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Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Stephen Nutter  |  Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Sermon6/29/15 2:54 AM
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“ Summary, Part 4 (final) ”
D. IT WILL BE FOREVER OBSERVED [42:13]. Despite everything, statements like this should arrest us. Not only are these false teachers destined for hell, but they will be there forever and so will their followers. Again, note Jude’s descriptive language. ABIDING WORDS IN CONCLUSION [46:15]. 1. Beware of your own susceptibility to the doctrine of apostate and false teachers. Jude wrote to inform us and to warm us. Review the nature of the teachers and teachings that attract you. 2. If you would avoid the doctrine and influence of apostate, false teachers, be aware of their identifying marks. They tend to appeal to the sensitivities of the flock and not the authority of the Bible. Be as concerned with what men don’t teach as well as with what they do teach. False teachers don’t just teach falsehood, but omit truth. 4. If you would avoid the apostates’ faith, you must avoid their doctrine and influence. What you will run with you will run to.

Sermon6/29/15 2:53 AM
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“ Summary, Part 3 ”
F. THEY ARE COMPLAINING CON-ARTISTS [25:05]. The Greek word for “fault-finding” means to blame. They blame God for their misfortunes or lack of satisfaction. They’re sensual and a law unto themselves. As flatterers, they arouse the same ungodly pride in their flock to justify their own usurpation of the church. II. THEIR ANCIENT PREDICTION [29:30]. God warned his people about this long before. Jesus repeated the warning during His ministry, as did Peter and Paul, who warned that many professing believers would flock to them. They and their false teachers are indistinguishable from the world, which is why they are often called carnal Christians. III. THEIR CERTAIN DESTRUCTION [33:18]. A. IT HAS BEEN ETERNALLY RESERVED. Jude speaks as though their destruction has already been determined (cf. Gen 3:15, Mt 25:41, 46). B. IT IS RICHLY DESERVED [36:35]. They are ungodly. Just note all the characteristics with which Jude identifies them. C. IT IS DIVINELY EXECUTED [38:42]. Jesus Himself will judge them, He will be accompanied by His holy ones (His saints and angels), His judgment will be universal (2 Thes 1:7-10), and His threat is not empty; in fact, it is already certain.

Sermon6/29/15 2:52 AM
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“ Summary, Part 2 ”
B. THEY ARE EMPTY BOASTERS WHO DO NOT DELIVER WHAT THEY PROMISE [14:40]. They are “clouds without water”. These dominate religious television today. They only do the church harm. And they’re “carried along by winds”, a sign of instability and lack of conviction. They are driven by crowd appeal. When they are found out, they either move on or lay low until they are forgotten, but they will not stop teaching heresy. C. THEY ARE SPIRITUALLY DEAD AND BEYOND RECOVERY [17:20]. Even leafless trees in the winter are not dead: they’re merely dormant until spring revives them. But a false teacher is like a dead tree: fruitless and rootless. They may excite and arouse great emotion, but those things by themselves are not edification and spiritual growth. The dead cannot benefit the living. D. THEY ARE CARNAL, SHAMELESS REBELS [19:45]. As the waves of the sea churn up the depths, so do false teachers reveal their own true states by their own actions. E. THEY ARE UNPREDICTABLE, UNRELIABLE GUIDES [21:50]. They are “wandering stars”, unlike the static stars that are so predictable that we can navigate by them. But no one can navigate by shooting stars or comets. And like such bodies, they appear in a flash and disappear just as fast. They dazzle many but illumine none.

Sermon6/29/15 2:52 AM
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“ Summary, Part 1 ”
In verses 12-16 of the Epistle of Jude, the writer casts profound imagery of the nature of false teachers, then restates ancient prophecy about them, and then describes their true dispositions. I. THEIR VIVID DESCRIPTION [starting at 5:20 of the audio]. False teachers are not what they appear to be: they are wicked pretenders. And so we need a clear description of them. Jude offers six of their characteristics. A. THEY ARE FEARLESS, SELF-CENTERED, HIDDEN DESTROYERS [6:04]. “Destroyers” is the key here. They destroy in a number of ways. 1. BY FEARLESSNESS. They want to derail the brethren’s faith and are not intimidated by being found out. 2. BY SELFISHNESS. Their self-centeredness causes them to shepherd themselves at the expense of the flock (cf. Ezek 34:2, 8). They see their office as one of gain, not as one of ministry. 3. BY SECRECY. They are “hidden” reefs. Their influence is often not apparent until it’s too late. They command obedience, discourage diligence, and often mirror the particular sensitivities of their flock to win their trust.

Sermon6/28/15 4:49 AM
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“ Summary, Part 6 (final) ”
LESSONS [52:27]: 1. Sonship implies not only privilege but also responsibility. 2. The fear of God is the heart disposition of every true son of God. This holy fear strengthens in our sanctification. We bent the knee because we came to fear Him, and we must bend our wills even more for the same reason. TWO CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS [53:35]: 1. God’s grace is always our chief incentive for obedience. It is not merit, but grace. We obey because He delivered us, not to win His deliverance. If we regard God as a cruel taskmaster, then we’re still in Egypt. True Christians remember their prior slavery. 2. God bestows or withholds material blessings to teach us valuable lessons. By this, the spiritual graces are developed.

Sermon6/28/15 4:48 AM
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“ Summary, Part 5 ”
2. Thank God for trials. We learn from them things about God’s provision, that He is sufficient to provide all our needs. The dependent Christian is a happy Christian. III. REMEMBRANCE OF YOUR SPIRITUAL SLAVERY AND GOD’S GRACIOUS DELIVERANCE WILL MAKE YOU TEACHABLE AND OBEDIENT SONS (vv. 5-6) [43:42]. We could never please pharaoh, but through Christ we can receive the graces to please God. A. YOU SHOW YOU ARE TEACHABLE AND OBEDIENT SONS AS YOU EMBRACE AND RELISH YOUR DISCIPLINE AS COMING FROM A LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER [46:08]. Our perfect Father disciplines us as sons. Holy discipline, no matter how hard it may be, is an act of love from a loving Father (v. 5). B. YOU SHOW THAT YOU ARE TEACHABLE AND OBEDIENT SONS AS YOU WALK IN THE FEAR OF GOD IN EVANGELICAL OBEDIENCE TO THE LORD [48:30]. “Evangelical” here means the relationship of a son to a Father, not of a slave to a master. It is gospel obedience (vv. 6, 11). Cheerful obedience is a test of sonship. Verses 12-20 are a dire warning when we forget our standing.

Sermon6/28/15 4:48 AM
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“ Summary, Part 4 ”
II. REMEMBRANCE OF YOUR SPIRITUAL SLAVERY AND GOD’S GRACIOUS DELIVERANCE WILL KEEP YOU HUMBLE (vv. 2-3) [31:35]. A. YOU LEARN TO BE HUMBLE WHEN YOU REMEMBER HOW GOD DEALT WITH YOU [32:45]. Humility is not a lesson of ease but of trials. Painful tests show what is in our hearts. We believe that we know how we would face trials until we actually face them. Trials dash our pride: our disposition that we know better than God. B. YOU LEARN TO BE HUMBLE WHEN YOU REMEMBER WHY GOD DEALT WITH YOU (vv. 3-4) [36:23]. The Israelites wanted food, but God wanted to give them something more than bread: the manna of His word and His salvation. The humble Christian doesn’t take God’s blessings for granted; he instead wonders why God has granted any of them. The Lord gives us two reasons why He humbles His people: to give them an accurate knowledge of themselves; especially if they would be obedient to Him (v. 2), and to give them an expanded knowledge of Himself, especially that He is a supernatural provider of all things (v. 3). LESSONS [42:42]: 1. Thank God for trials. Through them He intends to overthrow your pride and self-reliance and teach you humility and dependence upon Him for all things.

Sermon6/28/15 4:47 AM
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“ Summary, Part 3 ”
B. YOU LEARN TO BE THANKFUL WHEN YOU REMEMBER HOW GOD CARED FOR YOU ALL ALONG YOUR SPIRITUAL PILGRIMAGE (vv. 3-4) [17:05]. During a decades-long walkabout in a desert, God preserved His people in miraculous ways. How does a multitude survive so long in such a desolate place? His provisions were miraculous, so are our comforts from Him in our own pilgrimage. When we experience privation, we learn dependence on Him. Abundance tends to make us forget about God (Deut 6:10-12, Mt 19:24), even His daily blessings. What do we have that we have not received (Deut 6:18)? LESSONS [29:46]: 1. Your heavenly Father always provides what is best for you either by prosperity or by privation, according to your spiritual needs. 2. Let us be careful not to forget God amidst all His blessings or to make a god of His gifts. 3. Of all people, liberated slaves should be most grateful to God for all their blessings.

Sermon6/28/15 4:46 AM
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“ Summary, Part 2 ”
A. YOU LEARN TO BE THANKFUL AS YOU REMEMBER THAT GOD LED YOU ALL ALONG YOUR SPIRITUAL PILGRIMAGE (Deut 8:2) [11:24]. It took a plethora of miracles to deliver Israel from pharaoh and sustain her in the wilderness. Yet Moses had to caution them about their forgetfulness. PERTINENT INTRODUCTORY QUESTIONS [13:24]: 1. Do you see, Christian, that you are a pilgrim and that your life is a journey? And that God has led you all the way? 2. Do you see your former life before God saved you as bondage? Can you see any other way out of the snares that held you when you were an unbeliever? Do you see your new life on the wilderness of this earth as preparation for the promised land of heaven? 3. As a Christian pilgrim, are you thankful to God for the trials you’ve faced in the wilderness of this world? Do you see that now God is with you and refining you in holiness? 4. Are you trusting Him right now to lead you, no matter the kind of trials through which He is leading you? 5. Are you thankful that the trials through which God is leading you have as their great goal your perfection in the image of Christ and your place at the feet of Christ forever and ever? Our trials are not an end, but a means to a glorious end.

Sermon6/28/15 4:45 AM
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“ Summary, Part 1 ”
Contrary to the world’s teachings, we are born in rebellion against God. Our sin nature, which we inherited from Adam, enslaves us to the world system, to our own flesh, and to the devil. We need the deliverance that was pictured in the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt and that was realized in the redemptive act of Christ. God wasted no time urging the Israelites to remember their deliverance because their rebellious nature makes them prone to forget it. We are no different. These lessons are not merely for our intellectual enjoyment, but encouragements to actualize them in our lives. Remembrance is critical to our Christian walk. As much as we must grow, we must also look back to remember where we came from: that will magnify our gratitude for our blessings. I. REMEMBRANCE OF YOUR SPIRITUAL SLAVERY AND GOD’S GRACIOUS DELIVERANCE WILL MAKE YOU THANKFUL [starting at 7:57 of the audio]. Thanklessness is a sure way to practical atheism (cf. Rom 1:21, 2 Tim 3:2). The materialism and naturalism expressed by atheism leads us to believe that all that exists is matter and energy, and that its blessings come by the natural course of the world. But in all things, we live from God’s hand to our mouths.

Sermon6/15/15 3:57 AM
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“ Summary, Part 4 (final) ”
Then he schemed to get God to curse Israel by sending in women to seduce their men. And so must we beware teachers with a love for gain. 3. THEIR COMPANY WITH KORAH ILLUSTRATES THEIR REBELLION AND BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE LORD [44:47]. Korah rebelled against Moses and Aaron by challenging their authority before God, who consumed them alive for their rebellion. There are three lessons in this: i. It represents the pride of false teachers who disregard their need for a mediator between themselves and God. ii. It represents those who arrogate themselves authority and intrude into the ministry without being called by God. iii. It represents overbearing false teachers who lead churches with proud, insolent, and even foul tongues. THREE CONCLUDING EXHORTATIONS [49:22]: 1. Make sure that you place yourself under and intelligent and godly ministry. 2. Beware of the influence of teachers who exhibit the traits of Cain, Balaam, and Korah. 3. If you follow false teachers in their teaching, you will follow them in their destruction.

Sermon6/15/15 3:57 AM
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“ Summary, Part 3 ”
ii. They destroy themselves with what they do know (v. 10b). The unregenerate have only their fleshly understanding and will follow it to destruction because they do not have the light of the gospel. II. THEIR COMPANY (v. 11) [32:20]. “Birds of a feather flock together”, put biblically, means “bad company corrupts good morals”. You can tell a lot about a person by the company he keeps. These apostates tend to demonstrate the wicked spirit of their predecessors. A. A DREADFUL CURSE RESTS UPON THEM FOR THE COMPANY THEY KEEP [33:23]. Verse 11: to follow Cain is to turn from the right way; to follow Balaam is to reject truth; and to follow Korah is to reject life. B. HISTORICAL ILLUSTRATIONS OF THIS COMPANY [37:40]. 1. THEIR COMPANY WITH CAIN ILLUSTRATES THEIR ATTACHMENT TO FALSE RELIGION. Cain refused to bring the sacrifice that God commanded. He then further rebelled instead of repented. And so modern apostates reject Christ’s substitutionary atonement and God’s requirements for acceptable worship. 2. THEIR COMPANY WITH BALAAM ILLUSTRATES THEIR CHARACTERISTIC GREED AND SEDUCTIVENESS [39:54]. Balaam’s god was money and he was available to the highest bidder. He disobeyed God by accompanying the emissaries but then blessed the Israelites when they instructed him to curse them.

Sermon6/15/15 3:56 AM
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“ Summary, Part 2 ”
He reveals more in verse 8: 1. THEY DEFILE PURITY [13:41]. They live carnal lives, either openly or secretly. Both their minds and consciences are defiled, and it will usually show in their teachings. But not always. We have seen big-name evangelists with sound doctrine fall into scandal. That is a warning to us that orthodoxy does not make us sin-proof. But the men in Jude are not orthodox. Fleshly living will accommodate false teaching. Cf. Titus 1:16, 2 Pet 2:10, 18. 2. THEY REJECT AUTHORITY [19:35]. They are a law unto themselves, having rejected what has already been established. Ultimately, they deny Jesus Christ as their Lord and master. 3. THEY SPEAK BLASPHEMY [22:09]. Jude cites Michael arguing with Satan over Moses’ body. The point is that all authority ultimately resides to God. Arrogant false teachers care nothing for the good name and authority of those they rely upon. They expose their ignorance in two ways: i. They blaspheme what they do not know (v. 10a). The unregenerate will often do things like call holy living “Puritanism” or “outdated”, or call biblical obedience “legalism”. They will even stand against Christians who stand with God in matters of controversy such as abortion, gay marriage, or biblical authority.

Sermon6/15/15 3:55 AM
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“ Summary, Part 1 ”
We return to the epistle of Jude, a warning about false teachers who had crept into the congregation, and examine two of their traits as given in verses 8-11. I. THEIR CONDUCT (vv. 8-10) [starting at 5:18 of the audio]. A. THEY ARE FORGETFUL (v. 8) [6:45]. They have forgotten their fallen state as stated in the Bible, and may dismiss its teachings as ancient stories obsolete today. B. THEY ARE PRIDEFUL (v. 8) [7:41]. Pride and forgetfulness tend to go hand-in-hand. They consider themselves to be above God’s law and able to bring people to Christ by their own devices and not God’s. C. THEY ARE DELUSIONAL (v. 8) [8:26]. They are dreamers. They may accept their own illusions as biblical, or they may do the same with their depraved doctrines. Deut 13:1-5 is not to be taken as capital punishment in the new covenant, but such a prophet’s influence is to be put to death. Though they may appear as pleasant, convincing people, the Bible compares them to wolves and beasts. Jude reveals some of their wicked characteristics in verses 5-7.

Sermon6/8/15 4:31 AM
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“ Summary, Part 4 (final) ”
B. THEY WEAN US FROM THE LOVE OF SIN [46:49]. Judah’s sins were idolatry and disobedience. God loosened the rope enough for them to turn back to Him, but he only annihilated them when they reached the end. C. GOD REMAINS THE SAME THROUGHOUT THEM. HIS GRACE REMAINS CONSTANT [48:04]. This is why Jeremiah didn’t lose his faith (Lam 3:22-23). God’s compassions are new every morning. CONCLUDING APPLICATIONS [51:33]: 1. Remember that God is a righteous father who must chasten His children. 2. He is a loving, heavenly father who proves it by His discipline. 3. God is a perfecting heavenly Father whose goal in discipline is to conform you to the image of Christ.

Sermon6/8/15 4:31 AM
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“ Summary, Part 3 ”
May He remember mercy in His wrath, but may we first remember righteousness. Let us also remember how God turned Nebuchadnezzar, who once thought himself above God (Dan 4:35). B. HE IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE DETAILS OF OUR CHASTENING [34:03]. God custom-tailors our trials to our spiritual needs. We each face our own trials and types of trials. But we all risk forgetting His faithfulness in the midst of those trials. Our chastening proves our pedigree. C. HE IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE OUTCOME OF OUR CHASTENING [37:19]. That outcome has also been predetermined. Trials are teaching times. We’ve learned some very deep and critical wisdom that we would have never learned without trials. Lam 3:24-32 – In Jerusalem’s darkest hour, Jeremiah looked inward and determined to take his chastening in silence and await God’s compassion. III. WE MAINTAIN OR REGAIN OUR JOY AND STABILITY IN TIMES OF TRIAL AND TURMOIL BY REMEMBERING THE GRACE AND GOODNESS OF GOD IN THEM [43:30]. IN them. Remember three things about them: A. THEY ADVERTISE GOD’S LOVE FOR THE CHRISTIAN. It is God’s love for us, not hatred. He doesn’t take delight in His chastenings (Lam 3:33). He is slow to wrath. Isaiah called judgment His “strange work”.

Sermon6/8/15 4:30 AM
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“ Summary, Part 2 ”
B. GOD WISELY CHASTENS US WHEN HE IS PUNISHING OTHERS FOR THEIR SINS [19:22]. He does this in wisdom. The righteous were among the exiles to Babylon. What may be destruction for the wicked on earth may be purification for the righteous among them (cf. Rom 8:28). The same fire that consumes the hay and the stubble purifies the gold and the silver. C. GOD’S GRACIOUS PURPOSE IN CHASTENING IS NOT MERELY PUNATIVE, BUT ALSO RESTORATIVE [22:17]. God punishes His enemies because He hates them, but He chastens His people because He loves them. He will bring us pain to bring us healing. He will stop us in our paths to keep us from departing from Him (cf. Ps 119:67, 71). II. WE MAINTAIN OR REGAIN OUR JOY AND STABILITY IN TIMES OF TRIAL AND TURMOIL BY REMEMBERING THAT THE LORD IS SOVEREIGN OVER OUR DISCIPLINE [24:55]. These are not chance affairs, but predetermined actions. A. HE IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE INSTRUMENTS OF CHASTENING. Habakkuk, Jeremiah’s contemporary, grappled with God using an unholy people like the Babylonians to chasten the Hebrews and maintain His integrity (Hab 1:12-13). Sin is a reproach to any people. Just as God allowed Rome to self-destruct and Judah to be annihilated, He will have His way with America.

Sermon6/8/15 4:29 AM
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“ Summary, Part 1 ”
Living a meaningful life requires the use of our God-given memory. We cannot live what we do not remember, and the Bible exhorts us to read it repeatedly so that we are reminded of God’s truth. Not remembering the Bible is little different than not reading it, and both lead to not living it. Peter taught that one knows he is a true believer when he knows and practices the truth (2 Pet 1:8-15, 3:1-2). Paul also spoke frequently of the necessity of scriptural reminders. Scripture repeats itself and restates matters because God knows of our fleshly tendency to forget and to move away from Him. Even in calm, but especially in trials, we cannot know true peace without frequent reminders of God’s goodness and hope. I. WE MAINTAIN OR REGAIN OUR JOY AND STABILITY IN TIMES OF TRIAL AND TURMOIL BY REMEMBERING THAT WE ARE SINNERS WHO NEED THE LORD’S CHASTENING HAND [starting at 10:48 of the audio]. Job 5:17 – Eliphaz was right about this. To forget this is to think that our greatest friend suddenly hates us. Heb 12:5-6 is a reminder of Prov 3:11, 12. A. HE JUSTLY CHASTENS US FOR OUR OWN SINS [16:31]. We need to remember that the judge of all does right. As we find in Lam 3, God chastens us to make sin unpleasant to us.

Sermon6/1/15 4:40 AM
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“ Summary, Part 4 (final) ”
III. TWO GRACIOUS DIVINE DECLARATIONS (vv. 9-10) [43:01]. A. GOD DECLARES THAT HIS PEOPLE ARE HIS INHERITANCE (v. 9). God actually looks forward to us (Deut 26:18, 19; Jer 10:16; Eph 1:18; 1 Pet 2:9-10). LESSONS [50:54]: 1. Let us both exalt and be humbled by the value God places upon unworthy sinners like us (1 Jn 3:1). 2. May the rich grace that rests upon us cause us to publicly proclaim the praises of our God. B. GOD DECLARES HIS PEOPLE ARE HIS BY DELIVERING GRACE (v. 10) [52:26]. 1. OUR DESPERATE CONDITION. This is how God found us at salvation. 2. GOD’S DELIVERING GRACE. a. It seeks sinners. We don’t find God; He finds us. b. It saves sinners. c. It nurtures sinners. In the passage, the word for “care” means ‘to wisely give precisely what is needed’. Cf. Rom 8:32. d. It preserves sinners. He who loved us from eternity past will bring us through to eternity future. Consider the hymn “I Was a Wandering Sheep”. CONCLUDING LESSON [59:45]: How holy and happy we should be: not only because God has redeemed us from our sins, but also because He regards us as His prized possession.

Sermon6/1/15 4:39 AM
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“ Summary, Part 3 ”
LESSONS [34:30]: 1. Though the nations reject the Lord, they nevertheless are under His sovereign control (Ps 47:7-8). 2. God’s sovereign control and generosity should lead the nations to repentance (Ps 136:25). 3. Christian, rejoice that you have experienced God’s Sovereign, distinguishing grace. B. GOD SELECTS HIS PEOPLE [36:53]. The focus of God’s providence is His people, and everything that happens around them is providential window-dressing. God did not choose anyone because they were good or deserving, and no one chooses God at all (Deut 7:6-8). God called Israel to be a light. By saving us, God intends us to be a means to saving others. God’s primary work in history is calling out a people for His own name’s sake. His secondary work is to provide for all the nations. LESSONS [41:50]: 1. Let us honor and thank God for all the blessings that He bestows upon all men, since none are deserving of the least of his mercies. God is good to all people. 2. Let us rejoice that God in His grace has chosen a people to make His own, to be the special object of His saving mercies. As redeemer, He is very good to His chosen people.

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