Category Archives: Second Coming of Christ

The Trumpet Shall Sound

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

If you came to 2021 hoping for an improvement over 2020, you may be sorely disappointed. If you study Scripture, you know that the closer we get to Christ’s return, the worse things will become. However, for those who place their trust in Christ, this is cause for celebration rather than consternation. Before things get really bad, we have the expectation that Jesus will come and rescue His Church before the events described in the Book of the Apocalypse begin.

“When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder,” James M. Black, 1893 [1]

The Bible is clear that the Church, the body of true believers in Jesus Christ as Lord, and born again of the Spirit of God will be absent during the 7-year Tribulation period that the Bible calls the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble.”[2] Several of the Old Testament prophets spoke of the coming of the Messiah to set up an earthly kingdom. From their perspective, as if looking across time over a series of mountain peaks where the Messianic Kingdom is at the final peak, they did not see the “Church Age” in the valley between His first coming (the first peak) and His second coming (the last peak). They rightly prophesied about His first coming and even of His death and resurrection, but the next thing, from their perspective, was the setting up of the Messianic Kingdom.

The Apostle Paul explained that the Church, to the OT prophets, was a “mystery.”[3] All OT prophecy deals with Israel. God gave the Prophet Daniel a concise prophecy of the end times that precisely predicted the arrival of the Messiah at His first coming. The angel that delivered the message said, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy” (Daniel 9:24, emphasis mine). Notice that the time is determined for Daniel’s people. Who are Daniel’s people, if not Israel? The 70 weeks are 70 sevens of years (70 x 7) which come to 490 years. Four hundred eighty-three (483) years were accomplished with the crucifixion of the Messiah.[4] At that time, God stopped Israel’s time clock and seven years remain to complete the “seventy weeks determined for Daniel’s people.” In the meantime, the “mystery” of the Church is in effect.

In order for the final “week” of the seventy weeks to resume, the church must be taken out of the way. The reason for is that the Holy Spirit resides with every true believer. The Apostle Paul informs us that the Holy Spirit restrains Satan’s full control of the earth, so He must be removed before “prince,” aka, Antichrist, can be revealed. Paul said, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin [aka Antichrist] be revealed, the son of perdition … For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [restrains] will let [restrain], until he be taken out of the way” (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 7, emphasis mine). He that restrains (letteth) is the Holy Spirit. He must be “taken out of the way” before the Antichrist can be revealed, and where the Holy Spirit goes, the Church goes. This event is known as the Rapture.

There are no signs given in Scripture to prepare us for the Rapture. We can know the time is near when we see signs for the last days and the end of times falling into place. Jesus gave His disciples a detailed explanation of the last days prior to His second coming.[5] Jesus told them about wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, pestilences, etc. in the latter days, but He cautioned that “All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8). This ramp-up of signs that point to the Second Coming, which is the seven years after the Rapture of the Church, are things we can see taking place now. That lets us know that the Rapture of the Church is very near.

Can we believe in the Rapture? Before going to the cross, Jesus assured His disciples (and us), “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3, emphasis mine). This is the promise that Jesus will come for us and take us to be with him. However, it does not tell us when this will take place.

Some of Paul’s first letters were written to the church in Thessaloniki. Much of what he wrote to this church dealt with the end of time. To them, he wrote, “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep [dead]. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, emphasis mine). Notice that we meet Him “in the air;” He does not return to the earth at that time.

To the church in Corinth, Paul wrote, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we [who are alive] shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52, emphasis mine). However, this still does not explain when that will take place.

The Thessalonians had the same question. To them, he explained that the Holy Spirit that restrains the evil one must be removed before Antichrist can come on the scene. We looked at that verse earlier. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away [from the faith, i.e., “apostasy”] first, and [Antichrist] be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, edited and emphasized for clarity). “And now ye know [the Holy Spirit withholds] that [Antichrist] might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity [does] already work: only [the Holy Spirit] who now [restrains] will [restrain], until [the Holy Spirit] be taken out of the way. And then shall that [Antichrist] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his [Second] coming: Even him [Antichrist], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-9, edited and emphasized for clarity).

When the trumpet sounds, Jesus will come for His church. Christians who have died will rise from their graves, then Christians who are living will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and will meet with the risen dead together to meet Jesus in the air. Then we will all go together to be with Jesus for seven years. In the meantime, here on Earth, Antichrist will exercise dominion, and God will unleash the worst judgments the world has ever known. At the end of the seven years, Jesus will return with His Church to reign on Earth. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war … And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean” (Revelation 19:11, 14). “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4, emphasis mine).

The trumpet shall sound. Are you ready? If you are not sure, please visit my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder,” James M. Black, 1893

[2]  Jeremiah 30:7

[3]  Romans 16:25

[4]  Daniel 9:26

[5]  Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21

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Get Ready!

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (John 15:18)

Get ready! The days of easy Christianity are gone. The Demonrats have taken the reins of power in the government and they intend to punish those who supported President Trump. These include registered Republicans, Conservatives, and Christians. A group calling themselves the Secular Democrats of America sent a letter[1] to Joe Biden demanding a clamp-down of conservative Christians, removing them from public office, and “re-educating” Trump voters. They insist that the “Biden administration must ‘educate the American public,’ particularly those identified as the ‘religious right,’ on the need to keep their “religious dogma” to themselves. The document calls for a purge of social conservatives from all levels of government, labeling them as ‘white nationalist’ and ‘conspiracy theorists.’”

How that will affect Christians[2] remains to be seen, however, the sentiment is there, and it is strong. I do not believe I am hyperbolic when I say the Democrat Party is satanically motivated. It is also not fair to paint all Democrats with the same broad brush. Surely, a small handful exist that do not lean hard left, but the majority do. Hence, the moniker I have given them, “Demonrats.”

It will not be long before the persecution of Christians begins in America. In some ways it already has. The question is how will “pudgy” American Christians stand up to persecution? Our Christian brothers and sisters all over the world suffer persecution now. What makes us think we are exempt?

I believe Christians will escape the coming seven-year Tribulation. However, we cannot know when Jesus will come to Rapture His Bride, His Church, out of this world. We will not suffer the full horrors of the Tribulation, but we may need to endure some persecution before that time comes.

Get ready! Arm yourself with the Word of God. “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11) The first piece of armor is the support belt of truth. The belt supports your abdomen and back to help you stand straight. It is composed of “truth” that comes from the Word of God, who is Christ (John 14:6). Next comes the breastplate, i.e., body armor, meant to protect your heart. That piece is made up of righteousness, i.e., “right living,” a “right attitude,” a “right outlook.” That too comes from the consumption of the Word of God. After that, you need sturdy footwear to help you stand when the terrain gets rough. That comes from “the Gospel of Peace.” You will have to carry the shield of faith to deflect the incoming missiles the devil will send your way. You need to protect your head, your mind. For that, you need the helmet of salvation. That comes from having the assurance that you are saved and that your Captain has your back. All of these are defensive “weapons” that you need to keep in good working order. Finally, you need to take up your only offensive weapon, he “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). Jesus encouraged us not to worry about what to answer when questioned. “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you” (Matthew 10:19-20, emphasis mine). If you were paying attention you would have noticed that all the pieces of armor are anchored in one way or another to the Word of God. If you are not daily in the Word, you will run out of ammo very quickly. Get ready!

This weekend I listened to Jan Markell’s interview with Pastors Tom Hughes and Mark Henry. They have a timely message to prepare us for what is coming. I hope you will take the time to listen to it all the way through. Get ready!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZg_cRa3AYc

Notes:


[1] https://drrichswier.com/2020/12/16/democrat-document-surfaces-demanding-biden-clamp-down-on-conservative-christians-remove-them-from-public-office-and-re-educate-trump-voters/

[2]  When I say “Christians” I am referring to true, Bible-believing, born-again believers and not necessarily those affiliated with mainline. liberal Protestant denominations.

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Happy New Year?

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (Isaiah 46:9-10)

I really do not feel like writing. I am feeling rather sad, but I try to post something every week, so here goes.

The year 2020 has been the worst year of my 70 ½ years on this earth. I am certain that many of my readers share the same feelings. Now we are looking ahead to a new year. In the past, the New Year offered hope for improvement, but this year, the outlook, at least from my perspective, looks dismal.

Last year started out looking promising, but then COVID-19 hit and threw the entire world into a panic. Without recounting all the details, our nation suffered a great loss economically, socially, and religiously. Our shadow government, the unelected bureaucrats that seem to be the de facto legislators, instituted irrational mandates about wearing masks, social distancing, prohibitions on public gathering – all unconstitutional, by the way – and the public just fell in line like lemmings. What makes me really sad is how our pastors have willingly gone along with these (yes, I will say it) stupid regulations and closed their churches or instituted ridiculous rules on how we do gather – reduce attendance, wear masks, social distance, no “fellowshipping” inside the church, come in, wait to be seated, leave only when your row is dismissed, etc. Seriously, I have lost my desire to attend a “live” service. I know, Hebrews 10:25 tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but one would think our pastors would look a little harder at that verse and consider also the one that says we should obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).

I get it. COVID-19 is highly contagious and can be deadly, but so can the flu. As 2020 came to a close, the death rate from all causes in the United States did not increase even with COVID-19 (the CCP Virus). In fact, the complicit media suppress the statistics published by the CDC that those that contract the disease have a better than 99% expectation of surviving it. The relatively small numbers that do die of the disease have other underlying complications that contribute to the death. And yet, the general public is paralyzed with fear of contracting the disease. I have to laugh (although it is actually not funny) when I see people driving in their cars or walking outdoors in the fresh air wearing masks. It’s funny, but it’s sad.

The ones making the rules (I will call them “the Swamp” because they are indeed swamp creatures) do not care about the welfare of the public, although they would have you think that they do. (By the way, have you noticed that none of them have missed a single paycheck while the rest of the proletariat are losing their jobs and their businesses?) Their interest and intent is complete control of the populous so that we will fall in line according to their dictates. The first step was to incite fear of an invisible enemy, the CCP Virus, and make everyone shelter in place, wear masks in public, and social distance. That worked. The next thing will be to force everyone to take a vaccine for a disease that has a 99% survivability rate. You might object, “The government isn’t making anyone take the vaccine.” You would be right about that – now – but it may happen in the near future. Consider that airlines are already talking about requiring proof of vaccination before they will allow passengers to board their airplanes. Many “Big Box” stores, like Amazon who does not even have “stores,” are saying they will require proof of vaccination before they will sell to you or allow you into their stores. It sounds a lot like the “Mark of the Beast” (Revelation 13:18). It is NOT the Mark of the Beast, but it certainly paves the way for it.

On top of that, 2020 was an election year that gave us what is arguably the worst case of voter fraud in history. The abundant evidence of fraud in a variety of forms clearly shows that President Trump handily won, but the Swamp persists in robbing him of a second term. Even many of those who claim to be on his side, starting with the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, encourage the President to concede the election, claiming that it would be in the best interest of the nation. Inhabitants of the Swamp include many RINOs.

Three days from the posting of this blog article, a joint session of Congress will meet to count the electoral votes. There are two Constitutional ways that President Trump can secure a second term. According to Article II, Section 1, and the Twelfth Amendment of the Constitution, the President of the Senate, VP Mike Pence, is responsible for counting the votes. If he determines that elections for certain states were improperly and unconstitutionally conducted, he can choose not to count the electoral votes from that state. We have at least five or maybe six states that conducted fraudulent and unconstitutional elections, and if VP Pence rejects those votes, it is quite possible that neither candidate will have a majority. In that case, the vote goes to the House where each state is allowed one vote for President. Since the majority of the states represented are Republican majorities, President Trump will get the majority of votes, and he will win a second term.

The second option is for a member of the House of Representatives to challenge the legitimacy of the votes from those states in question. That would certainly be a Republican Congressman. This would require a second to the motion by a member of the Senate. The two houses would then divide for debate, and if the challenge stands, again, the vote would go to the House of Representatives where each state would get just one vote, and again, the majority of states being Republican, President Trump will win a second term – if everything is on the up-and-up.

I have said this before; neither option for President will improve our nation’s situation. If Biden wins (God forbid!) our nation will rapidly sink into Socialism and submit to a One-World government. If President Trump wins, the Swamp will rise up like nothing we have seen to date.

The year 2020 was not a good year. The New Year, 2021 does not promise to be better. In fact, it will probably be worse. Can we have hope? YES! Signs around the world and our nation portend the soon return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For those who have placed their trust in Him, He will soon take us out of this world before the Seven-Year Tribulation devastates the planet. After the Seven-Year Tribulation, He will return with His saints to rule and reign on Earth. Then, and only then, we will have true world peace. Joy to the World! But for those who have not placed their trust in Christ, this year will be nothing compared with what is to come. If you do not know the Savior, read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Happy New Year?

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When Foundations Move

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)

Several years ago (I do not recall the exact year because I do not keep a diary), my backdoor neighbor, Tim, had the slab foundation of his house leveled because he noticed cracks in the brick mortar and wall separation on one side of his house. He caught me outside one day and pointed out that my house had the same problem as his and suggested my house needed the foundation leveled as well. I could not see any problem because I had not noticed any mortar cracking or wall separation, but my friend swore that he could see it. He worked in housing construction most of his life and has an eye for that kind of thing. I do not, especially if the defect is minor (to my eye). So, I ignored his advice.

Not long after that, I noticed that the sliding glass door leading to our backyard was developing some fogging between the panes of glass. These were very expensive insulating doors installed by Champion Windows & Doors ™ that came with a lifetime warranty. I called Champion out to see about replacing the doors. When the technician arrived, he informed me that they would not be able to replace the door because it needed to be reframed and the foundation had shifted. He said I needed to get the foundation repaired first, and then they would return to replace the door.

Convinced now that my neighbor was right all along, I called some foundation repair service to come to inspect and repair the foundation of my house. They came out and confirmed that the foundation sunk about three-fourths of an inch on the east side of my house. It took eight piers on the east side of the house to bring the foundation back to level. With that done, Champion came back and replaced our sliding glass door without any problems.

Fast forward to the year of the COVID-19 and the first year of my retirement, June and I decided we needed to do some “minor” renovations to our house. I avoided it as long as possible because, while I can do the work, it takes me a lot longer than it does a “pro” and besides that, my knees are not up to a lot of the getting up and down required by this kind of work. I convinced June that it would be better to get a “professional” to come in and do the work. Because they know what they are doing, they should be done in three to four days – two weeks at the most, while it would take me a month or more. The job was relatively small: replace five interior doors, replace the carpet in our bedroom with laminate flooring, and extend that flooring into our master bath.

June, being the ultimate bargain shopper that she is, found a “highly recommended” contractor on our “Neighborhood” web page, and she gave me his contact information. I procrastinated for several months until I finally called the man over to give us an estimate shortly after Thanksgiving. I had just accepted a very time-consuming and challenging teaching opportunity at church, so hiring this guy to do the work seemed like a good option. The estimate, for his labor only, seemed reasonable enough, so we hired him to do the job. While looking the job over, he recommended replacing our existing tile shower with a poly “shower kit” that would look so much better than our moldy old tile. That sounded good to me, so I bought the kit and included that with the “upgrade.”

Well, to make a long story short and to get to the point of my title, the man knew nothing about hanging doors. The floor and the shower he subcontracted out, and the men that did that work did an excellent job, but anything my guy and his workers did was very poor quality. I do not want to be too critical of the man, but it seems that he did not know the purpose of a carpenter’s level. The reason he had trouble hanging the doors was due to my original foundation problem. When my foundation settled, all the framing of the house shifted to the east, not much, but enough to throw everything off “plumb.” Had my contractor put a level on the door frames, he would have seen the problem and corrected it (or not). As it was, he wasted my time and his (a little over a month), and the job was ended by me in an incomplete state. Tim, my backdoor neighbor, came and helped me get the doors hung properly. In the past when Tim was working, all he did was install windows and doors, so with his expertise, we were able to correct all the problems. All the doors open and close properly. One problem still remains. The shower doors do not hang correctly for the same reason, but I know now what to do to correct it.

Jesus once said, “And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved” (Luke 5:37-38). Of course, His application had a different purpose, but the adage still applies. You do not put new doors on old door frames.

The movement of our house’s foundation was very subtle, almost unnoticeable. The walls “looked” perfectly straight and “plumb.” However, when a “square” door, a plumb line, or level – a perfect standard – is placed against, it exposes the defect. Corrections can be made to make things “look” straight, but the fact remains that the foundation moved and the whole building is now “off plumb.” Nothing can correct that without tearing down the whole structure and rebuilding from the ground up on a level foundation.

Our nation was founded on a firm foundation. However, in the 233-year history of our nation’s founding, so many extraneous laws, regulations, and edicts, the majority of which are unconstitutional, have been attached to our Constitution that the foundation is leaning and cracking. We hear of the “swamp” that is deep, wide, and far-reaching, that operates unfettered by the Constitution, and which makes and enforces laws and edicts of which most citizens are unaware. Our beloved President, Donald Trump fights against the swamp, but the swamp creatures are numerous, stealthy, and vicious. Some even appear to be “straight” (as in “upright”), but they expose their “swampiness” when they vote to enact perverse legislation, like the latest COVID-Relief Bill, against the good intentions of our President.

The moisture and soft marsh of the swamp weakens an otherwise solid foundation. The black mold of the swamp putrefies and decays the framework of any structure causing it to lean and eventually fall. This is where we are. The year 2020 has been the worst year of my lifetime, but it exposes the weaknesses in our nation’s once strong foundation. When foundations move, the building will eventually fall. I do not look forward to the year 2021 except for the fact that our Lord, Jesus Christ, will come for His Bride very shortly. He will destroy the foundations of this world, lay down a new foundation, and build an everlasting structure thereon. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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Strange Christmas

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (Galatians 4:4)

The year 2020 has been a historic year to say the least. It started with my retirement at the end of December 2019 and quickly followed by minor knee surgery on my left knee just three days after. Being new to retirement, I found it challenging to find what to do with all my spare time. I filled some of my time with volunteering opportunities at church and at the ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History. Of course, that occupied only part of my time. I also spent many hours, three to six hours a day, studying Scripture, something I enjoy the more I do it.

It was nice to have control of my own time and spend it at my own discretion. Then COVID-19 hit and everything changed, not just for me, but for everyone on Earth. I will spare all the details. I am certain that anyone reading this had similar experiences with masks, social distancing, restrictions on large gatherings, church shut-downs, etc. The year 2020 has been, in many respects, the worst year in the threescore and ten years of my life. Personally, I believe that what we experienced this year, especially with the draconian governmental intrusion into our lives, portends to the seven-year Tribulation prophesied in Scripture and the soon coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. That, in turn, gives me hope that the Rapture of the Church can happen at any moment now. That gives me joy and hope in spite of all this stink going on in our nation and the world.

The year 2020 quickly comes to a close, and we now come to Christmas. But like the rest of 2020, Christmas this year is very strange. My church just opened back up at the beginning of December, but with so many restrictions that it does not even “feel” like church. Attendees must wait to be ushered into a socially distanced place, wear masks during the worship portion of the service, and then wait to be ushered out at the end of the service. Any “fellowshipping” must be done outside of the building and hugs and handshakes are strongly discouraged. We normally put on a Christmas program at this season with choir and orchestra, which usually packs out the sanctuary. This year, we had a socially-distanced ensemble and a guest singer. The music was nice, but it lacked the pizzazz of past Christmas programs. Of course, the audience was at one-third of normal due to all the restrictions, and I missed the “feeling” of the event. I normally sing in the choir, but we could not do that because of COVID-19.

Christmas Eve service will be even stranger. This year it will be “virtual.” Our pastor will bring a Christmas message and we will observe the Lord’s Supper “online.” I do not mean to criticize. I am only stating reality. I know our church staff is trying to make the best of a stinky situation, but for all their effort, it is still a very strange Christmas.

For many years I have bemoaned the inflated sentimentality attached to the season. (You can read my past articles on the topic.) In the first place, it is highly unlikely that Jesus was born in December. In the second place, the overt commercialization of the season detracts from any significance of its true meaning. And in third place, the sentimentality attached to it makes it more about us, and it does about Him.

Our tree is up, the nativity is on the mantle, and Christmas lights illuminate our front yard, and it still feels like a very strange Christmas. What is not strange or unchanged is God’s love and gift to us in taking “upon him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7) “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). When you think about it, that in itself is strange. However, it is God’s plan, and it is in effect regardless of circumstances. Maybe it’s good that this is such a strange Christmas after all.

Merry Christmas!

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