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(TLM editorial note – as stated previously, this article is still in process and will be updated over the next few weeks…)

First, let’s cover Joel McDurmon’s article which is a Full Preterist (FP) interpretation of the wheat and tares and yet a non-contextual and arbitrary Partial Preterist (PP) Postmillennial interpretation of the mustard seed and leaven parables.[1]  I find it extremely ironic and humorous that Gary DeMar has recently criticized FP for not having a unified front and yet he publishes a FP article by Joel on the wheat and tares knowing that Gary North is Joel’s Father in Law and a major influence in AV whom has this to say concerning the parable of the wheat and tares and embracing a FP interpretation of it,

“Anyone who equates the fulfillment of [the parable of the wheat and tares] with A.D. 70 has broken with the historic faith of the church.”[2]   

I always get a kick at some of the PP authors who continue to push the envelope as far as they can go into the FP hermeneutic without violating the creeds and losing one’s job[3] – all the while denying that their position leads to FP.  

The Parables of the Kingdom in Matthew 13

Matthew 13:1-23 The Parable of the Sower

Partial Preterists such as James Jordan (whom AV publishes) tell us that this parable is dealing with a progressive spiritual/evangelistic resurrection/harvest for Israel unto everlasting life and everlasting death in fulfillment of Daniel 12:2-3 (which took place at the end of the OC age in AD 70 per McDurmon and Leithart) .[4]  I didn’t know that was an “orthodox” and “historic view of the church,” concerning these texts, but of course we agree with their interpretation and connections thus far.

And we should point out that Jesus explains that his parables on the kingdom in this chapter are for Israel and their imminent judgment or blessing as the gospel goes forth into their known world (vss. 11-17).  It is more than arbitrary to separate the parable of the mustard seed and leaven with the previous kingdom parables, but this is what the PP Postmillennialists must do to maintain their “orthodox” standing, jobs and “optimistic eschatology.”   

Matthew 13:24-30 The Parable of the Wheat and Tares

Comparing the harvest of Matthew 3:7-12 with Matthew 13:24-30

Before addressing the harvest here, we need to appreciate the harmony and beauty throughout Matthew’s gospel on this subject.  This topic begins with John the Baptist in Matthew 3:7-12.  We see AD 70 all over the passage:

“You snakes—who told you that you could escape from the punishment God is about to send? (Matthew 3:7 GNT). 

God’s ax was already laid at the root of Israel’s trees (v.10).

God’s winnowing fork was already in His hand which meant that God was ready to gather His  wheat into His barn and burn up the chaff (v. 12). 

John Gill I think adds a helpful insight in that God’s “threshing floor” as used in the OT is referring to the land of Israel. 

By “his floor,” is meant the land of Israel, where he was born, brought up, and lived; of which the Lord says, “O my threshing, and the corn of my floor!” #Isa 21:10. This, he says, “he will thoroughly purge” of all his refuse and chaff, that is, by fanning: so fanning and cleansing, or purging, are joined together, #Jer 4:11 so rrb is used for purging by fanning, in the Misnic writings {o}. By “his wheat,” are meant his elect among the Jews, the chosen of God and precious; so called because of their excellency, purity, usefulness, solidity, and constancy: these he “will gather into his garner”; meaning either some place of protection, where he would direct his people to for safety from that wrath, ruin, and destruction; which should fall upon the Jewish nation;…”[5]      

That the harvest and judgment of Matthew 3:7-12 was fulfilled in AD 70, is not in question by some PP and yet others are undecided.  But whatever one’s interpretation of the harvest is here in Matthew 3 dictates what their interpretation of the harvest motif will be in Matthew 13. A natural reading and contextual flow of the Gospel of Matthew demands this and without question the burden of proof is upon the futurist or PP to explain why these harvests are different or separated by thousands of years.   

Answering a “97% PP” objection

I find it odd that a FP defector of late is now claiming that he is “heading” (or regressing back) into the direction of embracing a 97% PP creedal view (how convenient) and yet feels he is equipped to discredit my appeal to compare the harvest judgment in Matthew 3:7-12 with the harvest in Matthew 13:24-40 or as I will do below compare Matthew 13 with Matthew 24 – as allegedly providing no exegesis and just giving my opinion.  Really?  Let’s briefly examine this criticism broadly within the Westminster Confession of Faith and then also compare it to the exegetical “paralleling” hermeneutic of PP in general.  

The Westminster Confession of Faith states that “the infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.”[6] Reformed theologians such as J. I. Packer understands this to mean, “that we must give ourselves in Bible study to following out the unities, cross-references and topical links which Scripture provides.”[7]  

In following sound exegesis in approaching the parable of the wheat and tares, the exegete should be asking the hermeneutical question – “Where in the gospel of Matthew has the subject / “topic” of the harvest and judgment been dealt with in order to provide a “unified” and consistent interpretation when approaching these same topics in Matthew 13?  What have the “cross-references” of other exegetes provided on this particular subject?”  Does anyone even own a Bible that does not cross reference Matthew 3:12 with Matthew 13:30?  And apparently all of the Reformed and Evangelical commentaries and Study Bibles that connect the two are only giving their “opinions” and not offering any exegesis as well – per this 97% preterist critic of mine.  Let’s get real folks.                

Comparing the “gathering” (with “angels”), the Great Commission into all the world before the “end of the age” in Matthew 13 with Matthew 24

Again, following the WCF and J.I Packer’s understanding of it, here are the parallel “topics” that anyone wanting to follow sound hermeneutics would lay next to each other:  

1)  Evangelism in the world takes place (Mt. 24:14/Mt. 13:38).

2)  There is persecution, tribulation, apostasy, & faithfulness (Mt. 24:9-13/Mt. 13:19-30).

3)  The subject is the growth and reception of the kingdom at which time the judgment at the “end of the age” takes place (Lk. 21:31-32/Mt. 13:43; Mt. 24:3/Mt. 13:40). 

4)  The Son of Man comes with His angels to gather the sheep/wheat into His barn/kingdom and the wicked goats/tares are gathered and thrown into the fire and burned (Mt. 24:30-31, 25:31-41/Mt. 13:39-42).

I agree with American Vision’s Gary DeMar that the coming of the Son of Man in Matthew 24:27, 30-31 and 25:31 is referring to Christ coming in AD 70 (not a future end of planet earth/consummation coming) and that the traditional PP divisions of these chapters with two different comings and consummations is hardly exegetical and convincing.[8]  I also agree with the “new” “hybrid” of PP which is now admitting that exegetically there is only ONE second coming mentioned in the NT and that the traditional PP “ping-ponging back and forth” of two parousias/comings is “confusing.”[9]   FP and traditional Amillennialists[10] agree on this point as well and criticize the two coming theory of Dispensationalism’s “rapture” and second coming theories along side of the PP version.  But oddly we are criticized by PP (of all shapes and sizes) for agreeing with the historic church which identifies the coming in judgment of Matthew 24-25 and His gathering the elect with His angels to be descriptive of the ONE judgment and resurrection – associated with the ONE second coming of Jesus – which takes place at the ONE end of the age – go figure. 

Matthew 24 and Recapitulation

Although I and most of the PP I have come across do not agree with John Murray giving “all things” in Matthew 24:34 a “restrictive meaning” (excluding such verses as 14, 27, 30-31 as being fulfilled  in Jesus’ first century “this generation”), his exegetical observations of the discourse being laid out in the prophetically common “recapitulation” structure is insightful.  

He correctly observes that verses 4-14 is one cycle ending with the consummation or end of the age: 

“At verse 14 the more auspicious aspect of inter-adventual history is promised, the worldwide preaching of the gospel for a winess to all the nations, in accord with our Lord’s post-resurrection commissions (Matt.28:18-20; Luke 24:46-47), a reminder again of the extended period that the events of interadventual history require for their fulfillment.  However, this section of the discourse brings us to what is surely of the same purport as ‘the consummation of the age’ in the question of the disciples (vs 3), namely, ‘the end’ – ‘then shall the end come.’  So we are compelled to construe verses 4-14 as, in brief outline, a forecast of interadventual history.”[11]

In what Murray describes as “interadventual history” before the “consummation of the age” in verses 4-14 – PP such as  DeMar and McDurmon (along with FPism) sees not as a period of thousands of years, but between AD 30 – AD 70 ending with the end/consummation of the Old Covenant age.  Note also Murray correctly connecting the Great Commission (GC) and “end of the age” of Matthew 24:3, 14 with the same teaching of Jesus regarding the GC and “end of the age” as is later re-iterated and expanded for us by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20.  He correctly notices that,

“There is ‘the end’ of verse 14.  And unless we place upon this term a meaning alien to its use elsewhere, when used as an eschatological designation, we must regard it as synonymous with ‘the consummation of the age’, namely, the end of this age in contrast with the age to come.”        

Again, apparently to some PP Murray is not performing any exegesis (alongside of FP) regarding the analogy of Scripture principle in connecting these passages.  That deserves a “good try though” to my “97% preterist” critic.  Again I don’t really know many (if any) futurist exegetes (other than the extremely “new” and small “97% preterist” crowd) that don’t connect Matthew 24:3, 14 with Matthew 28:18-20 and point out that the “end of the age” is the same as well as the Great Commission.  It is nothing but pure “alien” eisegesis to claim that the “end of the age” GC in Matthew 13:39 and Matthew 24:3 is describing the end and fulfillment of the OC age in AD 70, but somehow the meaning get’s changed to a different GC and “end of the [NC] age” in Matthew 28:18-20.  The preaching of the gospel to  “all nations” (Greek ethnos) in Mark 13:10 and its preaching into “all nations” (Greek ethnos) in Matthew 28:19 are the same “eschatological designation.”  Again, the natural and contexutal flow of Jesus’ teaching in the Gospel of Matthew demands this and the burden of proof is upon the PP to prove otherwise.  And of course my “97% preterist” critic offers none.      

The other problem for the 90%, 95%, 97% “preterists,” is that most are Reformed and not charismatic.  And to give a future fulfillment for Matthew 28:18-20 is to give a future fulfillment of Mark 16:15-18 which would require those charismatic “signs” such as speaking in tongues to be manifested until the end of the NC age.  If not, exegetically why not? selah.  

Moving on – Murray correctly gives verses 15-28 another cycle of recapitulation and states that “Verse 27 deals obviously with the advent”[12] – bringing us up to “the end” again consistent with the first cycle of 4-14.  FP agree with this “obvious” exegesis. 

Of course Murray (like FP and “most” exegetical commentators) uses the hermeneutical “analogy” of the NT principle to interpret Matthew 24:29-31 with the final and ONE eschatological resurrection mentioned in the NT:

“…derived from the analogy of the New Testament teaching, point to one identification, namely, the advent of Christ in glory and its accompaniments.”[13]  

Murray connects such passages as Matthew 16:27; 25:31; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thess. 4:17; 2 Thess. 1:7; and Rev. 1:7 to Matthew 24:29-31 and states the following,

“The point is simply that the whole expression can reasonably be taken to specify no other event than the one which the language of the New Testament would indicate, namely, the advent in glory.”[14]

And again,

“There is ample allusion to the sound of the trumpet and to the ministry of angels elsewhere in the New Testament in connection with Christ’s advent (1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:16).  Hence verse 31 can most readily be taken to refer to the gathering of the elect at the resurrection.”[15]

Murray goes on to point out that the “redemption” of Luke 21:25-28 is parallel to Matthew 24:29-31 and,

“…has a distinctly eschatological connotation, the final redemption, the consummation of the redemptive process (cf. Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 1:14; 4:30).  Again analogy would again point to the eschatological complex of events.”[16]

We concur that “analogy” equates the passages together and the FP strengthens this a consummation/resurrection taking place at the end of the OC age in AD 70 by pointing out that the redemption of Luke 21 was to be fulfilled in Jesus’ “this generation” and the revealing of the “glory” and “redemption of the body” in Romans 8 was “about to” that place “in” the creation (Greek kitisis) of believers/the Church (Romans 8:18-23YLT).[17]

Following the contextual flow, the analogy of Scripture, and the recapitulation structure of the discourse, the harvest “gathering” with the angels at the close of the OC age in AD 70 as described for us in Matthew 13 and 24:30-31 is the end result of the Great Commission Jesus addresses in 24:14.  This is “the end” time harvest/resurrection associated with Christ’s ONE parousia and yet PP such as DeMar have to claim that 24:14 extended from AD 30 – 70, while the “gathering” of 24:30-31 is a second Great Commission which he identifies with Matthew 28:18-20 and the parable of the mustard seed.  This is forced eisegesis within the immediate context of Matthew 24 and does not follow with what Jesus is teaching in the parallel material found in Matthew 13 and 24.  If Jordan, Leithart[18] and McDurmon are correct in that Matthew 13 is describing a process of growth reaching a consummation and harvest/resurrection for Israel by the end of the OC age in AD 70 in Daniel 12:2-3/Matthew 13:1-30 between AD 30 – 70, then the harvest/resurrection/gathering of the elect and Great Commission process in 24:14–30-31 should be viewed as that same process and end time – time frame.  The PP view of McDurmon, DeMar and other PP makes Jesus and Matthew  irresponsible communicators allegedly changing their meanings from the end of the OC age to the NC age without any explanation.  But one can clearly see that this is forced exegesis in order to fit the PP Postmillennial theory of TWO Great Commissions, TWO comings, TWO harvest/resurrections, TWO passings of the heavens and earth replaced with a new, etc…  The “historic church” has traditionally and correctly understood the gathering/harvest/judgment/resurrection and attended ONE second coming of Jesus in Matthew 13 and 24-25 as one eschatological event to take place at the end of ONE age.  We couldn’t agree more with the majority of the churches testimony here and also with the PP that end of the age in these texts is referring to the OC age with the coming involved being Christ’s parousia in AD 70.  The appeal to the “historic church” is one in which the PP is inconsistent within their own paradigm/house – let alone without having to add the Amillennial testimony to the mix!    

We shall now return back to Matthew 13.  It should be common sense to take these parables as descriptive of the same time frame – especially the seed parables:

“The first three of these parables are linked by the term “seed,” which represents the message of the kingdom…”[19] 

This message of the seed/kingdom was that it was “at hand” between AD 30 – 70 and extends from Christ’s first coming and grows until it is matured and consummated at His second.  This is the normal way of understanding these seed parables and the FP doesn’t disagree. 

Matthew 13:31-33 The Parable of the Mustard Seed

Jesus begins another parable with the phrase, “The kingdom of heaven is like…”  Contextually, there is no reason to separate the purpose and meaning of this parable from the others.  The previous parable of the wheat and tares has a growth phase (the wheat and tares grow together before the harvest/resurrection AD 30 – 70) and then a maturity and consummation phase – inheriting the blessings of the kingdom/barn, or being judged/burned.  According to PP Jordan, Leithart, and McDurmon, the evangelism and growth within the soil/field/world is Israel’s world or the Roman Empire (“world as they knew it”) in the previous parables.  But once we get to the parable of the Mustard seed, an odd transformation takes place in that they must toll the Postmillennial line and break from the immediate context forming artificial “divisions” and “outlines” in order to see a second Great Commission and global growth/maturity process taking place of which the previous ones did not address.  These artificial “divisions” and “outlines” of these kingdom parables are no more impressive than the ones Gary DeMar used to use in chopping up Matthew 24-25 (of which he has now abandoned).  The growth of the mustard seed into a tree is descriptive of the ONE Great Commission that took place before the end of the OC age in AD 70.  Once the tree/kingdom is fully grown/matured and fills the world (Israel’s world and the Roman Empire “the world as they knew it”), then all the birds will enjoy the benefits of that blessed kingdom fulfillment (ex. Rev. 22:17).  The birds making their nests/homes in the tree/kingdom is just another metaphor for God’s people making their home in the New glorified Temple/New Creation.  God’s people entering into the side rooms of the temple and God making His home “within” His people or perhaps another metaphor of them actually being the MHP itself (John 14:2-3, 23/Rev. 21:16).  The reception of the Home/Nests/Temple/New Creation motif for God’s people follows a period of growth/transformation ending with Christ’s one imminent first century parousia and the Church enjoying those benefits into the eternal age to come. This is not rocket science.  The period of growth and consummation/maturity of the kingdom in all these parables are the same.   

Thoughts on Gary DeMar’s Irresponsible Comments of FP on His AV Site

Gary DeMar, a Partial Preterist, is usually pretty classy in his treatment of Full Preterists (FP) but he has made some irresponsible comments lately that need to be addressed.  Gary is often frustrated with the lack of scholarship and exegesis provided by the dispensational community and or their unwillingness to engage with him.  However, when we challenge Gary to interact with us, or allow us to engage in an open forum, he says he doesn’t want to give FP the time or day for the following reasons:

FP allegedly don’t have a united front 


PP can’t agree on which texts are AD 70 comings and which ones are allegedly future ones.

PP can’t agree on which “end of the age” texts are OC or NC.

PP can’t agree on which harvest resurrection texts were fulfilled in AD 70 or await a future fulfillemtn.

PP can’t agree on what the “last days” even are.

PP can’t agree on which end of the world texts are addressing the OC world or the physical planet. 

I could go on and on.  But obviously Gary needs to take the plank out of his own eye before trying to criticize FP.

According to Gary’s “logic,” then he shouldn’t complain if dispy’s don’t want to give PP the time and day until they get their “house in order” and have a united front?  If not why not?

FP don’t have a large following


Dispy’s whom Gary says are in the “tens of thousands” shouldn’t have to respond to Gary’s small view. 

FP has some defectors 


Tommy Ice was your PP defector and dancing bear for the dispy’s.  You can have Sam Frost’s “Inconsistent Orthodoxy” as yours.  But for every 1 FP defector we have, you and Gentry’s PP writings convert a 100 to FP – no matter what you and Ken Gentry want to say – selah.  Why should anyone give you the time and day since there are so many PP defectors coming into FP?

This is all I have time for now – I will be revisiting this article over the next few weeks….

Sellout Sam Frost’s comments

In the past Sam has confessed that he was guilty of compromise and was on the road to getting “sucked back” into literal futurism in our exchanges on Isaiah 65 (where Sam thought there is a gradual fulfillment of men growing to be as old as 900 years old in the text) and the false PP Postmillennial hermeneutic he was trying to push into the backdoor of FP.  I knew if Sam was fully repentant (cleaned his house) of his compromise that we would see fruit of that, but if not, “seven more” would come back and Sam would eventually harden himself against and reject FP going back into embracing PP “Inconsistent Orthodoxy.”   

Unfortunately, the later was the case and Sam and Jason began “drifting” and “heading” back into “Inconsistent Orthodoxy.”  I called Sam on the carpet for this and told him I knew what he was doing (“trying to play both sides”) and deceptively trying to take as many FP with him as he could.  He denied this and actually had the nerve to rebuke me publicly that I was adding the word “away” from his “drift” comment – when the TRUTH is that is exactly what he was doing per his own words which was deleted from his site (see #1).

In our book Sam chided preterist teachers (such as Gentry) for falling short because to accept the remaining FP 10% could result in one “losing their job.”  So according to Sam’s own words, then for him to leave the 100% view and “get sucked back” to a 90% preterist view makes him no less of a compromiser than Gentry – selah.       

I have had conversations with Sam in the past about him having more opportunities to teach in a bible college or seminary type setting, but he told me he would have to compromise his FP principles in order to do it.  He expressed a strong desire to be teaching in a bible college or seminary type setting and felt called to that more than being a Pastor (something he had done in the past).  We have also discussed publishing FP books and that there isn’t much exposure or money in that business/ministry and that there could be if one compromised FP principles and became more creedal and orthodox (jumping through the proper hoops).  Sam will continue doing his dancing bear routine and claiming with Gentry that FP are not as scholarly as they are.  Sam is also trying to take over Roderick Eckwards position in hopes of getting others to  recognize him as the “go to guy” to refute FP because they “know all of them” and was a FP for ____ years.  This is as impressive as Tommy Ice’s testimony of leaving PP for Dispensationalism and being their alleged expert “go to guy” in hopes to refute PP and FP.  We all know how well that has gone  – lol. 

Sam lost all of his exegetical, philosophical and logical arguments with the moderators and his co-authors on the pretcosmos yahoo list group and it wasn’t long before he wanted all of those posts removed (no doubt).            

Mike Bull

Mike Bull is a James Jordan type disciple who is claiming that the traditional PP paradigm which teaches two comings/parousias of Jesus (one in AD 70 and one to usher in the New Creation and resurrection in the future) is “confusing” and wrong.  So what is his solution?  He claims the second coming has already taken place in AD 70, and that we await a literal New Creation and physical resurrection – not attended with the second coming.  Wow, talk about “Inconsistent Orthodoxy” and a “confusing” position – lol.  Again, just another compromised and flawed attempt at embracing a partial FP hermeneutic and being arbitrarily “orthodox” at the same time.     

Jason Bradfield

Jason used to be a professed 100% FP but is now “heading in” the direction of Mike Bull’s “97% preterist” position of seeing only ONE parousia in the NT but TWO resurrections.  He like Sam, “regret” claiming that men like Gentry fail to see the simple and exegetical position of FP because they are compromisers.  Obviously one can see why they “regret” such – now being those very compromisers – selah. 

Jason criticizes me for making parallels between the harvest/gathering resurrection and judgment of Matthew 13 and Matthew 24 and yet doesn’t have a problem if a 90% preterist or 97% preterist makes AD 70 “exegetical” parallels with Matthew 24-25 with both books of 1 and 2 Thessalonians?  Or with the “new” “hybrid” 97% position agreeing with our (and the Amillennialist) parallels between Mt. 24-25/1 Thess. 4-5?[20]  Jason, step up to the plate and at least attempt some exegesis and address why the PP can make “obvious” parallels and that is considered “scholarly” “exegesis” and ours isn’t.  Why not even remotely ATTEMPT some form of exegesis or at the very least state your position?      


[2] Mike Sullivan, David Green, Ed Hassertt, Sam Frost, House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to When Shall These Things Be?, (Ramona, CA: Vision Publishing, 2009), 89-90.

[3] Ibid., 228.  Regarding Sam’s recent defection back into PP Postmillennialism, it becomes an issue of Sam finishing up his scholarly education, and now finding a job promoting his “Inconsistent Orthodoxy” – selah.  

[4] James Jordan, THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Publishing, 2007), 618-619. 

[5]  John Gill, The Online Bible CD Commentary.

[6] Westminster Confession, I. ix.

[7] 02.     J. I. Packer, “The Interpretation of Scripture” in  ‘Fundamentalism’ and the Word of God (Inter-Varsity Press, 1958), pp. 101-114.

[8]  Gary DeMar Last Days Madness Obsession of the Modern Church, (Powder Springs, GA:  American Vision, 1999), pp. 193-201.

[9] Mike Bull, In the Flesh,

[10] Kim Riddlebarger, A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 2003), p.130; bold emphasis added.  Riddlebarger notes that partial preterists make the same mistake Dispensational secret rapturists make, in that both are forced into teaching a version of three advents:  ”What is worse, if dispensationalists are correct about a secret rapture, then Jesus does not have two advents but three.” (Ibid. 143).  “This same difficulty must be faced by so-called “moderate” preterists, who tell us that the Parousia of our Lord already occurred in A.D. 70.  ”…If the Parousia actually occurred in A.D. 70 and if the second coming of Christ is still yet to come, how many coming of the Lord are there?” (Ibid., 260) 

[11] John Murray, COLLECTED WRITINGS OFJOHN MURRAY 2 Systematic Theology, (Carlisle, PA:  THE BANNER OF TRUTH TRUST, 1977),  388.

[12] Murray, Ibid. 388.

[13] Ibid. 390.

[14] Ibid. 390 emphasis MJS.

[15] Ibid. 391. Emphasis MJS

[16] Ibid. 391.  Emphasis MJS

[17] See my article – Mike Sullivan, House Divided: Imminent Redemption in Luke 21:27-28 and Romans 8:18-23

[18] Peter J. Leithart, The Promise of His Appearing:  An Exposition of Second Peter (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2004), 95.

[19] SPIRIT OF THE REFORMATION STUDY BIBLE, (Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 2003), 1566.

[20] House Divided, Ibid., pp. 107-110.




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Mike Sullivan