6. PHYSICAL LAWS
There are many physical laws stipulated in the books of
Moses. Some as we have already seen were directly connected to
the Tabernacle/Temple worship together with animal sacrifices to
be offered upon being completed. I have talked about such laws as
the physical cleansing of a woman after childbirth.
Yet there are other physical laws different from those
physical laws, some of which have no connection with the Temple
or animal sacrifices. Such laws would be the CLEAN and UNCLEAN
food laws of Lev.11 and Deut.14. Please read these sections of
Scripture. Note how God is emphasizing HOLINESS, Israel was to
be HOLY as God was HOLY, even in matters of DIET!
You will notice there is NOTHING in these passages of
scripture to say these laws were tied to the priesthood,
tabernacle, or sacrificing of animals.
Then as you read all of the word of the Lord you will find
the CLEAN and UNCLEAN creatures existed in the days of NOAH, way
BEFORE Moses and the giving of the Old Covenant to Israel.
Also the New Testament must be considered, and this is where
CARE must be taken and HONESTY, for some passages in the NT have
been taken to say these food laws were merely ceremonial and not
creationally designed to be GOOD or NOT GOOD for the human body
to eat. It is a very true saying: "You are what you eat." We are
made of atoms and molecules that must be replenished by the atoms
and molecules of the food we eat. The human body was created in
such a way that to feed it and try to live on a diet of wood and
grass.....well we would soon be six feet under the wood and
grass, turning back to dust.
There are certain PLANTS that if eaten would do two things,
either make us sick in a literal way, or KILL us!
So knowing those facts of this physical life, should it be
thought a STRANGE thing that the Eternal would have laws
concerning DIET that if obeyed would produce HEALTH and if
disobeyed would produce a body not as healthy as it should and
Once more, it is not the purpose nor the place to expound
all the truth of this subject and the truth of some verses in the
NT that are often given to teach that the food laws of the books
of Moses are "done away." Needless to say, that is NOT the case.
The laws regarding DIET in the Old Testament are VERY MUCH for
the Christian today, and they are laws that the child of God
would do well to HEED and OBEY!
As we are to live by every word of God, that would include
the PROPHETIC word also. There is a prophecy in the book of
Isaiah chapter 66 that is an END TIME prophecy, concerning the
coming of the Lord with FIRE and POWER to plead with all nations.
It is more than interesting to note that God is at this time
still upholding His food laws, and those rebelling against them
He will deal with in no uncertain way.
There are physical laws as in Lev.13,14, that although they
had some connection with the priest and sacrifice, upon
examining them, and many Christian man and woman in the medical
skill have done so, can hardly be said to be JUST ceremonial in
nature and so worthless for the Christian today under the New
Covenant. Surely the world HAS and is STILL experiencing the
terrible penalties in sickness and death, for not giving more
heed to some of the aspects of these laws. Certain aspects as
COMMON SENSE, but often common sense is not learned until after
the pain and penalty has been experienced.
We have the law of QUARANTINE expressed in such laws, which is as
the world knows VERY WELL, a MUST in the air borne disease of TB.
There is the health law of SANITATION also unfolded in such laws.
The men in the ARMIES of Israel were to carry a little spade
with them on their exploits, you know to dig a hole in the ground
to deposit the result of a bodily function.
Sanitation is EXTREMELY important to health and the well-being of
any people. Such laws are not dependant upon a priesthood, a
Temple, or animal sacrifices. They work and are in force and
effect even when the ones just mentioned are not. Any people
finding themselves in a situation(say after an earthquake) where
sanitation becomes a large problem, soon know the dire results
with the outbreak of diseases that are in the main the result of
poor or no sanitation. There is another old saying that goes:
"Cleanliness is next to godliness." And when it comes to the
physical, it is true, for the Eternal God knows what is good for
the human body to maintain it free from disease, sickness, and in
keep it in tip-top healthy shape.
Many aspects and certainly the PRINCIPLES of these physical
laws are for Christians, individually and collectively, as well
as the nations of the earth, to LOOK INTO and OBEY today! In so
doing much sickness in the world could be avoided.
7. NEW TESTAMENT DIRECT ALTERATION
VOWS, OATHS, SWEARING
Numbers 3; Deut.23:21-23. Oaths and Vows were laws under
the Old Covenant, they were ALLOWED and permitted. There were
rules and regulations regarding those laws.
One of the important points to remember and to apply in
governing your life by trying to live by every word of God is:
Does the NT have a DIRECT ALTERATION to any of the Old Covenant
laws of Moses or even before Moses for that matter?
We must read all the word of God to learn how to live by all
the word of God. So it is important we read the NT to see if
there are any passages that clearly ALTER a law found in the Old
When it comes to the law of OATHS and VOWS for the Christian
TODAY under the New Covenant, we do INDEED find verses in the NT
that DIRECTLY ALTER those laws. Such laws are NOT to be followed
or obeyed or lived by today for the Christian!
Matthew 5:33-37, " Again, you have heard that it has been
said by them of OLD TIME, You shall not foreswear yourself, but
shall perform unto the Lord your OATHS. BUT I SAY UNTO YOU, SWEAR
NOT AT ALL; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the
earth, for it is His footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is
the city of the great King. Neither shall you SWEAR by your head,
because you cannot make one hair white or black. BUT LET YOUR
COMMUNICATION BE, YES, or NO: for whatsoever is more than these
comes of evil."
Now that is pretty straightforward, little to interpret
here. Jesus DIRECTLY ALTERED the laws concerning Oaths and Vows
and Swearing as under the Old Covenant, for the Christian under
the New Covenant. The Christian today is NOT to enter into any
OATHS, VOWS, or SWEARING !
James 5:12, " but above all things, brethren, SWEAR NOT,
neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by ANY OATH: but
let your yes be yes, and your no be no, lest you fall into
The laws of our land(at least in Britain, Canada, and the
USA) allow for you as a Christian to AFFIRM and not to have to
swear on the Bible. I hope most of you know that fact. If you
find yourself in court for any reason, and you are asked to put
one hand on the Bible and raise the other while you swear to tell
the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, YOU DO NOT
HAVE TO COMPLY! You can tell them that as a Christian you will
AFFIRM. And you do not have to put a hand on the Bible to do that
A number of years ago, I was in court. The lady came forward
with a Bible to do what she had probably done thousands of times
before. This was in a small town, where obviously she had never
encountered someone who would not swear on the Bible to tell
the truth. I said to her that I did not do such a thing, but
would be quite willing to AFFIRM as a Christian that I would tell
the truth. She blinked, her mind no doubt going blank, and
repeated what she wanted me to do, that is swear on the Bible. I
once again, told her I would affirm to tell the truth. This time
she not only blinked again, but stuttered, paused and stuttered,
only to repeat she wanted me to swear on the Bible.
It was obvious by now to me that this poor lady that was
turning red with embarrassment in front of the Judge, did not
know there was a provision in the laws of the land that
Christians did not have to swear on the Bible in courts of law
but could affirm to tell the truth. As she is telling me for the
third time to swear on the Bible and looking over at the Judge at
the same time, the Judge knowing what I'm going to say, finally
stepped in to tell her that I did not have to swear on the Bible
but could affirm to tell the truth. He took over for her and
asked me to affirm, which I readily did.
I once had a Judge ask me where in the Bible did it say we
are not to swear. He knew the law of the land that I as a
Christian did not have to swear on the Bible but could affirm to
tell the truth, yet maybe he had never encountered it before, so
he politely asked me where he could find the no swearing verse. I
politely gave him the answer, and he seemed quite pleased to have
The same holds true for legal documents. If at the end of
them you see SWORN on this day.....etc. all you need do is cross
out the word "sworn" and replace it with the word "affirmed." My
wife and I have had to do this a number of times in our life when
dealing with legal documents.
It can be quite a WITNESS to the world at times when as a
Christian we live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of
Romans 2:28,29. "For he is not a Jew, which is one
outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the
flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one INWARDLY; and circumcision
is that OF THE HEART, in the SPIRIT, and not in the letter, whose
praise is not of men, but of God."
1 Corinthians 7:19, "Circumcision is NOTHING, and
Uncircumcision is NOTHING, but(what is important) the keeping of
the commandments of God."
Galatians 5:6, "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision
avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by
The Jerusalem conference of Acts 15 led to the official
presentation of the truth that was already being taught by Paul
and others, that physical circumcision was NOT required to be
What we see in the above NT scriptures is BOTH an ALTERATION
and even a "done away with" law concerning physical circumcision.
True NT circumcision for the Christian was not in the flesh
but in the HEART. It was a SPIRITUAL matter, not something
physical. There was in that sense an ALTERATION from the flesh
to the spirit. Made very CLEAR by the words of the NT.
Then going even beyond that, the above words in 1 Cor.7:19 make
it plain that physical circumcision EITHER WAY, doing it or not
doing it, IS NOTHING today!!
Now, I will probably get some flack from some who want to
uphold physical circumcision as a "good" thing health wise. Such
can argue all they like, but Paul made it very clear that
physical circumcision is NOTHING! Look, when was circumcision
introduced by God? Was it from the beginning? Was it with Adam?
No! It was with ABRAHAM! A number of thousands of years had
gone by from the beginning and MEN DID NOT PRACTICE CIRCUMCISION.
We have no record as coming from God that any were to so
If the nations before Abraham were obeying all of God's
health laws, then there would have been health WITHOUT
circumcision. God did not make the male, He did not create the
male CIRCUMCISED! For thousands of years before Abraham males
got along just fine without circumcision thank you, so did
Abraham himself before God introduced it to him, and ordered it,
for him and his seed.
My mother did not believe in circumcision, so guess what.
Yes you've got it. Oh, it takes a little more work on the part
of parents to teach certain cleanliness habits to uncircumcised
males as they grow from small children to adults, and a few other
things we shall not go into here, but you can read about them in
the clinical sex books on the market. Health wise I stand as one
to prove that the words of Paul are very true. Circumcision is
nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing.
The old law of physical circumcision is ALTERED and even
"done away with" as for Christians under the New Covenant to have
to observe. So it is written in the New Testament.
8. EXAMPLES AND/OR COMMANDS OF THE NT
ATTENDANCE AT SABBATH SERVICES
Luke 4:16; Acts 17:2. What we would call today "going to
church on the Sabbath" is given to follow by the Christian today
from EXAMPLES in the NT. We can certainly see that Jesus made it
a custom to attend "church" services, as we read through the
So also the apostle Paul as we follow his journeys in the
book of Acts. And we have a more direct command from Paul as
found in Hebrews 10:24-25, which with the above would include
assembling on the Sabbath if possible.
Jesus observed the Festivals of God, the ones He gave to
Israel in Leviticus 23. This can be seen again from reading the
Gospels. Paul and the apostles likewise in the book of Acts (Acts
2:1; 18:21; 20:6,16). There may not be any direct command in the
NT that says, "You shall observe the feasts of Leviticus the
twenty-third chapter." But there is NO verse(although some try
to use a few) in the NT that says, "The feasts of Leviticus
23 are now under the New Covenant, not to be observed." When
EXAMPLES by Christ and Paul are given to show they continued to
observe these feasts under the NC, then those examples, WHEN
other things are "all weighed together" to prove the point fully,
do portray a picture that should be followed by the Christian of
the NT age.
REMEMBER THE LORD'S DEATH WITH BREAD AND WINE
Matthew 26:17-29; 1 Corinthians 11:20-28. Here we see both
example and command. Jesus ALTERED the NT Passover service from
a festive meal of roast lamb to the relative simple symbols of
bread and the cup(the fruit of the vine). Paul also was inspired
to say that people were to "examine themselves" and then to eat
ANGRY WITH YOUR BROTHER AND LUST IN THE MIND
Matthew 5:21-30. Under the Old Covenant certain laws were in
effect that were quite letter of the law specific. One was
MURDER, another was ADULTERY. Jesus comes along under the NC and
with direct command goes one step further with those laws. He
goes to the heart and spirit of those laws. He teaches that now
to have a wrong attitude and mind and heart within such laws
against your neighbor or the spouse of your neighbor, was just as
guilty as if they had committed the literal act itself.
John was also inspired to give instruction on the "spirit"
of the NT law command. He that did not love his neighbor, or
hated his neighbor was a murderer, and no eternal life was in him
(1 John 3:14,15).
RETURNING GOOD FOR EVIL
Matthew 5:38-41. In some situations we are under the NT commands
NOT to seek rightful justice. There will come times when others
may do things to us that could warrant justice on our part to be
persuasively sort for. Sometimes such temptation for revenge
and justice must not only be passed over, but doing good from us
to our enemy must come forth. This is not to say a Christian is a
"door-mat" for everyone to wipe their dirty boots on. Paul did
appeal to the Roman Authorities at times when the religious Jews
wanted to wipe their muddy shoes on him, as we see from the book
of Acts. Yet there were times when Paul and Peter and other
servants of the Lord, endured evil from men and returned good.
The situation, circumstance and the Holy Spirit, will lead and
guide you to know when justice on your part needs to be put to
one side and simple goodness returned to those who may have done
COMMANDED TO SERVE WHEN IT IS POSSIBLE
1 John 3:16-19. The very context of these verses show that
John did not have in mind the literal giving of your life for a
brother/sister, although some have indeed done that very thing.
The NT command is not that we just love in WORD, and in some
inner mental mind set, but if we see our brother with a physical
need and we HAVE the physical goods, whatever they be, to help
them in their need, WE MUST DO SO! If we do not John can hardly
envision that person having the love of God in them. It would
just not be the way the love of God flowing into and out of a
person would practice his Christian life.
Of course the "good Samaritan" parable given by Jesus is the
capstone to serving others when it is possible for you to do so.
That parable was both an example and a command for the child of
God to follow in this age.
9. THE SPIRIT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Acts 6. This is really the NT category of Deut.17 I talked
about in the first part of this study. It allows for the leading
and directing and inspiring by the Holy Spirit within the
community of God, to make judgments for the betterment of the
whole body, or the body of a local congregation or groupings of
congregations, depending on the circumstances of the time and the
needs of the people. It may also apply on a more individual
basis where hard matters are an issue and certain judgments must
be handed out.
The example of Acts 6 and the choosing of seven by the
church and apostles to wait on tables, or to be more specific in
this situation, serve the widows with daily needs, to administer
physical necessities to them as the need arose. This judgment to
so organize had no SPECIFIC law as such from the books of Moses.
You will find in Acts 6 the apostles did not quote a book,
chapter, and verse of the OT to specifically authorize them
to make this judgment. Maybe it could be argued there are
PRINCIPLES in the OT to cover the establishment of "servers" or
"deacons." But none are given or alluded to by the apostles.
Then on the other hand, and this is an important hand, there are
no scriptures in the OT to oppose this judgment decision either.
What is one of the most important factors here, probably THE
most important factor of all? It is this: The working decision
of the judgment MUST NOT contradict the teachings of God that are
still in effect for the individual and collective Christian
community to observe. Let me give you an example as to what I
The church, be it a local or a grouping of churches, its
ministers or its whole membership, cannot, because of a situation
say concerning travel, decide to hold the feast of Tabernacles in
the 6th month instead of the 7th month. They cannot sit down and
say, "Well for our members the way most are with their jobs, it
would be better to have the fall Festivals in the 6th month."
Such a judgment would directly break an iron clad law of God that
the fall Festivals are to be in the 7th month.
Any so called "leading by the Spirit" over such matters
should send bells ringing off in a Christian's mind, if any group
of persons made a judgment as I've outlined above. The obvious
question would be WHOSE spirit is such a judgment coming from? If
it is not from God, then we are left with only one other possible
Acts 6 was breaking NO command, law, statute, precept, of
God. Certain situations in any given age will arise for any given
congregation of God's people, that were not there before, and a
judgment must then be rendered if it is of sufficient importance.
Today, we could possibly use an example of a church
congregation having a media outreach of the printed word. A
church that has the funds to produce a magazine, booklets and the
like, to send near and far, maybe around the world. We have
nothing in the OT or the NT on the matter in any specific way. To
do such an undertaking requires manpower and skilled leadership
over different departments of that manpower. The church with the
final blessing of the ministers(Acts 6 principle) may be involved
in the choosing of the skilled leaders over this publication
outreach. There is no establishment and example and law of this
publication work found in the Bible, but on the other hand it is
not AGAINST any law or commandment in the Bible either.
The Spirit leading in the church and body of Christ will
guide into the right judgments on such new specifics for a new
situation and age in the life of the people of God.
This must also be applied at times on a personal individual
basis for a minister or group of ministers. Another example will
Back in the 80's when I was in Ontario, near the city of
Toronto, a young man in the congregation came to me for help and
for counsel. He told me he was homosexual. I talked to him for a
number of hours that day. He wanted to know what God's stand was
on homosexuality. At the end of it all he said he understood. I
told him the thing that God hates the most is someone who
PRACTICES homosexuality. For we all have our different sins of
the mind we must root out and clean out, and fight against. Some
weeks went by and then he came to me again to talk more about the
same subject. This time he told me other things he did not tell
me the first time. He had and was still visiting with and
spending time with other homosexuals who were practicing this
sin. Then he told me he was thinking about moving into the city
of Toronto. Well for you that do not know, and think Canada is
lily white when it comes to sin as compared to the USA, this will
shock you. The city of Toronto has the SECOND largest homosexual
community in North America, next to San Francisco.
He still seemed like he wanted help from me to overcome
homosexuality and wanted me to tell him what he should do.
I told him I would tell him what he should NOT DO. I told
him that if he was to stand any chance of overcoming this sin, of
never practicing it, he had to GIVE UP his homosexual friends,
get away from them, put them out of his life. Then I told him
that if he moved into the city of Toronto to live, it would be
the end of his life in the church and walk with God.
Now to give that judgment, about not moving into Toronto to
live, I could not quote any Bible verse that said: "No Christian
having problems with homosexuality shall live in Toronto." On
the other hand there was no scripture that said I could not
render such a judgment if everything pointed to that being the
best judgment under his circumstance. I had to act as given in
Deut.17 and this category we are looking at here of the leading
of the Holy Spirit under the NT age.
I had to see the overall teaching of the word of God on this
matter, understand the present situation of the area we lived in,
the facts of the city of Toronto, the facts that this young man
was too close to this sin for comfort at the present, and render
my judgment. I am sorry to tell you, he did not listen to me. He
did move into Toronto to live, would not give up his homosexual
friends, and our church congregation never saw him again.
The Spirit of the Lord must be allowed to LEAD, to TEACH, to
render JUDGMENTS where such judgments may never have been
rendered before in quite that manner for that situation of the
time. But remember the Spirit of God will NEVER contradict the
words of the Eternal that we are still to apply and live by as
10. NOT EFFECTED BY ANY OF THE ABOVE
As we use the above 9 categories to help us determine HOW we
are to live by every word of God, we also need to remember that
there are some things that are NOT effected by ANY of those
Let's take the example of FASTING, say on the Day of
Atonement. It is not governed by SACRIFICIAL laws, or by NATIONAL
laws, for you as a individual can fast without it being a law of
the nation. It has nothing directly to do with HISTORICAL
National laws as far as you personally being able to fast on the
festival of Atonement. It has nothing to do with CULTURAL
CARNALITY laws. You do not have to live in a certain culture to
decide to fast on this or any other day of the year. There is no
NT DIRECT ALTERATION to do with fasting per se. In fact we find
NT statements like as when Jesus said, "WHEN you fast" not IF
you fast. So EXAMPLES and COMMANDS under the NT would be used
The DAYS of the week or month, are not effected by any of
the above nine categories. SACRIFICING, having a Temple with a
priesthood, does not effect the days of the month as to whether
those days are there or not. When the Temple was not in existence
during the 70 year captivity of Judah in Babylon, the days of
the week did not end, they continued as ever before. Not
performing animal sacrifices on certain days or no days at all,
does not "do away" with the days themselves.
The months of a year are un-effected by any of the nine
categories above. There is no ALTERATION in the NT that would
tell us something like: "You shall from this point on begin the
first day of the year in the middle of summer." Living under a
nation that has its own National culture calendar does not effect
the calendar Moses and the leaders of Israel had. The one does
not have to effect the other in any foundational way. Two
calendars can co-exist alongside each other just fine, the Jews
have been doing it for centuries with the Hebrew and Roman
The above TEN categories must be used with each other and
with WISDOM in logical ways. To jump the gun and say, "everything
I can find that has any connection with physical sacrifice, I
will take as not having to be observed today because animal
sacrificing does not have to be observed(and cannot be observed
as there is no Temple in Jerusalem)" will lead you to "doing
away" with not only every day of the week, but every day of the
month and year also, as animal sacrificing in ancient Israel was
to be performed on every day of the year. When the Jews were in
captivity for 70 years in Babylon and were not able to practice
daily animal sacrificing, they did not believe the days of the
year had ceased to exist and that time was no more.
The festivals of Leviticus 23 have the tabernacle,
priesthood and sacrifices attached to them. This does not by
itself and automatically mean that just because there is no
Temple, priesthood and sacrifices today, the festivals are thrown
out the window also. The Jews sure do not think this is the case,
not at all. The baby does not have to get thrown out with the
bath water. Care must be taken.
There may be PORTIONS of a law in the Old that has been
changed in the New, while leaving the rest. It could be one
aspect or portion of a law or two or more aspect of the law that
has been changed, while the foundation of the law remains.
Again I use the Festivals as an example.
Under the OC the Feasts of God were to be observed in a
central location in Israel, at the place where God placed His
name. At first it was in Shiloh, and later that place was in
Jerusalem. Jesus comes along under the NC and in John 4 tells the
woman at the well that the time was COMING and even NOW was, that
Jerusalem would no longer be the only place to worship God. There
was an ALTERATION to this ASPECT of the law. He did not say the
Festivals of God were "done away" only the specific aspect of a
central location in Israel to observe them and worship God
through them at this location WAS ALTERED under the NC. The basic
foundation of the festivals THEMSELVES would remain solid and
firm as before, but the portion of that law concerning a central
location in Palestine would become VOID and not applicable to NT
We see from 1 Corinthians 5 that the Gentile/Jewish church
at Corinth were observing the feast of Unleavened Bread and
literally putting the literal leaven out of their homes during
this feast as was commanded under the OC. From this EXAMPLE in
the NT we are taught that THIS ASPECT of the festival law is
STILL to be followed by Christians today.
Now another aspect of the festival law must have JUDGMENT
applied to it. I refer to the aspect of observing the Feast of
Tabernacles in make-shift booths, made from the branches of trees
(see Lev.23:41-43; Nehemiah 8:14-18). As this was to be done in
a central location (after Shiloh it was Jerusalem) in Palestine,
during the 7th month (our Sept./Oct) and as it was very pleasant
in the main at this time of the year in Jerusalem, it was no big
hardship for anyone, young or old. Now under the NC age we have
first of all the aspect of a central location in Palestine NOT IN
EFFECT, and secondly a WORLDWIDE membership of God's people
called and chosen from EVERY NATION, far and near, east and west,
north and south. WITHOUT ANY LIMITATION as to land surface. Do
you see what this means under our judgment here called for?
We have no SPECIFIC mention in the NT as to a judgment on
THIS aspect of the Festival law. Yet for TODAY one surely must
be made. God's people living in parts of the world where in
Sept./Oct. it would be very hard and severe weather to be out in
booths made from branches of trees, especially for the very young
and elderly, the Spirit of the law of the NT would I believe lead
to see that THIS aspect of the law of the feast of Tabernacles is
NOT in force today. Certainly if some in climates that favor
such booth dwelling for seven days WANT to experience tent living
during this feast, they have the liberty to so do. But I believe
the church of God has judged correctly for centuries now
that the aspect of Lev.23:41-42, and as followed in Nehemiah 8,
was for an OC people who dwelt in Palestine and were coming to a
central location in that land, and that Christians today are
under no obligation to observe that portion or aspect of that law
of the feast of Tabernacles.
The NT Spirit would have all persons, of every age, in every
land on earth, ENJOY and be BLESSED at the observance of the
feast of Tabernacles. Many young and old, and some inbetween,
living in some areas on this earth, would come to dread and very
much dislike the feast of Tabernacles, if they were absolutely
and only to observe it living in make-shift booths made from the
branches of trees. And God's festivals are to be a WONDERFUL
BLESSING for everyone everywhere, not an endurance trial.
I have given you the basic keys and points to use TOGETHER,
and the word "together" is of prime importance, for often it is a
combination of these categories that must come together to answer
the question of HOW do I live by every word that proceeds out of
the mouth of God.
Now you have them, keep them close at hand for reference.
Use them wisely as you prove all things and hold fast to that
which is good.
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