Audio and written versions of the ASR Martins How To Live Victoriously and Successfully in Christ Course Session 10

Audio and Written Versions: Victorious Living In Christ Session 10

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Session 9

My name is Basie Martins. I trust that you are all well and I want to thank you again for listening to this program. For those of you who do not know, the topic of this series is, “How to Live Successfully and Victoriously in Christ”. It is all about us, the body of Christ, and us the church and us as individuals in the kingdom of God, being successful in all areas of life. It is about us claiming our full inheritance. It is about us putting in place on earth, which is already in heaven.

In the previous session, we discussed the redemption work of Christ on the cross. We have seen that Jesus took away the sins of the world and that He took away the penalty of sin. He took both these things onto himself and He reconciled us with God. He did all this so that we can be acquitted. He paid for everything with his blood. It means the sins of mankind and the penalty for sin have both been taken away from us. That means that since the cross, through grace, all people can receive salvation and restoration through grace, which includes healing. Jesus paid for this. He made it possible for us and the only requirement for all people to receive this gift, is faith.

In addition to that, the only requirement for all people to stay restored is to abstain from sin. By doing that, they will effectively prevent any sicknesses, diseases, and calamities to come over them again. So God took the penalty of sin away and He will not judge or punish people until they die (without Christ) or until Jesus’ second coming when the judgment of the great white throne will take place.

Whilst they are still alive, unsaved people, therefore, suffer only because of themselves. They suffer only because of reckless behavior. They suffer only because they bring all sorts of sicknesses and diseases and calamities over themselves by getting involved in sin. It is not because of the judgment of God. For most of them, the judgment comes only when they die but for those of them who will still be alive with the second coming, the judgment comes with the white throne judgment.

For Christians, it is a bit different. They will not be judged or punished when they die or with the white throne judgment. However, like unsaved people, they also bring all sorts of sicknesses and diseases and calamities over themselves by getting involved in sin. This is the automatic result of sin or the consequences of sin.

Apart from that, they are also chastised by God when they stubbornly refuse to repent or to stop sinning, especially when it comes to serious sins that could cost them their salvation. This is actually very rare. It happens after months or even years of stubbornness, depending on the danger or severity of the specific sin. So like unsaved people, Christians also suffer only because of themselves. They suffer only because of reckless behavior. Their own actions result in either them bringing sicknesses and diseases and calamities over themselves or the chastisement of God. God does protect his children by being harsh and strict to them because He loves them and does not want them to go astray.

But enough said about that. In this session, we will be discussing God’s will and his ways concerning prosperity.

The church has caused a lot of damage when it comes to finances and teachings regarding prosperity in the lives of people. What church leaders are teaching people are in most cases not Biblical. The whole problem regarding prosperity and God’s will regarding finances are the results of church leaders whose motives have not been as pure as it is supposed to be.

Most of them are teaching the doctrines prescribed and approved by their denominations in this regard, which have been influenced by leaders who are almost always under financial pressures. It is quite a challenge for many of them to keep the status quo when it comes to their commitments and programs and financial responsibilities. Financial pressures have caused many of them to adopt ways and means in the body of Christ which are not Biblical and in some cases wrong and unacceptable and downright outrageous.

These are the things that caused a lot of damage to the lives of people and in the body of Christ. Because of this, people do not trust church leaders when it comes to finances. They are very skeptical when it comes to doctrines about prosperity and finances. They do not trust the motives of their pastors and because of this, they do not really know the will of God when it comes to finances. They take a lot of what church leaders say about prosperity and finances with a grain of salt.

They have seen an ugly side in the church in this regard. They have seen church leaders taking desperate measures, instead of trusting God. They have seen church leaders being dishonest. They have seen church leaders being greedy. They have seen church leaders defile something sacred to God. Many Christians realized that what they have seen in the church regarding these aspects cannot be true or legitimate. They knew that something about these aspects does not make sense and they are generally not sure what to make of all this. All this caused a lot of confusion in the body of Christ when it comes to finances.

Many people regard prosperity teaching with loathing. They feel that church leaders teach prosperity just to motivate their members to support them financially. This certainly appears to be true, especially when you hear and see the outrageous promises that some church leaders make in this regard. Some of them adopted sheer worldly techniques to raise money for their churches.

There is no doubt in my mind that the ways and means that many church leaders adopted regarding finances are not Biblical and downright wrong and unacceptable. There is no doubt in my mind that the motives behind many things that they say and do are not so pure. These church leaders caused a lot of damage to the church of Christ.

On the other hand, many people in the church teach a doctrine about finances that is the opposite of prosperity teachings and not Biblical. They preach that God wants us to struggle and to be poor. It has many benefits when it comes to character building and holiness in the body of Christ they say. They feel that Christians learn a lot of valuable lessons when they are poor.

People like this just hate prosperity teachings. To them, prosperity teachings are false doctrines from hell. To them, these teachings are aimed at causing apostasy in the church. To them, to be poor honors God and it shows humility and it displays humbleness in the body of Christ.

What all of these people need to understand, is that all doctrines need to conform with the word of God. All true doctrines are created by the word of God as a basis. Church doctrines are not supported by feelings and preferences and suspicions and ideas and methods. The church cannot create doctrines that help its cause. Church leaders cannot create doctrines that work for them. Christians cannot believe doctrines that work for them. The Bible determines doctrines. The word of God has the final say when we create or evaluate any doctrine and this is what I have done when I investigated the will of God regarding finances and prosperity.

This is what I found when I studied the Scriptures:

To be poor does not honor God. In fact, it is just the opposite. This is what the Bible says about poverty:

Proverbs 10:15

The rich man’s wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.

Proverbs 19:7

All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him.

I found a Scripture in the Bible that says the following:

Psalm 35:27

Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favor my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.

Now I know that this is an Old Testament Scripture but it helped me to understand the will of God when it comes to prosperity. This Scripture says God wants us to prosper. This is kind of a confirmation that prosperity teachings might not be a false doctrine after all but I do have a problem when it comes to church leaders preaching that church members should be or will be stinking rich when they are obedient in giving, usually to the church.

I do not think that God wants us all to be stinking rich. Maybe God does want us to lack nothing and even have more than we need so that we can give the surplus to others. Maybe God wants us to be in situations where we need to put our faith in action when it comes to finances. It means that we might have to temporarily experience situations when we do not have enough money for a specific need so that we can put our faith in action. Through faith, we will, without any exception, receive the necessary finances that we need and even more. So in every situation, we should be able to meet our needs and even those of others. This means we actually are rich. We actually do not lack anything because we know that God provides in all our needs. Always, without exception because of faith and the just shall live by faith.

This means that we do not feel rich and sometimes our bank account does not reflect that we have more than enough but we are in fact rich because of faith. We should always be able to receive whatsoever we need through faith. I know that this does not fit the definition of rich when it comes to the world. To the world rich means having lots of money in the bank. To Christians, rich means knowing that God will supply all their needs.

Now, this does not mean that we have to live like this forever. I believe that the more we live in faith and by faith and through faith, the more we will be blessed by God. So at some stage, possibly when you have reached spiritual maturity in this regard, your bank account will reflect that you have more than enough.

What I have seen in the Scriptures about God’s will for his people, in the Old Testament the nation of Israel and in the New Testament, his Children or his church, are the following:

Psalm 112

1 Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

4 Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

5 A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.

6 Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.

7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.

8 His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.

9 He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.

10 The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.

Psalm 112 contains wonderful promises. These promises are promised and given to people who fear the Lord and who delights in his commandments. It belongs to those who are obedient to God.

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Psalm 23 goes a bit further than Psalm 112. It says that prosperity is more than just financial prosperity. It says that God will make sure that we are well and protected even when we find ourselves amid danger and in challenging situations.

Psalm 91

1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Psalm 91 goes even further than Psalm 23. It says that whosoever made God his refuge, and trusts the Lord, and who loves God, will be protected against anything and anyone that wants to harm him.

So these Psalms confirm that people in the Old testament enjoyed divine protection, divine provision, and divine maintenance because of the following: They feared God, they were obedient to God, they believed God, they trusted God, they made God their refuge and because they loved God.

When we read the hundreds of Scriptures about the lives of these people, we see that they were indeed very prosperous and that things were well in their lives, except when they got involved in sin. This is when things started to go wrong for some of them. However, we have seen that when they repent, God was always willing to restore their lives.

In the Old Testament, I have seen yet another element of prosperity and that is that God wants to give us the desires of our hearts. All that we need to do is to delight ourselves in him.

Psalm 37:4

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

To me, it was clear, based on these and other Old Testament Scriptures, that God wants his children to prosper, financially and in all other areas of life. I now wanted to see what the new Testament says about finances and prosperity.

Matthew 6:25-33

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

When I have read this Scripture, it was clear to me that God always knows what we need and that he will always give us what we need.

John 10:10

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

The original word for abundantly in Greek is “perisos” which means more than enough, superabundant, excessive, exceedingly more, beyond measure.

Philippians 4:19

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

When all our needs are supplied, we really do lack nothing. This is what God promised all believers in the kingdom of God.

Luke 6:38

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

2 Corinthians 9:6

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

These Scriptures make it very clear that when people give, they will receive a lot more in return. The “running over” suggests that people who give will have more than they need. It is, however, clear that whatever you decide regarding this, that you will live by what you decide. You will live by the same measure. This Scripture conforms with the Scripture about Jesus that came so that we can have life abundantly. It emphasizes that when we sow much we will reap much.

On top of all these promises, there is yet another promise and that is that if we have faith, we can ask God for anything.

Philippians 4:6

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

John 14:13

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Matthew 21:22

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

We can even ask God for whatever we want to if we believe we will receive it. It is just a matter of faith. These Scriptures say “anything” we ask. It says “all things”. It says “every thing”. It says “whatsoever we ask”. It says “be careful for nothing”.

We have seen in the previous sessions that we receive salvation through faith and we receive healing through faith. We also receive provision and prosperity through faith. Everything comes through faith. We do not deserve anything but we can obtain everything and anything through faith.

However, other than salvation and healing, financial prosperity does require us being faithful in sowing. We need to be obedient when it comes to giving if we want to receive financial blessings. So, in this case, there is a requirement other than faith. The more we give the more we receive. We sow money or valuable items and if we believe, we will receive much more than we sowed.

Matthew 25:29

For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him, that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

An important question that we all need to ask is, where do we need to sow to receive much? We need to ask this question because it matters where we sow. The answer is simple. We need to sow into the lives of poor people. We need to give to those who do not have. Several Scriptures specifically instruct the body of Christ to give to those who do not have. The more that you look after poor people financially, the more you will have to help even more people and you will never lack anything at all.

The poor is our responsibility. The widows and orphans and the homeless and the unemployed, no matter who they are and what they are, they are our responsibility. Christians are supposed to look after the poor. The poor are all over. They are everywhere and all around us. They are among us.

As Christians, we need to search for people who have needs. We need to find and help those who struggle. This is where most of our surplus finances should go. And we should not necessarily use institutions and charity organizations to do this. We should often carry out this responsibility ourselves. Apart from this, we also need to help each other. We need to support each other financially as well.

When we do this, we will never lack anything in our lives. We will have more than enough, just as the Scriptures promise over and over again.

Do we have to give to the church? If you are a member of a church, you receive a lot of benefits from that church. The church does need money to sustain itself. So yes, if you are a member of a church, you should give to that church.

It still amazes me how Christians are able to ignore the Scriptures when it comes to finances by believing false doctrines. How is it possible that Spirit-filled Christians believe lies although the Bible declares the opposite? It is because they do not know the word of God or they do not want to know the word of God. They just want to live as they want. They do not want to be obedient in this regard. They ignore Scriptures like the following:

2 Timothy 3:16

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

People who have studied the Bible and who know the truth, are able to help other Christians. They are able to teach them the right doctrines. They are able to reproof them. They are able to correct them. They are able to instruct them in righteousness. But, unfortunately, people do not always allow them to do so. Many of them refuse to be helped. Many of them regard such people with great suspicion resulting in them hindering themselves from being delivered of bondage. And so false doctrines do keep many people in bondage. This is why false doctrines are created to do.

The Bible is so clear when it comes to prosperity and the provision of God, but many Christians choose to ignore the Scriptures. They ignore it because of unbelief. They ignore it because they are greedy. They just love money too much to risk losing it by giving it away. They ignore it because they do not trust God. They ignore it because they are confused and ignorant when it comes to finances and the will of God regarding prosperity. They just do not want to risk doing what the Bible says about giving.

Christians really do need to ignore the opinions of those who despise prosperity teachings. They embarked on all sorts of campaigns against prosperity preaching and prosperity teachings and they have a lot to say about it. Now I agree that a lot of prosperity preaching and teachings are seriously defiled by hidden motives and lies and outrageous things but, there truly is a Biblical and authentic doctrine called prosperity.

God really does want his children to be prosperous and to lack nothing and to possess more than they need. It honors him and it glorifies him. He does not want us to be poor or just to live average lives when it comes to finances. The Bible says He wants us to have abundantly. He wants us to have more than enough. Prosperity teachings actually do come from God. It really is Biblical.

The problem is that people hurt themselves tremendously when they decide not to believe and not to live according to the will of God regarding finances. It is exactly the same as people who do not believe in divine healing. People actually choose to live in bondage. Can you believe that? People do not want to believe that God does heal people just because they believe. No matter who and what they are. They do not want to believe that God wants to bless everybody financially just because He loves them.

This is preventing people from living victoriously and successfully in Christ. This keeps them in bondage. It could have been so different. Mothers and fathers could have been raising their children in far better circumstances. Their lives could have been so different. I have seen children refusing to serve the Lord because the parents taught them that God wants his children to suffer and to be poor. I have seen people being so upset with church leaders who teach prosperity in the body of Christ causing them to entirely disregard prosperity teachings resulting in their own detriment.

But there is yet another wonderful aspect of divine prosperity that I want to discuss in this session. As we all know, apart from the consequences that we discussed in this session already, the fall of man had other dire consequences. I want to discuss one of those consequences which are mentioned in Genesis 3:19.

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

The real meaning of this Scripture is that the fall of man brought an element of struggle into the lives of people when it comes to provision. Mankind had to provide for himself through toil. So all people in the Old Testament after Adam and Eve had to work very hard for a living through much sweat and struggles. It was not going to be easy in this regard.

Then, with the nation of Israel, God introduced his eternal plan of redemption through Christ. God started his plan and his will in the nation of Israel by introducing the sacrificial system through animals, which was a type or a shadow of the real Lamb of God, Christ Jesus. Apart from this and many other restorative actions, God did introduce his will regarding provision and finances as well.

He promised Israel a place of their own, Canaan, the promised land, a very good and rich and prosperous place. He promised them a place that could provide abundantly in all their needs. It was going to be a land flowing with milk and honey. This means that it was to be a very fruitful place and it would be easy for Israel to make a very good living. They would not have to toil hard and the Lord would have made sure that they have enough rain and very beneficial circumstances which would have enabled them to prosper tremendously. There would not have been drought and pests and situations that would have destroyed their crops or caused any damage. All they had to do was to believe in him and to serve him and to be obedient to him and not to run after idols.

He even promised them the following:

Deuteronomy 6:10-11

10 And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not,

11 And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full.

So God wanted to give them a lot of things for free. Things that they did not work for. He gave them cities, houses full of valuable and beautiful things, wells, vineyards, and olive trees. These are all things that would have taken them years to build and to care for. It would have cost them a fortune. Yet, God gave it to them for free. They did not have to toil or pay for it all. This is what God said in Joshua 24:13.

And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.

So God honored his word. He gave all those things to them. Even to us, to Christians, God made similar promises. He said that through faith and through giving, we will be blessed. This means that God took the toil away for us as well. So this principle of provision or financial system in the Old Testament is yet another shadow of the real thing through Christ, which became a reality in the body of Christ today? Yes, it is. In fact, God reversed the complete consequence of the curse, through Christ Jesus. He restored everything.

Does that mean that we do not have to work? Does that mean that we only need an initial amount of money, start giving which will lead to us receiving and that’s it? Unfortunately not. Just as Israel of old, who still had to plant their crops, still had to clear the weeds, still had to harvest the crops, still had to repair their implements, so we still have to do a lot of things to make sure that we receive our provision. But what makes the difference then? You may ask.

To start with, Israel received a very good foundation without any toil at all. A foundation that would have been a difficult and costly part. They received cities and houses and vineyards and orchards and lots of possessions. They were already living like well-established farmers, right from the start.

On top of that, they had many servants and laborers who worked for them. Add the divine circumstances that God made possible and you have a recipe for a lot of success. The nation of Israel would have thrived tremendously, was it not for their disobedience and natural trend to serve idols and walking after false gods. So in a sense, they thrived but in the end, they lost everything because of them being so disobedient and unfaithful.

They did not always believe in God. They were not always obedient and they got involved in sins and they served other gods. They did not destroy all the nations in Canaan who subsequently enticed them to turn away from God. They did not kill all the giants. They did not claim their full inheritance and in the end, they paid a hefty price for their actions.

We as Christians are in the same boat today. God promised that through faith and by giving we will be provided for because of that and not through toil. He also makes certain that things work out for us and that we live in good circumstances. However, do not forget that we live through faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. If we believe and if we are obedient, God will make his word come true.

Luke 12:24

Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?

Matthew 6:33

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 7:11

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Philippians 4:19

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Luke 6:38

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

2 Corinthians 9:6

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

This principle does not say that we will just receive back what we have sowed. No, it says that we will reap bountifully, a good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.

2 Corinthians 9:8

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.

If these Scriptures do not prove to you that the will of God is for you to prosper, then I do not know what will. He wants you to have abundantly more than you deserve. He wants to give us more than we worked for. He wants us to be provided for, by him, through faith.

The “giving” proves that we believe him and that we have put our trust in him. It means we trust in him for our provision and not on our paycheck. If we just receive our paycheck every month, then something is wrong somewhere. Then it means that we have not yet claimed our full inheritance. Christians usually do not claim their full inheritance when it comes to provision because of a lack of faith. They just do not trust God enough to give. And because they do not give, they cannot receive a harvest. If you do not sow you cannot reap.

This course is about us, claiming our full inheritance. It is about us living successfully and victoriously in Christ or in the kingdom of God. We cannot really succeed if we do not apply all the principles that I discussed in this session. Do not allow church-leaders with wrong motives and people who hate prosperity teachings to rob you from a wonderful experience in Christ. The Bible is very clear on this. Prosperity teachings are Biblical and it is from God.

This is all for today. See you next time.

Session 11

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