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EGW and inspiration


Stan

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I believe that the word "man" in the statement "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath," is talking about all humans. Like when someone uses the work "mankind" there not just talking about men per say, but all human beings.

pk

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It's being said by some that Ellen White was inspired in the same way that the reformers were "inspired," and in the same way that some preachers and ministers were "inspired." In other words, there is a down-grading of what it means to be "inspired," and a confusion of the various gifts of the spirit. Some apparently see no difference between the gift of prophecy and the gift of pastoring or teaching.

I suggest the 'downgrading' is in your mind. By suggesting such, you have all but admitted that EGW is on par with Bible writers. Downgrading also suggests that anyone else that God chooses to speak too, has inferior words to say! How can that be so? It would also suggest that the Holy Spirit is a lessor voice speaking too us. Why, because if I tell you what has been spoken to me by same, you have declared it to be of lessor importance than EGW and the Bible.

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downgrade |ˈdounˌgrād|

verb [ trans. ] (usu. be downgraded)

reduce to a lower grade, rank, or level of importance

Perhaps you would like to re explain your words???

To say that Ellen White was inspired in the same way that teachers or ministers are "inspired" is certainly a downgrading. It is placing the prophet on the same level as teachers and ministers. God gave Ellen White about 2,000 dreams and visions. Jesus Christ personally commissioned Ellen White as His messenger and gave her His messages for the church and some for the world. Prophets are God's mouthpiece and are selected by God to speak for God. Pastors and teachers are selected by the church to speak for the church to local congregations. Ellen White's selection did not depend at all on any man or church. If every human on earth rejects a true prophet of God, they are still a prophet. You can't say that about church officers, because they are elected by the church. A true prophet is not selected by the church. They are accountable to God alone, not to the church.

"One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen G. White. As the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested."—Fundamental Beliefs, 17

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The Prophetic Gift in the Remnant Church. Revelation 12 reveals two major periods of persecution. During the first, which extended from A.D. 538 to A.D. 1798 (Rev. 12:6, 14; see chapter 12 of this book), loyal believers suffered intense persecution. Again, just before the Second Advent, Satan will attack "the remnant of her offspring," the remnant church that refuses to give up allegiance to Christ. Revelation characterizes the loyal believers who make up the remnant as they "who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Rev. 12:17).

That the phrase "the testimony of Jesus" speaks of prophetic revelation is clear from later conversations between the angel and John.8

Near the end of the book the angel identifies himself as "'your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus'" (Rev. 19:10) and "'your fellowservant, and of your brethren the prophets'" (Rev. 22:9). These parallel expressions make it clear that it is the prophets who have "the testimony of Jesus."9 This explains the angel's statement that "'the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy'" (Rev. 19:10).

Commenting on this text, James Moffat wrote, "'For the testimony or witness of (i.e., borne by) Jesus is (i.e., constitutes) the spirit of prophecy.' This. . . specially defines the brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus as possessors of prophetic inspiration. The testimony of Jesus is practically equivalent to Jesus testifying (xxii.20). It is the self-revelation of Jesus (according to [Rev.] 1:1, due ultimately to God) which moves the Christian prophets."10

So the expression the Spirit of prophecy can refer to (1) the Holy Spirit's inspiring the prophet with a revelation from God, (2) the operation of the gift of prophecy, and (3) the medium of prophecy itself.

The prophetic gift, Jesus' witness "to the church through the medium of prophecy, "11 comprises a distinctive characteristic of the remnant church. Jeremiah linked the demise of this gift with lawlessness. "The Law is no more, and her prophets find no vision from the Lord" (Lam. 2:9). Revelation identifies the possession of the two as distinctive characteristics of the end-time church; its members "keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ"—the prophetic gift (Rev. 12:17).

God gave the prophetic gift to the "church" of the Exodus to organize, instruct, and guide His people (Acts 7:38, KJV). "By a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet he was preserved" (Hosea 12:13). It comes as no surprise, then, to find that gift among those who are involved in the ultimate exodus—the escape from sin-polluted Planet Earth to the heavenly Canaan. This exodus, which will follow the Second Advent, is the final and complete fulfillment of Isaiah 11:11: "It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left."

Help in the Final Crisis. The Scriptures reveal that God's people in the last days of earth's history will experience the full wrath of the satanic dragon power as he engages in a final attempt to destroy them (Rev. 12:17). This will "be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation" (Dan. 12:1). To help them survive this most intense conflict of the ages, God in His loving-kindness gave His people the assurance that they would not be alone. The testimony of Jesus, the Spirit of prophecy, would guide them safely to their final objective—unification with their Saviour at the Second Advent.

Source: http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-17.htm

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1) Making EGW on par with the scriptures and all of the counsel and dogma she made to be accepted without deviation.

EGW as far as I studied has in fact passed every known test given in scripture to verify that she indeed was used to clearify misinterpretation of the will of Christ. The Prophetic Gift in the Gospel Church written by J.N. Loughborough wrote about this very thing in 1911. Preface:"In part two is a consideration of facts respecting a manifestation of the gift of prophecy as connected with the great second advent movement. For over 50 years the writer has been acquainted with this gift, and it's manifestation through Mrs. E.G. White. Having been privileged to see her in "open vision" nearly 50 times, he speaks of that which he has seen and knows. Since 1884 her visions have been about as frequent as formerly, but instead of being "open visions," they are now what the Scriptures call "night visions"...

Most people I believe are ruled by emotion not principle, so if you like please explain to me if you can what counsel or "dogma" she made that is based on principle that is contrary to scripture.

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2) Using EGW as a theological straight-jacket that must be our interpreter of the bible where no fresh light, or change of dogma is allowed

What "fresh light" or "change of dogma" are you speaking of? I'm not sure I follow. As far as I know if there are any questions in regard to "new" light they too must be tested upon the solid Word of God, and if more clearification is needed where is one to turn? A theologian or a sister that has passed every test in scripture as one taught of Christ? BTW the "straight-jacket" is used most often so the one using it won't hurt him or herselves, nice application.

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3) Placing EGW on such a pedestal as to ignore or pooh-pooh away her short comings that cannot be reconciled with a prophet of God who got infallible messages from Him and who'se dogmatic statements cannot be disagreed with

Not to sure if any prophet didn't have a little pooh-pooh somewhere. As a matter of fact all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Again one must fall back on the principle of the question and who has the proper authority to venture there. Again with the "dogmatic" thing. Let's walk thru some, if you have any (?)

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4) Making EGW a test of fellowship in the SDA church

If you do not believe that EGW should not be a test of faith, then why be a SDA? I have many sabbatarian friends that are Baptist and Penecostal, because they feel sister White was not a prophet. That's cool with me, but it doesn't seem to make much sense to me as a SDA. Why? because of the light she shed on the sanctuary truth, the judgment truth, health truths, Sabbath truth, true Education reform ect... These are the very pillars that built this church up from ground zero are they not? Not to mention the visions of the very close of this earths history that we see taking place as I write this. It really is something.

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5) classifying EGW as an 'authority of truth' as our FB says when the Bible is to be considered the 'sole authority'.

"authority of truth" or "sole authority"; what is the difference? The Bible is the sole authority of truth isn't it? and if sister White is the authority of truth, welllll I suppose the board of authors of our FB had a dichotomy.

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These two positions that in practice coexist in our Adventist church, make it impossible to offer a unanimous answer to the question we posed at the outset: Should theological differences be resolved by appealing to EGW's writings? In theory the answer in "NO!" but in practice the answer of many sincere Adventist is "YES!," because for them Ellen White remains the final interpreter of Scripture.

This is the dichotomy isn't it? I suppose we all will see some day. I am in the camp of the ladder, that's all. BTW I don't agree with the "theory" of authority, just the practical, in which sister White and Scripture harmonize to my understanding of principle. However, I do not totally agree with the word "final" in the quote. Lesser light toward greater light thing.

I like what Ronald Reagan used to say: Trust but verify. It's a good rule of thumb

Peace

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"One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy.

I wonder if you could explain which gifts are more important than other gifts. Are we to trust one gift over another? Or ... is one on par with scripture and the others not?

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Most people I believe are ruled by emotion not principle, so if you like please explain to me if you can what counsel or "dogma" she made that is based on principle that is contrary to scripture

Oh Please .... Let's not go down that road again. Those who support her as infallible ... will find no fault and find a way to excuse each and every quote. But in order to do that ... they have to use the words 'what she really meant was ...'

A better question might be .... Does this 'dogma' ADD to scripture?

There is no need to make EGW a test of fellowship because her purpose was to POINT us to scripture. The only test of fellowship is the Bible.

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I like what Ronald Reagan used to say: Trust but verify. It's a good rule of thumb
And then ... what are you putting your faith in? Since her purpose was to point us to scripture ... just go to scripture. Don't put your trust in the one who points you to it. Just go to it and put your trust there. Those who want to 'trust' in her .... will find no fault in her. Like it was pointed out ... unless you can point out error ... your trust is in the wrong place . For only scripture is infallible.
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Now what about EGW? She described her own visions as being on the order of snapshots - static scenes flashing before her eyes. Some were more experienced as if being in the scene. In some she was given some explanation by her guide, others not. She then later had to recall and reconstruct, and make sense of what she saw and heard. ...

Do you have a reference for the "static scene flashing before her eyes"?

She was given about 2,000 dreams and visions of varying lengths, some lasting only a few moments and other lasting for up to an hour, and on at least one occasion lasting four hours.

There were times when God gave her a vision a second time because her memory of the vision or dream wasn't clear.

At times the events of the past, present, and future were opened to Ellen White in panoramic view. It seemed to her that she witnessed in rapid succession the vivid enactment of the scenes of history. This is the way she described the Great Controversy visions. See the Introduction to GC, pages x to xi. (Ellen White, Messenger to the Remnant, Arthur L. White, pp. 8, 9.)

We can be sure that if God gave Ellen White visions and dreams for the purpose of giving messages to the church, He made a way for the prophet to understand what it was He wanted the prophet to pass on to the people. Daniel sometimes didn't understand the vision God gave him but he still wrote the vision so that those who were supposed to study it and understand it are able to do so. Daniel 8: 27.

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. Pastors and teachers are selected by the church to speak for the church to local congregations.

You have just called every pastor in the world a lier when they say they were called by God, not the church. The more you belabor the subject of EGW's place the more it becomes apparent the pedestal you are putting her own. God chooses whom he wills and there is no hierarchy of position.

Who selects the prophet-- man or God? Does the prophet require man's ordination or choosing? No. The prophet is chosen by God alone and the prophet's authority does not rest on man or on the church at all. If a prophet is a true prophet of God, it doesn't matter whether the entire church rejects him-- he still will be a true prophet.

Who chooses the pastor or elder? The church does. The church elects the pastor or elder, and if the church does not elect him, he won't have a job. That is not the case with the prophet of God. So it was the case of Ellen White. She was chosen by God to speak for God to the church.

See Paul's instructions on appointing church officers: 1 Tim. 3; Titus 1: 5-9.

Study Eph. 2: 20; 4: 11; 1 Cor. 12: 29.

None of this means that God is not involved in the work of a pastor or teacher or any other church officer. What it does mean, though, is that God directly calls a prophet, without any selection being made or verified by any other person. For instance, when Ellen White was selected by Jesus Christ as his messenger, no one was asked to verify her work by ordaining her or voting for her. See Early Writings. This is not the case with pastors, elders, teachers, and other church officers.

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COASPEN-- Interesting that you did not try to refute my statements about equating EGW and the Bible. You obviously do your own interpretation of the Bible and consider others to be invalid.

Please carefully read the following:

Source: http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-17.htm

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The Spirit of Prophecy and the Bible. The writings of Ellen White are not a substitute for Scripture. They cannot be placed on the same level. The Holy Scriptures stand alone, the unique standard by which her and all other writings must be judged and to which they must be subject.

1. The Bible the supreme standard. Seventh-day Adventists fully support the Reformation principle of sola scriptura, the Bible as its own interpreter and the Bible alone as the basis of all doctrines. The founders of the church developed fundamental beliefs through study of the Bible; they did not receive these doctrines through the visions of Ellen White. Her major role during the development of their doctrines was to guide in the understanding of the Bible and to confirm conclusions reached through Bible study.21

Ellen White herself believed and taught that the Bible was the ultimate norm for the church. In her first book, published in 1851, she said, "I recommend to you, dear reader, the Word of God as the rule of your faith and practice. By that Word we are to be judged."22 She never changed this view. Many years later she wrote, "In His Word, God has committed to men the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the revealer of doctrines, and the test of experience."23 In l909, during her last address to a general session of the church, she opened the Bible, held it up before the congregation, and said, "'Brethren and sisters, I commend to you this Book.'"24

In response to believers who considered her writings an addition to the Bible, she wrote, saying, "'I took the precious Bible and surrounded it with the several Testimonies for the Church, given for the people of God. . . . .You are not familiar with the Scriptures. If you had made God's word your study, with a desire to reach the Bible standard and attain to Christian perfection, you would not have needed the Testimonies. It is because you have neglected to acquaint yourselves with God's inspired Book that He has sought to reach you by simple, direct testimonies, calling your attention to the words of inspiration which you had neglected to obey, and urging you to fashion your lives in accordance with its pure and elevated teachings.'"

2. A guide to the Bible. She saw her work as that of leading people back to the Bible. "Little heed is given to the Bible," she said, therefore "the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light."26 "The Word of God," she wrote, "is sufficient to enlighten the most beclouded mind and may be understood by those who have any desire to understand it. But notwithstanding all this, some who profess to make the Word of God their study are found living in direct opposition to its plainest teachings. Then, to leave men and women without excuse, God gives plain and pointed testimonies, bringing them back to the word that they have neglected to follow."27

3. A guide in understanding the Bible. Ellen White considered her writings a guide to a clearer understanding of the Bible. "Additional truth is not brought out; but God has through the Testimonies, simplified the great truths already given and in His own chosen way brought them before the people to awaken and impress the mind with them, that all may be left without excuse." "The written testimonies are not given to give new light, but to impress vividly upon the heart the truths of inspiration already revealed."28

4. A guide to apply Bible principles. Much of her writings apply the Biblical counsels to everyday life. Ellen White said that she was "directed to bring out general principles, in speaking and in writing, and at the same time specify the dangers, errors, and sins of some individuals, that all might be warned, reproved, and counseled."29 Christ had promised such prophetic guidance to His church. As Ellen White noted, "The fact that God has revealed His will to men through His Word, has not rendered needless the continued presence and guiding of the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, the Spirit was promised by our Saviour, to open the Word to His servants, to illuminate and apply its teachings."30

The Challenge to the Believer. Revelation's prophecy that the "testimony of Jesus" would manifest itself through the "spirit of prophecy" in the last days of earth's history challenges every one not to take an attitude of indifference or disbelief, but to "test everything" and "hold on to the good." There is much to gain—or lose—depending on whether we carry out this Biblically mandated investigation. Jehoshaphat said, "'Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper'" (2 Chron. 20:20). His words ring true today, as well.

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It really is a shame that the conservative wing of the church have elevated Ellen White to such a level that she is beyond error. To a new person in the church ... one would think that we were more concerned with Ellen White than the Bible. And yet it was the Bible that she tried to point us to.

If only those conservatives would pay as much attention to this:

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"Do not repeat what I have said, saying, "Sister White said this," and "Sister White said that." Find out what the Lord God of Israel says, and then do what He commands."--Manuscript 43, 1901. (From an address to church leaders the night before the opening of the General Conference session of 1901.) 3SM 33

"And don't you give a rap any more what "Sister White said"-- "Sister White said this," and "Sister White said that," and "Sister White said the other thing." But say, "Thus saith the Lord God of Israel," and then you do just what the Lord God of Israel does, and what he says. " SpM 167

I suspect that she knew the kind of counterfeit that the Devil would throw out. The Devil always tries to deceive us with something that 'could' be good.

In these last days ... I suspect we will see more and more of this counterfeit.

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It really is a shame that the conservative wing of the church have elevated Ellen White to such a level that she is beyond error. ...

This is a "straw man."

The SDA church has never taught that Ellen White is beyond error.

It's not a question of whether Ellen White is without error but whether she is a true prophet of God and wrote messages that Christ wants us to hear and put into practice.

My experience is that the discussion of "error" comes up for the most part because Ellen White wrote a lot of things that some people resist and rebel against.

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Again, the problem comes with the idea that all of her writings are not merely timely principles to follow, but a direct command from God, which when disobeyed will be accounted as a transgression against God.

Thus to transgress against E.G. White's council is synonymous with transgression against God.

I'll be the first one to jump out and say that her writings are very practical and much needed. But the problem is not with her writings, but with the way her writings are used by the denomination as a yard stick of model Christian behavior... For example... to this day many people will not step into a movie theater, even if a Christian film is playing on the screen... simply because she written a couple of things about it. Not only that, but they will look down on people who do.

So, I don't think the problem is with her writings, but our application (or mis-application).

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And that experience of yours would be self-righteous!

PS... that's exactly the kind of accusatory tone that I'm talking about... why not let God be the judge of that?

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Personally, I'm amazed that God didn't just leave us to rot. The simple fact that He gave us His Word and His prophets speaks volumes about who He is.

I don't NEED to look for inconsistancies. I'm eternally greatful to Ellen White. I welcome her experience and wisdom.

Anyone who's had a direct glimpse of Heaven and direct communication from God HAS to be changed in some way or another, and I would say for the better.

If I remember correctly, there were others who received the same visions as Ellen, but they didn't have the guts to take them to the world. Can you imagine the courage that this frail little girl had to muster?

While others are looking for a "legalistic" way out, I'll enjoy my life aiming at the high standard that she set.

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My Words:
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You have just called every pastor in the world a lier when they say they were called by God, not the church.

Your Words:

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Who chooses the pastor or elder? The church does.....What it does mean, though, is that God directly calls a prophet, without any selection being made or verified by any other person.

So, do you still say that God does not call an individual to be a 'pastor'?? That is my question, still waiting for an answer and only requires a 'yes' or 'no'.

All of your quotes, regardless of their context, still do not answer the question of your use of the term, 'downgrading'. Where is any Biblical support for the statement you made or are you just relying on it being your personal opinion and not a truth?

The truth is that the Church doesn't hold to John317's opinion. It consistently, in reliance on Scripture and statements by EGW, understand ministers to be "called by God".

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While others are looking for a "legalistic" way out, I'll enjoy my life aiming at the high standard that she set.

Sounds a little 'judgmental' to me.

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PS... that's exactly the kind of accusatory tone that I'm talking about... why not let God be the judge of that?

I think the above quote applies.

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Originally Posted By: CoAspen
My Words:
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You have just called every pastor in the world a lier when they say they were called by God, not the church.

Your Words:

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Who chooses the pastor or elder? The church does.....What it does mean, though, is that God directly calls a prophet, without any selection being made or verified by any other person.

So, do you still say that God does not call an individual to be a 'pastor'?? That is my question, still waiting for an answer and only requires a 'yes' or 'no'.

All of your quotes, regardless of their context, still do not answer the question of your use of the term, 'downgrading'. Where is any Biblical support for the statement you made or are you just relying on it being your personal opinion and not a truth?

The truth is that the Church doesn't hold to John317's opinion. It consistently, in reliance on Scripture and statements by EGW, understand ministers to be "called by God".

Praise God that someone has the nerve to speak the truth. 317's statements have no scriptural basis and are just a feeble attempt to elevate Ellen White and denegrate women and pastors in the church. I have no stomach for it.

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...317's statements have no scriptural basis and are just a feeble attempt to elevate Ellen White and denegrate women and pastors in the church...

Yes, but there is a glaring inconsistency... Ok, follow me on this...

Prophet - called by God = higher calling

Pastor - hired by mere mortals = lower calling

According to John, men only are qualified for the lower calling of pastor and that women are not because they are to be subservient/submissive to men, etc...

But a woman is qualified for the higher calling of prophet... You see where I am going with this.

reyes

Tom

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I think you are missing what he is saying. I think what he means is that each individual church picks or chooses or puts in a call for a pastor. And than they choose the man they want to be there pastor. But that those individuals that go to the seminary do go because they feel that they have a calling from the Lord. I don't believe that that is in dispute. Unless I'm missing something that is what I got from his posts.

pk

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That's exactly it. A church picks or selects a pastor or other church officers.

A church does not choose a prophet; God does.

No man or church selected Ellen White to be a prophet. Neither did any church or person select Paul or Isaiah or any other prophet.

As I stated earlier, this is not to imply that God is not involved in the selection process of pastors and other church officers.

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