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The study of Jacob has brought us to the Doctrine of the con-artist.
Both Jacob and his Uncle Laban are the type of individuals who are masters at saying one thing but meaning another. Be careful of the con artists, they are the type of individuals who are masters at saying one thing but meaning another.

We need to note some principles concerning the con-artist.
For example;

All of us at some time or another are going to bump into a Jacob or Laban in this life, MAT 26:47-49, And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came up, accompanied by a great multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, "Whomever I shall kiss, He is the one; seize Him." And immediately he went to Jesus and said, "Hail, Rabbi!" and kissed Him.

Of all of the different types of people that it would be nice to avoid, the Jacob's and the uncle Laban's are on top. They can be people with a pleasing personality, sometimes they have an attractive way about them, they can even give the impression of being great believers or great spiritual leaders or successful at what they do. But they can be described as personality peddlers, they are con-artists. And you haven't lived until you've been taken in by one. And if it could happen to The Lord Jesus Christ, as it did in MAT 26:47-49, it can happen to us.

Being people smart is no defense against the con artists of his life. In Gen 12 and 20, the Pharaoh of Egypt and King Abimelech of Gerah were both people smart and they were deceived and conned by Abraham. So, being people smart is no defense against the con-artists of this life. Neither of course is spiritual maturity, spiritual maturity is no defense against the con-artists of this life for David was one of the greatest believers of all time and in the state of spiritual maturity he was conned by certain individuals as well. In 2Sa 13, David's elder son by Ahinoam of Jezreel, raped his step sister Tamar, the daughter of David by Maacah.

Look at 2Sa Chapter 13, Now it was after this that Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar, and Amnon the son of David loved her. And Amnon was so frustrated because of his sister Tamar that he made himself ill, for she was a virgin, and it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her. But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother; and Jonadab was a very shrewd man. And he said to him, "O son of the king, why are you so depressed morning after morning? Will you not tell me?" Then Amnon said to him, "I am in love with Tamar, the sister of my brother Absalom." Jonadab then said to him, "Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill; when your father comes to see you, say to him, Please let my sister Tamar come and give me some food to eat, and let her prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat from her hand." So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill; when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, "Please let my sister Tamar come and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand." Then David sent to the house for Tamar, saying, "Go now to your brother Amnon's house, and prepare food for him." So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house, and he was lying down. And she took dough, kneaded it, made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. And she took the pan and dished them out before him, but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, "Have everyone go out from me." So everyone went out from him. Then Amnon said to Tamar, "Bring the food into the bedroom, that I may eat from your hand." So Tamar took the cakes which she had made and brought them into the bedroom to her brother Amnon. When she brought them to him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, "Come, lie with me, my sister." But she answered him, "No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this disgraceful thing! As for me, where could I get rid of my reproach? And as for you, you will be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you." However, he would not listen to her; since he was stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her.

Notice the word phrase "violated her and lay with her."
David was in spiritual maturity at this time but even spiritual maturity is no defense against the con-artists's of this life. Therefore if a mature believer can be taken in by con-artists then those who are immature, much more so. Believe or not there may are times that it is good for anyone in life to be taken in at sometime by a Jacob or a Laban because there are so many things to learn. For example, not to react against him. Not to be bitter or vindictive or implacable or full of vengeance, as in our passage Gen 29.

Sometimes greatness in business or in a profession or in the spiritual life or even in social life are measured in terms of con-artist testing, 2TH 1:6, 1TH 4:6. If you have been robbed by another believer do not take out your vengeance and frustration on him, give it over to the Lord, 1TH 4:3-6, For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.

So, if you have been robbed by another believer do not take out your vengeance and frustration on him, give it over to the Lord. The believer does not have to fight and defend himself, God will do that for the believer who operates in Faith Rest.

Look at 2TH 1:3-5, We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure. This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.

Then here it is, 2TH 1:6 for after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you,

All of us at sometime will fail because it's inevitable that the very thing that makes us strong, honor and integrity, also makes us vulnerable and even sometimes weak, PSA 55:12-14. We begin to assume that everyone who is nice, everyone who is well-mannered, everyone who knows the vocabulary for the believer in The Lord Jesus Christ is somehow just as honorable, just as honest, filled with the same category of integrity that we have, and that's when things really begin to fall apart!

Some of you have people in your life right now that you wouldn't even dream about doing the things to them that they are planning to do to you someday! If they're not planning it, they will do it for the right price! And you would be shocked who they are! Remember what David said, PSA 55:12-14, For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, Then I could bear it; Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, Then I could hide myself from him. But it is you, a man my equal, My companion and my familiar friend. We who had sweet fellowship together, Walked in the house of God in the midst of the congregation.

Being a believer in The Lord Jesus Christ means that you're going to get a certain number of tests in this area.....especially in the local assembly. For example, in the early church there was an immediate con which took place by two individuals in Act 5 known as Ananias and Sapphira. ACT 5:1-2, But a certain man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, And kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife's full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles' feet.

Now, the problem here was not that he kept some of the money but that they saw what Barnabas did in the last chapter and then gave the impression that they were doing the same thing. In other words, they were trying to con members of the early church.

Look at ACT 4:36 and 37.

ACT 4:36-37, And Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means, son of encouragement), And who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet. 

What happen to Ananias and Sapphira is that approbation lust had entered in them when they saw what Barnabas had done.

ACT 5:3, But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back some of the price of the land?"

This type of deception is so great that the individual thinks that he can lie to the Holy Spirit.

ACT 5:4-5, "While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? you have not lied to men, but to God." And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came upon all who heard of it.

Ananias and Sapphira were in the real estate business and owned extensive property in Jerusalem. They were very successful in business and had become believers. And they discovered that a man named Barnabas, one of their rivals in business, had actually given all of his property to the ministry of Peter, who in turn gave it to the starving in Jerusalem. Therefore, they became very jealous and covetous and entered into inordinate ambition and inordinate competition in the spiritual realm. And this was not Satan possession or demon possession but satanic influence.

There was nothing wrong with keeping back part of the price of the land, but in competition with Barnabas, Ananias came and lied about what he gave. They were jealous of Barnabas, which motivated the con. They were also legalists and self-righteous; therefore, they were in moral degeneracy. They were dishonest in their spiritual life. They were in competition and trying to make an impression from the arrogance complex of the sin nature. And they both had their day in court. The supreme court of heaven dealt with both of them on an individual basis. And at this point, they were the worst enemies of the church, not because they didn't give, but because they were hypocrites and con artists. Often the worst enemies of any local church are the hypocrites and the con-artists in that church.

Therefore we read in verse 6, ACT 5:6-11, And the young men arose and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him. Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter responded to her, "tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?" and she said, "yes, that was the price." Then Peter said to her, "why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they shall carry you out as well." And she fell immediately at his feet, and breathed her last; and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all who heard of these things.

Being a believer in The Lord Jesus Christ means that you're going to get a certain number of tests in this area, especially in the local assembly. In fact, in case you're wondering why the most difficult tests usually take place in the local assembly it is because the local assembly is the place where doctrine is taught and the kingdom of darkness desires to do whatever it can to distract people from the intake of doctrine. The con-artist also uses others to fulfill his objective, sometimes it's the victim, sometimes it's those close to the victim, sometimes it's just as many people as possible to make the con stick, Gen 29. For example, Laban used his two daughters to deceive Jacob and Rachel was very close to Jacob as well, Gen 29.

The con-artist must deceive his victim, for example, David did this to Uriah in 2SA 11:14-17. If not the victim will catch on and expose the con-artist before the disease or the cancer spreads.

2SA 11:8-17, Then David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house, and wash your feet." And Uriah went out of the king's house, and a present from the king was sent out after him. But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. Now when they told David, saying, "Uriah did not go down to his house," David said to Uriah, "Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?" And Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing." Then David said to Uriah, "Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you go." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. Now David called him, and he ate and drank before him, and he made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his bed with his lord's servants, but he did not go down to his house. Now it came about in the morning that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. And he had written in the letter, saying, "Place Uriah in the front line of the fiercest battle and withdraw from him, so that he may be struck down and die." So it was as Joab kept watch on the city, that he put Uriah at the place where he knew there were valiant men. And the men of the city went out and fought against Joab, and some of the people among David's servants fell; and Uriah the Hittite also died.

Remember once again that if someone has wronged you let the Lord repay him according to his deeds, as 2TI 4:14 says.

2TI 4:14, Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.

PRO 24:29, Do not say, "thus I shall do to him as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work."

Let the Lord handle these situations.

The con-artist is a reversionists and in using deceit, must hide the evidence to make the lie stick, PRO 26:24-25, He who hates disguises {it} with his lips, But he lays up deceit in his heart. When he speaks graciously, do not believe him, For there are seven abominations in his heart.

Someone will come up to you who hates another person and with a deceptive heart they will try to hide their hatred for that person so that you will believe them!

In other words, he is guilty of those seven abomination sin PRO 6:16-19. Remember them;

Arrogance, PRO 6:17.

A lying tongue, PRO 6:17.

Murder, (mental murder), PRO 6:17.

Devise evil plans, like conspiracy. PRO 6:18.

Troublemakers, PRO 6:18.

False witnesses who utter lies [slander, gossip, maligning, perjury], PRO 6:19.

Sow discord among believers, PRO 6:19.

PRO 26:26, hatred covers itself with guile which means deceit, cunning craftiness or the con that he's trying to pull on you, His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.

It's just a matter of time before the Lord exposes him. That's why the believer does not have to fight and defend himself, God will do that for the believer who operates in the Faith Rest Drill.

PRO 26:27-28, He who digs a pit will fall into it, And he who rolls a stone, it will come back on him. A lying tongue hates those it crushes, And a flattering mouth works ruin.

A con-artist must do something to flatter himself with his victim, whether it is using inferiority or superiority, PSA 55:21, His speech was smoother than butter, But his heart was war; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords. And notice they we have chapter and verse and passage after passage warning us against these things.
A con-artist must give the impression to his victim that he hates everyone his victim hates, even if he must pretend to hate his true friends.  He must also appear to love people his victim loves.  He must be a super hypocrite, LUK 20:20, PSA 62:4. The legalistic scribes and Pharisees did this to our Lord.

In LUK 20:20, And they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order that they might catch Him in some statement, so as to deliver Him up to the rule and the authority of the governor.

PSA 62:4, They have counseled only to thrust him down from his high position; They delight in falsehood; They bless with their mouth, But inwardly they curse. Selah.

They speak well of you but betray you as JER 12:6, "For even your brothers and the household of your father, Even they have dealt treacherously with you, Even they have cried aloud after you. Do not believe them, although they may say nice things to you."

To be a good con-artist, you must cultivate certain mental attitude sins, such as implacability, vindictiveness, and cruelty, as well as verbal sins such as flattery and lying, JDG 16:4-21. Samson had to deal with this with Delilah. She flattered him and then she could not believe that he would not tell her the truth. Her name Delilah which means dainty one describes her overt appearance but not the wickedness of her heart! She betrayed Samson to the lords of the Philistines for 1,100 pieces of silver, JDG 16:5. Deceiving Samson into believing she loved him, Delilah persuaded him to tell her the secret of his strength which was his long hair, the symbol of his Nazirite vow. And so while Samson slept at her home in the Valley of Sorek, the Philistines entered and cut his hair. With his strength gone, Samson was easily captured and imprisoned, then blinded. She deceived Samson by being upset at him for not telling the truth! She tried on three occasions to obtain from him this secret in vain. On the fourth occasion she squeeze it out of him. She made him sleep upon her knees, and then called the man who was waiting to help her who "cut off the seven locks of his head," and so his "strength went from him."

Let's note a female con-artist in action.

JDG 16:4-9, After this it came about that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up to her, and said to her, "Entice him, and see where his great strength lies and how we may overpower him that we may bind him to afflict him. Then we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver." So Delilah said to Samson, "Please tell me where your great strength is and how you may be bound to afflict you." And Samson said to her, "If they bind me with seven fresh cords that have not been dried, then I shall become weak and be like any other man." Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh cords that had not been dried, and she bound him with them. Now she had men lying in wait in an inner room. And she said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he snapped the cords as a string of tow snaps when it touches fire. So his strength was not discovered. Then Delilah said to Samson, "Behold, you have deceived me and told me lies; now please tell me, how you may be bound."

Only a woman like this can turn the whole thing around and make it sound like it was the man's fault! By the way, some women are masters at this.

JDG 16:11-20 And he said to her, "If they bind me tightly with new ropes which have not been used, then I shall become weak and be like any other man. So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them and said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" For the men were lying in wait in the inner room. But he snapped the ropes from his arms like a thread. Then Delilah said to Samson, "Up to now you have deceived me and told me lies; tell me how you may be bound." And he said to her, "If you weave the seven locks of my hair with the web and fasten it with a pin, then I shall become weak and be like any other man." So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his hair and wove them into the web. And she fastened it with the pin, and said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he awoke from his sleep and pulled out the pin of the loom and the web. Then she said to him, "How can you say, I love you, when your heart is not with me? You have deceived me these three times and have not told me where your great strength is." And it came about when she pressed him daily with her words and urged him, that his soul was annoyed to death. So he told her all that was in his heart and said to her, "A razor has never come on my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will leave me and I shall become weak and be like any other man. When Delilah saw that he had told her all that was in his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, "Come up once more, for he has told me all that is in his heart." Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her, and brought the money in their hands. And she made him sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his hair. Then she began to afflict him, and his strength left him. And she said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" And he awoke from his sleep and said, "I will go out as at other times and shake myself free." But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him. Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison.

The con-artist always lives to regret his function as a con-artist, ROM 12:19, ISA 35:4. Every con-artist has his limitation and he eventually hits it! This is why the believer then is told stop being anxious and worried and let God handle any unjust and unfair situation, in ISA 35:4, say to those with anxious heart, "take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; the recompense of God will come, and He will deliver you."

Because of this we are commanded never to take revenge on anyone for anything, ROM 12:19, never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.

When someone catches on, the more the con-artist has conned, the more he will protest. This is a part of that defense mechanism known as direct attack. For example, when Moses discovered the conspiracy of Korah, Dathan and Abiram, the first thing that did was to protest and attack Moses even more. They accused Moses of trying to kill them, their children, their livestock, taking them out from a place of prosperity and blessing, trying to lord it over them, robbing them, trying to pluck out or gouge out their eyes, and even being a murderer. We studied in the past that they had a list of 26 accusations against Moses.

The con artist gains everything through deceit but loses everything worthwhile in life. Those who gain by deception are always the losers for the wages of crime and conspiracy creates the greatest losers in history, and for the unbeliever the loss extends into eternity.

The con-artist constantly watches people and gathers intelligence about their private lives for personal use and advancement. People who prey and seek to advance by trying to find out things that are personal in the lives of others are totally evil. People who seek to advance by putting their nose into the private lives of someone else are totally evil people, 1PE 4:15.

Con-artists always use those who are unstable as a part of their con, Jude 16.

JDG 1:16, These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.

The con-artist knows that his best chance for gain is to work on someone who is stable. Stabilize people are always the targets for the con-artist. The con-artist is always looking for someone who has a stabilized situation, whose power is stabilized, whose wealth is stabilized, whose success is order that they might steal that power, that authority, that success, that wealth, whatever the target happens to be.

In Psa 64, notice how they attack and who they attack! In verse 2, they held secret counsel. PSA 64:2, Hide me from the secret counsel of evildoers, From the chaos of those who do iniquity,

In verse 3, they gossip and malign.

PSA 64:3, Who have sharpened their tongue like a sword. They aimed bitter speech {as} their arrow,

Notice that their weapon is their tongue.

In verse 4, they judge the mature believers. PSA 64:4 To shoot from concealment at the mature believer.

This means that they conceal their hatred and their con while behind the scenes plotting and scheming how to destroy the victim of their con.

In verse 4 they do not respect God, suddenly they shoot at him [the believer who possesses +R], and do not fear [a reference to fearing what God will do to them for judging his people].

In verse 5, they encourage themselves in evil, They hold fast to themselves an evil purpose; They talk of laying snares secretly; They say, "Who can see them?"

In verse 6, they search out iniquities, They devise injustices or as the K.J.'s says .....they search out iniquities, saying, we are ready with a well conceived plot;

In verse 6, all of this comes because their thoughts in their heart are deep or as the Hebrew says amoq - exceedingly mysterious. For the inward thought and the heart of a man are deep

However, in verses 7 and 8 they reap what they sow.

PSA 64:7-9, But God will shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly they will be wounded. So they (the arrows God shoots) will make him stumble; their own tongue is against them; all who see them will shake their head. Then all men will fear, and will declare the work of God; and will consider what He has done.

There comes a time when God will vindicate His people and when he does it will only be realized by those who have enough humility and doctrine to recognize what God has done.

The con-artist who is really a pro never tries to con and unstable person unless it's to add numbers to his opinions. Korah did this when he promised the 250 princes in Israel personal promotion when he got promoted. He is the type of individual who gets others to do his dirty work while trying to appear righteous to those who really do not know him. And there are some con-artist who never face the one they have conspired against, they let other's do their dirty work.

Dathan and Abiram would not come face to face with Moses. Look at NUM 16:8-12, Then Moses said to Korah, "Hear now, you sons of Levi, is it not enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the service of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to minister to them; and that He has brought you near, Korah, and all your brothers, sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking for the priesthood also? "Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against the Lord; but as for Aaron, who is he that you grumble against him?" Then Moses sent a summons to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab; but they said, "We will not come up."

And they have the usual "con-artist slick propaganda system" which is that they wouldn't dare get into a confrontation with Moses. They will do their work and make their accusations behind his back. And they will use weak believers and gossips and busybodies to do their dirty work. Be very careful of those individuals in your life who are slick, smooth, sly, and deceitful. And they have the most beautiful built in hypocrisy. Now, we aren't great, and we aren't big people and therefore we have to watch very carefully because although this may happen to a great person like Moses every once in a while, with us it can be a daily thing.

The arrogant con-artist likes to manipulate those who are predictable, stable and reliable. He does that because he knows that they operate under certain principle that he takes advantage of. For example, if they operate under the principle of 1CO 13:7 that love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, then the con-artist takes advantage of the fact that the believer thinks like this. Or if the victim operates under the principle of 1PE 4:8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins,

The con artist knows that his sins will not be exposed by the victim if he cons the victim.

Honorable people are always much more vulnerable to duplicity than dishonorable people. You see it takes one to know one so the dishonorable person recognizes the dishonorable person. Honorable people, people with integrity, are much more vulnerable to duplicity than the dishonorable. Honorable people assume that everyone else has as much integrity as they do and therefore such honorable persons are easily deceived victims of both manipulation and duplicity.

The con-artist will say the right things, even have the vocabulary down and he uses truth to gain his evil ends, PHI 1:15-18, Certain ones, on the one hand, are proclaiming the Christ even from jealousy and strife or discord, but, certain ones, on the other hand, because of good motivation, the latter category out of the motivation of love, fully convinced that I am appointed for the defense of the good news; the former category from the motivation of divisive self-promotion proclaim Christ, not from pure motives, since they presume to arouse mental distress with regard to my imprisonment. What is my conclusion? Only that in every way, whether in false motivation or in true, Christ is being proclaimed; and in this I am happy, not only at this time, but I will continue being happy.

A good con-artist knows that it's always better to use truth to deceive than a lie because once they are caught in their lies, their con becomes weak. Therefore the con-artist always says to themselves "Use the truth as much as possible so that when you deceive people with the truth then they can't come back and say you're a liar!"

And all con-artists are liars. A con-artist is a pathological liar.

The only reason a con-artist tells the truth is because you can deceive better with the truth than with a lie. The greatest deceivers always use the truth. Remember Satan is an angel of light.

2CO 11:13-15, For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.

Every con-artist has a limit and when he goes over the limit he exposes himself. That's where you always can get the con-artist, if you're smart enough to listen to what they say!

The con-artist loves to gain favor by destroying the reputation of someone else. He loves to destroy the reputation of anyone that he knows is respected more and accepted more in the area he seeks to attain.

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