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Daily Archives: November 7, 2011

APOSTLE PAUL WAS A PRE-TRIB

This Week’s Feature Article by Jack Kelley

This is not meant to be a complete commentary on 2 Thes. 2. Instead, I want to demonstrate that Paul had to have taught the Thessalonians that the rapture of the Church would precede the End Times judgments. Think of it as a supplement to your study of 1st and 2nd Thessalonians.

By most accounts Paul stayed in Thessalonica for only about 3 weeks and during that time he founded a Church and taught them the doctrines of salvation and sanctification, the Trinity, the nature of man, the assurance of pardon, and the Day of the Lord. He continued teaching them after he left with his first letter, written from Corinth in 51 AD, in which he introduced the doctrine of the rapture (1 Thes. 4:16-17). Shortly after that they received another letter appearing to be from him, announcing that the Day of the Lord had come. They reacted with fear and confusion and immediately sought clarification.

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus and our being gathered to Him, we ask you brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy report or letter supposed to have come from us saying that the Day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let any one deceive you in any way for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. (2 Thes 2:1-3)

From Paul’s response it’s clear the previous letter had been a forgery, sent by someone pretending to be him and designed to frighten them. It worked. The Greek words for unsettle and alarm literally mean to agitate, incite, and frighten. Something in the letter had contradicted their understanding of his teaching and they were upset. Reading 2 Thes 2:1-3 we see that the forgery must have disputed Paul’s teaching on events leading up to the Day of the Lord. This is the only logical explanation for his 2nd letter to the Thessalonians.

Notice that right from the beginning Paul separated the coming of the Lord from our being gathered to Him. That’s because they’re two different events. We can’t tell their relative timing from this, but we can tell they’re not the same thing. One is when He comes back down to Earth, while from 1 Thes. 4:16-17 we know the other has us going up to meet Him in the air and continuing to Heaven. The 2nd coming will be witnessed by everyone (Matt. 24:30), but the rapture is an instantaneous disappearance (1 Cor. 15:51-52) that happens without warning.

Everything That Was Written In The Past Was Written To Teach Us

This quote from Romans 15:4 tells us that Paul wasn’t just writing to the Thessalonian believers. He was also writing to us. Think about it. The Day of the Lord is a term that always refers to the End Times and most often to the Great Tribulation. If Paul had taught them to expect a post-tribulation rapture would they have been agitated and frightened upon receiving the forgery? No! It would more likely have made them think the 2nd coming was only a few years away and many of them would live to see it.

The only justification for their fear and confusion would be if Paul had taught them a pre-trib rapture. In that case a letter telling them the Day of the Lord had come would mean they had missed the rapture, and that would mean they weren’t saved. Now we can see how they would be agitated, angry and afraid. Imagine how you would you feel in a situation like that.

From 2 Thes 2:1-3 we can begin to construct Paul’s teaching on the chronology of events leading up to the Day of the Lord. Remember, there’s an abundance of proof from his other letters showing that Paul taught the doctrine of eternal security, aka once saved always saved. Some of the most obvious references are Romans 8:38-39, Romans 10:9-10, 2 Cor 1:21-22, Ephes. 1:13-14, and Titus 3:4-7. In all of them Paul taught that true believers cannot fall away from faith for any reason. He said the Lord guaranteed our inheritance and sealed the Holy Spirit inside us as a deposit.

But Paul spoke of a rebellion (falling away) in 2 Thes 2:3 that would have to precede the Day of the Lord. The Greek word translated rebellion is apostasia, from which we get apostasy. It means people would abandon something they once considered themselves to be part of and the context implies that it’s the church. You can’t fall away from something unless you first think of yourself as being part of it. But true believers can’t fall away at all. Therefore this rebellion or apostasy has to manifest itself in what’s left of the church after the rapture removes all the true believers.

Don’t be confused about this. We see believers-in-name-only leaving traditional churches to join the Emerging Church all around us, but rebellion is as much attitude as it is action and they don’t think they’re rebelling against God. They see themselves as still being in the Church. In fact they think they’re the best part of it. Far from being rebellious, they call themselves followers of Christ, not just believers in him, and doers of the word, not just hearers. They’re not sitting in Churches on Sunday listening to the same tired old messages on sin and salvation and coming forward to be born again. No. They’re out there in the world, thinking they’re changing it for Jesus.

These advocates of the so-called social gospel don’t realize it’s not what you do for the Lord that matters, it’s what you believe He’s done for you. The only work the Lord requires of us is that we believe in the one He sent (John 6:29). That means to believe God chose to send His Son to Earth to die for our sins so we can choose to live with Him in Eternity (John 3:16). The righteous work of a thousand lifetimes will not suffice in place of this belief.

When these believers-in-name-only discover we’ve disappeared while they’ve been left behind, that’s when they’ll rebel against God and join the other side. By the time the anti-Christ makes his claim to deity, the whole world will follow him (Rev. 13:8) and they’ll be right in the forefront.

The End Times According To Paul

He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. (2 Thes. 2:4)

After the rapture and the falling away of believers-in-name-only into His world-wide counterfeit religion, the anti-Christ will be revealed for who he really is by proclaiming himself to be God. Remember, the sequence Paul gave was first the apostasy, and then the man of lawlessness will be revealed.

For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming (2 Thes. 2:7-8).

Here Paul confirmed this sequence, saying a restrainer is currently holding things back. After the restrainer is taken out of the way the anti-Christ will be revealed. This restrainer is the Holy Spirit, sealed within the Church. After the rapture, the Holy Spirit will be out of the way, the rebellion will take place, and the anti-Christ will be revealed. These things can’t happen until the church is gone.

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness (2 Thes. 2:9-12).

Most likely, the anti-Christ will already be known as a great statesman and leader, but by declaring himself to be God he’ll be laying claim to Planet Earth. This claim will kick off the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:15-21) and will be accompanied by all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders that will deceive those who have fallen away into thinking they have finally found the truth. But in reality they will have rejected the truth and embraced a lie. At the end of the Great Tribulation the Lord will return to over throw the anti-Christ and destroy him by the splendor of His coming and those who believe the lie will perish as well.

In his letters to the Thessalonians Paul didn’t reveal the actual timing of the Rapture except as it relates to other events. It may be one of the things he was forbidden to speak about (2 Cor. 12:4). All we know is for reasons of His own the Lord has never given us a specific date for the rapture. But by carefully studying passages describing it and maintaining the view that the Bible cannot contradict itself, the astute believer can obey the commandment to “know the times and seasons” and construct with some assurance the correct sequence of events. Paul criticized the Thessalonians for not figuring this out back then (2 Thes 2:5) and would even more strongly criticize the church today for the same reason. Selah. 11-05-11

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Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

THIS WEEK ON HAL LINDSEY REPORT

November 4th, 2011

This week on ‘The Hal Lindsey Report’

Almost 900 years ago, Pope Innocent II summoned the Bishop of Armagh, in what is now Northern Ireland, to come to Rome. While there, this Bishop purportedly experienced a vision in which he saw the popes from that time until the end of the Roman Catholic church. He recorded his impression of each of the remaining 112 popes in a series of cryptic phrases.

Today, Saint Malachy’s vision is called “The Prophecy of the Popes.” Written in 1139, it was rediscovered in the Vatican’s archives in 1590.

I do not believe Saint Malachy’s predictions rise to the level of the Bible’s prophecies in either their detail or accuracy. However, his predictions have been remarkable in their own way and bear relevance to the times in which we live.

You see, Saint Malachy’s prophecy seems to predict that the current pope, Benedict XVI, will be the next to last pope of the Roman church. After him will come a pope called Petrus Romanus, or Peter the Roman. Malachy appears to indicate that he will be the one who cooperates with the Antichrist, then will be turned upon and destroyed by the leader of the confederacy that rises out of the old Roman Empire.

When you consider the fact that Benedict XVI is 85 years old, the world might not have to wait very long to learn if Saint Malachy’s final prediction comes true.

And if that’s not interesting enough, stir this into the mix. The European Union is virtually teetering on the edge of collapse. I’m sure you’ve been hearing all the talk about Greece in the news. As I write this, the G20 is meeting to discuss how to rescue Greece from total bankruptcy. Germany is leading the effort to bail out the Greeks because if they fall chances are several other EU nations will follow in short order.

It’s gotten so dodgy that some European leaders have turned to China for help.

Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve System, recently told CNBC that the European Union is too big (27 members) to succeed. He noted that the divide, both culturally and economically, between the northern and southern countries of the EU is just too great. He thinks that the only way divergent nations can successfully lump their currencies together is if they are culturally close, like Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria. Otherwise, he said, it just can’t work.

Wow, that means the northern nations of the EU should not be tied, currency-wise, to the southern nations of the EU. That could cause a problem since, essentially, it’s the northern nations that are having to bail out the southern members. And the citizens of those northern nations are none too happy about that.

Bottom line, of course, is that if the EU can’t make it work (and the futility of previous bailouts of several of the EU nations seems to indicate it will not), then there is every chance that the European Union may collapse. Or, it may turn to someone who has the ideas and the leadership to make it work. Or, at least, make a revised form of it work.

Now, consider, too, the fact that the Vatican just recently published a report by the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace. It calls for the establishment of a “global authority” and a “central world bank” to rule over the world’s diverse financial institutions. Although this body does not speak directly for Pope Benedict, it carries his authority because the report quotes him extensively.

In fact, in 2009 Pope Benedict issued an encyclical called “Caritas in Veritate.” In it, the Pope denounced the capitalist mentality as responsible for the global financial meltdown. He also stated that the world’s nations need to transfer part of their powers to a world authority. Then he argued that “there is an urgent need for a true world political authority.”

To recap: We have an ancient prophecy — issued by a Catholic Bishop — that predicts Pope Benedict XVI will be the next to last pope. It also indicates that the pontiff which follows him will cooperate with the Antichrist, which, in turn will result in “the city of seven hills” being destroyed.

Then, we have the current Pope and leadership of the Roman Catholic church advocating for a global authority to rule over the world’s financial institutions. Further, the Pope suggests that there needs to be a single world political authority.

At precisely the same time, the vaunted European Union — which essentially springs from the residue of the old Roman Empire — is facing the possibility of imminent collapse. If that were to happen, it would result in either it disappearing from the pages of history or finding new leadership, retooling itself, and rising again to take charge of the chaos enveloping the world in the wake of its first failure.

Now, how can anyone look at this convergence of remarkable circumstances and say that Bible prophecy is just so much hooey? Only a spiritually blind and deaf person could conceivably argue that these are not exciting times in which to live. Especially if you’re a believer!

But Europe’s not the only place in the world witnessing major movement among end-times players. In the last 10 months, the “Arab Spring” has resulted in a geopolitical shift that has brought the Bible’s prophecies concerning the “King of the South” into sharp relief — no — into concrete reality. The nations that span northern Africa and extend down the Arabian peninsula are now formally Islamic states or soon will be. They all lie to the ‘south’ of Israel and, I believe, form the entity that the prophets called the “King of the South” — referring to one of the four spheres of power that will be involved in the war of Armageddon.

Once again, these remarkable events prove the veracity of God’s Word. And that Word also says that before things get too nasty, Jesus Christ will return to receive all true believers unto Himself. And when He calls us up to join Him in the air, He’ll be removing from this earth the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit. And, friends, that’s when — literally — all hell will break loose upon this world. You do not want to be here when that happens.

Don’t wait. If you’ve never believed and accepted the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ; if you’ve never received the pardon that He died to purchase for you, do it right now. Accept His free gift of pardon and welcome Him into your life. Trust me. You will never regret it.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: This week only, “The Hal Lindsey Report” will not be seen on TBN. It’s Fall Praise-A-Thon time! However, this week’s Report can still be seen on Daystar, Inspiration, CPM Network, the CET stations (KHCE, KETH, KITU, KLUJ, WJEB, and WTCE) various local stations, www.hallindsey.com orwww.hischannel.com. Please check your local listings.

 

 

God Bless,


Hal Lindsey

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

TARGET : TEL AVIV

– By Gary Stearman –
www.prophecyinthenews.com
 
War talk is more than an idle threat. It is the spillover
of language that has taken place behind the scenes after
diplomacy has failed.

Historically, the reality of an impending war can be
measured by the language used by opponents as the horrific
day of actual battle approaches. In 1936, Fascists and
Republicans clashed in Spain. Extreme Leftists purged the
moderates in Soviet Russia. Even in the United States,
rightists vigorously opposed Roosevelt’s growing statist
tendencies. In 1937, pastors were jailed by the Nazis in
Germany. The Japanese bombed Shanghai. Chiang Kai-shek of
China joined with Mao Tsetung to oppose Hirohito’s forces.
Then, the Chinese broke and Chinese Communism exploded.

Fascists were stoned in a London rally. Alarmed Jews began
to flee to Palestine, then Jewish access to their home
country was restricted by the British. The Japanese sank
U.S. ships. In 1938, Hitler promoted himself to become
Germany’s military chief.

The Nazis took Austria. European leaders bowed to Hitler on
the disposition of Czechoslovakia. Then, the Fuehrer
invaded the Sudetenland and further mocked the peacemakers
by taking Czechoslovakia on a southward course that
eventually included Africa. In 1939, this move was
compounded as the Nazis moved eastward, with designs upon
Poland, eastern European nations and finally, Russia.

The year 1941 witnessed German blitzkrieg and the siege of
Moscow. Japanese kamikaze fighters and Pearl Harbor
electrified the world. With the United States fully
involved, the world had fallen into a massive war.

Only five years had passed since serious war talk had raged
back and forth across the globe. In retrospect, it seems
that anyone alive in those days could have known with
absolute certainty that war was inevitable.

Currently, Syria’s despotic President, Bashar Assad, has
adopted a siege mentality and threatens to hurl rockets in
every direction. But he has specifically named Tel Aviv as
his prime target.

Today, the Middle East has left the field of peace talk.
War talk has broken forth!

While Israel continues as a tiny island in a large and
stormy sea, militant talk swells in an unimpeded fashion.
Each verbal exchange is more vicious than the one that
preceded it. For weeks, Assad has used the violent force of
his military to quell the growing street demonstrations
against his administration. His regime is little more than
a continuation of the dictatorial rule of his father,
Hafez, who reigned terror over Syria as an absolute
dictator for over 30 years. In the 1982 Hama massacre,
nearly 40,000 of his own people were mowed down with
machine guns, rockets and poison gas.

As with the father, so with the son. Bashar, a
European-educated sophisticate, doesn’t hesitate to use
maximum force, often using his armed forces to massacre
demonstrating citizens, then bury them in mass graves
within hours. Sometimes his troops quickly lay asphalt
pavement over the new graves!

Both NATO forces and Turkey – on Syria’s northern border –
have threatened to force his hand. He and his ruling clique
are Alawite Muslims, thought of by the Shiite factions as
untrustworthy apostates. They see Assad as a dangerous
threat to the solidarity of their cause.

In particular, Turkey has become increasingly warlike since
its parliament fell to radical Islamic factions, who now
constitute the political power. The Turkey, Syria, NATO
axis has made Israel an imminent target.

Flattening a City!

An ongoing high-level threat against Israel is now a dark
reality. War could come in moments. The following report
gives the reasoning behind the threat.

In an October 4th news release, DEBKAfile reports that,
“For the past three months, Syrian President Bashar Assad
has staved off a military attack by Turkey or NATO for
halting the exceptional brutality of his crackdown on
protest by explicitly holding Greater Tel Aviv’s 1.2
million inhabitants under threat of missile retaliation.
Iran and Hizballah are exercising the same deterrent. This
standoff was the main theme of the talks US Defense
Secretary Leon Panetta held with Israeli leaders in Tel
Aviv Monday, Oct. 3.

“According to Western intelligence sources, Syria, Iran and
Hizballah have charted a coordinated military operation for
flattening metropolitan Tel Aviv. Israel’s financial,
industrial and cultural center, with thousands of missiles
launched simultaneously by all three – plus the Palestinian
Hamas and Jihad Islami [Islamic jihadists] firing from the
Gaza Strip.

“Israeli officials have never publicly admitted that this
threat is on record, but Western intelligence sources have
reported that Israel reacted with a warning of its own: If
a single Syrian missile explodes in Tel Aviv, Damascus will
be the first to pay the price, and if the missile offensive
persists, one Syrian town after another will be destroyed.

“The Israeli message to Assad cited the warnings Defense
Minister Ehud Barak and government members addressed in the
past year to Hizballah, that if Tel Aviv comes under attack
from its missiles, not only Beirut but all of Lebanon would
go up in flames. Assad was given to understand that Syria
would go the same way as Lebanon if it engaged in missile
belligerence against Israel.”

For decades, we and other Bible scholars have pointed to an
amazing prophecy in the book of Isaiah. It prophesies the
“flattening” of Damascus. And we have often pointed out
that this city has never suffered the fate described by the
prophet. It has existed in its present location for about
four thousand years, being continuously inhabited. But one
day, it will be smashed, as in the following description:

“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away
from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. The
cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks,
which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid. The
fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom
from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as
the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of
hosts. And in that day it shall come to pass, that the
glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his
flesh shall wax lean” (Isaiah 17:1-4).

And now, for the first time in history, we see warring
parties following a course that could very well fulfill
this prophecy. War talk has now reached the stage that
historically, has led directly to battle.

Note that in the above passage, “… the cities of Aroer …”
are mentioned in conjunction with Damascus. Aroer is the
territory south of Damascus, along the eastern side of the
Jordan River, all the way down to today’s Amman, Jordon.
Note also that Israel suffers in this battle. Apparently,
even central Israel is involved in this action, suffering
some sort of severe injury as an offshoot of the battle.

All this started less than a year ago, with the Arab
uprisings that have resulted in almost total
destabilization in the traditional politics of the region.

The Widening Battlefield

Beginning with the Tunisian revolution in December of 2010,
a few street demonstrations steadily grew in scope, size
and focus. Their longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
was deposed in January, 2011. The demonstrators, motivated
by a lack of jobs, inflation, governmental corruption and
an oppressive police force, came together spontaneously.
Then, they discovered that they were in a position to
demand a new government. Their success sparked an uprising
in Egypt that soon resulted in the ousting of Hosni
Mubarak.

Other uprisings in Bahrain, Yemen and Syria also witnessed
varying degrees of success, leading to protest
demonstrations in Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Iraq,
Mauritania and Libya. Western news writers began to refer
to an “Arab spring.” They painted the popular protests as
the blooming of democracy in the Middle East as a whole,
foreseeing the advent of an era of peace.

Instead, the last year has been characterized by
increasingly uncensored declarations of all-out war. Tunis
gained a more sympathetic government, but Egypt’s Mubarak
was replaced by a military junta that is utterly ruthless.
Dissenters are spirited away in the night, never to be seen
again. Ten percent of the Egyptian population is Coptic
Christian. For centuries, this sect has been allowed to
live in peace as next-door neighbors to the Islamics. But
now, it is being harassed to the point that many have been
forced to flee Egypt after centuries of peaceful
coexistence.

Libya, a major oil producer, is still wracked by
revolutionary war. Its outcome is unpredictable, but most
foresee a takeover by the radical Islamic Brotherhood. And
this is the story in today’s Mideastern panorama.

Increasing radicalization is seen in Iran, Iraq, Turkey,
Lebanon and Syria. Hizballah in Lebanon boasts a rocket
inventory exceeding 40 to 50 thousand individual missiles
of different designs. Some of them can, indeed, reach Tel
Aviv with explosives, as well as chemical and biological
devices.

Turkish Invective

But war talk has reached a peak in the words of Turkey’s
Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Rising to power in
conjunction with Turkey’s radicalized parliament, Erdogan
has committed what Jewish writer Shmuley Boteach calls,
“Erdogan’s blood libel against the Jewish state.”

Writing in The Jerusalem Post on Oct. 3rd, he speaks of the
Prime Minister as having, “… made himself into a living
fountain spewing anti-Israel invective.

“His latest attack on the Jewish state, to CNN’s Fareed
Zakaria, beggared belief. Israel, he said, `shows no mercy’
and is `cruel’ in its treatment of Palestinians. Not
content to feed the worst anti-Semitic, Shakespearean
stereotypes of Jews being vindictive and heartless, he
trivialized Jewish suffering due to the thousands of
rockets fired from Gaza by Hamas before offering an
unbelievable blood libel, claiming “hundreds of thousands
of Palestinians were killed” as a result of military action
by Israel. Earlier he had accused Israel of acting like `a
spoiled child’ and described the flotilla raid as
`savagery.'”

“Erdogan claims that Israeli actions border on genocide and
that Israel indiscriminately kills Palestinians when the
truth is that the Israeli military is, given the level of
threat it faces, one of the most humane and restrained in
the world. Even if it were true that Israel has killed
anything near that number it would still have to be seen in
the context of the Palestinian people declaring a non-stop
war of annihilation against the Jewish state and Israel
being forced to defend itself.”

Boteach adds, “The second intifada, from 2000 till the
present, is said to have seen the death of 4,850
Palestinians who were killed by Israeli security forces and
594 Palestinians killed by Palestinians. It bears
mentioning that during the second intifada 1,062 Israelis
died at Palestinian terrorist hands.”

Finally, Turkey has mobilized its troops along the Syrian
border in its southern Hatay region. There, they can
transport arms to the Syrian protestors. They seem to be
trying to escalate a war there.

The Turks and NATO

A number of biblical prophecies make it clear that Israel
will successfully stave off the invasions that are sure to
come in the near future. The prophet Zechariah tells of the
latter-day “governors” of Judah, more correctly translated
as “military commanders.” Apparently, they will lead a
massive defense with distinction in defense of Israel. But
as the following description of the battle shows, the
Israelis will also suffer a great loss:

“And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The
inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD
of hosts their God.

“In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an
hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in
a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about,
on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be
inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.

“The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that
the glory of the house of David and the glory of the
inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against
Judah. In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of
Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day
shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God,
as the angel of the LORD before them. And it shall come to
pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the
nations that come against Jerusalem.

And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the
inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of
supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have
pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for
his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one
that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zechariah
12:5-10).

Clearly, Judah – the Jews – are about to engage in the
greatest battle of their entire history. And they will be
successful, but not without some defeat and great injury in
the process.

This battle may be much closer than we now think, given the
escalating language of war that now rages across the
region. And actions will speak louder than words.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Uncategorized