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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 74

The Shaking

Picture 1 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 74
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Welcome to this new section! Let’s pray:
Our Father,

During the next seven lessons, we will study the events which will mark the last hours of this world’s history.

Many of these events will directly affect Your people.

This is why we insistently ask You to show us the truth about these important subjects, beginning with the shaking.

We thank You in advance for answering our prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Amen.
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Matthew 3:12 Comments
[Jesus’] fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner.

But He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
In our lesson «The Harvest», we have seen that, at His imminent return, Jesus will gather His people, just as wheat is gathered into a barn.

But, before being gathered, the good seed must be winnowed, in order to separate it from the chaff, dust, and other impurities.

Now, the Church will also have to be winnowed before Jesus’ return.

This will be the shaking.
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Isaiah 41:15,16 Comments
You shall thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shall make the hills as chaff.

You shall fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them.
At the sifting (or shaking), the harvester puts the good seeds in his winnowing basket, a large basket with two handles and a flat bottom, riddled with little holes.

Then he shakes the basket and throws the seeds up into the air, preventing them from falling to the ground.

This allows the little fragments to pass through the holes, while the chaff is carried away by the wind. In this way, only the good seed comes down into the basket.
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Luke 22:31,32 Comments
And the Lord said,

«Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.

But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not.»
God’s people will experience a similar sifting (or shaking) before Jesus’ return.

This shaking will come from God, and it aims at firmly rooting His people in faith and truth.

We must distinguish it from Satan’s shaking, described in these verses, a shaking which the Church has undergone for centuries, and which only aims at destroying the saving relationship between the believer and God.

Let’s remember that our study here is focused upon the shaking which will soon come from God.
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Amos 9:9 Comments
For, see, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve.

Yet shall not the least grain fall on the earth.
How will God’s shaking take place?

In our lesson «The Signs of the Times», we have seen that, shortly before the return of Jesus, there will be a sudden intensification of natural and social upheavals, plunging all the inhabitants of the earth into great distress, as never before.

Facing these unprecedented upheavals, the Church will be greatly shaken, «sifted», and the faith of the believers will be severely put to the test.
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Revelation 3:14-16 Comments
And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, (...)

«I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot.

So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.»
Many believers will be surprised at the extent of the upheavals and calamities which will soon strike the earth, and, being unprepared, they will abandon the faith.

Who will be thus sifted out of God’s Church? The letter to Laodicea, addressed to the Church of the last days, tells us that the shaking will affect, among others, the lukewarm believers.
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Revelation 3:17,18 Comments
Because you say, «I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;» and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. Therefore, the shaking directly threatens the self-satisfied believer, who does not feel the need to deepen his personal relationship with God.
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Matthew 13:22 Comments
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hears the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. The shaking will also affect the believer who did not make God and His message of salvation the very first priority in his life.

Everyday cares and the race for material wealth are some thorns which prevent the believer from growing spiritually, thus making him highly vulnerable when faced with the great coming trials.
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Amos 9:9,10 Comments
For, see, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall on the earth.

All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword, which say, «The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.»
This passage also describes the shaking, pointing out «the sinners of My people» as those who will fall when God «sifts the house of Israel».

We thus understand that the shaking will also affects all those who, out of fear or lack of knowledge, minimize the upheavals and calamities which will soon come upon the world, and don’t seriously prepare themselves for these difficulties.
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1 Thessalonians 5:3,4 Comments
For when they shall say, «Peace and safety;» then sudden destruction comes on them, as travail on a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

But you, brothers, are not in darkness, that that Day should overtake you as a thief.
In fact, these great upheavals will arise very suddenly, surprising all those who have been feeling secure.

Yet, a serious study of the Word of God could have dispelled this false sense of security, thus preventing «that that Day should overtake you as a thief.»
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Matthew 13:20,21 Comments
But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that hears the word, and immediately with joy receives it; yet has he not root in himself, but endures for a while.

For when tribulation or persecution rises because of the word, by and by he is offended.
As we will soon study, the great upheavals and calamities linked with the shaking will quickly become a source of persecution against the people of God.

All the believers who did not properly prepare themselves for these difficult times, those who «has not root in themselves», will then leave the Church, joining all those already sifted out.
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Matthew 24:9,10 Comments
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for My name’s sake.

And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
Even worse, these unstable believers, after leaving the Church out of fear of persecution, will in turn become a threat to the believers remaining faithful to God.

Succumbing to evil, they will hate and betray the people of God.
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Jeremiah 15:5-7 Comments
«For who shall have pity on you, O Jerusalem? Or who shall bemoan you? Or who shall go aside to ask how you do? You have forsaken Me,» said the Lord, «you are gone backward: therefore will I stretch out My hand against you, and destroy you; I am weary with repenting.

And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy My people since they return not from their ways.»
The shaking will also affect the believers who, out of an insufficient knowledge of the Word of God and a lack of consecration, will abandon the faith and turn to false doctrines.
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1 Timothy 4:1 Comments
Now the Spirit speaks expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. The shaking of the unstable believers, deceived by false and misleading doctrines, is announced many times in the Word of God.

The great upheavals have not even reached their peak yet, and already a lot a Christians are swept away by deceiving movements which won’t bring into question their sad spiritual condition.
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The unstable believers carried about with every doctrine will be sifted:
«“Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passes away by the wind of the wilderness. This is your lot, the portion of your measures from Me,” said the Lord; “because you have forgotten Me, and trusted in falsehood.”» (Jeremiah 13:24,25)

«Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain. (...) Clouds they are without water, carried about of winds.» (Jude verses 11 and 12)

«When [Ephraim] offended in Baal, he died. And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images. (...) Therefore they shall be (...) as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor.» (Hosea 13:1-3)

«(...) that we from now on be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.» (Ephesians 4:14)
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2 Timothy 4:3,4 Comments
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.

But after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.

And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables.
The sifted believers will not leave the Church only because they are deceived by false doctrines which do not challenge their spiritual condition.

They will also abandon the faith because they reject the supreme authority of the Scriptures, not being able to «endure sound doctrine».
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John 6:60,66 Comments
Many therefore of [Jesus’] disciples, when they had heard this, said, «This is an hard saying; who can hear it?» (...)

From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.
Unfortunately, attempts to bring these lost believers to reason will end, more often than not, in failure.

Even worse, those trying to make them see reason will be regarded as enemies.
Galatians 4:16
Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
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Hebrews 12:25,26 Comments
See that you refuse not Him that speaks.

For if they escaped not who refused Him that spoke on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaks from heaven: whose voice then shook the earth: but now He has promised, saying,

«Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.»
Yet, as God «shakes not the earth only, but also heaven,» these lost believers should really listen to their steadfast and faithful brothers...
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Matthew 7:24-27 Comments
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, which built his house on a rock.

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell not: for it was founded on a rock.

And every one that hears these sayings of Mine, and does them not, shall be likened to a foolish man, which built his house on the sand.

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
... for only those who hear the Word of God and put it into practice will avoid being carried away by the strong winds of the shaking.
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2 Peter 3:17,18 Comments
You therefore, beloved, seeing you know these things before, beware lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
So, the very nature of the shaking indicates how we can become like the good seed which remains in the winnowing basket.

First, to prevent ourselves from falling to the ground by passing through the little holes of the sieve, we must «grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.»
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Psalm 62:9 [NKJV] Comments
Surely men of low degree are a vapor, men of high degree are a lie.

If they are weighed in the balances, they are altogether lighter than vapor.
Then, let’s make sure that our spiritual growth is not only an inflation of air!

For if we are too light, the wind will carry us away from the winnowing basket, just like common chaff.
Daniel 5:27
You are weighed in the balances, and are found wanting.
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Isaiah 17:4-6 Comments
«And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean.

And it shall be as when the harvestman gathers the corn, and reaps the ears with his arm; and it shall be as he that gathers ears in the valley of Rephaim.

Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof,» said the Lord God of Israel.
This severe shaking will certainly give the impression that the Church is left in a pitiful state.

Yet, the prophetic Word promises that those who persevere will receive great blessings from God...
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Revelation 7:2-4 Comments
I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God.

And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying,

«Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.»

And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed a hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
First, all the faithful and persevering believers will be marked with the seal of God, and will make up the group of the 144,000 servants of God.
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Isaiah 41:14-16 Comments
«Fear not, you worm Jacob, and you men of Israel; I will help you,» said the Lord, and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. (...)

«You shall thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shall make the hills as chaff.

You shall fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them.

And you shall rejoice in the Lord, and shall glory in the Holy One of Israel.»
God knows that the shaking will only spare a small remnant, and this is why He promises to help His people during these difficult days, and to bless them in a very special way.
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During the upheavals of the shaking, God will help His faithful people:
«God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the middle of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High. God is in the middle of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: He uttered His voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.» (Psalm 46:1-7)
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Revelation 3:10 Comments
Because you have kept the word of My patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come on all the world, to try them that dwell on the earth. God had earlier promised this special help and protection to the Church of Philadelphia, renowned for its spiritual awakening and perseverance, at «the hour of temptation which shall come on all the world».

This period of shaking does not aim at punishing the world, but rather at «trying them that dwell on the earth».
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1 Corinthians 15:57,58 Comments
But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be you steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
In fact, in the very heart of the great upheavals and calamities which will shake the whole world, the prophecy tells us that, once established and strengthened, the people of God will have to fulfill a huge mission: calling all the inhabitants of the earth to come out of Babylon and to join the remnant Church of God.
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Isaiah 27:12,13 Comments
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall beat off from the channel of the river to the stream of Egypt, and you shall be gathered one by one, O you children of Israel.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.
The shaking will remove from the Church all the lukewarm believers, but, thanks to the powerful and courageous preaching of the people of God, many sincere individuals will accept God’s salvation and join His Church.
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Amos 9:9,14 Comments
For, see, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall on the earth. (...)

I will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel.
God knows those who really belong to His people: the shaking will gather them under the banner of the 144,000, and «not the least grain shall fall on the earth».

Thanks to the latter rain, the subject of our next lesson, the remnant Church will be able to send out a final and convincing call to salvation, to «bring again the captivity of My people of Israel».
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Amos 9:9,13,14 Comments
«For, see, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall on the earth. (...)

Behold, the days come,» said the Lord, «that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that sows seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.

I will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel.»
Once this final call is launched, the inhabitants of the earth will have a very short time to respond and prepare themselves, before Jesus’ return.
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John 10:16 Comments
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice.

And there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd.
The circumstances in which this final and gigantic evangelical work will take place will be the subject of the following lessons.
Revelation 18:4
Come out of [Babylon], My people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.
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Daniel 2:34,35 Comments
You saw till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image on his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces.

Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors.

And the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them.

And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
And finally, Jesus will return to establish the kingdom of God, completing the shaking with a final blast of wind which will destroy this world.
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Let’s pray together:
Our Father,

It is written, «Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.» (Amos 3:7).

We sincerely thank You for warning us that great upheavals and calamities will very soon strike this world, and that a severe sifting will shake Your Church.

Please help us now to seriously prepare ourselves, so that, like the good seed, we may remain in Your winnowing basket at the end of this shaking.

In the precious name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.
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Source of the Pictures of this Lesson
Screen 1: Picture collection «ClickArt 65,000» by Broderbund, CD #4, NATFL066.JPG. Screen 2: MOLAN, Chris. In: «Forever Stories, volume 5» (BYERS, Carolyn), pp.42,43. Used by permission. Copyright ©1990 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 3: Photo by MORRIS, Kevin R. «Sifting Rice in Cambodia», Rattanakiri Province, Cambodia, January 30, 1996 (www.corbis.com/Kevin R. Morris, Image ID: IH184482). Screen 4: First picture: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (February 1, 1986), New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.16. Second picture: Photo by MORRIS, Kevin R. «Sifting Rice in Cambodia», Rattanakiri Province, Cambodia, January 30, 1996 (www.corbis.com/Kevin R. Morris, Image ID: IH184482). Screen 5: In: «Prophecy Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1989, Daniel lesson #23 («The Day of Deliverance»), p.5. Screen 6: In: «La Révélation - le grand dénouement est proche», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1988, p.67. Screen 7: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (June 15, 1986), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.7. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 8: Unknown source. Screen 9: Corbis Collection (www.corbis.com). Screen 10: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (April 15, 1994), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.8. Screen 11: In: «Uncle Arthur’s Bible Book» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.378. Used by permission. Copyright ©1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1968, 1996 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 12: In: «La Révélation - le grand dénouement est proche», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1988, p.167. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 13: Photo by BLAIR, Jonathan. «Woman Sifting Grain», Zile, Anatolia, Turkey, August 1967 (www.corbis.com/Jonathan Blair, Image ID: JB011400). Screen 14: In: «La Sentinelle» magazine (July 1993), Pacific Press Publishing Association, front cover. Screen 15: Pictorial Archive (Near Eastern History). In: «The Watchtower» magazine (June 15, 1987), New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.18. Screen 16: In: «La Révélation - le grand dénouement est proche», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1988, p.160. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 17: LAUNE, Paul. In: «The Living Bible Encyclopedia in Story and Pictures, volume 7», New York, H.S. Stuttman Co. Inc., 1968, p.912-d. Screen 18: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (October 1, 1987), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.18. Screen 19: In: «The Bible Story, volume 8» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.74. Used by permission. Copyright ©1956, 1984 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 20: In: «The Living Bible», Holman Illustrated Edition, 1973, p.822. Screen 21: Photo by LAUNOIS, John. In: «The Reader’s Digest Bible, Illustrated Edition», Reader’s Digest Association Far East Ltd., 1990, p.638. Screen 22: Photo by NAVASWAN, FPG International (1993). In: «Sacred Symbols» (GIBSON, Clare), Prospero Books, 1998, p.45. Screen 23: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (April 15, 1987), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.10. Screen 24: In: «The Living Bible Encyclopedia in Story and Pictures, volume 14», New York, H.S. Stuttman Co. Inc., 1968, p.1777. Screen 25: In: «Revelation Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1986, lesson #22 («Les Sept Fléaux de l’Apocalypse»), p.4. Screen 26: In: «Prophecy Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1989, Daniel lesson #23 («The Day of Deliverance»), p.5. Screen 27: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (October 1, 1985), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.17. Screen 28: In: «Revelation Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1986, lesson #16 («Le Pays du Recommencement»), p.4. Screen 29: First picture: Unknown source. Second picture: Photo by MORRIS, Kevin R. «Sifting Rice in Cambodia», Rattanakiri Province, Cambodia, January 30, 1996 (www.corbis.com/Kevin R. Morris, Image ID: IH184482). Third picture: Photo by BLAIR, Jonathan. «Woman Sifting Grain», Zile, Anatolia, Turkey, August 1967 (www.corbis.com/Jonathan Blair, Image ID: JB011400). Fourth picture: Photo by HOUSER, Dave G. «Hand Sifting Grains in Sack in Market», El Golea, Algeria, December, 1984 (www.corbis.com/Dave G. Houser, Image ID: DH006521). Screen 30: Corbis Collection (www.corbis.com). Screen 31: STEEL, John. In: «La Sentinelle» magazine (April 1993), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.5. Screen 32: BISHOP, Tom. «Stone strikes feet of image». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, chart #7. Screen 33: Picture collection «ClickArt 65,000» by Broderbund, CD #4, NATOT289.JPG.
Any copyrighted images not bearing a statement of permission, are used for the purpose of non-commercial scholarly commentary or criticism in accordance with section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law, and with article 29 of Canada Copyright Act (Chapter C-42), which by law can be without the consent or endorsement of the copyright holder. Images lacking attribution are either known or assumed to be in the public domain, or have an as yet undetermined status. Anyone having knowledge of proper attribution for an image is requested to contact us via email below so that it can be correctly noted. It is our intent to comply fully with applicable laws regarding intellectual property rights.

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