The Return Of Jesus

This paper was first posted to UBRON, the Urantia Book Readers OnLine Network.

It was styled for that presentation.

I recently became aware of elements in the possible return of Jesus that led me to believe such event was imminent. I shall outline those elements.

The Urantia Papers, Page 1863: Although Jesus referred one phase of the kingdom to the future and did, on numerous occasions, intimate that such an event might appear as a part of a world crisis; and though he did likewise most certainly, on several occasions, definitely promise sometime to return to Urantia, it should be recorded that he never positively linked these two ideas together. He promised a new revelation of the kingdom on earth and at some future time; he also promised sometime to come back to this world in person; but he did not say that these two events were synonymous. From all we know these promises may, or may not, refer to the same event.

I believe these promises do refer to the same event.

You will note that two parallel statements are used, with two elements repeated.

  • A phase of the kingdom would come in the future as part of a world crisis.

  • He definitely promised to return to Urantia.

  • A new revelation of the kingdom on earth at some future time.

  • He promised to come back to this world in person.

The fact that these two statements are found co-emphasizing one another definitely shows that

 

    a phase of the kingdom would come as part of a world crisis

    with

    a new revelation of the kingdom on earth.

 

The Revelators would not tie these two events together, repeated twice, unless there was a good expectation that Jesus would return prior to or during these events.

 

All knowledgeable persons today know that we are in a world crisis of unprecedented proportions, and that the crisis is intensifying with each passing day. This is attested on many fronts, from deterioration of family life, to degradation of our school systems, to rampant immorality, to weather and geological catastrophes, to species destruction, to worldwide strife and warfare, to increasing terror, and to the potential for total destruction of the human race through nuclear mechanisms. Never before, in all the history of mankind, has it been possible to destroy ourselves. We now can do so. We are on the very brink of a total world collapse.

 

Within this world crisis a phase of the kingdom will come. But that phase of the kingdom will not come unless it appears as part of a new revelation.

 

Note that this is a phase of the kingdom, and not the full kingdom in all its glory. The new revelations will demonstrate the unfolding of that phase of the kingdom.

 

The Urantia Papers are a tool to be used in the new revealing of the kingdom, but do not substitute for it. Rather, a group of human beings will become the vehicle for the new revelation.

My position about the return of Jesus is reinforced by New Testament remarks:

Matt 23:39 – “For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'" 

Here Jesus tells us explicitly the condition for his return. He will not return until these human agents go forth. And he is predicting the future, not merely addressing remarks to his contemporaries. Or, we might say that this group of human beings going forth to proclaim this phase of the kingdom will do so concomitant with his return. If we are to go out proclaiming the kingdom, do we not come in the name of Jesus? Is he not the Lord? Since this teaching of the kingdom is new, not appearing in our traditional religions, then it must mean that it comes at a time when we will see him again. Indeed, this is reinforced by other remarks:

Matt 24:30 – “Then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”

The Son of Man will come with a sign. While I do not wish to put too much emphasis on this "sign," we can see that he will appear on the clouds and in great glory. He will not appear on earth in material form. He will come in a glorious light that will cover the entire planet. That will be the sign of his return.

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The Return of Jesus

The return of Jesus is emphasized many times within the Urantia Papers; we cannot help but recognize the significance of these remarks:

Page 227:  . . . Regardless of the misunderstandings about the Urantian sojourn of Michael of Nebadon, one thing is certainly authentic—his promise to come back to your world.

 

Page 598: . . .  Again we find Urantia out of step with its sister spheres in that your Jesus has promised to return. That promise he will certainly fulfill, but no one knows whether his second coming will precede or follow the appearances of Magisterial or Teacher Sons on Urantia.

 

Page 1025: And all these speculations associated with the certainty of future appearances of both Magisterial and Trinity Teacher Sons, in conjunction with the explicit promise of the Creator Son to return . . .

 

Page 1319: Urantia is the sentimental shrine of all Nebadon, the chief of ten million inhabited worlds, the mortal home of Christ Michael, sovereign of all Nebadon, a Melchizedek minister to the realms, a system savior, an Adamic redeemer, a seraphic fellow, an associate of ascending spirits, a morontia progressor, a Son of Man in the likeness of mortal flesh, and the Planetary Prince of Urantia. And your record tells the truth when it says that this same Jesus has promised some time to return to the world of his terminal bestowal, the World of the Cross.

Two entire sections are devoted to The Master's Second Coming, page 1914, and The Return of Michael, page 1918. I shall consider the information contained in those remarks. I shall not follow the sequence found in the text. I shall use the text to illustrate.

Page 1919: We most positively believe that Michael will again come in person to Urantia, but we have not the slightest idea as to when or in what manner he may choose to come. Will his second advent on earth be timed to occur in connection with the terminal judgment of this present age, either with or without the associated appearance of a Magisterial Son? Will he come in connection with the termination of some subsequent Urantian age? Will he come unannounced and as an isolated event? We do not know. Only one thing we are certain of, that is, when he does return, all the world will likely know about it, for he must come as the supreme ruler of a universe and not as the obscure babe of Bethlehem. But if every eye is to behold him, and if only spiritual eyes are to discern his presence, then must his advent be long deferred.

As I stated above, my position is that we are in a world crisis, and that this planet will be subject to terminal judgment by our Creator Son, Jesus. He will come as part of that judgment.

The reason for his personal return is that he must directly supervise this grave earthly crisis.

He is the only personality in the universe who has sufficient power, as Creator, to prevent total world physical destruction.

But his personal presence is needed for other reasons. He will be the moving spiritual force behind the new revelations, and the demonstration of the kingdom. And he will supervise the great contest between good and evil in the grave decisions facing all of us. Caligastia will be released to do his iniquitous work concomitant with the return of Jesus.

Only one thing we are certain of, that is, when he does return, all the world will likely know about it, for he must come as the supreme ruler of a universe and not as the obscure babe of Bethlehem.

If he comes on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, then everyone will certainly know about it. But many godless minds will not be willing to accept that the phenomenon associated with his appearance is spiritual; they will give it a natural or scientific explanation.

If every eye is to behold him, and only spiritual eyes are to discern his presence, then only those people with spiritual discernment will recognize this event.

Do we recognize what it means for him to come as the supreme ruler of a universe? Do we understand the stupendous earth events that will take place concomitant with that event? Even now we do not understand.

We are destined for a rude awakening. His coming will be glorious. And it will precipitate the gravest spiritual contest of all time.

Page 1919: The second advent of Michael on earth is an event of tremendous sentimental value to both midwayers and humans; but otherwise it is of no immediate moment to midwayers and of no more practical importance to human beings than the common event of natural death, which so suddenly precipitates mortal man into the immediate grasp of that succession of universe events which leads directly to the presence of this same Jesus, the sovereign ruler of our universe. The children of light are all destined to see him, and it is of no serious concern whether we go to him or whether he should chance first to come to us. Be you therefore ever ready to welcome him on earth as he stands ready to welcome you in heaven. We confidently look for his glorious appearing, even for repeated comings, but we are wholly ignorant as to how, when, or in what connection he is destined to appear.

This passage is pregnant with possibilities. Is it really true that the second advent of Michael is of no more practical importance to us than the common event of natural death? Would not his second coming be of such grandeur and glory that it would outweigh the lowly experience of human death? How would our deaths compare with such a glorious event?

We who are his children are destined to see him. That event will take place if we go to him. But if he first chances to come to us we, the children of light, will also see him.

Clearly, the children of light are destined to see him when he comes. They will see and recognize his glory.

He is ready to welcome us in heaven. But are we ready to welcome him here on earth?

Page 1919:  Jesus promised to do two things after he had ascended to the Father, and after all power in heaven and on earth had been placed in his hands. He promised, first, to send into the world, and in his stead, another teacher, the Spirit of Truth; and this he did on the day of Pentecost. Second, he most certainly promised his followers that he would sometime personally return to this world. But he did not say how, where, or when he would revisit this planet of his bestowal experience in the flesh. On one occasion he intimated that, whereas the eye of flesh had beheld him when he lived here in the flesh, on his return (at least on one of his possible visits) he would be discerned only by the eye of spiritual faith.

 

Can we grasp the fact that only his earthly faith children will discern him? Do we understand what that means? He will appear in glory but only the children of light will see him in spiritual faith.

 

Page 1919: Many of us are inclined to believe that Jesus will return to Urantia many times during the ages to come. We do not have his specific promise to make these plural visits, but it seems most probable that he who carries among his universe titles that of Planetary Prince of Urantia will many times visit the world whose conquest conferred such a unique title upon him.

 

Page 1919: You would do well, therefore, to disassociate the Master’s personal return to earth from any and all set events or settled epochs. We are sure of only one thing: He has promised to come back. We have no idea as to when he will fulfill this promise or in what connection. As far as we know, he may appear on earth any day, and he may not come until age after age has passed and been duly adjudicated by his associated Sons of the Paradise corps.

 

I had puzzled over this remark for years. We should not associate the Master's personal return with any settled epoch. In other words, he would come as part of an unsettled epoch. Similarly, he would not come as part of a planetary set or scheduled event; he would come as part of an unscheduled, crisis event.

 

Christianity has struggled with the return of Jesus for two thousand years. From the apostles on down to our times they looked forward to his return. But this does not mean that we should continue in that false expectation. We should now recognize the world crisis, and why he will return as part of that crisis.

 

We are in a sufficiently dangerous condition to warrant his return today.

 

This crisis is not on the heavenly schedules, and it is not part of a set event.

 

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The Messengers of the Kingdom

Out of the general population on this world will come a group of people to inform their brothers and sisters of these glorious spiritual events, and the coming of the Kingdom.

Page 1041:  All Urantia is waiting for the proclamation of the ennobling message of Michael, unencumbered by the accumulated doctrines and dogmas of nineteen centuries of contact with the religions of evolutionary origin. The hour is striking for presenting to Buddhism, to Christianity, to Hinduism, even to the peoples of all faiths, not the gospel about Jesus, but the living, spiritual reality of the gospel of Jesus.

This gives us some idea of the imminence of the work of the new revelation. All Urantia is waiting. The hour is striking. Today Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and countless other religions do not have an open ear to a new revelation of Jesus. They continue in their blind way, assuming that they are each a more proper pathway to God. But we should understand that our work, the work of you and I, will transform this new revelation into the ennobling message of Michael. Something so dramatic is going to happen to our world that all peoples will now open their ears to this message. We will not bring a message that is burdened with the doctrines and dogmas of nineteen hundred years of contact with these religions of evolutionary origin. We will not speak about Jesus; we will speak of the living, spiritual reality of the true gospel of Jesus. We will bring new revelations.

When Jesus comes in great spiritual light the more spiritual members of the human race will eagerly await explanation of that event. They will be from all religions and nations.

Page 1010:  The future of Urantia will doubtless be characterized by the appearance of teachers of religious truth--the Fatherhood of God and the fraternity of all creatures. But it is to be hoped that the ardent and sincere efforts of these future prophets will be directed less toward the strengthening of inter-religious barriers and more toward the augmentation of the religious brotherhood of spiritual worship among the many followers of the differing intellectual theologies which so characterize Urantia of Satania.

As we read through the many words from the Urantia Papers we begin to get some grasp of the work of these new revelators. They will work for augmentation of religious brotherhood of spiritual worship. Can you imagine a planetary crisis of such proportions that Hindus, and Jews, and Christians will want to come together in prayerful brotherhood? What would happen to bring such extraordinary sympathetic and spiritual understanding among such differing people? It certainly is not any manmade ecumenism!

Page 1914: . . . The things which you now look down upon are coming to an end, but this will be a new beginning out of which the gospel of the kingdom will go to all the world and this salvation will spread to all peoples. And when the kingdom shall have come to its full fruition, be assured that the Father in heaven will not fail to visit you with an enlarged revelation of truth and an enhanced demonstration of righteousness, . . .  . . . I also promise that I will sometime return to this world . . . for I will sometime return . . .

The things of this world are coming to an end: all the riches we so dearly love, all the pleasures of our lives, and all the institutions of learning, religion, and government. All will come to an end. Out of this world crisis will come a new beginning in which the true gospel of the kingdom will go to all peoples. Through this climactic period we will see an enlarged revelation of truth and an enhanced demonstration of righteousness. Never before in the history of man have such great revelations come through human beings.

A Great Religious Persecution

This effort will come within the context of the greatest religious persecution this world has ever seen.

Page 1951: And I am telling you about all this before I leave you in order that you may be so prepared for what is coming upon you that you will not stumble into serious error. The authorities will not be content with merely putting you out of the synagogues; I warn you the hour draws near when they who kill you will think they are doing a service to God. And all of these things they will do to you and to those whom you lead into the kingdom of heaven because they do not know the Father. They have refused to know the Father by refusing to receive me; and they refuse to receive me when they reject you, provided you have kept my new commandment that you love one another even as I have loved you. I am telling you in advance about these things so that, when your hour comes, as mine now has, you may be strengthened in the knowledge that all was known to me, and that my spirit shall be with you in all your sufferings for my sake and the gospel’s. It was for this purpose that I have been talking so plainly to you from the very beginning. I have even warned you that a man’s foes may be those of his own household. Although this gospel of the kingdom never fails to bring great peace to the soul of the individual believer, it will not bring peace on earth until man is willing to believe my teaching wholeheartedly and to establish the practice of doing the Father’s will as the chief purpose in living the mortal life.

John 16:1-4 -- I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them.

Note the parallels between these two passages:

  • you will not stumble into serious error

  • to keep you from falling away

  • the hour draws near when they who kill you will think they are doing a service to God.

  • the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God

  • because they do not know the Father

  • because they have not known the Father

  • They have refused to know the Father by refusing to receive me

  • nor me

  • when your hour comes

  • when their hour comes

Clearly, this is an extraordinary period.

Luke 21:12-17 -- But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. This will be a time for you to bear testimony. Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death; you will be hated by all for my name's sake.

  • a man’s foes may be those of his own household

  • You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death

We should prepare to give our lives in the service of the kingdom. Even our families may be against us.

 

I have detailed this episode on my web site, and given the arguments why this is not the time of the apostles in early Christianity.

http://www.world-destiny.org/spirit/1warnF.pdf

http://www.world-destiny.org/warn.htm

Secular minds would not believe they are performing murder in service to God. Would government agencies believe they are killing in service to God?  Jews would not kill Gentiles as a service to God. Would Hindus or other groups?

The great difficulty facing us is this: Of all the people on the world today, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, or other, only one group would kill in service to God. That group is the channelers, those who have given themselves to their "God," and who will fully believe they are acting in service to God. Caligastia will bring them to those acts.

(I do not ignore Muslims, who are killing in the name of their God. But those events are political, not spiritual.)

How will we react to this persecution?

Page 1438: "This day, my son, you are to be reborn, re-established as a man of faith, courage, and devoted service to man, for God's sake. And when you become so readjusted to life within yourself, you become likewise readjusted to the universe; you have been born again--born of the spirit--and henceforth will your whole life become one of victorious accomplishment. Trouble will invigorate you; disappointment will spur you on; difficulties will challenge you; and obstacles will stimulate you. Arise, young man! Say farewell to the life of cringing fear and fleeing cowardice. Hasten back to duty and live your life in the flesh as a son of God, a mortal dedicated to the ennobling service of man on earth and destined to the superb and eternal service of God in eternity.

God's Spirit will be with us. We will say farewell to a life of cringing fear and fleeing cowardice. We will become dedicated to the ennobling service of our fellow man. Troubles will invigorate us; disappointment will spur us on; difficulties will challenge us; and obstacles will stimulate us. We will become true children of light, casting illumination into the dark corners of a bewildered and fearful world.

Page 2082: Religion does need new leaders, spiritual men and women who will dare to depend solely on Jesus and his incomparable teachings. If Christianity persists in neglecting its spiritual mission while it continues to busy itself with social and material problems, the spiritual renaissance must await the coming of these new teachers of Jesus' religion who will be exclusively devoted to the spiritual regeneration of men. And then will these spirit-born souls quickly supply the leadership and inspiration requisite for the social, moral, economic, and political reorganization of the world.

Can you imagine what it will mean to depend solely upon Jesus and his incomparable teachings? To place our lives and our work in his hands? Do we not recognize that we will be exclusively devoted to the spiritual regeneration of men? Out of this work will come a new leadership that will transform the world. But we should not be excited into believing this will come in one generation. It will come as the result of our work, but it must unfold with the generations.

Page 2084: In winning souls for the Master, it is not the first mile of compulsion, duty, or convention that will transform man and his world, but rather the second mile of free service and liberty-loving devotion that betokens the Jesusonian reaching forth to grasp his brother in love and sweep him on under spiritual guidance toward the higher and divine goal of mortal existence. Christianity even now willingly goes the first mile, but mankind languishes and stumbles along in moral darkness because there are so few genuine second-milers—so few professed followers of Jesus who really live and love as he taught his disciples to live and love and serve.

Now we will come to know what is meant by the second mile. Mankind languishes and stumbles along in moral darkness because there are so few of us. But now mankind will know what it means to live and love and serve, for our Creator.

Page 2084: The call to the adventure of building a new and transformed human society by means of the spiritual rebirth of Jesus’ brotherhood of the kingdom should thrill all who believe in him as men have not been stirred since the days when they walked about on earth as his companions in the flesh.

Can you imagine the thrill to be of service to our Creator in building a new and transformed human society? Will we not be stirred to the greatest spiritual enterprise ever known?

Page 2086: The great hope of Urantia lies in the possibility of a new revelation of Jesus with a new and enlarged presentation of his saving message which would spiritually unite in loving service the numerous families of his present-day professed followers.

That hope lies on our shoulders.

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The New Revelation Episode

Page 2082:  But paganized and socialized Christianity stands in need of new contact with the uncompromised teachings of Jesus; it languishes for lack of a new vision of the Master's life on earth. A new and fuller revelation of the religion of Jesus is destined to conquer an empire of materialistic secularism and to overthrow a world sway of mechanistic naturalism. Urantia is now quivering on the very brink of one of its most amazing and enthralling epochs of social readjustment, moral quickening, and spiritual enlightenment.

We cannot, from the framework of today's world, understand the transformations that are upon us. We will experience readjustment that will totally revamp our social order. We will be forced on to a moral quickening that stirs new depths of religious understanding within us. We will come to know the might of a God of great power and glory. This will no longer appear as a dream of the ages, as Christianity has hoped, as Judaism has expected, or as Hinduism has long awaited. Now we will initiate those new revelations that will conquer an empire of materialistic secularism, and overthrow the godless sway of mechanistic naturalism.

Page 2083: The modern age will refuse to accept a religion which is inconsistent with facts and out of harmony with its highest conceptions of truth, beauty, and goodness. The hour is striking for a rediscovery of the true and original foundations of present-day distorted and compromised Christianity--the real life and teachings of Jesus.

Again we are told that the hour is striking. The new revelations will bring a rediscovery of the true and original life and teachings of Jesus. Can we not grasp this great wonder that is about to unfold? Do we not see ourselves in this greatest of all human enterprises, bringing a new light to the world?

Page 2083:  Primitive man lived a life of superstitious bondage to religious fear. Modern, civilized men dread the thought of falling under the dominance of strong religious convictions. Thinking man has always feared to be held by a religion. When a strong and moving religion threatens to dominate him, he invariably tries to rationalize, traditionalize, and institutionalize it, thereby hoping to gain control of it. By such procedure, even a revealed religion becomes man-made and man-dominated. Modern men and women of intelligence evade the religion of Jesus because of their fears of what it will do to them--and with them. And all such fears are well founded. The religion of Jesus does, indeed, dominate and transform its believers, demanding that men dedicate their lives to seeking for a knowledge of the will of the Father in heaven and requiring that the energies of living be consecrated to the unselfish service of the brotherhood of man.

How can we refuse to dedicate our lives to this new revelation? How can we deny the challenge that God now brings us in unselfish service to the brotherhood of man. Just imagine! A new brotherhood devoted exclusively to our Creator.

Page 2083:  Selfish men and women simply will not pay such a price for even the greatest spiritual treasure ever offered mortal man. Only when man has become sufficiently disillusioned by the sorrowful disappointments attendant upon the foolish and deceptive pursuits of selfishness, and subsequent to the discovery of the barrenness of formalized religion, will he be disposed to turn wholeheartedly to the gospel of the kingdom, the religion of Jesus of Nazareth.

Page 2083:  The world needs more firsthand religion. Even Christianity--the best of the religions of the twentieth century--is not only a religion about Jesus, but it is so largely one which men experience secondhand. They take their religion wholly as handed down by their accepted religious teachers. What an awakening the world would experience if it could only see Jesus as he really lived on earth and know, firsthand, his life-giving teachings! Descriptive words of things beautiful cannot thrill like the sight thereof, neither can creedal words inspire men's souls like the experience of knowing the presence of God. But expectant faith will ever keep the hope-door of man's soul open for the entrance of the eternal spiritual realities of the divine values of the worlds beyond.

Page 2084:  Christianity has indeed done a great service for this world, but what is now most needed is Jesus. The world needs to see Jesus living again on earth in the experience of spirit-born mortals who effectively reveal the Master to all men. It is futile to talk about a revival of primitive Christianity; you must go forward from where you find yourselves. Modern culture must become spiritually baptized with a new revelation of Jesus' life and illuminated with a new understanding of his gospel of eternal salvation. And when Jesus becomes thus lifted up, he will draw all men to himself. Jesus' disciples should be more than conquerors, even overflowing sources of inspiration and enhanced living to all men. Religion is only an exalted humanism until it is made divine by the discovery of the reality of the presence of God in personal experience.

Page 1857:  But mark you! never did Jesus say, "Whoso has heard me has heard God." But he did say, "He who has seen me has seen the Father." To hear Jesus' teaching is not equivalent to knowing God, but to see Jesus is an experience which in itself is a revelation of the Father to the soul. The God of universes rules the far-flung creation, but it is the Father in heaven who sends forth his spirit to dwell within your minds.

Page 598:  The brotherhood of man is, after all, predicated on the recognition of the fatherhood of God. The quickest way to realize the brotherhood of man on Urantia is to effect the spiritual transformation of present-day humanity. The only technique for accelerating the natural trend of social evolution is that of applying spiritual pressure from above, thus augmenting moral insight while enhancing the soul capacity of every mortal to understand and love every other mortal. Mutual understanding and fraternal love are transcendent civilizers and mighty factors in the world-wide realization of the brotherhood of man.

 

The personal presence of Jesus will most certainly bring spiritual pressure from above. A great augmentation of moral insight will take place. Now we will come to a much larger appreciation of what it means to understand and love every other mortal. Those are the mighty factors that will bring a world-wide realization of the brotherhood of man.

 

Page 380: The dead theory of even the highest religious doctrines is powerless to transform human character or to control mortal behavior. What the world of today needs is the truth which your teacher of old declared: “Not in word only but also in power and in the Holy Spirit.” The seed of theoretical truth is dead, the highest moral concepts without effect, unless and until the divine Spirit breathes upon the forms of truth and quickens the formulas of righteousness.

 

Those are the things in store for we teachers and leaders -- the greatest revelation ever to be known on this planet, not in word only, but also in power and the Holy Spirit.

 

Page 1575: So often persecution does follow peace. But young people and brave adults never shun difficulty or danger. “Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friends.” And a fatherly love can freely do all these things—things which brotherly love can hardly encompass. And progress has always been the final harvest of persecution.

Now it is our turn to lay down our lives in loving service to our brothers and sisters, and to show the world the wonders of Jesus in living glory and beautiful truth.

Ernest

May 19, 2005

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