Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
September 15, 1997
Last Updated :
January 3, 2009
Invasion of Jerusalem, Trodden Under God's Feet, The Daily Sacrifice Removed, The Abomination Of Desolation, Image Of The Beast, Great Persecution, The Two Sackcloth Witnesses, The 144,000, Scope of The Great Tribulation, The Possible Identity Of The Beast, Israeli-Turkish Ties, Pressure On Syria?, Parties To The Treaty, God Wants Us To Understand, Assad's Vision For Greater Syria, The Three Horns, Recap
If we extract the most important information contained in some of the verses I shared in part one of this series, we can obtain a very clear picture of some of the major events which will transpire during the Great Tribulation; that is, the final three and a half years of the Last Seven Years of current world history and the rule of evil men. These events will begin to occur after the subtle Beast mentioned in the Books of Daniel and Revelation, reveals his true nature and identity to the world. The first point we can understand is that the city of Jerusalem will ultimately be invaded and occupied during the full three and a half years; precisely as Daniel, Zechariah and Jesus all predicted. Consider how clear this becomes in the following verses:
"For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city."
Zechariah 14:2, KJV
"And he [the Beast] shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him."
Daniel 11:45, KJV
"And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."
Luke 21:20-24, KJV
The primary reason why Jerusalem will be trodden under foot of the Gentiles for three and a half years, is because she has for too long rejected the Son of God; and she has become useless, or without salt, to God. In other words, she has not been the witness to the world that the Lord has wanted her to be; but has in fact fought against the Lord's true children through both her attitude and her actions. American Christians were greatly alarmed earlier this year when it came to their attention that the Israeli government has been attempting to pass a certain piece of legislation which will severely restrict Christian evangelism in Israel. The Jews claim that they only wish to practice their Judaism without being pressured into converting to the Christian faith. Just recently, I learned that this antichrist bill may soon be debated, and ratified, on the floor of the Israeli Knesset.
Thus, because of their stubborn refusal to bow the knee to Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, the Jews of Israel shall have no peace; but rather they shall soon face the wrath of an angry God. Notice that in the previous verses from the Gospel of Luke, the Lord used the specific phrases 'the days of vengeance' and 'wrath upon this people'. God Himself is going to take vengeance upon Israel. He is going to let His Wrath be felt because of their rejection of His Son. Please consider the following verses:
"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."
Matthew 5:13, KJV
"Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?"
Hebrews 10:29, KJV
"But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth."
Revelation 11:2-3, KJV
How ironic that all of those verses discuss being trodden under foot. But you see, just as the antichrist Jews have trodden under foot the Son of God, the Lord will likewise trod them under His own feet like useless, flavorless salt during the time of the Great Tribulation; and He will use their Arab enemies to do it, just as He has done many times before throughout Biblical history. The Jews will finally reap what they have sown through their stubborn rejection of the one true Messiah for the past two thousand years.
Upon completing his successful invasion of Jerusalem, as we saw in part one, one of the first things that the Beast will do, is to set up something in the newly-built Temple which is commonly referred to as the Abomination of Desolation. I discuss the possible meaning of this object in the series 'The Seven Heads'. This event will occur three and a half years after he has signed the Holy Covenant. First however, the Beast will stop the Jewish sacrifices in the soon-to-be built Third Temple of Solomon on the top of Mount Moriah, as is made clear by the following verses from the Book of Daniel:
"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."
Daniel 9:27, KJV
"And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate."
Daniel 11:31, KJV
"And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days."
Daniel 12:11, KJV
As I point out in articles such as 'Mondex And The Mark Of The Beast', at the time that the Beast invades Jerusalem, stops the Daily Sacrifice, and places the Abomination of Desolation, he will also implement the identification and credit system known as the Mark of the Beast. Just as the Lord will be marking, or sealing, His children, Satan, via the Beast, will likewise be marking his followers as well. This is precisely one of the reasons for the coming time of Jacob's Trouble; that is, to purge and test the world; to force everyone to make a decision, either for God, or for Satan. Obviously, being as these events will center around Jerusalem, the unbelieving Jews will be the primary object of the Lord's test of faith. That is why it is referred to as Jacob's Trouble. Everyone who refuses to bow down to the Beast's image, and who refuses to accept his Mark, will become the object of severe persecution, and possible death. As in the days of Moses and Joshua, the Israelis are going to be forced to make a clear choice. Consider these verses:
"And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
Revelation 13:15-17, KJV
"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
Joshua 24:15, KJV
As we have already seen, Jesus Himself said that the Great Tribulation will be the worst persecution that the world has ever known. Satan, via the Beast and his anti-God forces, will be doing everything within their power to destroy the Lord's children; which is why the Lord said that except those days were shortened by His Coming, no flesh would be saved. Exactly what is meant by the days being shortened is something which I will be discussing in part four of this series. For now though, following are some additional verses on the topic of Endtime persecution of the Saints:
"I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; . . . And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."
Daniel 7:21, 25, KJV
"And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people."
Daniel 8:23-24, KJV
"And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed."
Daniel 11:33-35, KJV
"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."
Matthew 10:22, KJV
"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake."
Matthew 24:9, KJV
"But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake."
Luke 21:12, KJV
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me."
John 15:18-21, KJV
"They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service."
John 16:2, KJV
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
2 Timothy 3:12, KJV
"And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? "And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled."
Revelation 6:9-11, KJV
"And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them."
Revelation 7:13-15, KJV
"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death . . . And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
Revelation 12:10-11, 17, KJV
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations."
Revelation 13:7, KJV
Thus we see that it will be a time of great testing for the Lord's children. What we can also learn from some of the verses I shared in part one, is that while the Beast is persecuting the Saints of God during this final three and a half year period known as the Great Tribulation, the two Sackcloth Witnesses will also be prophesying, and causing terrible plagues to fall upon the unbelieving wicked, as is thoroughly described in the Book of Revelation. Eventually, at the very end of this horrible period of slaughter, these two messengers of the Lord will be killed; and their dead bodies will be left laying in the streets of Jerusalem while the world rejoices. However, only three and a half days later, the world will be shocked when their lifeless bodies stand up; and they are called up to Heaven by Him who has power over life and death:
"And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them."
Revelation 11:7-12, KJV
If you are interested in reading a more thorough study on the two Sackcloth Witnesses, I encourage you to read my article 'The Two Sackcloth Witnesses Of Revelation 11'. Another important thing we can discover from the verses I have shared thus far, is that exactly as Jesus warned them to do in Matthew chapter twenty-four, as well as in Luke chapter twenty-one, a small portion of the population of Israel, who I believe may be flesh Jews who have converted to the Christian faith, will escape the edge of the sword by fleeing to the mountainous areas outside of Jerusalem, and possibly even further than that. At this current time, I believe that these may be the one hundred and forty-four thousand of the twelve tribes of Israel who are sealed by the Lord in the seventh chapter of the Book of Revelation.
Upon reading this chapter, we discover that prior to the Lord pouring out His Wrath upon the wicked unbelievers, just as the children of Israel had to mark their doorposts with lamb's blood as an act of faith during the first Passover in Egypt when the Angel of Death killed the firstborn of the Egyptians, the Lord is also going to somehow mark a small portion of the Israelis. Whether this mark is meant to be understood symbolically or literally remains to be seen. I discuss this issue more fully in such articles as 'Are You Saved And Sealed And Healed And Filled?', and 'Revelation's Babylon The Great Whore'. Regardless of the actual nature of this seal, these servants of God will be marked, just as the servants of Satan and the Beast will also receive a mark in their right hand or on their forehead, as I explain in 'Mondex And The Mark Of The Beast'. In both cases, it will mean that you either belong to God, or else you belong to Satan; there will be no neutrals then:
"And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel."
Revelation 7:1-4, KJV
For a more in-depth look at these one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed servants of the Lord, I encourage you to read the two aforementioned articles, as well as 'The Woman In The Wilderness And The 144,000'. It is those stubborn Jews who continue to reject Christ as their Messiah, and who are foolish enough to remain in the city of Jerusalem, and who fight against the Muslim hordes, who will face carnage and inevitable destruction. I also discuss persecution, and how to react to it, in the article 'Civil Disobedience And Christian Persecution' I hope that you will take the time to read it.
At this time, I should point out that the Great Tribulation may not necessarily be global in scope as some of us have been led to believe. We should remember that while these prophecies are written for the edification of the entire Endtime Church, whether we be Gentile Christians or Jewish Christians, some of them will find their fulfillment in the state of Israel and the surrounding region. Those of us who live outside of Israel and the Middle East, may not feel the same repercussions from the power and wrath of the Beast; at least not in the beginning, if ever. Part of this confusion arises from the usage of such Biblical phrases as 'all the world', 'all nations' and 'all' as found in verses like the following:
"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
Matthew 24:14, KJV
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
Mark 16:15, KJV
"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed."
Luke 2:1, KJV
In the previous verses, three different Greek words are used to denote the word 'all'. These three words respectively are 'holos', 'hapas' and 'pas' and they have a variety of meanings such as all, throughout and everyone. While we can preach the Gospel throughout the whole world, that is, in every country, it does not seem humanly possible for us to reach every single person. This is because new people are being born all the time; and Jesus must return at some point in time. In the case of Caesar Augustus, it cannot literally mean the entire world, because he did not control the entire world. The only ones who could be taxed would be those who were under the jurisdiction of the Roman Empire, which was not the entire physical world.
The same can be applied to the extent of the Beast's power and influence as described in the prophecies of Daniel, as well as in the Book of Revelation. Consider the following two verses:
"And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:"
Revelation 13:16, KJV
"The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is."
Revelation 17:8, KJV
When we are told that 'they that dwell on the earth shall wonder', does this truly mean that everyone who dwells upon the entire Earth will wonder, or admire, the Beast; or does it mean those who dwell in the region which comes under the Beast's influence; or does it mean the part of the world which was known in those days to the writer? In like manner, will the Beast truly 'cause all' to receive his mark in their right hand or forehead; or will it only be those who fall under his sphere of control in the Middle East? These verses may still mean the entire Earth's population, but we should be open to other possibilities as well. As with other Endtime prophecies, time will certainly reveal all things.
As I explained in part one, the political leader known as the Beast will actually be opposed to the Holy Covenant from the very beginning. The Prophet Daniel tells us that he will be an extremely manipulative and deceptive character. As I point out in 'The Kings Of The North And The South', as well as in the series 'The Seven Heads', my current thoughts are that the Beast might arise out of the nation of Syria; and if not there, then most likely from some other part of the region which formerly comprised the ancient Assyrian and Babylonian empires. This would include modern-day Turkey, Iraq and part of Iran; however, I hold Syria as the primary candidate at this time. In my view, it is simply too early to make a clear determination regarding this matter. For now, we should all keep a close eye on Hafez al-Assad of Syria, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, and President Khatami and the Ayatollah Khomenei of Iran.
Much to the consternation of other Arab nations, since the beginning of this year, Israel and Turkey have been forging closer military ties in cooperation with the United States of America. This has included joint military exercises in the Mediterranean Sea near Chittim, or what is currently known as the island of Cyprus. It is possible that these exercises were used to send a strong message to Syria. We need to remember that when such military exercises occur around the world, they are for a specific reason. They involve a lot of planning, time, energy and money. When governments engage in these activities, it is because they are flexing their muscles, and sending a message to their adversaries. It may be that this new relationship between Israel and Turkey will be the catalyst which will eventually force Hafez al-Assad into grudgingly signing a peace accord with Israel, even though he rejects the idea in his heart.
If Syria is indeed the King of the North as I speculate, and if the Israeli-Turkish alliance results in a peace accord with Israel, this may be directly related to the prophecies of Daniel. In other words, while many Christians currently look to a bilateral Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement as the most obvious fulfillment of the seven-year peace treaty, this might not necessarily be the case. In fact, based upon my understanding of the Daniel prophecies, I honestly don't see how such an exclusive agreement would fulfill all of the requirements; because Daniel states that this treaty will be between the kings of the north and the south; which I have interpreted as being Syria and Egypt. In other words, Yasser Arafat cannot be the King of the North, and Benjamin Netanyahu cannot be the King of the South according to my understanding.
Thus, we would all be wise to keep our options open to other possibilities. As I explain in 'The Kings Of The North And The South', there might be a larger agreement between Syria, Israel and Egypt which will include terms which would give the Palestinians complete control of East Jerusalem as their capital, while at the same time permit the Jews to build their Temple there. It might be that this plastic peace will last for three and a half years until Syria reneges on the treaty and shows her true colors; which will result in the Great Tribulation. It is simply too early to interpret these things clearly. There are currently still too many unknown factors. One thing we do know is that the Lord does want us to understand the true significance of these events. He doesn't want us to be in ignorance or to walk in darkness; but sometimes we are just slow in our understanding. Please consider these verses:
"But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;"
Daniel 2:28, KJV
"Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
Amos 3:7, KJV
It is for this very reason that Daniel 11:33 states in part 'And they that understand among the people shall instruct many'. This is precisely what this ministry is all about. I am doing my best to help you the reader to understand these Endtime events, but even my understanding is not yet crystal clear regarding some of them. It is imperative that we all strive to understand these things so that none of us become deceived by the events which will soon unfold on the world stage. Believe me, they are going to be powerfully deceptive in nature; so much so, that Jesus said that even the elect might be deceived by them if they are not careful:
"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
Matthew 24:24, KJV
While we may not currently possess a full understanding regarding the identity of the kings of the north and the south, once a peace accord is signed which includes a clause for the construction of the Third Temple, not only will we know that we have entered the beginning of the Last Seven Years, but we will also fully recognize these leaders for who they are. Assuming for the present time that King Assad of Syria is truly the King of the North as I've speculated, allow me to share a few additional comments. We already know that the seven-year peace accord will be broken after three and a half years. According to what I have read, one of the reasons for this might be because King Assad's personal goal is to reclaim the power of the ancient Assyrian Empire; either through invasion, neutralization, or subjugation.
It is common knowledge in the Middle East, that King Assad is after more than just the Golan Heights in northeastern Israel. He also wants to subjugate the three nations who have compromised Arab interests by bowing to American and Jewish pressure, by entering peace arrangements with Israel. These three countries are Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. Let us not forget what happened to Anwar Sadat when he made peace with Israel. I can only wonder why Hosni Mubarak hasn't yet met a similar fate. At this time, there are fundamentalist Islamic elements within Egypt who seek to overthrow Mubarak. King Hussein of Jordan has lost out to both Israel and Syria in the past, so he isn't too happy with either one of them. Lebanon, the land of the ancient King of Tyrus, has also had to compromise with Israel because of her southern border. In essence, Lebanon already takes orders from Syria. In recent weeks, there have again been some serious confrontations in the DMZ, or Demilitarized Zone, which acts as a buffer area between Lebanese and Israeli forces.
We all need to realize that there is no such thing as a neutral. When the pressure is on, everyone shows their true colors. If Syria chooses to go to war against Israel over the issue of the Golan Heights, these three countries are going to have to decide which side of the fence they are on. Are they sold out to the American dollar, or are they loyal to the Arab cause? Until now, I have speculated that Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan might represent the three horns which are subdued by the Beast. If this is indeed the case, then Assad would fulfill his vision of a Greater Syria. Consider the following verses found in the seventh chapter of the Book of Daniel which discuss these three horns:
"After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things . . . And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings."
Daniel 7:7-8, 24, KJV
While it is still quite possible that the three horns which are broken by the Beast represent the three aforementioned nations, as I stated a moment ago, there is another possible interpretation which finds support in the Scriptures. For a full explanation of this possibility, allow me to refer you to the article 'The Beast And The Three Broken Horns'.
While I have gone into considerable detail regarding some of the events which will transpire during the Last Seven Years, the main points I wish to emphasize are these. According to my understanding, the seven-year period will commence with the signing of the Holy Covenant by the various signatories, whoever they might be. This accord will make possible the construction of the Third Temple on Mount Moriah. The first three and a half years of this seven-year period will be a time of fragile peace, during which time the Daily Sacrifice will be performed. This peace will be broken when Syria, or whatever country is the home of the King of North, reneges on the Holy Covenant. This event will mark the beginning of the Great Tribulation in the middle of the Last Seven Years; that is, three and a half years after the treaty has been signed. When this accord is broken, Israel will be invaded, the Daily Sacrifice will be stopped, the Abomination of Desolation will be set up, the Mark of the Beast will be implemented, and great persecution will begin.
Having now firmly established the course of events through a preponderance of Scriptural evidence, in part three of this series, we will begin to examine some of the ideas put forth by the Pre-Tribulation Rapture theorists. This will include discussions on such topics as not being appointed to wrath, the Sixth Trumpet and the Battle of Armageddon, fleeing to the mountains during the Great Tribulation, slaughter of the wicked, being a witness unto death, faith as gold tried in the fire, and not being ashamed of the Lord. I trust that you will join me.
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