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Life Test

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In the manufacturing world, there's a testing. It's call a Life Test. It's done to find out how long something will it last, things it can and cannot endure, etc. Our souls are to have eternal, (or ever lasting life). Does God run some life test on us to see if we have and will retain what it takes to last that long, (forever)? And just what is that? Belief. Truly believe, in Him.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Should we, or do we even have the right, to expect such an honorable and precious gift, without being tested and maintaining a certain level of quality? Quality for what?

Isa 64:4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

1 Cor 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

I guess we'll just have to wait to find out the fullness of whatever it is. All jobs have requirement levels. I guess the first step is to make sure we know how to fill out the application. Good references, things we've done before, and such as that. Let's take the apostle Paul for example. Rounding up Christians? What kind of reference is that?

Acts 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

Acts 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

Acts 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

Acts 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Acts 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord[1], what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

1 "LORD": 2962. kurios, koo'-ree-os; from kuros (supremacy); supreme in authority, i.e. (as noun) controller; by impl. Mr. (as a respectful title):--God, Lord, master, Sir.

What wilt thou have me to do? Paul is about to begin some life tests.

Acts 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

Paul explaining it to king Agrippa:
Acts 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.

Acts 9:8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

Acts 9:9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

Acts 9:10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

Acts 9:11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

That Ole Christian killer down on his knees.

Acts 9:12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

Acts 9:13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:

Acts 9:14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen[1] vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

1 "CHOSEN": 1589. ekloge, ek-log-ay'; from G1586; (divine) selection (abstr. or concr.):--chosen, election.

The Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel?
Three different types of peoples. Three levels of teaching.

Acts 9:16 For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

Some of Paul's sufferings, or maybe better said, life tests:

2 Cor 1:6 And whether we be afflicted[1], it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

1 "AFFLICTED": 2346. thlibo, thlee'-bo; akin to the base of G5147; to crowd (lit. or fig.):--afflict, narrow, throng, suffer tribulation, trouble.

2 Cor 1:7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

2 Cor 2:4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.

2 Cor 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

2 Cor 7:12 Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.

2 Cor 8:2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

2 Cor 11:22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.

Paul's going to give some details of his physical sufferings, or life tests:

2 Cor 11:23 (Paul speaking). Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.

2 Cor 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.

2 Cor 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

Beaten:
Acts 16:22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.

Stripes:
Acts 16:23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:

Stoned:
Acts 14:19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
Acts 14:20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

Shipwrecked:
Acts 27:41 And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves.

After all this did Paul still  believe? Yes. Would you or I?

Let's look at three more who had a pretty severe life test. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Dan 3:10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image:

Dan 3:11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

Dan 3:12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Dan 3:13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.

Dan 3:14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?

Dan 3:15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

Dan 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

Dan 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

Dan 3:18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Dan 3:19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.

Dan 3:20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

Dan 3:21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

Dan 3:22 Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Dan 3:23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

Dan 3:24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

Dan 3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Dan 3:26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.

Dan 3:27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

Dan 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

Dan 3:29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

Dan 3:30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.

How would you like to have a life test like these three? Would you or I have given in to the king's wishes? All we'd have to do is deny our belief if Jesus Christ. Fail the life test. That's all. There are many stories in the Bible that tell the life tests of some of God's people. I chose only these four men. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego seem to just disappear from the pages of the Bible after this. They could have had more tests but it isn't recorded. The Apostle Paul? You can see that he had many tests. He went on to write most of the New Testament.

Ever wonder what kind of life tests we'll go through in the end time?

Mark 13:1 And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!

Mark 13:2 And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

Mark 13:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,

Mark 13:4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?

I think Matthew says it better.
Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Mark 13:5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:

Mark 13:6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Mark 13:7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.

Mark 13:8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.

Mark 13:9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.

Mark 13:10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.

Mark 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

Mark 13:12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.

I want to insert here a verse from Luke regarding the same event.

Luke 21:18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.

Mark 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Mark 13:14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:

Mark 13:15 And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:

Mark 13:16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.

Mark 13:17 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

Mark 13:18 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.

Mark 13:19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.

Mark 13:20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.

Mark 13:21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:

Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

Mark 13:23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.

Mark 13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

Mark 13:25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

Mark 13:26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

I want to add, "And not until then".

Mark 13:27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

Mark 13:28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:

Mark 13:29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.

Mark 13:30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Mark 13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

Mark 13:34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

Mark 13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

Mark 13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

Mark 13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Wonder who'll pass that life test?

One more test that I think coincides with the one in Mark 13. The mark of the beast.

Rev 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

Rev 13:12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

Rev 13:13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

Rev 13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

Rev 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Rev 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

Rev 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count[1] the number of the beast[2]: for it is the number[3] of a man; and his number is Six[4] hundred threescore and six.

1 "COUNT": 5585. psephizo, psay-fid'-zo; from G5586; to use pebbles in enumeration, i.e. (gen.) to compute:--count.
5586. psephos, psay'-fos; from the same as G5584; a pebble (as worn smooth by handling), i.e. (
by impl. of use as a counter or ballot) a verdict (of acquittal) or ticket (of admission); a vote:--stone, voice.
Who will you be voting for?

2 "BEAST": 2342. therion, thay-ree'-on; dimin. from the same as G2339; a dangerous animal:--(venomous, wild) beast.
2339. thera, thay'-rah; from ther (a wild animal, as game); hunting, i.e. (fig.) destruction:--trap.

3 "NUMBER": 706. arithmos, ar-ith-mos'; from G142; a number (as reckoned up):--number.
142. airo, ah'ee-ro; a prim. verb; to lift; by impl. to take up or away; fig. to raise (the voice), keep in suspense (the mind); spec. to sail away (i.e. weigh anchor); by Heb. [comp. H5375] to expiate sin:--away with, bear (up), carry, lift up, loose, make to doubt, put away, remove, take (away, up).

4 "SIX": 5516. chi xi stigma, khee xee stig'-ma; the H22d, H14th and an obsol. letter (G4742 as a cross) of the Greek alphabet (intermediate between the H5th and H6th), used as numbers; denoting respectively H600, H60 and H6; H666 as a numeral:--six hundred threescore and six.
6. 'abad, aw-bad'; a prim. root; prop. to wander away, i.e. lose oneself; by impl. to perish (caus. destroy):--break, destroy (-uction), + not escape, fail, lose, (cause to, make) perish, spend, X and surely, take, be undone, X utterly, be void of, have no way to flee.

At this time, will we still believe?

Luke 12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

I consider eternal life, something much to be given to someone, and from the above verse it appears to have requirements. If we just sit around and all we do, is say I believe, that just might not be enough. We're not all going to be an apostle Paul, Shadrach, Meshach, nor Abednego, or be delivered up in the end times, but there's certainly something we can all do for God. It may nothing more than telling someone of Jesus, supporting a good Bible teaching ministry, things like that. But one thing for sure James 2:20 says it pretty well.

James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

In the next verse I think Jesus makes it pretty clear that He expects help from the believers.

Luke 12:49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled[1]?

1 "KINDLED": 381. anapto, an-ap'-to; from G303 and G681; to enkindle:--kindle, light.
303. ana, an-ah'; a prim. prep. and adv.; prop. up; but (by extens.) used (distributively) severally, or (locally) at (etc.):--and, apiece, by, each, every (man), in, through. In compounds (as a prefix) it often means (by impl.) repetition, intensity, reversal, etc.
681. hapto, hap'-to; a prim. verb; prop. to fasten to, i.e. (spec.) to set on fire:--kindle, light.

Who does Jesus expect to be lighting and kindling the fire before He appears? US.

Psa 104:4 Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:

Jer 51:1 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind;

Jer 51:2 And will send unto Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about.

Fan that flame.

Jer 51:19 The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts is his name.

Jacob and Israel is the same person.
Gen 32:24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.

Gen 32:27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.

Gen 32:28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

Jer 51:20 Thou art my battle ax and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;

Jer 51:21 And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider;

Jer 51:22 With thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces old and young; and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the maid;

Jer 51:23 I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers.

The with thee above is not Jesus. Jesus will sit at the right hand of the Father until His enemies are made His footstool. You want to be in this army?

Psa 110:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Mat 22:44 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies[1] thy footstool?

1 "ENEMIES": 2190. echthros, ekh-thros'; from a prim. echtho (to hate); hateful (pass. odious, or act. hostile); usually as a noun, an adversary
(espec. Satan):--enemy, foe.

Zec 9:13 When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man.

Zec 9:14 And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.

Zec 9:15 The LORD of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; and they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar.

Zec 9:16 And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.

Here's where the enemy, (that Ole adversary Satan), gets his.
Ezek 28:18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Remember Luke 12:49. I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled.

Quite a life test. Think you got what it takes? The thing about these life tests, the more you're tested the more you believe, and that's all that's required to receive eternal life. Remember John 3:16.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Also, it's good to remember that works are important.

1 Cor 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest[1]: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

1 "MANIFEST": 5318. phaneros, fan-er-os'; from G5316; shining, i.e. apparent (lit. or fig.); neut. (as adv.) publicly, externally:--abroad, + appear, known, manifest, open [+ -ly], outward ([+ -ly]).

1 Cor 3:14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

1 Cor 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

While and after going through the fire, will we still Believe? Yes we will.

1 Pet 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

1 Pet 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

1 Pet 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Settle us where? In that place we call Heaven.

Thanks, for allowing me, to share this with you. Remember, to always, study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

In His Word,
Art Porter

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