Seal of the Living God

 

Do You Belong to God?

Lego Logo by David Pickett

Lego Logo by David Pickett

Do you own anything with a brand name on it? Maybe an iPod or Nike shoes or LEGO bricks? When you see the name or logo on something you immediately know something about it. First, you know what company made it. Perhaps you also know it’s really well made, fun for kids, or just cool. Sometimes people make “knock-offs” of these products. It looks the same, it even has the same name and logo on it, but it’s not the real thing. The original company did not make it. It might look real, but it’s a fake.

 

Just like there are fake Nike shoes, there are fake Christians. You can’t always tell just by looking at them or talking to them. Luckily we don’t have to decide who’s real and who’s faking it. God knows the heart and He knows who belongs to Him. All through history God has been marking those who belong to him, and very soon before Jesus comes again, all people on earth will receive a mark – either the seal of God or the mark of the beast. It will tell the angels who to pour out God’s wrath on, and who to protect.

 

Revelation chapter 7 says that God seals the servants of God. Rev. 7:1-3 He marks those who belong to Him, before he lets the four winds of the earth loose. Four winds symbolize judgment over all the earth (Isa. 66:15-16). And trees often symbolize people in the Bible (Psalm 1:1-3; Jer. 17:7-8).

 

Our wonderful, merciful God wants to protect you from the great plagues that will fall upon the earth at the end of this world. Wouldn’t it be good to know what this seal of God is and how we can be sealed? Let’s examine some clues to find out.

Seal of the Living God

A seal is a sign of ownership or authority. If you have God’s seal, it means you have given your heart and life to Him completely. Sealing also means to decide something forever. When God seals his people for the final time, their destiny will be sure. They will never turn back from God.

 

To find out what this seal is, let’s look at some important verses.

 

“In whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance…” Ephesians 1:13-14 (NKJV)

 

“And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30

 

“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

 

What do these verses say the seal of God is? Yes, the Holy Spirit! Being sealed by the Holy Spirit is the sign

photo from ExaClair

photo from ExaClair

of a genuine Christian who belongs to God.

 

Chapter 6 of Revelation ended with the question, “Who shall be able to stand?”

Chapter 7 answers, those who have been sealed with the Holy Spirit, God’s sign of ownership, will be able to stand in the final great crisis of this world’s history.

 

Just like the Israelites were saved from the final plague of death that fell on the Egyptians by putting the blood of a lamb on their doorposts (Exod. 12:21-23), the Holy Spirit will protect Christian’s who are marked with the seal of God from the last deadly plagues to fall on earth. They will be washed in the blood of the Lamb – that’s Jesus’ blood that washes away our sins when we repent. This does not mean we will be whisked away and not see the destruction all around us. The Bible says we come out of the great tribulation (Rev. 7:14). To come out of a tunnel, you must first go through the tunnel. If you ever start to feel nervous or scared about this time of trouble, read and then memorize this wonderful Bible promise.

 

“A thousand shall fall at thy right side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” Psalm 91:7-10

How Can I be Sealed With the Holy Spirit?

Jesus promises to give you the Holy Spirit if you do one thing. You may not believe how simple it is. Read this:

 

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:13

 

Wow! We just need to ask with a sincere heart. Many people read a few verses earlier where is says, “Ask and it will be given to you” (Luke 11:9) and think they can ask for anything they want and God will give it to them. Then they wonder why God isn’t answering their prayers. But now you know!  God wants us to ask for the Holy Spirit. When you ask for the Holy Spirit, God promises to answer your prayer!

 

Bedtime Prayers by Don O'Brian

Bedtime Prayers by Don O’Brian

When God sends you the Holy Spirit in answer to your prayers, the Spirit will start leading you to want to do things like pray and read the Bible. The Spirit will also start to show you where you might not be following God fully. The Spirit always nudges you to obey God and surrender fully to Him.

 

The Spirit also leads you to more truth and starts to expose the lies of Satan. This is a good thing! Don’t resist the Spirit when he starts speaking to your heart through the Bible. This is why the Bible says, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Eph. 4:30) and “But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; so He turned Himself against them as an enemy, and He fought against them.” (Isa. 63:10)

 

Right now we can either receive the Holy Spirit or resist the Holy Spirit. But there is coming a time when everyone will be sealed with God’s seal or the mark of the beast once and for all. After that there will be no second chances (Rev. 22:11). Pray today for God to send you the Holy Spirit and decide today that you will follow where the Spirit leads you. Then you will be sealed with the seal of God!

 

 


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Seals 5, 6, & 7 – Part 2

tabernacle

In Part 1 of Seals 5, 6, & 7, we covered the last three seals in a simple way. Part 2 is for older kids or adults who want to explore these seals in more detail.

 

Let’s dig deeper to look at some of the symbols in these last three seals and the full meaning of them. Remember when Jesus breaks the seals in Heaven, things happen on the earth as a result.

Puzzled RoseTo understand difficult passages of the Bible, we must look for clues in other parts of the Bible. Studying the Bible is like putting a big puzzle together. The more pieces we find that match, the more we can understand the “big picture”. The same goes for finding the meaning of symbolic language. Other parts of the Bible teach us what the symbols mean.

 

The Fifth Seal Opened. Read about it here:

Revelation 6:9-11

 

tabernaclekit4

This word picture of the altar is taken from way back when the Israelites offered animal sacrifices on the altar of burnt offering in the courtyard of the tabernacle. Lev. 4:7, 18 The killing of these animals was a symbol of the horrible consequences of sin. The person’s sin was transferred to an innocent and spotless animal that was then killed on the altar. The blood of the animal was poured out under the altar. Exod. 29:12, Lev. 4:7 The blood was a symbol of life. Lev. 17:11 The consequence of sin is death, so the life blood was poured out symbolizing the serious nature of sin. It causes death. But this sad ritual also symbolized hope. Someday, God’s son would come and his own innocent life-blood would be spilled out for us on the cross to make an atonement for us. Matt. 26:28 Atonement simply means at-one-ment. Sin separates us from God. But Jesus died in our place, for our sins, so that we could become connected to God again. Beautiful!

 

The souls under the altar had been slain, or killed, for the word of God. Jesus predicted this would happen. John 16:2, Matt. 10:38-39 They literally followed Jesus to the altar of sacrifice where he died for us. As Jesus sacrificed his life for us, these martyrs sacrificed their lives for Jesus. They followed Jesus even if it meant death. Now they are resting until the plan is finished. Others will join them who will also die for their faith. Rev. 6:11 People are still dying for Jesus in many parts of the world today. The white robes are their righteous deeds and the purity of Christ they had in their hearts. Rev. 19:8, Rev. 7:14, Gal. 2:20

 

Eventually God will answer the cries of all his people for justice. God will avenge his people when the sixth seal is opened. God’s judgment will come on all those who “dwell on the earth”. Those who “dwell on the earth” do not include God’s people. Rev. 3:10 God’s people are depicted as “dwelling in heavenly places” even though they haven’t gotten there physically yet. They are there spiritually. Rev. 13:6, Eph. 2:5-6

 

The Sixth Seal Opened. Read about it here: 

Rev. 6:12-17

Blood Moon by slworking2

Blood Moon 2014 by slworking2

 

When the sixth seal is opened, thing are shaken! There’s a great earthquake, the sun is darkened, the moon becomes as blood, the stars fall and mountains are moved out of their places. Wow! This sounds serious. While much of the book of Revelation is symbolic, some things may also be literal. For example when it says there will be an earthquake, I believe the earth will literally quake. It says the moon will become as blood. The moon may not literally become blood, but it may look like blood – that is, turn red.  All these things are signs of Jesus’ very soon coming. Matt.24:29-30, Joel 2:31

 

Did you know that in 2014 and 2015 there are four “blood moons”, lunar eclipses when the moon appears red. Amazingly, all four of these events happen on Biblical feast days, Passover and Feast of Tabernacles. Friends, Jesus is coming soon! Ask Him to come into your heart today, to wash your sins away, and to make you ready for His glorious coming.

 

Now for the people of the earth (those who are not following Jesus), these things are terrifying. It won’t matter if you’re a king, a captain, a rich man or a poor man. You will want to hide from the wrath of God. However, there will be nowhere to hide. The big question at the end of the sixth seal is, “Who shall be able to stand?” Rev. 6:17

 

Chapter 7 of Revelation will answer this question. And those who will be able to stand in the presence of God will not be asking the rocks to fall on them, but will be praising God and thanking Him for saving them. I want to learn more about Jesus, so I can be in that group of people. Don’t you? Keep reading His word, the Bible, and God will reveal more and more about His great love for you!

 

The Seventh Seal Opened. Read about it here: 

Rev. 8:1

 

The description of what happens when the seventh seal is opened is very short. “There was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” Rev. 8:1

 

In between the sixth and seventh seal is chapter 7 of Revelation where the people of God are sealed. It appears that between the sixth and seventh seal being opened, the last plagues fall on earth and Jesus comes to rescue his people. There are different views on what this silence in heaven means. There is no other text that explains it fully. So sometimes we just have to use our best reasoning. Here’s one possibility. When Jesus comes to earth again with all his holy angels (Matt. 25:31, Mark 8:38) then Heaven will be empty for a short time. It will be silent in Heaven because no one will be there. When we return to Heaven with Jesus and the angels then surely it will be very noisy with everyone praising God. Rev. 7:9-10 There may be other reasons why Heaven is silent, but we know it will only be for a short time.

 

The Holy City by Waiting for the Word

The Holy City by Waiting for the Word

I believe we are very close to the end of this earth’s history as we know it. Jesus has almost finished opening the seals that fulfill this earth’s destiny. God’s plan will be completed, with or without you. Which side do you want to be on? Chose to follow Jesus today! He loves you and is waiting patiently for you to invite Him into your heart.

 

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God Hears Your Cry: Seals 5, 6 & 7 – Part 1

Have you ever wondered how long until God puts an end to all the bad things than happen in this world? Where is God while all this evil continues in the world?

You are not alone. Many people have asked this question, including people in the Bible. David asked, “How long Lord? Will you be angry forever?” Psalm 79:5

In other words, when will you do something God?  Like “revenging the blood of they servants which is shed?” Psalm 79:10

This type of revenge is not about getting even, but more about serving justice or making things right. If someone is a murderer, they will go to jail and may even receive the death penalty, if justice is served.

The prophet Habakkuk also asked, “O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear!” Hab. 1:2

God Is Listening Snapshot of a shedding star

Check out what happens when the last three of the seven seals are broken. All of those who have died (martyrs) for following Jesus cry out symbolically together for help and for justice. God listens and responds.

Seals 5, 6 & 7

Seal 5 – Martyrs cry out, How long O Lord until you help us?Rev. 6:9-10

Seal 6 – God answers and punishes the enemies of his people and those who have not repented of their sins. Rev. 6:12-17

Seal 7 – Silence in Heaven / Jesus Comes to rescue his people. Rev. 8:1 

 

Choose Jesus Today

God will rescue his people from this world of sadness and evil and pain. There will also come a time when it will be too late to repent and give your life to God. Give Jesus your life today! Invite him into your heart today! Don’t wait until it’s too late.

 

More intriguing information on the details of Seals 5, 6 & 7 in Part 2 (coming soon!).

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Revelation Picture Cards

Revelation Picture Cards are here!

I’m very excited to announce the arrival of the new Revelation Picture Cards! If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this set is worth 10,000 words. The set of ten flash cards will help kids learn the themes of the book of Revelation very quickly. The front side has a picture to trigger the name of the theme. The back side has a short summary of what the topic means and a memory verse to go with the theme. Here’s a sample.

Sample cards

Very quickly your kids will know the themes from the book of Revelation and a basic idea of what they are about. How many adults can do that! You don’t have to know all the details of the book of Revelation to lay a firm foundation. These words of truth that we hide in our hearts and in our children’s hearts give them firm footing to build on as they mature and learn to study the Bible more deeply.

 

 

Revelation-card-button

 

Revelation Picture Cards: Picture cards that summarize the themes of Revelation in easy downloadable format. Easy for kids to remember. Each card has a picture on one side and short summary and memory verse on the other. Easily learn the themes of the Book of Revelation. Comes in easy downloadable PDF format. Ten cards in set.

Click here to order.

 

 

Categories: Overview of Revelation, The Basics | Leave a comment

Four Colored Horses

Four Seals, Four Horses

The first four seals are broken and four colored horses appear with riders carrying all sorts of stuff. Remember the book of Revelation is highly symbolic, which means we have to look for clues to find out what the stuff means. Are you ready? Saddle up!

4 Horsemen by Waiting for the Word

4 Horsemen by Waiting for the Word

 

First question. Does the Bible mention four colored horses anywhere else?

Wow! Yes it does! This is a big clue, especially since an angel tells Zechariah, the prophet exactly what the horses (and chariots) are. Read Zech 6:2-5

 

In Zechariah the four colored horses are the four spirits of the heavens, which go to all the earth. Zech 6:7

Four usually means it goes to the entire earth. So the Holy Spirit from Heaven is going out to all the world to spread the good news of what Jesus has done for us. The spirit does this through people, just like the disciples became mighty workers for Jesus when the Holy Spirit came upon them. As we learn about the four horses and riders remember they represent the gospel, or good news of Jesus, going into the world.

 

The White Horse – 1st seal opened – (Rev 6:1-2)

White always describes something about Jesus or his followers in Revelation. It is a color of purity. The rider is given a crown of victory and is a conqueror with his bow, and probably some arrows.

 

Bible History: God uses a bow and arrows in the Old Testament to fight for his people. Zech 9:13-16

 

Church/World History: The early church was pure at first and the gospel spread rapidly.

 

Now: When we accept Jesus and surrender our lives fully to Him, he washes us white as snow and gives us victory over sin! Isa 1:18

 

Note for budding scholars: There are two words for crown in Greek, one is for a kingly crown diadema, and one is for a victory crown or wreath stephanos, like the winners of the Olympics were given in Greek times. The Greek word used here is stephanos, a crown of victory.

 

The Fiery Red Horse – 2nd seal opened (Rev. 6:3-4)

Red is a color of bloodshed and persecution.

Sealed Book

Seven Seals

The word of God is also described as fire. Jer. 23:29

A great sword is given the rider to take peace from the earth. This reminds me of something Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword”. You can read everything Jesus said about this here – Matt. 10:34-39

 

Bible History: The prophets and faithful people of God were often persecuted.

 

Church/World History: As Christianity spread, so did persecution of Christians. Most of the disciples were martyred for their faithfulness to Jesus.

 

Now: In many countries of the world, people are persecuted, put in prison or even killed because they follow Jesus. Sometimes when a person decides to follow Jesus, their family disown them. But Jesus promises if we lose our life for his sake, we will find it. Life with Jesus will be WAY BETTER than this one, for sure!

 

The Black Horse – 3rd seal opened (Rev. 6:5-6)

Black Horse by rawdonfox

Black Horse by rawdonfox

Blackness, or darkness is a lack of the light of God’s Word. The Bible says that God’s Word lights our way. Psalm 119:105 If we don’t have God’s word we will be in darkness, and darkness is black. The rider carries a pair of balances or scales in his hand.

 

Balances or scales measured out grain in Bible times. In these verses there is a shortage of food. Food or grain can also represent Jesus and his word. John 6:35, Matt. 4:4, John 1:1 If we search deeper we find in the Old Testament that famine is sometimes described as a lack of God’s word. Amos 8:11-13

 

Oil and Wine: Oil was used for anointing kings and priests and other things in the Old Testament to make them holy. Psalm 89:20, Exod 40:9 In the New Testament God showed us that anointing was really done with the Holy Spirit. Acts 10:38 The oil was a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Wine represents Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. His shed blood saves us from the eternal death that is a result of sin. Matt. 26:28-29 In the Old Testament wine mentioned with oil was an offering brought to the Lord. Neh. 10:39

 

Putting it all together: Even when there is a lack of God’s word, or the gospel is not being preached everywhere, the Holy Spirit is still at work and people can still find salvation in Jesus. The Bible tells us that even through creation and the wonderful things in nature, people can know there is a creator God. Rom. 1:19-20

 

Bible History: People who rejected Jesus were said to be in darkness. John 1:4-5

 

Church/History: Have you heard of the dark ages? This was a time in history when the Bible was not available to most people. The Roman Church which was the main organized church at that time, did not want people to read the Bible for themselves.

 

Now: Even though most people in developed countries have easy access to the Bible, they are still in darkness if they don’t open the Bible and read it! But Jesus is always working through the Holy Spirit to show people he loves them.

 

Note for budding scholars: A denarius was a full day’s wages for an average person. A quart of wheat would feed one person. Three quarts of cheaper barley could feed a family. So it would take all of a person’s money just to eat. If you had to pay for a home and clothes and transportation, you’d probably be very hungry!

 

The Pale Horse – 4th seal opened (Rev. 6:8)

Death sits on the pale horse and hell follows him. This does not sound good! This is definitely the most serious condition so far. Did you know that when you reject the good news of the gospel, there are serious consequences? God does not cause death, but the wages of sin is death, there’s just no getting around this fact. Rom. 6:23 Without Jesus, we die, because Jesus is the source of life. John 11:25 God does not want us to die. 2 Pet. 3:9

 

So he sends warnings, serious warnings, to try and wake people up and bring them to repentance. He does this through the sword, famine (hunger), pestilence (death) and beasts. This is the same pattern we see in the Old Testament. God sending serious warnings, with the hope that people will turn back to God and live. Ezek 14:10,11,21 Remember, we use the Bible to interpret the Bible. That’s why there are always a lot of texts to connect everything together. Our own ideas mean nothing. But God’s Word is always true. Bad things naturally happen to people when they forsake God and follow other gods or try to do things themselves. That is a consequence of turning away from God. Of course, bad things happen to people who follow God as well. We live in a sinful world and Satan is out to hurt everyone he can. Thankfully, God’s people can look forward to a happy ending when Jesus makes all things new. God’s desire is that everyone would turn back to Him and be saved. That’s why he sends such drastic warnings.

 

Bible History: Many times in the Bible there were sad consequences for people who chose not to follow God. A big example is when the Israelites were taken captive to Babylon.  He allowed these things to happen to get their attention so they will turn back to him, have blessings, and live. Ezekiel chapter 14 is but one example.

 

Church/History/Now: Eventually people began to forget about God altogether. As we see now, there are terrible things happening all over the world – wars, famines, death, natural disasters, shootings, killings and so many other terrible things. If that’s what happens when man leaves God out of everything, maybe it’s time to turn back to him, before it’s too late.

 

Whew! That was a lot of information. So if it was too much, here’s a summary.

 

The White Horse

The pure gospel spreading victoriously around the world 

The Red Horse

Where the gospel is accepted, persecution and rejection can follow. 

The Black Horse

Even where there is spiritual darkness because the Bible is not available, the Holy Spirit is still at work, making salvation available to everyone who listens to the Spirit.

The Pale Horse

When people reject the gospel and choose to live in sin, apart from the life-giver Jesus, there are terrible consequences.

 

Jesus is Coming by John

Jesus is Coming by John

 

The opening of the four seals gives us a preview of what happens when the gospel is accepted or rejected. We can choose victory with Jesus on the white horse or death on the pale horse without Jesus. There is a day that is coming soon, however, when the gospel will not be preached anymore and it will be too late. Choose to follow Jesus today and he will give you victory over sin and eternal life!

 


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The Greatest Coronation EVER!

The Crisis

Picture this. There is a serious crisis in the universe. Satan has rebelled against God and now there’s a huge rebellion on earth as well. Things are spiraling out of control. God’s plan to save mankind from self-destruction will only work if there is someone perfect, and I mean PERFECT for the job at hand. Clearly no man has ever fit the bill. Until…

 

Until God became a man through his son Jesus. Jesus lived the perfect life and died, taking the penalty for man’s rebellion, which is death. But the giver of life could not stay dead. He conquered death and rose from the grave. But wait! If the resurrection was the main event, why did Jesus tell his disciples to, “wait for the promise of the Father”? Acts 1:4 What were they waiting for?

 

The Throne Room

The book of Revelation gives us a peek into the very throne room of God in chapters 4 & 5. There we find a most amazing description of the Most Important Coronation, EVER! And a clue about what the disciples were waiting for.

ESA/Hubble
ESA/Hubble

 

The throne of God is surrounded with dazzling jewel colors and a green (emerald) rainbow. Rev 4:3-4 Various kinds of interesting and bizarre heavenly creatures and some white-robed elders, twenty-four of them  surround the throne. Rev. 4:4,8 Everyone is praising and worshiping the creator of the universe. Rev. 4:9-11 Beautiful right! But then John, who’s seeing this in vision, begins to weep. Rev. 5:4 What?

 

He’s weeping because it seems, there is no man in the entire universe perfect (worthy) enough to open a book completely sealed with seven seals, and is in the right hand of the one sitting on the throne. Yes, that’s God the Father. What is so important about this sealed book?

 

The Sealed Book 

Time to dig for some clues. The special book has writing on both sides. Remember back then books were scrolls, not books with pages.

Sealed Book
Sealed Book

Where else in the Bible are books written on both sides mentioned?

  • God himself wrote on both sides of the two tables of the testimony (the ten commandments). Exod. 32:15

  • Two prophets saw scrolls written on both sides while in prophetic vision. Ezek. 2:9-10 Zech. 5:1-30

So it’s possible this sealed book may refer to God’s covenant with his people and to a prophetic message. Or in the disciples’ language might be called, “the Law and the Prophets”. John 1:45

Just as the scriptures of Jesus’ day (the Law and the Prophets – a.k.a. the Old Testament) all pointed to Jesus and his plan to save mankind (John 5:39), so this special book contained God’s eternal promise to finish his plan of salvation, including judgments on the unbelievers. So if no man could open it and this plan of salvation could not continue – that would be the BIGGEST TRAGEDY ever! We would all eventually die and cease to exist. Yikes! No wonder John was weeping.

 

The Greatest Coronation EVER!

But look! Here comes the hero – the Lion, the Lamb, the savior of the universe, Jesus. Rev. 5:5-6 He takes the sealed book out of the right hand of God and sits down at right hand of God. Rev. 5:7, Col. 3:1, Heb. 12:2 And a HUGE celebration of praise breaks out. Can you imagine ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands of angels singing praises to God.

ESA/Hubble
ESA/Hubble

 

Jesus is worthy to take the book and open the seals. Rev. 5:9 The great plan to eradicate sin and its horrible effects can continue. This is cause for celebration! And the first thing that happens is whoosh – the seven spirits of God (the full, complete measure of God’s Holy Spirit) rush to the earth. Rev. 5:6

 

That is why Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father. On the day of Pentecost, exactly when the Greatest Coronation EVER was happening in heaven, the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples and they went out preaching the gospel with great power. Acts 2:1-4, 33 Peter, who had denied Jesus three times, now preached boldly. His sermon is recorded in Acts chapter 2.

 

Jesus is now seated on the throne of the universe with complete power . Col. 3:1, Eph. 1:20-22 He has sent us his Holy Spirit which gives us power be witnesses for Him. Jesus will be victorious in this epic battle over evil. This is why all honor and glory belong to Him. Praise the Lord!

This should give you courage as you face challenges in this life. Lift your eyes to Jesus who is working in your behalf with great power and authority.

Do you want your life resting in His capable hands? Give him your heart and your life today. He will not let you down.

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