Our Present Need

By John Thiel, Beholding Christ Series, Part 1, mp3

Scripture reading: Revelation 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, [being] the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

I don’t think anyone needs convincing of the very imminence of Christs soon return. We know that the world is really frayed on its edges. Everything that has been prophesied about the coming of Jesus is taking place. Now more than ever before we have a need to place close attention to the words of Jesus.

Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

Looking at prophecy and world events, is it difficult to realise Jesus is coming? When he comes in the clouds of heaven, is that going to take us by surprise? Not at all. What is he talking about here?

What time is here referred to? Not to the revelation of Christ in the clouds of heaven to find a people asleep. No; but to His return from His ministration in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, when He lays off His priestly attire and clothes Himself with garments of vengeance, and when the mandate goes forth: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” {2T 190.1}

Where is Jesus at the present time? In heaven doing a work for us as our high priest.

   When Jesus ceases to plead for man, the cases of all are forever decided. This is the time of reckoning with His servants. To those who have neglected the preparation of purity and holiness, which fits them to be waiting ones to welcome their Lord, the sun sets in gloom and darkness, and rises not again. Probation closes; Christ’s intercessions cease in heaven. This time finally comes suddenly upon all, and those who have neglected to purify their souls by obeying the truth are found sleeping. They became weary of waiting and watching; they became indifferent in regard to the coming of their Master. They longed not for His appearing, and thought there was no need of such continued, persevering watching. They had been disappointed in their expectations and might be again. They concluded that there was time enough yet to arouse. They would be sure not to lose the opportunity of securing an earthly treasure. It would be safe to get all of this world they could. And in securing this object, they lost all anxiety and interest in the appearing of the Master. They became indifferent and careless, as though His coming were yet in the distance. But while their interest was buried up in their worldly gains, the work closed in the heavenly sanctuary, and they were unprepared. {2T 191.1}

To be sleeping means to be unconscious of Jesus finishing his work in heaven and like in the days of Noah when the door was shut the people didn’t have opportunity to be protected from the flood. So it is before Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven, the opportunity of meeting him in peace is closed. Preparation of purity and holiness that is what we should be occupied with. Purifying our souls by obeying the truth. If we neglect that we will be asleep when the time comes. When Jesus returns, what should be the condition of Gods people? When can Jesus say I can come now, when?

Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own. {COL 69.1}

When will he come? When his character is revealed in his church. Can we wonder why there has been a delay? What are the 144,000 to be? They were without fault before the throne of God. The work of the gospel is to produce a character in the life of those who believe in Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:25 even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

That is what the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about. Before Jesus can come, he wants to see a people who have been benefited by the gospel, when he sees his church without spot or wrinkle without any sin. Then he will come to take them home. That is what he is waiting for. The impact of the gospel upon the lives of the people that is what he is waiting for. As you read this, does it do to you what it does to me? Jesus is waiting for me to change? Oh. That’s something to think about.

In order for us to be like the Saviour, we must be changed… {UL 311.4}

That is what the gospel of Christ is all about, we must be pure.

(see Philippians 3:20, 21). Now is the time for us to bring into the daily life the virtues of Christ’s life. We have no time to lose. Should we fail in our character building, we shall lose eternal life. We must build on the true foundation. . . . We must do the work of Christ, and be constantly watching and praying. Then we shall be ready for His appearing, prepared to receive eternal life. {UL 311.4}

How close is the coming of Jesus? How close can you see its coming to an end? This is what activates my mind what I have just read. That for me to be like Jesus, for me to be ready for him to come, I must be changed. I’ve got little time left. I must change. I can’t be faulty any longer. All those who will take this seriously will attentively follow the research that I’m going to share over the next so many sermons in a series of meditations entitled ‘Beholding Christ’. At this moment I am introducing it with the thought, what is your need, why should you look at Christ? What is our present need?  Our present need is to obey the truth. Attending diligently in developing a purity and faultlessness in my character in such an intense time in which we live now.

Amos 4:12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: [and] because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.

Meditate young people and children on the drama of what it is going to be when Jesus actually comes onto this planet. It’s going to be horrendous. People are going to be crying let the rocks fall on us. There are going to be catastrophes worse than we’ve seen. As you see yourself in this terrible plight coming up before you, say to yourself, I’m going to be saved from this and be very particular that I am going to come out alright on the right side of this scene. What are you doing . . . in the great work of preparation? Those who are distrustful of self, who are humbling themselves before God and purifying their souls by obeying the truth–these are receiving the heavenly mold and preparing for the seal of God in their foreheads. {FLB 288.3}

Who are these people? The 144,000.

When the decree goes forth and the stamp is impressed, their character will remain pure and spotless for eternity. Now is the time to prepare. The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God–candidates for heaven. {FLB 288.3}

What Are You Doing?

He is asking us individually. What are you doing to prepare to see Jesus in the clouds of heaven? Adults, what are you doing? Isn’t that a precious privilege? A candidate for heaven? We stand before God and offer ourselves as candidates before heaven. Is that what you are doing? I have grown up in a religious world that has proclaimed Jesus is coming. I was a SDA from birth but I have seen a state of religious apathy as I grew up. As I became animated, I looked for others to become animated with me. Very few. And those few got tired as they grew up with me. What are we doing?

Every individual soul, if he would receive the seal of the living God, must hear the Word of the Lord, and do it with exactitude. {FLB 288.4}

When you hear something from Gods word, what is the apathy that affects us today? Oh yeah, I know what I should be doing but not just yet, I’m not ready yet. Can you afford to think like that? If Jesus is waiting, he could have come already. The world is already on its last legs. What are the angels doing? They are holding back the winds of strife. We are living on borrowed time. The angels could have given up a long time ago ever since 1844. But what? Jesus is waiting and waiting for a number to comprise the 144,000. Here we live today on the very cusp on the very final destruction and what are we doing? We go to church every day and then home every sabbath and continue in the normal round and stave off the convictions that come to us. What are we to be doing? We hear the word of the Lord and doing it with exactitude. No haphazard religion. None of this business of later on when I’m ready.

There must be no such thing as haphazard religion if men would have a place in the family of God. {FLB 288.4}

   Now is the time, while the four angels are holding the four winds, to make our calling and election sure. {FLB 288.5}

We can’t be in apathy. We must change, we must overcome those character defects and there is no time to lose. No haphazard religion. We must hear the word of the Lord and do it with exactitude. This message comes to us in a time when God says here is a problem with the church in this time.

The Church Is Asleep

What is the message? What does he say about his people who are living in the last period of the Christian church in this very period just prior to the coming of Jesus.

Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

What is he saying is the condition of the people in which we are part and parcel of? Apathy. Not hot, nor cold, I’m warm, lukewarm for Jesus. We are surrounded by lukewarm tepid water spiritually speaking. You know the story of the frog, as that water heats up, he doesn’t know when to get out and he dies in it.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

“If any man”. In the midst of this lukewarm people, he says, I’m knocking will anyone open to me and really let me in? The church is his woman remember. These are the words that Jesus is referring to when he says I am standing at the door and knocking.

Song of Solomon 5:2 I sleep, but my heart waketh: [it is] the voice of my beloved that knocketh, [saying], Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, [and] my locks with the drops of the night.

Isn’t this the case of Jesus in Gethsemane? His brow heavy with dew? Drops of sweat? Now comes this languid response;

Songs of Solomon 5:3 I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?

 5:4 My beloved put in his hand by the hole [of the door], and my bowels were moved for him.

I’m asleep I don’t feel like getting up. I can see his hand coming in the door, in the old days the doors had a latch and a hole. He is really trying so hard to come in.

Song of Solomon 5:5 I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped [with] myrrh, and my fingers [with] sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.

 5:6 I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, [and] was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

Can you see the languid behaviour? His church? This is the deplorable state of Gods people among whom we have grown up.

To keep your heart in heaven will give vigor to all your graces and put life into all your duties. To discipline the mind to dwell upon heavenly things will put life and earnestness into all our endeavors. Our efforts are languid, and we run the Christian race slowly, and manifest indolence and sloth, because we so little value the heavenly prize. We are dwarfs in spiritual attainments. It is the privilege and duty of the Christian to be increasing in the knowledge of the Son of God, “unto a perfect man.” {OHC 161.5}

You know the race of the hare and the tortoise? We’re not hares but tortoises. What is the word of God speaking to us today? Our great need. I am languid that when I read something from Gods word and the reality of what the word of God is telling me to do I say yeah later, I’ll come to the door soon I’m quite sleepy thank you very much. That is what I see around me continually. If you knew you were being chased by a lion and he’s not far behind what would you do? You would run for your life. It’s time to get an adrenalin rush. The languidness must be snapped out of. We are covered in the dust of normal living.

Isaiah 52:1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.

 52:2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, [and] sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

We are being held down. We are being bound by Satan’s sophistry to put us to sleep. Awake, shake yourself, get out of this languid condition says the word of God and powerfully supplemented by the following statement;

In order to understand this matter aright, we must remember that our hearts are naturally depraved, and we are unable of ourselves to pursue a right course. It is only by the grace of God, combined with the most earnest effort on our part, that we can gain the victory. {AG 327.3}

It’s natural for us to be lukewarm. We can’t arouse ourselves we need the grace of God combined with our effort.

Every wrong tendency may be, through the grace of Christ, repressed, not in a languid, irresolute manner, but with firmness of purpose, with high resolves to make Christ the pattern. {AG 327.4}

We can’t get there by languid irresolute manner. I must be filled with a resolute reaction to the challenge that is in my life. I am naturally depraved. I’ve grown up in this languid condition. She’ll be right mate as the Australian says! No way will it be right! Every SDA Australian and every other Christian in the world needs to wake up! It’s not alright, its nearly over.

Let your love go out for those things that Jesus loved, and be withheld from those things that will give no strength to right impulses. With determined energy seek to learn, and to improve the character every day. You must have firmness of purpose to take yourself in hand and be what you know God would be pleased to have you. {AG 327.4}

What is the Lord saying to us today? Get yourself in hand. That is what he is saying right here. Get hold of yourself. Get into action to put away the things that Jesus doesn’t love and embrace the things he does love.

The intellect, as well as the heart, must be consecrated to the service of God. He has claims upon all there is of us. The follower of Christ should not indulge in any gratification, or engage in any enterprise, however innocent or laudable it may appear, which an enlightened conscience tells him would abate his ardor or lessen his spirituality. {AG 327.5}

I am not telling you what to do I am sharing with you what God is telling me. There are little things that we indulge in, that I indulged in, and that were actually abating my ardour. Satan is there continually placing things so laudable so harmless. Nothing wrong with that but what is it doing? It is weakening my fervency for getting ready for Jesus to come.

Every Christian should labor to press back the tide of evil, and save our youth from the influences that would sweep them down to ruin. May God help us to press our way against the current. {AG 327.5}

Young people from ages 17 to 30, when your parents are telling you what to do, don’t become impatient. All those who are mothers and fathers in Israel, listen to the father in heaven, it’s time to respond what to do and respond with alacrity. We are living on the cusp of destruction and we are all being put to sleep. We live in such a lovely country. We are on a destructive edge and we are sitting back indolently and Jesus is trying so hard to come in. With high resolve to make Christ the pattern, without making Christ the pattern you are not going to get there even if you try. Why make Christ the pattern because its only in this way we will change. What must I do to change? I must see Jesus.

1 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.

If I don’t make a high resolve to make Christ my pattern I will not change. I need to look intently with great earnestness on Jesus because I’m going to die unless I do.

As one becomes acquainted with the history of the Redeemer, he discovers in himself serious defects; his unlikeness to Christ is so great that he sees the necessity for radical changes in his life. Still he studies with a desire to become like his great Exemplar. He catches the looks, the spirit, of his beloved Master. By beholding, by “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith,” he becomes changed into the same image. {6BC 1098.6}

   It is not by looking away from Him that we imitate the life of Jesus, but by talking of Him, by dwelling upon His perfections, by seeking to refine the taste and elevate the character, by trying–through faith and love, and by earnest, persevering effort–to approach the perfect Pattern. By having a knowledge of Christ–His words, His habits, and His lessons of instruction–we borrow the virtues of the character we have so closely studied, and become imbued with the spirit we have so much admired. Jesus becomes to us “the chiefest among ten thousand,” the One “altogether lovely” (RH March 15, 1887). {6BC 1098.7}

If you need arousing, awakening, then look at Jesus and occupy your mind with him and you will get a fright to see your condition and you will be brought to study his beautiful characteristics that you become changed. It is not ours to concentrate on me and how I must change myself, but it is ours to keep Jesus and concentrate with intensity on him. If I’m going to look steadfastly at Jesus just like the children of Israel when they were bitten by the snakes, there was the stick with the serpent and by looking they were relieved of their poison. How intently do you think they were looking? As they did this, what happened and what will happen to you?

Imperceptibly to ourselves we are changed day by day from our own ways and will into the ways and will of Christ, into the loveliness of His character. Thus we grow up into Christ, and unconsciously reflect His image. {6BC 1097.5}

We won’t say I’m a better person now, nothing like that. Your concentration is not upon yourself is not how well you are doing. You’re concentration of that will never change you. Comparing our self with others will not work either. I have to become like Jesus and the only way is to look to him alone. Then I will change imperceptibly to myself. I will change unconsciously reflecting his image. As I keep looking at him I will see defects in me. I won’t say oh I’m doing well there. The Lord will continue to change us. Our focus is to be astutely concentrating on the vision that is going to change me and this is what we will do in the series I will be sharing, to look intently upon Jesus. As we do this, one contemplation we need to look at is that many are people are at the position of I’m never going to change, I’m too weak. Lets contemplate on that aspect in Christ. Why was Jesus crucified?

2 Corinthians 13:4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.

What did I just read about Jesus? He was weak. Did you ever know that? Why did he die? Because of weakness. He was as weak as you and me. Why was he living a perfect life? It said it here. He liveth by the power of God. Gaze and wonder at this picture, he the God of the universe came down and became weak with me. He the mighty God encased in human flesh, as he hung there on the cross, as he hung there on Gethsemane as a weak helpless sinful human being. Sinful? Oh yes. Lets read it straight from the word of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

When God placed him in Gethsemane, what was he? Sin. On him was laid the entire bundle of iniquity that we all struggle with. It was on him. That is why he was crucified as weak as you and me. As you think about what you must do to change and you know you are too weak and you hang languidly as Jesus on the cross, in your weakness gaze upon this. We are going to be studying the law and what is expected of us in the law.

Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

As we look upon Jesus we see him writhing in anguish in the weak human flesh that he was in. We see him at the cross with the law condemning him. He agonises in his absolute helplessness. He suffered as a weakling hanging on the power of God.

All who will can be overcomers. Let us strive earnestly to reach the standard set before us. Christ knows our weakness, and to Him we can go daily for help. It is not necessary for us to gain strength a month ahead. We are to conquer from day to day. {UL 311.5}

Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof.

In my weakness, cling to him. That was the experience of Jacob, as he was struck in the side, he was so weak but he clung on to Jesus. I will not let thee go unless though bless me. Our dire present need is that I must change and I haven’t got enough time to change into the image and character of Christ before he returns. We are too weak, it is too hard. Driven by our utter need we are to gaze upon Jesus, we are to gaze upon his cross long enough to see its glory and to feel its power. And in this way I will change.


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Posted on 15/02/2013, in Beholding Christ (Series) and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Lord help me to behold you, remove every sinful thing and to become like You.Thank you for this sermon.

  2. Ellen White did not see the full Gospel. Revelation 10 says the “mystery” of God would be finished when the 7th trumpet sounds.

  3. And the spirit of prophecy is whom? Ellen White? If so, please tell me what “The spirit of prophecy” say the 1290 and 1335 in Daniel 12 point to. Also, I would like to know what Ellen White has revealed to you about the 5 months in Revelation 9.

    Remember, Jesus said there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. So, is Jesus coming before you understand these prophecies.

    When you cannot find explanations for these prophecies, ask yourself how you can claim she is this spirit you speak of.

    I’ll be waiting for clear, concise answers to the 1290, 1335 ( Daniel 12), and the 5 months in Revelation 9

    The fact remains, most of the prophecies in Revelation are uninterpreted by SDA or the reformed SDA.

    What does the spirit of prophecy say about this:

    Revelation 10

    1And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:

    2And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,

    3And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

    4And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

    5And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,

    6And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

    7But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

    8And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.

    9And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.

    10And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

    11And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

    You just read about 1843 and 1844. What does Ellen White claim this is?

    • The careful study of this is the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire had two sections to it. Pagan and papal. Did the pagan desolate Gods people? Did the papal desolate God’s people? Yes to both. Here is the experience of the pagan daily and the pagan papal. That was the cry of Revelation 6:10. How long will you let this go on for? That was the question, how long will be the vision of this desolation? When will you make an end of it? It says blessed are they who come to this point.

      Daniel 12:11 And from the time [that] the daily [sacrifice] shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, [there shall be] a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

      The original says – And from the time that the daily shall be taken away in order to set up the abomination.

      We can gain an appreciation when the date of that took place. When was it that the pagan Roman Empire came to its conclusion so that the papacy could be set up? The pagan Roman Empire was as we know slowly defused by the barbaric tribes. When all the barbaric tribes were Christianised, that gave way for the papal desolation to take root.

      The daily shall be taken away to set up the papacy, the abomination. If you study the history, when all the barbaric tribes and kings were Christianised and submitted to the bishop of Rome, now the papal desolation could come and start its work. Do you know the year of that development? It was the year 508 and it was when the final King of the barbaric tribes of France finally submitted to the Bishop of Rome. His name was Clovis king of the Franks.

      We have a date, 508. From that time of 508 there shall be 1290 days. Add 1290 days to 508 and what do you get? 1798. Was 1798 the date in which the papacy, the man of sin was finally totally revealed? Apostle Paul’s words state when he is revealed only then can people expect Jesus to come. It says blessed is he that waiteth till he comes to the 1335 days. Add 1335 to 508 and where does it bring you? 1843..

      Isn’t that exciting? What happened in 1844? The people that come to 1843 blessed are they to get to that date. Why are they blessed? What did Jesus do in 1844? He entered into the most holy place. To do what? To intercede as the high priest, to finish the Day of Atonement. He entered in there to receive a kingdom to judge Gods people if they have their wedding garment or not. The time of the end. Not the times of the end but the time now took place.


  4. You quote Ellen White overwhelmingly more than the Word of God. You will receive the mark of the beast if you continue to rely on false teachings.

    Jesus said in plain sight who will be saved. The self righteous are severely blinded by what is written in plain English. The following are not my words, but you will deny what it tells you because you rely on your own righteousness, which is the mark of the beast.

    John 17:2 – “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.”

    Again, if you do not understand the story of the Centurion, you have not heard the good news yet. It has not yet entered into your ears because you rely on men to teach you as demonstrated above in your post.

    Another rebuke to the self righteous: The self righteous can read what is in plain sight and not perceive.

    Romans 3:3 (King James Version)

    3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

    Ask yourself what it is you really believe about the power of God. How far can it go? How far do you want it to go?

    Romans 11:32 (King James Version)

    32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

    Unto ALL AND to them that believe: For there IS NO DIFFERENCE

    Romans 3:22 (King James Version)

    22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

    The heathen Centurion understood the good news, but the church does not. The churches are preaching bad news.

    If your righteousness is as filthy rags, what would that make your state of sin. The Adventist movement has convinced you, that you can keep the law, thus creating a merciless child of hell every wit worse than your predecessors.

    You claim to believe the Word yet forget our righteousness is as a stink that comes up into the nostrils of God.

    Who will be saved in your mind? Those who “perform?” This is not a new type of deception. It is of ancient days they said, “We will keep your law…”

    Read the Centurion in Matthew 8 and remove the mountain. The whole mountain, with one word.

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