ruler of all things help you move from leading by personal agendas to leading with His precepts, character, Fruit, and call?
  1. How do you feel that our salvation is compared to a banquet, a most high privilege and honor? Do you think your salvation is an honor? How so? What are you going to do with that information in your daily walk?
  1. How can your church do a better job at seeing and applying His Supremacy rather than feeble ideas and agendas that are contrary to His Word and call?
  1. What can you as a church do to prevent yourselves from bowing to compliancy, idolatry, or apostasy?

 

© 2007 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org





The Four Main Views of Revelation 19:1-10

2 10 2010

 

The Preterist view: This camp is split as to whether it refers to Jerusalem or to Rome. Most see this as a declaration of praise for His faithful delivery, the omnipotent reign of God, and for the Church to get ready for Christ’s return, being prepared by faith in Him. This is demonstrated by the prostration of the twenty-four elders and the Hallelujahs, Praise the Lord, and roar. The marriage of the Lamb is seen as a declaration of the new covenant or epoch of grace in which we live as Christians. This is also a contrast or correlative to the divorce of the harlot and the fulfillment of His promise to be faithful. This also is seen as a declaration to the Church to prepare its people for its nuptials (discipleship), and to live worthy with the redemption that we have received. 

The Futurist view: Most in this camp see this passage as a call of God to rejoice in the fall of the beast and Babylon! The marriage of the Lamb is seen as Israel being reunited to Christ and God’s relationship with the Jews restored and brought into the Christian Church. Others see this as figurative, solely the Church and its union with Christ. Most see this happening right after the rapture and the end of the tribulation, while others see this as the Church being friends of the Bridegroom from John 3:29. Some see this as the unsaved people, after the rapture, being offered salvation or the saints of all the church age past, present, and future. Some see the marriage of the Lamb and the marriage supper as two distinct feasts, ignoring Jewish wedding traditions and word meanings, saying one group is for the Jews and the other for Christians. Some go so far as to say the bridegroom is not Christ and the guests are not the Church, ignoring the rest of the counsel of Scripture. Testimony of Jesus is seen as the whole council of God, His Word and Spirit to the Church, and/or the call for the Church to be a good witness. Others take this as finding the key to Revelation, not from the proper understanding of Scripture, but from subjective analysis, from personal whims, and from sensational insights, while others who read the Bible see this as the redemptive work of Christ for the Church.  

The Idealist view: They see this passage as the end of human time when Christ is about ready to return. The marriage of the Lamb is seen as the day of doom for the beast and its followers while the faithful are rewarded. The marriage is consummated as Christ takes the Church as His bride. The cost of the dowry was paid by Christ on the cross. The wedding guests are not only the people invited, they are also His bride, and the individual guests are collectively His Church. Fine linen is seen as the wedding clothes worn by the bride and groom, representing Christ and His purity and the call of purity and faithfulness to His Church. Testimony of Jesus is seen as a call to Christian leaders (prophets) to take the Word of God and the Spirit and put it in their mouths to be proclaimed to their church. 

The Historicist view: They see this passage as a celebration of the fall of the papal system and the rise of the Reformed Church out of the Reformation (true believers in Christ). Halleluiah is also the celebration of the faithful Jews for being included in the Kingdom (because of the use of the Hebrew word Halleluiah instead of one of the many Greek equivalents). The marriage of the Lamb is seen as the beginning of the millennial reign of Christ, or the reign of the true reformed Church of Christ. Others see this as those in Christ receiving their salvation and rewards. The rejoicing is the growth of the Church, its adherence to the Bible and the fading of the oppression and manipulations of the Catholic Church. Do not do it given to John is seen as a reminder not to fall back into apostasy or manipulation as a church or Church universal. As a Church, we are the bride of Christ called to proclaim Him, not to worship what is false, traditions, saints, Mary, popes, angels, relics, and/or indulgences.

 





Exegetical look into Revelation 19:6-10

2 10 2010

 

  • Sounded like a great multitude…roar…waters means worship music to honor God and/or the music in a wedding celebrating the joining of two families (Jer. 25:30-32).
  • Lord God Almighty/Omnipotent means that Christ is all supreme, all powerful and strong, all mighty, and the ruler of all things. Refers to the supremacy and power of Christ, as He is “Omnipotent,” ultimate, and our Deliverer, and nothing in the universe compares to Him; it is our duty to reverence and worship Him. There is no stronger language to show Christ’s Divinity and Supremacy (Ex. 15:18; Job 37:5-6; Psalm 97:1; Is. 24:23; 52:7; Ezek. 1:24; 43:2; Dan. 10:6; Micah 4:7; 2 Cor. 6:18; Col. 1:17; Rev. 16:7).
  • Wedding/marriage of the Lamb. This was an image of our Redeemer’s intimacy and the community between God and His children. This is beyond a metaphor as it is about the life, love, and joy that a first century marriage celebration represented that Christ shares with us and calls us to share with one another in our covenant of Grace. This is also a contrast to the divorce of the harlot (Ex. 22:16; Is. 54:5-7; Hos. 2:19-20; Matt. 9:15; 22:2; John 2:1-3; 3:29; 22:2-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25-32; Heb. 2:5; 6:5; 1 John 1:3-10).
  • Let us rejoice and be glad. This too is an expression of honor, glory, and gratitude to God for who He is and what He has done. It expresses our praise and honor for His glory. In Christ, we are like a bride married to a groom, as Israel was a bride of God. This is a celebration of our salvation in Him (Matt. 5:12; Rev. 21:2).
  • Fine/pure linen means righteousness and purity. Referred to priests and their clothing as representing God’s holiness and purity. These angels represented God’s glory (Lev. 16:4; Prov. 15:33, 18:12; Dan. 12:6-7; 1 Pet. 5:5).
  • Blessed are those who are invited. This is the fourth “beatitude” in Matthew, and it refers to those who are faithful in Christ. In Him, we will receive the good will of God as blessings from Christ; those who reject Him will be judged. Being blessed also refers to the emotional states of satisfaction, well-being, and contentment that result from being approved by God and by the fulfilling of our duty. It is enjoying God’s special favor and His Grace working in us. It is like being told by our parents that they are proud of us (Matt. 5:1-12; Rev. 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7-14). There are also seven beatitudes in Revelation (Rev. 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14).
  • Wedding/marriage supper means a Jewish wedding where the marriage is consummated and celebrated with family and friends. This is a promise of deliverance and reward for being faithful as Christ takes the Church as His bride, and the dowry, which He paid on the cross. This is also an expression of God’s intimacy and agency with us, but also a contrast between the horror of evil and the joys of goodness. Our salvation is compared to a banquet, a most high privilege and honor in the ancient world. In Him we are cleansed, saved, and redeemed. We belong to Him; thus, our church, His Church, must be sanctified to Him. Some misguided people see these as two different gatherings—the marriage of the Lamb and the feast; one is for the Jews and the other for Christians. This is a false dichotomy (“exegetical fallacy”) and greatly misses the point that there is no race segregation in Christ—only those who know Him and those who do not (Is. 25:6-9; Matt. 22:2, 26-29; 2 Cor. 11:2-3; Eph. 5:26; Col. 1:22; 1 Thess. 5:15-24; 1 Tim. 4:16; 1 John 3:3; Rev. 7:17).
  • Fell at his feet to worship him. Meaning that worship is an essential component of communion and community; we communicate our love, adoration, and gratitude to Christ, doing it together as a church locally, as a Church universally, and with all of creation “in concert.”
  • Do not do it. John is perhaps overwhelmed by the glory and all that is seen and said, stimulating him to instinctually worship the angel; thus the angel rebukes his error. Many pagans at that time worshiped angels and created beings. It is Christ alone whom we worship—the Godhead Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—One God, and the only One whom we are to worship (Col. 2:18).
  • Testimony of Jesus. Jesus is the Witness to the Church universal and the angel speaking to John is bearing the very words of Christ to him; then, John becomes the witness of Christ to not only to his churches but also to us today through the written Word. A proper witness to Christ will be identified by the distinction between good and false teaching and/or good verses bad love, Fruit and character and/or a good or a failing church (Matt. 22:1-14; 25:1-13; 1 John 4:1-6; Rev. 1: 2; 2:20; 6:9; 22:9).




Exegetical look into Revelation 19:1-5

2 10 2010

 

  • Great multitude (Rev. 7:9). A common Jewish use of expression. Some have suggested these are the martyrs from chapter six or the expression, “all will praise Him” (Gen. 41:25-27; Rev. 5:9; 6:11; 7:1-8; 10:11; 11:9; 13:7; 14:6. 17:15).
  • Hallelujah/Alleluia/Praise the LORD means more than just “honor;” it is a call to worship. As a church is the representation of Heaven on earth, this is a command to worship God in His court. It is the only place in Scripture this word is found, although its Hebrew equivalent rendered as “alleluia” (Greek rendering), “Praise the Lord,” or “Praise ye the LORD,” (Praise Yahweh) are found in the Psalms, chapters 104-106, 111-113, 117, 135, 146-150, and many more. This is a Liturgical expletive a priest uses called a “piel,” as in a command to call the people to praise and worship Yahweh (Jer 51:48; Psalm 104:34).
  • Avenged/vindication on her the blood refers that evil gets its just reward and punishment, and those who are faithful are vindicated (Deut. 32:43; Psalm 79:10; Jer. 51:48-49).
  • Smoke from her goes up means God makes war on evil. This is a reference to the fall of Edom in Isaiah, meaning that wickedness and worldliness will fall and be judged (Is. 34:10; 66:24).
  • Just are his judgments. God never acts with bad intentions or out of anger or spite, but He does pay back evil and justly judges with the whole council of real, effectual truth, as well as all of His characters of grace and mercy. Evil will be judged and it must pay God for what it took for God and those who are faithful! If there is genuine repentance, then Christ Himself paid that debt on the cross (Rev. 15:3-4; 16:5-7)!
  • The twenty-four elders. This is a reference that this celebration is before all for His all. Those with authority, in the context of a church, are God’s representatives called to declare and serve Him wholeheartedly and righteously just as we are called to lead and manage a church. God is above all and the only One worthy to receive praise, as all that is considered mighty and wondrous in the ancient world is depicted as praising God (Heb. 12:22-24; see Rev. 4:4-6).
  • Amen. This means “so be it for ever and ever.” It is also a call for us to learn to surrender to Him and be trusting and obedient to Him, because nothing can stand against Him (Gen. 18:18; 22:18; Isa. 60:1-5; Psalm 37:7, 20, 24; Rev. 7:9-17; 10:11; 12:5; 13:7; 14:6-8; 15:4; 17:15; 18:3; 19:15; 20:3; 21:24-27).
  • Fear him. “Fear” means awe and reverence of God, not being scared of Him (Prov. 1:7; 3:5).




Revelation 19:1-10: What are the Contexts?

2 10 2010

This passage is about the marriage of the Lamb to the Church, His dowry being the pain and suffering that He endured on the cross, something that no one else could pay. Jesus is giving the call to the Bride, His Church, to be pure and faithful and to rejoice in Him. This passage is also a contrast of good and evil, the triumph of Christ and the defeat of Satan; the glorification of the True Church and the defeat of a false church. This is also about how good character, faithfulness, and Fruit will win out over evil, even when all seems bleak and dark. This is a celebration of the Majesty, Presence, and Goodness of God.  As the themes of the past few chapters have focused on evil, sin, its judgments, and those who miss it and their mourning, now it is about celebration! Those who were faithful while living and were martyred rejoice in God’s faithfulness and their vindication. Sin has been judged and God is glorified; He rewards those who are true to Him. It is a testimony that godless systems, sin, and iniquity against God and the faithful will not work long or well. Evil is judged and condemned while true spirituality in Christ is eternally rewarded and beneficial. This is also about our own vindication, and all the benefits we have when we are in Christ. We are a part of His Kingdom that is being showcased in this passage, so we who are in Christ can sing a loud and clear Hallelujah

In Christ we have immeasurable intimacy and community with God as His child. How can that motivate you to live with your eyes more on Him and less on your circumstances? How can this affect your complacency and fears in serving Him?





Revelation 19:1-10

2 10 2010

Introduction 

Praise from Heaven 

God has punished the great harlot, judged the corruptions of the earth, and avenged His faithful. Now, John hears a vast, resounding Amen and Hallelujah! Shouts of praise and thanksgiving, all coming from Heaven, were echoing from all those who surrounded him in his heavenly vision in the very Temple of God. The elders, who were all there, fell prostrate before God as they sang His praise. John hears that salvation is from God and His power, judgments, and purposes are just and pure. He is a God who is real and trustworthy, who carries out His promises and holy plan. Then, another voice comes out saying praise our God—a call for all to say, for all to know and fear Him. Then, a shout comes out like a roar from a large crowd, also saying Hallelujah, let us be glad and rejoice in Him! The time of sorrow is over; now is the wedding feast of the Lamb that we as the faithful can partake in as God rewards us for our good deeds and faithfulness. Then, the angel tells John to write this down: blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb. These words come from God! Then, John is overwhelmed and starts to worship the angel, but is rebuked; the angel says do not worship me; worship Jesus, His Majesty and Presence, and testify your faith to Him so others can know Him too. Then, he falls down prostrate before God in fear and awe of his majesty and presence.

What are you grateful to God for? What happens when Christians forget to be grateful? How does ingratitude affect the church and call that Christ gives us?

 





What does Revelation 5: 8-14 mean to us now?

6 07 2009

This is a picture of worship, as a congregation gathers to collectively praise and honor Christ and offer themselves to Him in sacrifice. John is actually calling his people, who are in dire straits, to forget their current struggles and picture themselves in a heavenly choir-worshiping Christ, surrounded by angels and breathtaking music, and receiving their reward and His love for their faithfulness. For the early church in persecution that was meeting in secret, fearing for their lives, this message came as a great comfort and reassurance that “doing” church and being a Christian community is meaningful, relevant, and important both for now and for eternity. The chorus we will be a part of in Him will be far greater than the “noise” we hear from our enemies and persecutors.

Did you notice that in the context of this passage, starting in chapter four, the praise for Christ grows and grows until is encompasses all that exists in the universe? Worship is what the Christian life is about. It is our goal, purpose, and call. It is where we start and finish and what we do in eternity. Heaven is a place of worship and our church is a mere shadow of this-a rehearsal that pales in comparison. Worship is our heart pouring out to His. True worship of Christ by our submission to Him with earnestness, sincerity, and serenity helps create our character and maturity, and prepares us for life both now and for eternity. It lines us up to Christ and away from our sin and agendas. We must allow our pride to yield to the necessity of being accountable to one another. The more mature people in the Lord must model and disciple the immature. All of us are equal in the Lord; however, we must never allow our maturity and growth to be a source of pride or use it to put others down! Remember, others have their eyes on us. If we stumble, others will, too. If we succeed, others will, too!

Questions to Ponder:

  1. What does it mean to your daily Christian life that Christ’s eternal power, authority, strength, and the completeness (the life He gave us) empowers us to live a life that is worthy? What would a worthy, spirit-filled, and empowered life be like for you?

  1. What is the sign of reverence and prostration that Christ asks of us? What must we do to worship Christ effectively and earnestly?

  1. How can the true worship of Christ by your submission to Him with earnest sincerity and serenity helps create character and maturity in you and prepare you for life now and for eternity?

  1. What does it mean to put Him first in all that we do in life? How do we maneuver our Church to be under His rule and kingship, rather than our committees and trends?

  1. How would you describe spontaneous and just worshipping Christ? What can you do to prevent your church’s worship from becoming a performance for themselves, for the members, or for a show of personalities? What can be done to do as we are called, that is, to be offerings of praise to the main and only audience-Christ our Lord?

© 2006 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries http://www.intothyword.org





The Four Main Views of Revelation 5: 8-14

6 07 2009

Preterist view sees this passage as a start to the sentence of judgment as we will see in the following chapters. The Lamb invokes an outburst of extreme worship and introduces a new song to God’s praise and worth for our redemption. His old song refers to creation. The prayers refer to Christians pleading with God for relief in their persecutions, and their deliverance is made by destroying Jerusalem (I do not see how that spells r-e-l-i-e-f, or helps us now or in the future). They see the kingdom of priests as being the priests of Israel in Exodus 19:5-6 and replaced by the Church in Hebrews 7-8. The new song is a response by the angels, counted in the millions, giving a doxology for God’s glory, for He is worthy. Then, the worship climaxes when the elders fall prostrate and say Amen.

Futurist view: sees this passage as the beginning of the end of the present age and the start of the new age and the coming of Christ. Prayer of the saints refers to “thy Kingdom be done” and the fulfillment of God’s will. The reign on earth is seen as the millennial Kingdom as the Christians will rule the earth with Christ. The worship of Christ by countless angels as in Psalm 19 and 68 indicates power/strength and is seen as His Second Coming. They see every knee as referring to angels and/or to animals, because they believe the Church will be “raptured” prior to this (even though there is no biblical support for this theory, no matter how personally appealing it is, or how hopeful I am for it!). It also ignores many other scriptures.

Idealist view: They see this passage as the fulfillment of Daniel 7:9-14, where the “Ancient of Days” is to have dominion. The incense means prayers, and the new song is the response of God to them. Also, it means the New Covenant of the God of our redemption. The reign on earth is seen as the royal priesthood of all believers. They see the worship of Christ by countless angels as mainly metaphoric because their scope of reason cannot contort enough to see that all of creation can do that, thus not taking into account the omnipotence and omnipresence of God. They do bring up a valid point that in the following passages, mankind is still cursing God and being judged. However, this vision is not limited to a time sequence or chronology. Since God lives outside of space and time, it is rather a prediction of what will eventually happen.

Historicist view: sees this passage as God being benevolent and merciful as our Redeemer and the universe rejoicing in profound adoration because of this. God’s providence depicts that Jesus is the only One who is worthy to save. The reign on earth is seen as the ascendancy of Christianity to the world in its influence and scope. Some argue that all earthy rulers will be Christians before the Second Coming, although this is a big stretch. Others say this is referring to the “a millennial” spiritual reign of Christians in our present time as we will no longer be slaves to sin.





Exegetical look into Revelation 5:12-14

6 07 2009

This passage is also a picture of our faithfulness reaching to God’s awareness. The incense He desires is the love and trust we give to Him and to one another, and our obedience as we remain in Him. Our authenticity and closeness to Christ is what touches and resounds into eternity. These are the lyrics of the angel’s songs of what Christ has done and how we are responding.

  • Voice of many angels is the representation of a heavily choir worshiping our Redeemer and Savior as God’s great plan has been fulfilled and has succeeded (Gal. 3:13).
  • Numbering thousands upon thousands means indefinitely and countless. Those are not actual numbers, because “ten thousand” was the largest single number in the Greek then, but is a rhetorical phrase for “beyond counting.” Frequently, ancient songs would exaggerate numbers in battle such as the song of David killing “tens of thousands,” but here, it is no exaggeration (1 Sam. 18:7-8; Dan. 7:10; Heb. 12:22).
  • They sang. What starts in Heaven resounds through the entire universe, and that is the worship of Christ. This is not about style or ethnicity of worship; rather it is about how we are diverse, yet one in Him by our celebration of Christ.
  • Worthy is the Lamb is a picture of all peoples saved in Him, celebrating their redemption. All peoples, tongues, and locations are unified in Christ (Gen. 22; Ex. 12:3; Isa. 53:8; John 1:29; 3:16; 2 Cor. 8:9).
  • Receive power, as in praising the Lord, everlasting to everlasting (1 Chron. 29:10-19; Rev. 7:12).
  • Every creature in heaven and on earth. This infers that eventually, in the end times, all will submit to God. This is also an image of God’s sovereignty and how all things in the universe are submitted to Him now. He allows our pride and free will to lead us into thinking we are submitted to no one, and in refusing His election and grace, we judge ourselves in our defiance to His authority and love (Isaiah 45:23; Rom. 14:9; Phil. 2:10; Col. 2:3).
  • Said, “Amen.” Nothing can thwart God’s will and purpose. Satan thinks he can, and our pride makes us think we can, but God is totally sovereign. Our control is merely an illusion and a delusion to ourselves and others that He puts up with so we can eventually learn to surrender to Him and be trusting and obedient to Him (Gen. 18:18; 22:18; Isa. 60:1-5; Rev. 7:9-17; 10:11; 12:5; 13:7; 14:6-8; 15:4; 17:15; 18:3; 19:15; 20:3; 21:24-27).





Exegetical look into Revelation 5: 8-11

6 07 2009
  • Fell down before the Lamb is a sign of reverence and prostration, as one would bow before gods and kings in ancient cultures. It is honoring someone with our sincere praise. We honor Christ with worship¾our heartfelt, deep gratitude for who He is and what He has done for us (Gen. 17:3; 2 Chron. 7:3; Mark 3:11).
  • Harp, a small bowed stringed instrument used in Jewish worship (not to be confused with the large, modern European harps from the 12th century), was considered the most beautiful musical instrument at the time, and is presented here as an image of something used to praise God with sincerity and reverence (1 Chron. 25:1-6; 2 Chron. 5:12; 29:25; Neh. 12:27; 1 Sam. 10:5; Psalm 33:2).
  • Golden bowls full of incense. Incense was burned in a flat, shallow cup for worship. Here, it refers to a common, ancient metaphor for prayers that are pleasing. This is a Jewish image of the Temple and one of our worship for eternity in His Kingdom Come. This is also a call for us to be fragrant and poured out to our Lord, for that is what pleases Him. (Deut 33:10; Psalm 141:1-3; Gal. 2:20-21; Phil. 3:1-14; Rev. 8:3-4).
  • Sang a new song means being inspired by the Spirit and/or to be spontaneous in worshipping Christ. It is an image of real music used as an offering to express our deliverance or blessing. Here, it denotes the opposite of something “canned,” or obligatory. In our planning of worship, we must allow the Spirit to direct us. It is OK to compose, plan, and rehearse our praise and music, but we should not allow our worship to be a performance or a show of personalities. Rather, we are called to be an offering of praise to the main and only audience, who is Christ our Lord (Psalm 33:3; 40:3; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1; Isa. 42:10; Rev.14:3).
  • To take the scroll means to receive it. Christ takes it for action and He unseals and unfolds its contents of redemption and judgment in the coming chapters.
  • Your blood you purchased men for God. This passage contains the essential, Christian salvation message. This is an image of how Israel was redeemed out of Egypt and led into the Promised Land. It was the blood of the Passover lamb that protected them; now, Christ is the ultimate depiction and application of this¾Jesus Saves (Mark 10:45; 1 Cor. 6:20)!
  • Every tribe and language. Our allegiance is to Christ by His sacrifice, not to a political power or a people group. We can be patriots to our nation as long as Christ and His Kingdom come first in our mindsets (as the American Founding Fathers demonstrated). When we are in Christ, we are part of a greater Kingdom than one of race or nationality.
  • Made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God refers to how Priests were to be bridges from God to man in the Old Testament. Now, through Christ, there is no division or caste. We have direct, intimate access to Him. All of God’s people are holy to Him, and in the future, each of us will reign with Him (Rev. 1:6; 2:26-27; 20:4, 6; 22:5)!





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