How Does Christ Manifest Himself to Us But Not to The World?

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“How Is It That Thou Wilt Manifest Thyself Unto Us, and Not Unto The World?”

About eight or nine years ago during a question and answer session in one of our conferences, a brother who had been in the World Wide Church of God, as Sandi and I had been, posed the question, “When we were in the WWCG we thought we knew the truth, and as it turned out we discovered we had been deceived all the time we spent in that church. How can we know for certain that we are not still in that very same position of thinking we know God and His Son when in reality we are still living under strong delusion?”

In other words, how can we know that Christ has revealed Himself to us but “not unto the world”? (Joh 14:22)

I, for one had no doubt that I knew Christ and His Father. I have never claimed that knowing the Truth when you hear it means there is nothing more to learn. The Lord and His ways are as inexhaustible as His endless creation. But what I do claim is that I can, with the help of the rest of the body of Christ, discern the voice of Christ, and I can, with the help of the Christ of Christ, discern and distinguish the voice of the True Shepherd from the voice of a stranger.

The disciples of Christ had the same question this brother had, and it will behoove us to read their question and then pay very close attention to Christ’s answer to that question. Christ tells us:

Joh 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
Joh 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
Joh 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Joh 14:22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
Joh 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Joh 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

Does Christ know whereof He speaks? I think He knows exactly what He is saying, and He has just informed us that the religious world will “see [Him] no more, but you see Me”. “You shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” I cannot speak for any in whom Christ is not dwelling, but we in whom Christ dwells ‘know that Christ is in His Father, and that we are in Christ and that Christ is in us’. I know this for the very reason Christ has given us: “Because I live…you shall know that… ye [are] in me, and I [am] in you”. It is Christ in us who recognizes Himself. Where does Christ live? He lives “in you”, and He tells us “I am in you”. If indeed you are in Christ and He is in you, then I will recognize Christ in you, and you will know Christ in me “because [He] lives…” in me doing the things Christ said to do.

Those in whom Christ dwells “know that [He is] in [them]”. “You… know I [am] in you” (Joh 14:20]! Those in whom Christ dwells know He dwells in them. They do not doubt that they may still be in strong delusion, because, as Christ goes on to explain, they obey Christ’s words, and they do the things He says to do. That is those who “know the Truth, [and they know that the Truth has] set them free” from all such doubts. Here is just how certain we should be of who we are:

Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

If you doubt your calling and election, then you are simply not yet called to election, and you will not yet survive questions like these:

Mat 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Mat 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
Mat 4:6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Mat 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Mat 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
Mat 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Mat 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

There are those who teach that this temptation and the temptation in the Garden of Gethsemane and the trial of the cross, were not really temptations for Christ at all because His Father was with Him, and He had the power to call down 12 legions of angels to avoid the death of the cross. They say such things in the face of the fact that this wilderness temptation at the very beginning of Christ’s ministry was so exhausting that “angels [had to] come and minister unto Him”. They say this in spite of the fact that we are told that at the very end of Christ’s ministry Christ’s sweat was as great drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, and He again had to have angels to come and minister to Him:

Luk 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
Luk 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

What does “being in an agony” mean to such people who think Christ was not struggling just as we do under such conditions? Just because this was all written in His book before He was ever born, doesn’t make it any easier to endure than what you and I must endure even though “[our] days are [also] written in His book before there were any of them”. Christ Himself knew that He had come to experience exactly what we experience and He did so “in all ways”:

Psa 139:16 Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them. (ASV)

Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Christ felt every stripe as well as every pull of the flesh you and I experience. The fact that He never once gave in to those pulls and temptations does not mean they were not real trials for Him. His trials were real trials.

On the other hand, can you imagine Christ replying to Satan in the mount of temptation: ‘Hmmm, well maybe I am not really the Son of God. I do have a physical mother, physical brothers and sisters. Maybe mom just made up that story about being pregnant by the holy spirit. Maybe Joseph really is my Father. There is no way to be absolutely certain that I was conceived of the holy spirit. How can I know for certain that I am really the Son of God?’

That is the spirit which tells you and me that we cannot be sure that the Christ we know is the only Christ, that the words He has given us are His words alone. That spirit of doubt is Satan Himself posing the question “If you are the Son of God…” prove it in a way that the world cannot deny it. That is Satan himself telling you and me that we ought not be so absolutely certain that we can tell his voice from that of Christ, his doctrine from Christ’s doctrine. That is the voice of Satan himself telling us that we ought to insist on agreement only in essential matters, like the trinity and its accompanying doctrine, the immortality of the soul, with its accompanying essential doctrine, eternal hell fire, etc. We ought to be willing to tolerate differences in non essential doctrines like whether we should pray to Mary and other saints, whether we should water baptize with immersion or with sprinkling, and whether we will be raptured before, in the middle of, or after the tribulation. But even if we cannot agree on these non essential doctrines, we should just agree to love each other and tolerate the different voices we are hearing. After all, it is obvious that there is no possible way we can know for certain that we have and know the Truth, and that the world does not know Christ.

That is the spirit which has divided Christ into 40,000 different conflicting denominations with man-made statements of beliefs, which are legally incorporated, given a 501-C-3 classification by the IRS, so you can write off anything you do for the church on your taxes.

Like Christ we, too, have been told that while there are indeed much better times ahead, nevertheless we, too, are even now, in down payment form, the sons of God who have also been begotten of the holy spirit (Eph 1:13-14 and 1Jn 3:2). We are told “As He is so are we in this world” (1Jn 4:17). Just like our Lord, we are made to know who we are and to answer with the same authority with which He answered because we are “His flesh and His bones” (Eph 5:30), and we are therefore “Jesus of Nazareth” (Act 22:8). Even now, in these marred clay vessels, we are the begotten sons of God just as much as Christ, to begin with, was “the only begotten son”:

Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest [Greek: downpayment] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Mat 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Act 22:8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

We are living in “the day of judgment” at this very moment (1Pe 4:17). We will have no “boldness in the day of judgement” if we don’t even know whether what we believe and teach is the Truth. We are a ship without a rudder on a stormy sea, if we cannot know for certain, with the help of the rest of the body of Christ, whether the words we hear are those of a stranger or the words of our true Shepherd, and a rudderless ship is certain to suffer shipwreck in just a matter of time, because it has no sense of direction or of danger. That is the spiritual condition of each and every person who wants Christ’s name without His food or His garments, which is exactly where we as the seven churches find ourselves in our own predestined time:

Isa 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

That is a very good description of us when we are a part of the seven churches of Rev 2-3 when we think we are rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, when the reality is that we are are wretched and miserable and poor and blind, and naked”.

Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Rev 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

Women are the Biblical symbol of churches, and churches who do not know the voice of the Truth Shepherd are without a rudder, eating their own bread and wearing their own apparel, teaching that we cannot be so certain of the voice of the True Shepherd that we should never deliver anyone over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, instead we should “agree on the essentials, tolerate each others differences on the non essentials, and have love in all things”. If those words do not immediately sound like the voice of a stranger to you, then you have not yet been granted the ability to “try the spirits” or to distinguish the voice of the True Shepherd from the voice of a seductive stranger who wants only to be loved by this world, family, friends and all the churches of this world, or at least the ones who agree on the essentials, who are willing to tolerate the non essentials and to show worldly so-called ‘love in all things’.

Christ did not utter one ‘non essential’ word, and not one of His doctrines is ‘non essential”, especially this doctrine of Joh 8:31-32, which is so hated by the daughters of the great harlot who subscribe to such a damnable teaching which would have you and me believe that there are doctrines and words of our Lord which are actually “non essential”.

Those who cannot bring themselves to confess that they know the voice of Christ, and that they, with the help of the body of Christ, are able to distinguish the voice of Christ from that of a stranger, are those who want only to, as Isaiah tells us, hear only smooth things:

Isa 30:9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:
Isa 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

“The law of the Lord” which they “will not hear” is the same as “the things which I say” of this verse:

Luk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

What is the one thing Christ told us to do which no one in the seven churches of Asia would do? While the list of things Christ said to do which the churches are unwilling to do is growing every day, the one thing which Christ said to do, which no one in Babylon has been willing to do from the beginning, is His doctrine which tells us how we are to handle those who trespass against us in any way, physically or spiritually. Here is one of the doctrines which Isaiah referred to as “right things” which Christ called “the things that I say”, which few want to hear, and which to this very day is considered to be heartless and cold. These are words of Godly love from Christ Himself which are spoken of disparagingly as “being Matthew eighteened”, as if obedience to Christ’s instructions in that chapter is about as low as one can go. Here is what is to be done to those who are “Matthew eighteened”:

Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Mat 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

If you are Jesus of Nazareth, you have no problem implementing those words with complete confidence that you are being obedient to God. If you fear God more than men, you will fear to fail to abide by every word in those three verses, hard as it may be to confront a brother about a physical or a spiritual trespass.

We will all first fear men more than we fear God. But in time we become more and more like Christ, who was heard by His Father “in that He feared” His Father more than He feared Caiaphas, Herod or Pilate. Knowing that He had come to this world for the purpose of dying “for the sins of the whole world” (1Jn 2:2), Christ calmly told Pilate, who could not understand why Christ did not seem to fear Pilate:

Joh 19:10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
Joh 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

Jesus did not fear any man but He did fear His heavenly Father, and He was willing to die to the flesh so He could live in the spirit with His Father:

Heb 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

That is a revealing statement. Christ “was heard in that He feared”. You and I are also heard of God if we, too, fear Him. But when our spouse, our children, our friends or any worldly authority evokes more fear within us than does God, we will not be heard of God, and we will instead believe in unity with this world in the things which this world says are essential, we will tolerate our differences in what this world says are non essentials of the doctrine of Christ, and we will be completely unaware that ‘in all things love’, requires obedience to the commandments of Matthew 18 as well as every word spoken by Christ.

1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

The love of God is that we keep His commandments, and those commandments include the commandments of Matthew 18. If we are unwilling to keep the commandments of Matthew 18, and we refer to those commandments as if they are words of hatred and not words of “the love of God” which must be kept, what we are demonstrating is that we neither “love the children of God” nor God Himself, because we fear men more than we fear God. We fear our brother, our families, or the men of this world more than we fear God.

If we do fear God more than man, we will obey every word of Matthew 18, and if we do keep His commandments, then, and only then, we are binding on earth what has been bound in heaven, and we are loosing on earth what has been loosed in heaven. If we do not believe this is true, we are denying Christ and His doctrine, and we are not doing the things He commands us to do.

Mat 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Mat 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

“Verily I say unto you” means ‘truly I say unto you”. Christ wants us to believe what He is saying to us. He is emphasizing the truth of what He is telling us, and what He is telling us is that we are His instruments to reveal to mankind His mind and His wisdom. Paul is used by God to reiterate what Christ here emphasizes for our edification:

Eph 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

This is “making all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which… has been hid in God… that now unto the principalities and powers in heaven might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God”, the things bound and loosed in our heavens where God dwells in His kingdom within us (Luk 17:20-21 and 1Co 3:15-16).

Representing all of us before our eyes are opened to what is bound and what is loosed in the heavens, Peter asks Christ the same question we all ask about the things we can see only in this earth, while we are “yet carnal… babes in Christ” (1Co 3:1-4).

Mat 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Mat 18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

Luke adds two details which are not here in Matthew. The first is that repentance must precede forgiveness, and the second is that the seventy times seven forgiveness is to be extended even if the offense is committed that many times in one day.

Luk 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
Luk 17:4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

In other words, we are not to compel or attempt to extort ‘fruits of repentance’ before our forgiveness is extended to our brother or sister who has trespassed against us and who repents and asks for our forgiveness. This is such an important point that Christ uses the rest of this entire chapter to explain to us just how important it is that we, “from the heart”, forgive our brothers and sisters their trespasses if they repent and ask to be forgiven.

Let’s read our Lord’s words, and as we do let’s remember that it is we who live by every word that proceeds out of our Lord’s mouth (Mat 4:4), meaning that we are all first the servant who is forgiven an unpayable debt, that it is we who fail to appreciate the mercy God has shown to us while we show no such mercy to our fellow servants, and that it is we who are delivered to the fiery tormentors until the debt is paid (1Pe 4:12, 17).

Mat 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
Mat 18:24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
Mat 18:25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
Mat 18:26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
Mat 18:28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
Mat 18:29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
Mat 18:31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
Mat 18:32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
Mat 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
Mat 18:34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
Mat 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

If indeed this is what “the kingdom of heaven …is… likened unto”, then all of this must take place within each of us, because that is where the kingdom of heaven is:

Luk 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

The compassion and pity Christ has shown to me was completely undeserved. It behooves me therefore to show that same completely undeserved compassion and pity upon you or anyone who trespasses against me and His body and repents and asks me for forgiveness.


With all of this in mind, let’s go back to the question Judas asked Christ:

Joh 14:22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

How will Christ manifest Himself to His true disciples who will recognize Him, and at the same time keep Himself hidden from all the rest of the religious world? Now let’s go back and pay very close attention to Christ’s answer to Judas’ question”

Joh 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Joh 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

There is the answer. It is not a matter of simply believing in universal salvation. It is not a matter of acknowledging God’s sovereignty in all things. Both of those are wonderful truths which demand our faith in those doctrines, but that is not what Christ said would reveal Him to His elect while at the same time hiding Him from the world. The one thing that reveals Christ to those in whom He and His Father have taken up their abode, is that they in whom Christ and His Father abide will tremble at His words, and as a humble, small child, they will receive His sayings and His doctrine, fearing to add to or take away from His Words:

Isa 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

Knowing His elect would tremble at His Words, Christ asks this question:

Luk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

He then goes on to contrast those to whom He reveals Himself and His Father, and in whom He and His Father abide, with those in whom they do not dwell:

Luk 6:47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
Luk 6:48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
Luk 6:49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

There is great pressure upon us all to “do not… the things [Christ] says”. But obedience to Christ cannot be faked, and when a person refuses to hate his enemies and refuses to keep the traditions of men, and refuses to believe the false doctrines of the trinity, the immortality of the soul and eternal torment, and the false doctrine of free will, this person will be hated of all men, but he will be beloved of Christ and His Father.

Here is the litmus test Christ has given us:

Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

This love is not speaking a vague human emotion, rather this “love one to another” being referred to by Christ is precisely defined for us in these verses:

1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

This is “the love of God” which imparts to us the faith, confidence and peace of mind that comes with simply knowing who we are and knowing that Christ is living His life with us:

Joh 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Jesus Christ has overcome the world and all the doubts that are in the world. Those in whom He lives His life have no doubt that He is alive and well within Himself.

Isa 30:15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.

“…And ye would not” refers to those who a lacking the “quietness and confidence” which is the confidence of God’s elect. Any challenge to their standing with God or with their obedience to His Words is answered with the authority that is in His words:

Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Mat 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

You and I are the angels of God who are always there to minister to the needs of His Christ when He is being attacked by the Devil. It is God’s elect and they alone, who know that our love is not proven to each other or to God by simply claiming we love each other and God; rather our love for each other and for God is proven by being obedient to His commandments and by doing the things Christ has commanded us.

This is how Christ will “manifest [Him]self to us, and not unto the world”:

Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

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