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The Living Temple and Omega of Kellogg Theories
It is reported that Hitler once said that people will more readily believe a big lie than a small one. It sounds like the story I read as a child about the emperor’s new clothes. Imagine the emperor, stark naked, walking in a parade with his entourage, everyone seeing that he is naked but would not dare say so because they were convinced that the emperor really had on the most exotic suit but that it could only be seen by those who are wise. Since everybody wanted others to think that they were wise, no one dared to acknowledge the obvious. It took a child among the crowd, in innocence and honesty to say, “The emperor is naked”, for others to gradually acknowledge the reality. Has spiritualism, the omega of the Kellogg theories taken over the church and the world, before our very eyes and people are not recognizing it? Let’s see for ourselves.
Warnings from the Prophet
Consider first, the following warnings that were given by Ellen G. White regarding Kellogg’s theories that were published in his book The Living Temple:
“In the book Living Temple there is presented the alpha of deadly heresies. The omega will follow, and will be received by those who are not willing to heed the warning God has given.” Special Testimonies, Series B, No.2, pp 49, 50; 1 SM 200.
“I have been instructed by the heavenly messenger that some of the reasoning in the book Living Temple is unsound, and that this reasoning would lead astray the minds of those who are not thoroughly established on the foundation principles of present truth. It introduces that which is nought but speculation in regard to the personality of God and where His presence is.” 1 SM 201
“Living Temple contains the alpha of these theories. I knew that the omega would follow in a little while; and I trembled for our people. I knew that I must warn our brethren and sisters not to enter into controversy over the presence and personality of God” 1 SM 203.
“The spiritualistic theories regarding the personality of God, followed to their logical conclusion, sweep away the whole Christian economy.” Special Testimonies, Series B, No.2, pp 54, 55; 1 SM 204.
Kellogg on the Presence of God
If someone gave you a book entitled “The Living Temple“, what would you imagine that the book is about? Although I think it is fairly obvious, let’s hear directly from Kellogg.
Here’s Kellogg in a presentation entitled “God in man” (note the title):
“The question may arise in the mind of some one, How do we know that God is in us? We are perhaps too prone to think of God as in heaven, or in some definite place, and only omnipresent in an accommodated or figurative sense. Let us ask the question, “Where is God?“.
(Presentation “God in Man” made by JH Kellogg at the 32nd Session of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists on Feb. 15, 1897 at Lincoln, Nebraska and published in the General Conference Daily Bulletin of Feb. 18, 1897, Vol. 7. – No. 5).
Was there, at the time, already a clearly established understanding among the pioneers as to the personality of God and where God was? Yes, there was. Here are examples from three pioneers, James White, Ellen White and DP Hall, that illustrate.
1. James White – In a tract entitled “Personality of God”, he seeks to prove that God is a person, that He is in heaven and that He is everywhere by virtue of His omniscience. Here goes:
“As proof that God is a person, read his own words to Moses: “And the Lord said, Behold there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock; and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by. And I will take away mine hand and thou shalt see my back parts; but my face shall not be seen.” Ex. 33:21-23. See also chap. 24:9-11.”
“Here God tells Moses that he shall see his form. To say that God made it appear to Moses that he saw his form, when he has no form, is charging God with adding to falsehood a sort of juggling deception upon his servant Moses.”
He then goes on to quote Num. 12:5-8 to explain how God appeared to Moses on other occasions:
“And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam, and they both came forth.” Num. 12:5-8.
The passage (quoted in the tract) goes on to relate how God told them how He speaks to other prophets in visions and dreams but with Moses He speaks mouth to mouth. Then the tract continues:
“The great and dreadful God came down, wrapped in a cloud of glory. This cloud could be seen, but not the face which possesses more dazzling brightness than a thousand suns”
“Says the prophet Daniel, “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hairs of his head like pure wool; his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.”. Chap. 7:9. “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near him, and there was given him dominion and glory and a kingdom.” Verses 13, 14.”
“Here is a sublime description of the action of two personages; viz, God the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ. Deny their personality, and there is not a distinct idea in these quotations from Daniel.”
He then seeks to answer an objection that persons might raise that God is a spirit, he continues as follows:
“Angels are also spirits (Ps. 104:4), yet those that visited Abram and Lot, lay down, ate, and took hold of Lot’s hand. They were spirit beings. So is God a Spirit being.”
Then he answers another objection that God is everywhere and is as much in every place as in any one place (as he says that people try to infer from Ps. 139:1-8), as follows:
“God is everywhere by virtue of his omniscience, as will be seen by the very words of David referred to above. Verses 1-6. “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my down-sitting and mine uprising; thou understandest my thoughts afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thy hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. It is high; I cannot attain unto it.”
He then explains:
“God is in heaven. This we are taught in the Lord’s prayer. “Our Father which art in heaven.” Matt. 6:9; Luke 11:2. But if God is as much in every place as he is in any one place, . . . . . the Lord’s prayer, according to this foggy theology simply means, Our Father which art everywhere”.
(Tract – Personality of God by James White, 1868, Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Assoc.)
2. Ellen G. White – Explains that God is a person in the same way that Jesus is a person.
“I have often seen the lovely Jesus, that he is a person. I asked him if his Father was a person, and had a form like himself. Said Jesus, “I am in the express image of my Father’s Person.” I have often seen that the spiritual view took away the glory of heaven, and that in many minds the throne of David, and the lovely person of Jesus had been burned up in the fire of spiritualism.” 2 SG 74.
“In February, 1845, I had a vision of events commencing with the Midnight Cry. I saw a throne and on it sat the Father and the Son. I gazed on Jesus’ countenance and admired his lovely person. The Father’s person I could not behold, for a cloud of glorious light covered him. I asked Jesus if his Father had a form like himself. He said he had, but I could not behold it, for said he if you should once behold the glory of his person you would cease to exist.” (To the Little Remnant Scattered Abroad, April 6, 1846).
3. D. P. Hall – He explains that spiritualism is the belief that man has an immortal part to him, called by different names, one of which is inner spiritual life:
“And first, what do we understand by spiritualism? In the sense in which we use the word, it means, The doctrine that man has connected with his present organism, an immortal nature or part, called by the different names of immortal soul, deathless spirit, or inner spiritual life, etc, to the end of the vocabulary of names meaning the same thing. It is the notion in short, that man has immortality some how, or in some shape, connected with his present organism.” (D. P. Hall, “Man not immortal, The only shield against the seductions of modern spiritualism”, The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Dec. 26, 1854.)
If the view of Kellogg, as Ellen White described it, is so dangerous as to be referred to as the alpha of deadly heresies, what then is the real danger of this error? Let’s hear from the prophet, Ellen G. White:
Speaking of the book Living Temple, Ellen G. White said:
“We need not the mysticism that is in this book. Those who entertain these sophistries will soon find themselves in a position where the enemy can talk with them, and lead them away from God.” 1 SM 202.
So, the danger is that it opens the door for communication with evil spirits.
Another result is that the foundations of our faith will be swept away. She said:
“In a vision of the night I was shown distinctly that these sentiments have been looked upon by some as the grand truths that are to be brought in and made prominent at the present time. I was shown a platform, braced by solid timbers, — the truths of the Word of God. Some one high in responsibility in the medical work was directing this man and that man to loosen the timbers supporting this platform. Then I heard a voice saying, “Where are the watchmen that ought to be standing on the walls of Zion? Are they asleep? This foundation was built by the Masterworker, and will stand storm and tempest. Will they permit this man to present doctrines that deny the past experience of the people of God? The time has come to take decided action.”
“The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error.” Special Testimonies, Series B, No.2, pp 54, 55; 1 SM 204.
The Alpha and the Omega
You’ll notice that, not deviating too far from the established belief among the early Adventists, Kellogg acknowledged that God and Christ are in heaven, but he weaves in the idea that God’s presence or His life is all-pervading by saying that that life or presence is God’s Spirit.
In a letter to GI Butler he says further:
“the proper understanding in order that wholesome conceptions should be preserved in our minds, is that God the Father sits upon his throne in heaven where God the Son is also; while God’s life, or Spirit or presence is the all-pervading power which is carrying out the will of God in all the universe” (Letter from JH Kellogg to GI Butler dated October 25, 1903).
It should be noted that, up to this point, Kellogg was not a Trinitarian. So, in speaking of the Holy Spirit, he speaks of the Holy Spirit as the presence or life of God. Those are his words.
But later, in trying to modify his view to make it more acceptable he accepted the Trinity concept and said that it was not really God the Father himself or Christ who pervaded all nature and lives in us, but the Holy Spirit as a third God-being.
Notice what Kellogg says, as reported by AG Daniels in a letter to WC White:
“He then stated that his former views regarding the trinity had stood in his way of making a clear and absolutely correct statement; but that within a short time he had come to believe in the trinity and could now see pretty clearly where all the difficulty was, and believed that he could clear the matter up satisfactorily. He told me that he now believed in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; and his view was that it was God the Holy Ghost, and not God the Father, that filled all space, and every living thing. He said if he had believed this before writing the book, he could have expressed his views without giving the wrong impression the book now gives.” (Letter of AG Daniels to WC White Oct. 29, 1903).
But the prophet gave him no wiggle room because, even in this modified form, she denounced his views as erroneous and dangerous.
Ellen White said:
“It will be said that Living Temple has been revised. But the Lord has shown me that the writer has not changed, and that there can be no unity between him and the ministers of the gospel while he continues to cherish his present sentiments. I am bidden to lift my voice in warning to our people, saying, “Be not deceived;”
(1 SM 199 – from letter written by EG White August 7, 1904).
So, there is now a popular view among some members of the remnant people that God’s presence or His life is in us, where such reference to God means that it is God the Father and Christ. This is exactly what Kellogg sought to bring into the movement, which the prophet denounced as the alpha of deadly heresies.
Then there is the other even more popular view that it is a third member of the godhead, distinct from the Father and the Son who lives in us. This, was Kellogg’s modified theory which was also denounced as erroneous and dangerous by the prophet. This latter version of Kellogg’s theories, that followed shortly after and which has been accepted by the vast majority of Adventist believers, in line with what the prophet warned, is undoubtedly the omega of deadly heresies.
So whether one embraces the alpha or the omega, it is deadly heresy non-the-less. Interestingly, just as the prophet warned, on account of these theories, there is widespread skepticism and in some cases outright rejection of the foundation beliefs that were established within the last fifty years leading up to about 1904 when the prophet issued the warnings.
But, as the prophet warned, if we heed the warning God gave her to give us, we will be safe.
The call is to get back to the foundations and worship the true God.
The omega of Kellogg’s theories is here. It has taken over the world. It is evident in the almost universal emphasis on the Holy Spirit.
“As far as I can fathom, the difficulty which is found in The Living Temple, the whole thing may be simmered down to the question: Is the Holy Ghost a person?” (Letter from JH Kellogg to GI Butler, Oct. 28, 1903).
Taken over the World
In explaining how spiritualism would take over the world, Ellen White explains:
“A train of cars was shown me, going with the speed of lightning. The angel bade me look carefully. I fixed my eyes upon the train. It seemed the whole world was on board. Then he showed me the conductor, who looked like a stately fair person, whom all the passengers looked up to and reverenced. I was perplexed, and asked my attending angel who it was. Said he, It is Satan. He is the conductor in the form of an angel of light. He has taken the world captive. They are given over to strong delusions, to believe a lie that they may be damned.” 1 SG 174.
The popular belief, that God lives inside people, is held by professed Christians and pagans alike. Here is a sample of references below:
Come out of Her
Rev. 18 tells us that Babylon is fallen and has become the hold of every foul spirit and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird (Rev. 18:2). The message is to come out of her (Rev. 18:4).
Rev. 16 speaks of unclean spirits like frogs that will be gathering the whole world (Rev. 16:13, 14).
According to the late Bishop Tony Palmer, if Christ is in me and Christ is in you then that is all we need. In a video recording of an address that he made to an evangelical, charismatic conference hosted by Kenneth Copeland, He said:
“Its the glory that glues us together, not the doctrines. Its the glory. If you accept that Christ is living in me and the presence of God is in me and the presence of God is in you, that’s all we need; because God will sort out all our doctrines when we get upstairs. Therefore christian unity is the basis of our credibility; because Jesus said: until they’re one, they’ll not believe – the world will not believe – as they should – until we are one.” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5TwrG8B3ME).
These ideas are being echoed by many, that we are one through this common spirit that lives in us.
But where is the power? How is it that nobody is raising the dead since the all-powerful God is inside of them?
How is it that nobody can read other people’s minds and tell us the future, since the omniscient God is inside of them? Is He asleep inside of them?
Where is the power?
If someone says that this street car has a jet engine, you expect it to move fast. But what if it cannot move any faster than a regular car? You’ll say, “Oh, there’s no truth in it”.
So, then, where is the power here? Where is the power and omniscience of the Almighty in all of these people who claim that God is living inside of them?
Are the proponents of these ideas trying to pull the wool over our eyes?
Is this a big lie that people are readily believing even moreso than they are even believing some of the smaller ones?
Is the emperor really naked and only a child can see it? I am sure that a child can see through this.
Ellen White was shown that the Spirit of God is slowly being withdrawn from the earth. She said:
“When God’s presence was finally withdrawn from the Jewish nation, priests and people knew it not. Though under the control of Satan, and swayed by the most horrible and malignant passions, they still regarded themselves as the chosen of God. The ministration in the temple continued; sacrifices were offered upon polluted altars, and daily the divine blessing was invoked upon a people guilty of the blood of God’s dear Son, and seeking to slay his ministers and apostles. So when the irrevocable decision of the sanctuary has been pronounced, and the destiny of the world has been forever fixed, the inhabitants of the earth will know it not. The forms of religion will be continued by a people from whom the spirit of God has been finally withdrawn; and the Satanic zeal with which the prince of evil will inspire them for the accomplishment of his malignant designs, will bear the semblance of zeal for God.” (GC88 p. 614).
The message is “Come out of her”. This is the last message to the world that joins the voice of the Third Angel as the Third Angel’s Message swells to a loud cry.
“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15).
For further information, please visit Patience of the Saints at http://thecommandmentsofgodandthefaithofjesus.com/
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Understanding the Gospel
What exactly is the Gospel? The word ‘gospel’ means good news. The Gospel is the good news about salvation, and salvation comes to us through Jesus Christ.
But what is salvation? In a general sense, salvation is deliverance from danger or difficulty. It comes from the word ‘save’. It may also be seen as preservation from destruction or failure (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
So, then, what are we being saved from? If, for example, someone is caught in a fire and that person is to be rescued from the fire, there is a certain urgency that is associated with the act or process of saving the person. In the case of the good news of salvation, what are we being saved from? If we don’t understand what we are being saved from, we won’t be able to appreciate the good news that is in it, neither will we share it with any conviction.
In order to understand what we are talking about here, without the obfuscation that is often associated with some of the popular terms that people use, that lend themselves to multiple interpretations, we’ll simply ask some questions and see what the simple answers are from the Bible, giving the appropriate references.
Consider John the Baptist, Christ and the Apostles:
1. Who was John the Baptist? John the Baptist was the greatest prophet (Luke 7:28).
2. What did he do? He preached repentance and pointed to Jesus as the saviour (Luke 3:3,4; John 1:29-34).
3. Did John do miracles? No (John 10:41). Did he speak truth about Jesus? Yes (John 10:41).
4. Did John have the Holy Spirit? Yes (Luke 1:15).
5. What are we being saved from? Sin (Matt. 1:21).
6. What is sin? Sin is disobedience to God (1 John 3:4).
7. How many types of sin exist? There are two types of sin: rebellious (presumptuous) and naive (ignorant) – 1 John 5:16; Num. 15:24-31; Heb. 10:26; 1 John 2:1).
8. What type of sin was Satan’s? Satan’s sin was rebellious (Rev. 12:7-9).
9. What type of sin was Eve’s? Eve’s sin was naive – she was deceived (1 Tim. 2:14).
10. Concerning whom was the promise of redemption when it was first given? Eve and her offspring (Gen. 3:15).
11. What is required of us and why? Believe the testimony of Jesus and repent (Acts 16:31; 2:38, 39; Rom. 4:3).
12. What was Jesus’s testimony about? The testimony of Jesus was about God, His Father (John 1:18; 17:3-8; 18:37).
13. Did Jesus reveal anything else? Yes, the truth about principalities and powers – Satan and his host (Col. 2:15).
14. What did Christ reveal about Satan and His host? That they are liars and murderers (John 8:44; Acts 2:23).
15. What does that revelation result in? Christ triumphing over Satan and his host by exposing them (Col. 2:15).
16. Through what does Christ destroy the Devil? Through His death (Heb. 2:14).
17. What else does Christ’s death accomplish? Our release from bondage and our redemption (Heb. 2:15; Rev. 5:9).
18. What kept us in bondage? Fear of death (Heb. 2:15).
19. Who had the power of death? Satan (Heb. 2:14).
20. What casts out fear? Love (1 John 4:18).
21. Who is love? God (1 John 4:8).
22. Why do we love God? Because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
23. How do we know that God loves us? Because He sent His only begotten Son into the world (1 John 4:9; Rom. 8:32).
24. So how are we saved? By knowing God and believing the truth about Him as Jesus manifested (John 17:3-8).
25. How are we going to know the truth about God and Christ? Someone has to tell us (Rom. 10:13, 14).
25. Were there eyewitnesses who gave firsthand testimony about Christ? Yes, His disciples and the prophets (2 Pet. 1:16-21).
27. So what did Christ call upon His disciples to do? Go and teach all nations to observe whatsoever He has commanded and to be witnesses concerning Him (Matt. 28:19, 20; Acts 1:18).
28. What will we do if we love Him? Keep His commandments (John 14:15, 21; 15:10; 1 John 5:2, 3; 2 John 1:6).
29. How are we changed? By beholding Christ (2 Cor. 3:18).
30. How did sin start on earth? Eve was deceived and got her husband, Adam, to join her in disobedience to God (1 Tim. 2:14).
31. What was the first step? She took her focus away from God – going to where the serpent was and talking to the serpent (Gen. 3:1-5).
32. What was the second step? She believed the serpent’s lie – about God (Gen. 3:6).
33. What was the third step? Disobedience to God – which is sin (Gen. 3:6; 2:16, 17).
34. What is the reverse that is involved in the redemption process? Transformation by renewing of the mind (Rom. 12:2).
35. How are we drawn back to God? By beholding Christ and believing in Him (2. Cor. 3:18; John 3:14, 15; 12:32).
36. What about Him do we need to believe? That He is the Son of God, that God sent Him, that He is manifesting the Father’s character and that His testimony or witness is true – about God (John 11:42; 12:44-50; 16:27; 17:8; 18:37).
37. To what end does Christ seek to have us believe on Him? That we might be reconciled to God in our hearts and will obey God – keep His commandments (John 1:12; 12:50; Matt. 19:17; Matt. 5:19; Matt. 15:3, 6-9; Rev. 22:14).
38. How are we able to keep God’s commandments? He gives us the power to keep them (Phil. 2:13; Titus 2:11, 12; John 1:12) – it is He that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
39. What does God have in store for those who obey Him? Everlasting life and paradise restored (Rom. 6:22; Rev. 22:14).
40. And what else is in store, most critically? A restored relationship and fellowship with God and Christ, the heavenly beings and the host of the redeemed (Rev. 21:22-27).
Look away from self and look to God through Christ – the mediator. You will be drawn to love God and others; by repentance you demonstrate that you are not rebellious but only previously duped by Satan; Christ will advocate for you and give you what you need.
Christ came to reveal the Father and expose the Devil in order to win us back to the Father and break the Devil’s hold over us that has existed because of our belief in the Devil’s lies about God.
The truth to believe is that God is good, means us well, knows what is good for us and we should believe, accept and follow everything He says. The Devil is a liar and a murderer and should be rejected.
Christ, the only begotten Son of God, who is exactly like God, His Father, in character, is the perfect manifestation and proof, in His life on earth, of God’s character.
By yielding himself to be killed by wicked hands, Christ has exposed Satan and his followers as liars and murderers whose words should be completely rejected and whose company should be shunned, thereby releasing us from Satan’s captivity in which we were held through our belief in Satan’s lies about God.
Even now Satan still holds many people captive under his deception by causing them to believe a distorted version of the gospel that still maligns God. They believe that Christ died in order to pay a price that God demanded before He would forgive us.
The truth is that the death of His Son was the price that God had to pay in order to save us. That is what it costed God to provide the basis whereby Satan’s hold on us might be broken.
Having revealed the true character of God, His Father, through the life that He lived on earth, and having discredited Satan by exposing him as a liar and a murderer, Christ now invites us to believe the truth and be saved (Acts 16:31; Rom 4:3; John 17:3). Otherwise, we’ll believe the Devil’s lies and be damned (2 Thess. 2:10-12).
It is all about relationship. That is why the Bible likens the relationship between husband and wife to that between Christ and His church. It is all about love. Righteousness is love to God first and foremost, which also leads us to love others as we love ourselves.
Sin is love of self first, which leads to lack of appreciation of others and ultimately to enmity against God and to the practice of every form of wickedness.
Nobody can love for us. We must love for ourselves. People talk about receiving the righteousness of Christ as though a righteous life is something that Christ does for us and simply gives us. Christ’s love cannot stand in place of the love that we ourselves must have and exercise.
What Christ does for us is to accept us and extend His love to us. It is entirely up to us to respond to His love by loving Him in return.
The capacity to love is something that God made all of His creatures with. It is only a question of who or what we choose to love supremely – whether God or self.
This is determined by whether we look at God as manifested in Christ, so that, in beholding we become changed or we look constantly at self so that everything for us revolves around self.
The root of the matter is all about relationship – love to God supremely and love for others as we love ourselves (Matt. 22:37-40). This is what righteousness is.
If we believe the Devil’s lies about God we cannot love Him.
Even with the clearest evidences of God’s love for us and God’s true character, Satan still tries to distort the truth about God. Some of the distortions are:
(i) The idea of an eternally burning hell
(ii) the idea that God required a blood sacrifice, the death of His Son, before He would forgive (that’s not what the death of Christ was all about – it was the sacrifice that God made, not what He required).
In the final analysis: believe the truth and be saved or believe a lie and be damned (2 Thess. 2:10-12; Luke 8:11, 12).
What then must be our mission? Accept and preach the gospel as John the Baptist did, as Christ did, as the apostles did and as Jesus has commanded us. The gospel is a message to repent and believe God (Mark 1:2-4, 14, 15; Acts 2:38; Matt. 28:19, 20; Rom. 4:3).
What will happen when our mission is fulfilled? The end will come (Matt. 24:14).
May the Lord help us.
“Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” (Mal. 4:4-6)
“And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17).
“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15).
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