Duke University’s Arguments Against A Statutory Second Amendment

Herschel Smith · 22 May 2022 · 11 Comments

The Regulatory Review links a paper by Joseph Blocher of Duke University arguing against state preemption laws that prohibit more restrictive gun control statutes by cities and counties than instituted by the state itself.  The paper is entitled "Cities, Preemption, and the Statutory Second Amendment." He argues: As a practical matter, though, nothing has done more to shape contemporary gun regulation than state preemption laws, which fully or partially eliminate cities’ ability to…… [read more]

Gospel Witness, The Operation of God In Salvation

12 hours, 12 minutes ago

Note: This post is tagged Gospel Witness and Notes on John as it falls into both categories.

“7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” – John 16:7-11

Dispensationalists have succumbed to a lazy wait for the rapture approach to the ordinances and commands of Christ. One bad thing happens in the news, and they declare that we’re out of here any minute now, so why bother telling people about salvation in Christ Jesus. Many of them are useless in God’s redemptive plan.

Calvinists suffer from the same problem, but the reasoning is different. They think that if a person is predestined to salvation, why should they bother to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These are also useless in God’s redemptive plan.

Jesus is speaking (Above) to His disciples about the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Verse 9 is significant. The Holy Spirit convicts the lost sinner of sin for not believing on Jesus. This brings the lost sinner to realize their need for forgiveness from sin, which can only come by God through faith in Jesus Christ.

When a soul gets saved: it is given by the Father to the Son (John 6:37), Jesus died for them (Revelation 13:8, many others), saved them (Acts 4:12), and the Holy Spirit convicts them (John 16:8-9 above) when you (Mark 16:15) relate the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) bringing belief by faith through sharing scripture (Romans 10:17) with the hearer. I know that seems backward but hang in there.

“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.” Luke 8:11

The Father isn’t suddenly surprised when you share the Gospel with a lost sinner, and neither is the Son. You don’t convince anybody of their need for salvation; the Holy Spirit does. Those being called already have the Holy Spirit bearing on their conscience (lay up earnest prayers for them about this); Jesus already died for them, and the Father has already given them; the witness, that’s you, comes along and tells them the truth.

Some are full of fear, having fallen into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31); others are just starting to hear from Him (John 3:9) while He makes them aware. They hear the Gospel from a witness; maybe they turn God-ward at that time, or perhaps you plant another good row laying down the seed that Holy God is using to build their initial faith, bringing conviction of their need for Christ. Then another perhaps sows more seed onto the good ground of their heart (Matthew 13:8), and another reaps.

Although there is no formula for salvation, it’s good to know God’s workings in the councils of heaven to understand the operation of God in salvation. We’re telling you this, not as an intellectual understanding, but that you might both pray in this knowledge and that you would be walking in the will of the Father as you share the good news of Christ Jesus. Don’t be discouraged by seed planting that is evidently (to you) without fruit. The Word of God does not return to Him void, but it prospers wherever He sends it (Isaiah 55:11). Folks have all kinds of testimonies, and myriad things may happen to bring awareness of God to a soul, but behind it all, the Almighty in three persons is doing as they will.

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” – John 6:37

Here are a few verses that explain the same essential things. All those given by the Father shall come to Christ. The first thing in the salvation of a lost sinner is that Holy Father God gave him to the Son for an inheritance (Psalm 2:7-8). Then, Jesus saves his soul because the Son knows all things whatsoever the Father has given Him (John 3:35). See also Matthew 11:27.

Jesus continues in John 6:38-40:

“39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” – John 6:39-40

Jesus has ascended back to the right hand of Power and sent the Holy Spirit for several purposes, one of which is to reprove men of sin, which for the lost sinner means conviction of the heart and conscience for their sin. “Of sin, because they believe not on me” – John 16:9 from our text at the top. This conviction brings the lost sinner to his state of need for forgiveness.

Then, the lost sinner hears the Gospel, which is the good news of God’s way to be forgiven for sin, bringing salvation from the wrath of God, which, without Jesus, abides on all men (John 3:36). Further, He brings eternal life by the resurrection, “…I will raise him up at the last day.” The spiritual new birth is a type of the resurrection to come.

All disciples are witnesses for Jesus Christ. It’s not the only thing Christ’s disciples do. Still, we are commanded to do it under the Great Commission in Mark 16, Matthew 28. Right before Christ ascended, He told His disciples that the Holy Spirit’s arrival was imminent, and after that, they were to be witnesses of Him to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).

Maybe they’re saved, but when somebody claiming to be Christian will not witness for Jesus Christ, they declare before the throne of the Almighty and among men that they are, in fact, not Christ’s disciple. They may be a good Church member, or they may be a religionist of a type or even have some standing among a group of believers. But he also may have climbed up some other way (John 10:1) into the sheepfold. Those that belong to Christ Jesus hear His voice (John 10:27), and they know Him (John 10:14) that has commanded us to spread the good news of salvation unto all the people of every nation.

Without a growing body of Christ, the church is withering. Look around; there are more lost sinners than ever and fewer true converts. This situation is having a severely negative impact on your civilization. Your eschatology or teachings of your Church fathers have no bearing from which to derive an excuse for being a lazy or phony Christian. Go and make disciples.

Wert to God That I Were Hot or Cold

1 day, 10 hours ago

“15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” – Revelation 3:15-16

It’s not so much being lukewarm; it’s more just being flat, blah, nothing. It’s not apathy, which is what perhaps Christ is speaking of. In searching the Scriptures with all mindfulness and prayer to hear from God, there are times when God’s word returns only the perfunctory rudiments of text; nothing leaps off the page and comes to life. The past few days have been one of searching Christ in prayer and word, and there He is, just text without context or application.

It’s not as though nothing is happening, but the writing is slow, even not very productive. On the other hand, we were blessed with the opportunity of the essential duty and high honor from Christ to speak with two separate men Sunday about their eternal station. Both conversations were very productive. One, the younger man in his late teens or early twenties, has one foot in Christianity and one foot out, which we all know means, in reality, both feet out. We spoke for ten or so minutes discussing several sections of scripture. He faces a choice, in or out? Every man must choose, God having called at length to him, and he, playing Church at times, has to decide; will he answer Christ or suffer outer darkness and eternal torment to follow. He’s a bit of a mess, but God specializes in messes at times.

The other fellow, early 30’s, skeptical Catholic, dabbled in Easternism of late, has now taken up reading Matthew. He sounds very much like a man who is being made aware of God, having had his interest stirred deeply to know the truth of the Almighty. We had an excellent 25-minute or so talk. We discussed zero things of religion (as commonly called) and zero things of denomination, and zero insulting things were said about his journey so far to find God. We, instead, focused on faith in Christ unto salvation from sin and hell by His substitutionary death on the cross and life everlasting in His resurrection as 1 Corinthians 2:2 advises. We discussed fewer scripture passages and more concepts with single verses as an exclamation point or proof text. He confesses that he has much to think about. That’s a big win; Father God has his attention. We pray conviction of his need for Christ is on the way very soon. Having seen this before, it’s safe to say the man is hearing from God.

Lots of seeds planted, lots of work done, the name of Christ is proclaimed, and the Father gets praise and glory, for, without Him, it is impossible. What an honor that the Father would use me, of all the wicked men and deeply flawed to boot, sending souls seeking in earnest the truth of our great High Priest; well, that particular miracle never gets old. There’s no special training or background here; it’s God that equips the willing. It could be no other that would make a sinner His witness to teach of salvation by grace, preaching Jesus Christ.

The writing here on TCJ has been going a little slower these last few days. Nonetheless, here’s a post, maybe a lesson or a takeaway. Two men were found seeking and knocking after God only to find, so am I.

P.s. Use wert in a sentence just for fun, to see people’s reactions. Please don’t ask me what it means, though.

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Gospel Witness, What Soul Winning Is Not.

2 days, 12 hours ago

Note: Tagged Gospel Witness with the others of this irregular series.

Soul-winning is not discipleship, witnessing is not apologetics debate, and being a witness for Jesus Christ is not fishing for new Church members, nor is it a class about Church, denomination, or religion.

We are not wasting time on unfruitful theological discussions with the lost. As interesting as those may be, they need salvation first. And Gospel witnessing is not entering into apologetics discussions which may be fun but are unfruitful for the lost sinner. Filling lost sinner’s heads with Bible knowledge and wowing them with your theological prowess is not soul winning. They need a straightforward salvation plan.

Never argue. Your debating skills are not Holy Spirit conviction upon a lost soul. If you feel the need to argue, you have difficulty expressing specifically what the Scripture says about a point. It would be best to search the Scriptures to share better that particular concept that leads toward faith in the lost sinner. Lost sinners need to hear a clear presentation from Scripture showing their need for Jesus Christ.

Soul-winning is not discipleship.

Both distinct missions seek the growth of the body of Christ. Soul-winning aims to grow the number of true converts, while discipleship seeks the development of individual believers in their depth and breadth of maturity in Christ.

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2

Discipleship seeks to plant the sure foundations of the Christian faith in the infant (immature) believers by imparting doctrinal truth to them. Teaching infant Christians so that they mature in Christ is also a mission-specific command of Father God.

Discipleship seeks to have the body of Christ grow upwardly, that is, laying a sure foundation so that individual Christians grow in the faith and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and all that He commands by His word. This gets done by the faithful teaching others (all nations) that are faithful to do all that Christ commands. (2 Timothy 2:2 and Matthew 28:18-20)

Fruit of Spirit is not the fruit of the Christian.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

You want this fruit to show forth in all you do, but it’s not yours; it is evidence of the Holy Spirit transforming you into meet for the Master’s use.

Many untrained Christians claim the fruit of the Spirit is their fruit as a Christian. They owe Holy God an apology. The fruit of the Spirit is His fruit in you. The fruit of the Christian includes sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, bringing in the Lord’s harvest, so souls get saved to the Glory of Holy Father God. And, He wants us to bear much of this fruit.

Fishing for Church members is not Gospel Witnessing.

“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” – 1 Corinthians 12:27

At times, you will have to flat out tell some lost sinners you contact that you’re not talking about religion or Church. Fishing for Church Attendees and Soul-winning is not the same thing. Nor are we telling lost sinners to straighten up and fly right. They need salvation in Christ Jesus; that’s what lost sinners need. At the end of your talk with the people you contact, you can invite believers to Church.

The church is the body of Christ. It’s a body, a living organism. Any organism that is not growing by multiplying and reproducing is dying. How does one increase the body of Christ? We do this by sharing the Gospel as the Father makes converts through faith in Jesus (John 6:37), as the Holy Spirit brings conviction for sin (John 16:9) to the conscience of the lost sinner.

Filling a building with lost sinners is not the mission Jesus gives His disciples. But that’s the instruction the head of those corporations learned in CEO school called seminary college.

Fishing for new church members is not soul winning. The church is the assembling together of believers (Hebrews 10:25).

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20

I Will Not Feed You

5 days, 12 hours ago

“For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbour’s hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them.” – Zechariah 11:6

“Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.” – Zechariah 11:9

Read Zechariah 11; it’s short. Verses 6 and 9 are above, and verse 9 is horrifying. It’s what would befall Jerusalem for the rejection of Christ. This verse is literal and spiritual as Christ left the temple desolate and the city was besieged. If God would judge them so, America, having denied Christ, murdered 70 million babies, warred for fun and profit 100 years now, facilitated the killing of one million Christians across the globe, and glorified every mode of abject depravity; having done so, how do you expect to be sustained?

Cut off means by the sword, as they turn on each other. Hard times bring internal warring of all types, including employing arms. This isn’t the only instance where God left people but to eat of their own or each other’s flesh. The New Religion won’t tell you any of this, but that’s why you’re at TCJ.

Warning people now is almost fruitless. Many have deep conflict, one foot in and one foot out; it’s not hard to know precisely which way they will break. Hard times are coming, and it’ll be trouble if you can’t trust the people around you. It’s worth noting that things are not arrayed to go well when God’s word aligns with history as it bears on current events coupled with a knowledge of your enemy and his stated plans.

It’s four, not three. God’s means of judgment include war, famine, pestilence, and plagues. Most plagues now are of the mind, strong delusion as God showed in sections of Isaiah and during the siege in 70AD. The wise become fools, and every work is turned to error; the people can’t tell good from bad, right from wrong; they seek to kill the upright and exalt the wicked. The day will come when you wish it were only a plague of frogs.

What folks, even Christians, don’t understand is God holds everything together. When things fall apart, He doesn’t have to do much other than let us seek our way to the sin-filled debauched creatures that we are without Him. People seem to be cruising along, as in the days of Noah, carrying on as though somehow it’ll be ok, or somebody will come to rescue them. We can’t get the things we need at the grocery store, and who can afford gasoline; oh well, let’s eat cakes and watch a circus.

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Notes on the Gospel of John, Three

5 days, 12 hours ago

“28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” – John 6:28-29

Perhaps the most valuable question asked anywhere in Scripture is, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” What a great question! Anybody asking a question such as is not far from the Kingdom of God.

Does Jesus tell them to keep the law? Does Jesus urge them to make their good deeds outweigh their bad? Does Jesus tell them to be good people or get baptized, or go to Temple (Church)? No on all counts! He tells them to believe on God, who sent the Son to be the propitiation for our sin and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Through Him, as manna fed those in the wilderness, you might be fed by the true bread, which is Christ come down from heaven to give life unto the world (John 6:33).

Believing in God is the first and necessary thing, faith in Christ who died for your sins, resurrected the third day, proving that in Him is life eternal and the way to Father God is before any work that God will accept (Hebrews 11:6). There is no more an essential thing than first having faith, for, without faith in Christ, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

If you believe on Christ and purge yourself of inequity, turning away from ungodly men, God will make you a fit vessel (2 Timothy 2:21) unto good works but first, believe (John 6:46).

Then Jesus preached the Bread of Life to them (Starting in John 6:48), but sadly, many were offended and walked with Him no more. Many fall away, having rejoiced for a season, but when confronted with sound doctrine of who He is and the truth of what it’ll cost them to serve the Living God, they reject the King, put down their cross, turn back the things of this world, following Him no more into eternal life.

World Health Organization and Giga-death

1 week, 1 day ago

One hundred ninety-four countries, including the US, are set to abrogate their sovereignty in the name of “health.”

“Consider this – when you watch footage of the 26 million people of Shanghai locked down in their homes, their cats and dogs beaten to death in the street…the WHO would, by the terms of the new treaty, have the power to impose the same on cities here. Know too, that under the terms of the treaty, the WHO does not – does not – have to show any data to legitimize its conclusions or decisions.”

It’s not even worth pointing out that an international treaty or agreement cannot amend the US Constitution. Nobody would listen, and nobody would care, including me. That covenant was over in 1861. This isn’t about a legal matter as a point of order; they are making war on you. Read the whole thing.

And read this on the coming mass extermination of humans. It’s short and good, despite his misuse of the word apocalypse in the last sentence.

“However, there is now intent to inflict Giga-death – coming from the ‘highest’ levels of human power (and underpinned by the supernatural and immaterial demonic powers that these humans serve); indeed, the plans for Giga-death are well advanced.”

And keep in mind, the New Order are doing this in the name of some, they believe, noble good.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” – Isaiah 5:20

Christ already told you what to do, and we explained it to you in all of these and this. All wars are spiritual wars won in the councils of Heaven long before they are fought on earth. But American Christians are hearers of the word, deceiving themselves; they have a phony outward appearance of godliness, denying the power of God (James 1:22, 2 Timothy 3:5). Your blood is on your own head.

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Notes on the Gospel of John, Two

1 week, 1 day ago

“For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son” – John 5:22

Having defeated death and the grave, the resurrected Christ of God has been given the keys to bind hell and death (Revelation 1:18), and Christ has been made the Judge of the quick and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1).

“And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” – John 5:27

Jesus is the only one qualified to judge. He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus knows how hard sin is on us and challenging for us to resist. But, Jesus being fully man but fully the Word made flesh (John 1:14), is the only sinless man. Not only is Christ the only one qualified to be the perfect sacrifice for your sin but being also fully man, He nonetheless overcame sin. Where the law condemned us, Christ condemned sin in the flesh (Romans 8:3-4). Sin is now condemned and not us that walk in the Spirit; Christ has fulfilled the law. We, having been helpless against our sin, He ended the condemnation when He condemned sin itself by being a man but having never sinned, making us free indeed. He is the only sinless.

Jesus Christ knows by experience the difficulty that every man faces in his sin. The hardness of our nature toward sin, being completely depraved and without hope, trapped in our wickedness every waking moment, and even in our dreams, Christ is the great Judge and only just One qualified, having lived as men do, to offer of His mercy and grace. Christ knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), did no sin (1 Peter 2:22) and in Him was no sin (1 John 3:5). Without His pardon, there is no life everlasting.

Read John 5:22-30. All men will honor the Father and the Son. He that hears the word of the Son of God and believes on Him passes from death unto life (Verse 24); now is the hour that the dead in their soul shall hear Christ and live. As the Father has life creating every creature and all that is, the Son has life that the lost sinner might pass from death to life.

And not only resurrection by the Spirit of God now, but the day will come when every creature will rise to face Christ (Verse 29), some to the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8), some into the eternal glory of the Father as Christ brings in His final kingdom (1 Corinthians 15:28). Christ’s judgment is true because He always sought the will of the Father. Being forgiven, condemned in the flesh no more, seek only the will of the Creator that He might get all the glory through you.

Notes on the Gospel of John, One

1 week, 2 days ago

“36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.” – John 4:36-38

As the prophets of old sowed, preparing the way for our Lord Jesus Christ, did the apostles reap. And today, as the apostles and disciples sowed, leaving us the New Testament to share with all men, we too reap of their reward as God brings souls to faith while we tell them of Christ.

We sow and reap from one man to another. Some share a verse or two, and some mention their love and service to Christ. Some plant the word in the field, telling strangers of the glories of the Kingdom of God by salvation in Christ Jesus. Other men follow behind, reaping those precious souls sown by us that the Lord has watered and nurtured. We laborers together commend those newborn Christians unto Holy Father God as desirous of Him, and life eternal, condemned no more but to be sons of God, converted to the truth.

“But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.” – Matthew 13:8

If the seed is fallen on good ground converting you to Christ, you are to sow and reap, bringing forth much fruit (John 15:8), good fruit (Matthew 7:17), and ordained to bear fruit that remains (John 15:16), even leading 100 souls or more to Jesus Christ. This work is done one soul at a time.

Pray for the lost, that God would send those to you looking for answers, sinners in need of salvation. Pray that you might show them what great things Christ has done for them if they would only believe. Some will reap where you sow, and you will reap where others have planted so that we may all rejoice together as Father God gets all the glory through His Son.

Bring them before the throne that every knee bow and every tongue confess Christ as King (Philippians 2:10-11).

The Fed Has Several Options, None Good For You

1 week, 5 days ago

Note: This post is categorized under Survival.

I don’t know much. Maybe they have something up their sleeve? We were here at the dot com crash in 2001 and the housing bubble crash ’08-09, but we had average inflation both times.

Option #1, Leave interest rates mostly untouched from here; let the inflation run. This would be very bad, but perhaps it’s the best option? Demand will ease, and prices or alternate forms of payment or both will gradually correct the problem. Compounding inflation will cause years of trials, and it could go hyper; it’s a risk. Although this is the best option, it’s the worst option for TPTB. It means doing nothing and losing legitimacy. (We know, we know.)

Option #2, raise interest rates; currently, it’s just under 1%. This will crash the stock market and the economy with it. They have already done this some and signaled the potential for more. If they choose this option, they should raise it to a 4-5ish percent range over the next 18 months and be done with it. Two to four years of hard times, probably less. Real Americans just don’t care; they roll up their sleeves, get to work, and solve problems. Of course, TPTB hates this idea because it means that they’re not running around claiming to solve everything. This might even be a better option than #1 if the Government were honest upfront about the road we had to take and let us solve our own problems locally.

Option #3, make war. Not whack-a-mole with goat herders, millions dead war. Not that those wars weren’t real to the folks involved, they weren’t of the type where all resources are focused on one national task. This is the worst option for you and me. We get rationing worse than a crashed economy, with no attempt to address the underlying root of the problem. The problem is a currency with no real value because inflation is used to pay the debt. They borrow at today’s dollar and pay it back with inflated (lower value) dollars five years later, but they never stop borrowing either. They’ll choose war; it’s how the money changers and war profiteers settle international accounts; no, not grudges, ledgers of debt to each other.

Well, they do have at least one other.

Option #4, which until recently, nobody would have recognized, but they could starve us all. That solves almost all of their problems and satisfies the money changer’s greatest desire, a provocation to jealousy of you, which is the hatred of Jesus Christ for being right (Romans 11:11). What was Jesus right about, you say? Every. Single. Word!

I Don’t Want To Use The Word Crash, But…

1 week, 6 days ago

Note: These posts are categorized under Survival and tagged Economics to warn you of economic trouble ahead.

Over a month ago, we warned you of hard times coming. Earlier this week, we warned you of the potential for recession.

Major stock market indexes are the last to move lower. They are comprised of the largest companies that can weather slow economic times better than most. So, the problem is not yet readily apparent.

The underlying stock market, however, is entering into free-fall. There are over 5000 stocks worth owning, and they are getting sold indiscriminately. This will bleed into the major indexes soon.

“Official” recession is probably less than six months away; it’ll be this fall. Of course, you likely already feel it with the pinch of inflation. The US stock market remains the world’s best forward indicator of economic booms and busts. Everything could change tomorrow, but things look as though they will get stormy soon.

Discuss this with your spouse and dust off your plan, filling gaps and shoring up where necessary. As we mentioned earlier, these things take on a life of their own; it’s hard to know where this ends. Remember that fear is not of God, and knowledge is the foremost essential tool for survival.

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