Fact or fiction?

Many people when asked about The Bible say it is fiction, a compilation of fairy tales and shouldn’t be believed. Others believe part of it is true but still cannot see its message. Many of these people probably have never read it or studied it in-depth. The problem is this, verses, selected texts, chapters and individual books cannot be properly studied in isolation because a distorted message may result. People will point fingers and quote verses to those witnessing to them in an effort to belittle them and maybe to give themselves an excuse not to believe. Even those who witness are sinners just the same, it isn’t about scoring points, it is about realising our sins and repenting of them. It is about trusting in Christ Jesus who paid the penalty for them and accepting him as Saviour. The Bible is His Story……try reading it through and perhaps, if your heart is open, you will gain the understanding….

Shirley Anne

A bible from 1859.
A bible from 1859. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How Do We Know the Bible Is True? (Hebrews 4:12)

According to the Bible, all Scripture is God breathed (2 Tim 3:16). Peter confirmed this when he said that those who wrote the Bible were not speaking on their own but spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet 1:21). Many parts of Scripture are directly attributed to God through use of phrases like ‘This is what the Lord says’ (e.g., Ex 4:22). Finally, Jesus often quoted from the Old Testament and affirmed it as being God’s Word.
Prophecies that were later fulfilled are corroboration of the accuracy of the Bible’s claim to be God’s Word. For example, the vision recorded in Daniel 7 correctly predicted the rise of the Medo¬Persian Empire, the Greek Empire under Alexander the Great, and the Roman Empire.
Archaeological discoveries are also important evidence of the Bible’s accuracy. For example, for many years King David was believed by some to be a fictional character. But recently a composition from a king of Syria referring to the “house of David” was discovered at Tel Dan. This writing provides tangible evidence that ancient rulers indeed recognized the dynasty of David in Judah.
Another reason for confidence in the Bible’s authenticity is its internal consistency. The Bible is actually a compilation of 66 books written over a period of 2,000 years by more than 40 different authors, and yet there is a unified message and a striking theological coherence—something that clearly speaks of God’s guidance throughout the process of writing, transmitting and assembling the Biblical texts.
It is important to remember that the original Biblical documents no longer exist. We are dependent on copies, and copyists can make mistakes. However, scholars have carefully tracked the accuracy of ancient manuscripts from different centuries, and their consistency gives us good reason to be confident in the Bibles we read today. Furthermore, rigorous standards were applied to determine the canon—both by the Jews, who determined the collection of books that make up the Old Testament Scriptures, and by the early church, which decided the books to be included in the New Testament.

Taken from NIV Quest Study Bible

Shirley Anne

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Doubting generation

Many a time I have been told by people not believing in God that The Bible is a fairy story, a book filled with nonsensical thoughts and ideals, a man-made text. God they say was made up, invented by men to keep people under control, someone they could be fearful of if they didn’t tow the line. Well naturally they would say that from their standpoint of unbelief and their uneducated minds. Who can possibly make comment on something they know little about or refuse to look into? The evidence for God is all around us, there isn’t a real excuse for not believing. Many approach the subject with closed minds or preconceived ideas and simply stubbornly refuse that the idea they are wrong is possible. Maybe they have experienced troubles in their lives, hardships and poor health. There are many reasons for them not to put their faith in God, in their minds that is. What they don’t know or are willing to accept is that God, apart from Him being real, loves them dearly. ‘If God loves me so then why do I suffer? Why is there such hatred in the world? Why doesn’t He step in and change things? Why does He withhold nice things for me?’ is often asked. Well the truth is this, if  God didn’t love you He would give in to your requests. Sounds a stupid answer at first glance but if God didn’t allow suffering how would we benefit in understanding what suffering was? When we understand that God doesn’t always answer in the way we expect then we understand just how much He loves us. We learn from suffering, we learn from being refused, we learn from discipline. What father doesn’t teach us in the same way? He loves us this way so that we know that when we receive from Him it will only be for our good. Why did He allow Jesus Christ to suffer for our sins? He did it to show just how much He really loves us. In this life we are here to learn and to love our Creator. He died that we may be set free. He left us not alone but gave us His Spirit to guide and teach us, to help and support us and He gave us His Story in the written word, The Bible. Everything we need to know about life and how to live it is in there. Everything we need to know about our Creator is in there, Father, Son and Holy Spirit…..

Shirley Anne

A bible from 1859.
A bible from 1859. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How Do We Know the Bible Is True? (Hebrews 4:12)

According to the Bible, all Scripture is God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16). Peter confirmed this when he said that those who wrote the Bible were not speaking on their own but spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet 1:21). Many parts of Scripture are directly attributed to God through use of phrases like This is what the Lord says (e.g., Ex 4:22). Finally, Jesus often quoted from the Old Testament and affirmed it as being God’s Word.
Prophecies that were later fulfilled are corroboration of the accuracy of the Bible’s claim to be God’s Word. For example, the vision recorded in Daniel 7 correctly predicted the rise of the Medo¬Persian Empire, the Greek Empire under Alexander the Great, and the Roman Empire.
Archaeological discoveries are also important evidence of the Bible’s accuracy. For example, for many years King David was believed by some to be a fictional character. But recently a composition from a king of Syria referring to the “house of David” was discovered at Tel Dan. This writing provides tangible evidence that ancient rulers indeed recognized the dynasty of David in Judah.
Another reason for confidence in the Bible’s authenticity is its internal consistency. The Bible is actually a compilation of 66 books written over a period of 2,000 years by more than 40 different authors, and yet there is a unified message and a striking theological coherence—something that clearly speaks of God’s guidance throughout the process of writing, transmit¬ting and assembling the Biblical texts.
It is important to remember that the original Biblical documents no longer exist. We are dependent on copies, and copyists can make mistakes. However, scholars have carefully tracked the accuracy of ancient manuscripts from different centuries, and their consistency gives us good reason to be confident in the Bibles we read today. Furthermore, rigorous standards were applied to determine the canon—both by the Jews, who determined the collection of books that make up the Old Testament Scriptures, and by the early church, which decided the books to be included in the New Testament.
Taken from NIV Quest Study Bible

Shirley Anne

What a sad world

Revelation 13:16-18 (NIV)

16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.

18 This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.

The Beast Inside
The Beast Inside (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I happened to have seen an advertisement on the television during a program I had been watching and it was in regard to a new model of mobile phone by manufacturer ‘Samsung‘. Like most adverts use of subtleties, suggestions and general assumptions were used to convey the idea that we, the public, wanted what was advertised. Throughout the advert a song was being played, the words of which suggested we did, ‘Give them what they want’……Well maybe I am the odd one out here but that suggestion is a subtle way of attempting us to believe that we want the latest product because everyone else wants one and I am not taking the bait. In fact I don’t like the kind of technology that one day threatens to run our lives. If you don’t believe that then just look around and see how many people are joined at the hip to their ‘smart’ phones. No-one takes any notice of their surroundings anymore, their eyes are glued to their little (or big) screens and their ears are being pumped whatever sounds they are tuned into. This is only the beginning, technology is only in its infancy despite what has been achieved so far. You can be sure more is to come. In relation to the Bible verses above one day technology will dispense with the need to carry cash, cards (even those with RFID chips) or smart phones to make purchases. The technology will be inside us! Those who allow it that is. However, as the verses state, nothing will be purchasable without it! We will be under the control of others………….Okay it might not happen during our own lifetime but there again the technology is already here and in some countries people really do have RFID chips implanted. Imagine what the world would be and will be like when everyone has implanted technology………

Read the Book of Revelation. It is the last book in The Bible for a reason……

Shirley Anne

 

Still skeptical?

God isn’t kidding. He warns us in advance of His plans. Where? You might say. It is all in Scripture, all in the written word, The Holy Bible, The Word of God. It is all in prophecy and if it is in prophecy it is surely going to happen. Some prophecies have already been fulfilled, some as yet have to be. If you cannot see what is in front of your own eyes then you are either blind or just plain stubborn or both! You have only to see the developments that have happened during these last few years to know where it is all heading. Allow your spirit an everlasting existence in Heaven. The alternative is hell. Come to The Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.

It is time for a reckoning and a decision. Change your life forever in 2016.

Shirley Anne

Home for a change

A point2point intercom
A point2point intercom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I spent all of Thursday at home. Expecting someone to phone asking me to work I dressed accordingly but even though no-one did it meant I could work at home and still remain available. Sometimes I get calls during the day whilst I am at home and if I’ve a mind I will stop what I am doing and accommodate. I didn’t eat breakfast until 9.30 then spent an hour and a half reading Scripture. Over the years since becoming a Christian I have read the whole Bible now 35 times I think. Finally I decided to get out of my chair and investigate what needed to be done to complete installing the front door intercom unit. The unit we have isn’t as shown in the picture as it has a screen. I will include a picture when the work is completed. I don’t know why manufacturers make devices that have their electrical connections in the rear but design the units to be mounted directly onto a flat surface thereby making access to those connections awkward. In this instance the intercom screen is connected using small plugs which when fitted prevent the unit from lying flat on any surface. This meant I had to make a base to raise the unit off the wall where it is to be fitted and provide access for the wiring by cutting out a space in it. I used some plywood to make the base and cut a slot in it. I then painted it with an undercoat ready for painting over later. Having done that I investigated what I needed to do for the electrical side of the job. I left off continuing with the project until the base was dry. At the time of writing I am not sure when I will continue with it but it will be soon. As we have been having unseasonal weather this month with a prospect of it not ending in the near future I thought it best to unwrap our Phoenix Canariensis trees of the plastic bubble-wrap I had tied around three of them until and if the weather changes for the worse. The idea is to protect them from the cold winds of Winter. They are quite hardy and can withstand low temperatures but the wind burns them if it is too cold. E went out for a couple of hours in the afternoon and whilst she was out I finished off the remainder of the gloss painting she had started a while ago, basically those areas over the window by the kitchen sink which are awkward to reach. I was able to over-paint the wood base I had made earlier as the undercoat I had applied was by now dry. I try not to waste my time doing nothing when I am at home though sometimes I just want to relax instead.

Shirley Anne

Brothers and sisters

Brothers & Sisters (song)
Brothers & Sisters (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For so many years I was an avid unbeliever, an atheist, stubbornly refusing to have anything to do with ‘religion’ and totally against the idea of a creator God. That all changed about twenty-six years ago when I began to study The Bible and finding myself reaching out to this god whom I had rejected. At that time I was writing poems and verses and most of them concerned God and my reaching out to Him. I became a Christian, born again of The Spirit of God or as many say a ‘born again Christian‘. Whatever terminology is used I became a believer and began to understand what it meant to be a Christian. The message was quite simple, is quite simple…..We are all sinners, helpless to pay the price for those sins and we need a Saviour, someone who would pay the price for us and thereby set us free. That Saviour is Jesus. We need to repent of our sins and accept Jesus as Saviour so that we can be saved from eternal punishment.
John 3:16 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’

God did it for us. How amazing is that? We have to reach out and take that gift though. I did that early in 1989 when I became a Christian believer. I learned that I had to tell others for it was and is incumbent on me to do so. A Christian believer who fails to witness to others is being disobedient to the One who saves them.

The great commission

Matthew 28:

 16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’

We are to tell others about The Gospel…..the Good News………..the truth that is in Christ Jesus and the salvation offered in his name. So brothers and sisters in Christ remember your obligation and witness wherever you are and as the opportunity arises.

Shirley Anne

Amazing

DVD selectionFor more than a week I was without work that is until Friday or should I say Thursday for that is when I received phone call requests? Anyway it meant that I had three places to visit and three jobs to do, the last one the biggest. The old guy who had moved in to the house in January had been trying to get someone to separate two lights both operating on the one switch. The strange thing was the lights were in adjacent rooms! Evidently the previous owner had a wall built to make two separate rooms. There had been a large archway in the original set up. However they hadn’t got as far as to put an extra switch in to allow independent control of the lights. Furthermore the now two rooms had their ceilings lowered or rather a false ceiling had been constructed beneath the original ceilings. My job was to disconnect one light from the existing circuit and then re-feed it from another source. It all sounds easy but doing it wasn’t! Anyhow by the time I’d gotten home I didn’t much feel like doing anything else so I didn’t. Nevertheless I got more calls in the evening but refused them all except for one which I promised I would look at on Saturday morning. The other requests were too large for me to tackle but this one was very simple, not really a job at all in the real sense. The lady on the phone explained her predicament in that her lights had fused whilst at the same time indicating that she knew what the problem was, a faulty lamp had caused the fuse to blow. She wanted to know how to replace the fuse. These particular fuses are of the cartridge type and are easy to replace once the fuse carrier could be removed. She was having difficulty in doing that so I explained to her what she had to do and how to replace the fuse as she had some in stock. As long as she didn’t use the faulty light all would be OK and I would pop in on my way to my supplier in the morning to check everything. I had planned to go to the supplier anyway. So I arrived at nine o’clock as promised and she welcomed me in. Everything was in order so I didn’t even need to get out my tools. Instead she offered me a drink of tea and we chatted for a half-hour. When she had opened the door to me I recognised her immediately but said nothing. She is a Christian lady who once went to the same church as myself but she didn’t recognise me, why would she? She had been a member there for seven years and I for ten though perhaps I wasn’t there for the whole period that she had been or vice-versa. In any case she didn’t remember me. I told her that I knew she was a Christian and that I was also and she asked how I knew and which church had I attended. I told her which church, the same one as herself but still the penny hadn’t dropped. I think she assumed our paths had not crossed during our time at the same church. I said I had seen her on several occasions at church venues and functions and she understood. Naturally we talked about the faith and she asked if I was attending a church at present. I am not and I told her so. We talked about prophecy and she showed me some things concerning the subject. It appears we are both interested in such things. I had to leave and she had to get ready for a friend who was calling. They were off to some church event in Liverpool for the day and I was invited along. I declined the offer for I had other plans. She presented me with a sealed DVD labelled ‘The Daniel Project’ for me to view and then pass on to someone else. The material concerns biblical prophecy and takes the form of an hour and a half’s length documentary, a separate half-hour interview and a short three and a half-minute summary of the presentation. It is produced by Studio Scotland Ltd. I had planned to do some gardening after lunch but decided to watch the two-hour presentation instead. I was glad I did for I found it fascinating and well worth the viewing. For myself it was more of an edifying experience but for those who do not believe in God, Jesus and The Bible it would prove to be a real eye-opener. There are many prophecies in Scripture, well over three hundred, and many have been fulfilled. Some have yet to be as I have mentioned in many of my previous posts. The presentation is not out to win souls and it leaves the viewer to ponder the facts for themselves. The real challenge to anyone is presented in the interview following where the facts are presented logically. If you get the chance to view the DVD or wish to purchase a copy I would strongly recommend it as being worthwhile. Incidentally the narrative is presented by a self-confessed atheist who himself had questions to ask in the interview. They were answered.

 

Here is the link to the site where you may purchase the DVD http://www.thedanielprojectmovie.com/index.htm

A film called The Daniel Connection based on the documentary has been produced and if I get the chance I will certainly go and see it.

 

I got to do some gardening later in the afternoon.

 

Shirley Anne

 

Death? What’s that?

Poster for It's a Wonderful Afterlife
Poster for It’s a Wonderful Afterlife (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let me ask you a question. Do you believe in an afterlife or do you believe this life is all there is? No doubt if you believe in only this life you will not be afraid of death. Is that true of yourself? Are you frightened of dying? Many will be unsure about what happens after death and may be too frightened to even think about it. There are some who just don’t give it a thought. There are many religious beliefs in the world and probably all of them have a take on the subject of an afterlife and more especially how to get there, what you have to do yourself to get there. It may be that you believe in re-incarnation and that when you die you come back as a different person or even a different creature! Only the Christian faith tells us that we cannot earn a place in Heaven and that we don’t have to do much either to get into hell! Our afterlife as a Christian is determined by whether we accept the gift that our Creator God offers to us. Of course if one is a Christian that gift has already been accepted. The Bible tells us that we cannot earn the right no matter how ‘good’ we are in this life for if we could get to Heaven under our own steam I suppose there wouldn’t be a person living who would not make the effort. The truth is none of us have the ability for the gift is only by God’s grace and the sacrifice of Jesus who died that we may live, live in His presence for all eternity. Death has lost its sting for those who are in Christ Jesus, our debts have all been paid and we have been set free as prisoners who have served their time for their wrongdoing. Jesus took upon himself the punishment we ought to pay for our wrongdoing , if we believe and repent of them. What could be easier, what could be simpler? We may think we deserve a life hereafter in Heaven but unless our sins, our wrongdoings are paid for beforehand we will pay the price for them in hell. Jesus is the answer, He alone is our salvation, He alone can cleanse us from our wrongdoing and present us clean and holy before God. If you believe otherwise then ask yourself this question, ‘Can I really know that what I believe will be enough? When I die, what really happens to me and will it be too late once I am dead’? It would be a horrible thing not to have accepted Jesus then find out you were wrong. If believers are wrong they have lost nothing but if unbelievers are wrong they have lost an eternity in Paradise. Death, where is thy sting?

Shirley Anne

Well connected

KJV Bible
KJV Bible (Photo credit: knowhimonline)

Written by forty different authors spanning several centuries yet all contributions knit together like a jigsaw puzzle and have a thread within them which links them together. The Bible. Many have sought its destruction and have failed, many have tried to disprove its content and also have failed. The collection of books we know collectively as The Bible cover many subjects but overall it is a history book and a book of prophesy. It is a book about life and the purpose and future of mankind. It is a manual for living and the words it contains are alive. Many have no understanding of its purpose and meaning often preferring to dismiss it without prior study, often preferring to believe in something else yet not being able to justify it. One of the main characters and contributors in the New Testament, Paul, was vehemently against the followers of Christ to the point of seeking them out and persecuting them until one day as he made his way to Damascus to pursue his passion of hate he was confronted by God. That experience led him to repent and become a driving force in the early Church. My own experience followed a similar vein. The Bible has been called a fairy tale by those who oppose the faith, some even going out of their way to bring it to disrepute. Often this is because they do not want to have their way of life challenged in any way and that is probably because The Bible speaks out against the practices of some. Religion has been blamed as the cause of friction and the many wars that mankind has endured over the millennia but in fact it has been proven not to be true, in fact most wars have been caused by other things not related to religion. This argument is a non-starter for an excuse not to believe in God. There will be scoffers, there will be unbelievers, there will be those who reject the truth, there will be those who are immoral, who slander, who cheat and lie, who think there will be no punishment or judgement, even those things are prophesied in The Bible. I say to those people read the book and gain an understanding, ask God that He open your heart to the truth of the matter. If you are sincere and persistent, He WILL answer and that’s a fact.

Shirley Anne

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It was all known long ago

English: This illustration shows abstracted &q...
English: This illustration shows abstracted “slices” of space at different points in time. It is simplified as it shows only two of three spatial dimensions, to allow for the time axis to be displayed conveniently. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was watching a program about the creation of the Universe presented by Professor Stephen Hawking which told the story about the mechanics of the creation step by step right up to the creation of life. The Universe sprang up from nothing it was said, created from nothing as nothing existed before its creation, even time itself. Step by step we were taken through the process and why it became possible in the first place. There had to be imperfection for it to work because theoretically perfection would be the natural result of what is described as the Big Bang, creation. Professor Hawking is only one of the many scientists who have made the study of the origin of the Universe their life’s work. Once the Universe’s creation began it was gravity which was and is the force that set things in motion. Thousands of years ago, before there were scientists and theorists to explain these things an accurate account of Creation was written down. Scientists today have proven its validity but cannot explain how it was possible to know these things all those years ago. That account is in the first book in The Bible………….

The Beginning

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (The heavens and the Earth were a creation) Now the earth was formless and empty, (The Earth had just been formed by the coagulation of matter through gravitational force) darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (The Sun had yet to be formed or was still in the process)

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. (The Earth rotated) God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. (Water in the atmosphere was there before it was on the land as it could only be whilst the land was cooling down) And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” (Formation of the continents and islands) And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” (Development of life) And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” (Acknowledgement of the creation of the stars, sun and moon) And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God

blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the

water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals

according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and

all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

29 Then

God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole

earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours

for food.30 And

to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the

creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of

life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

When I watched that program all the events highlighted in red were explained in detail just as it was written those thousands of years ago. The big question is….. How did the writer know these things? Who told him? There are other references to things in the Universe written in Scripture which at the time of writing could not possibly have been known. Again, how did the writer know these things? The Bible is considered to be the inspired word of God, that is those who wrote it were inspired to do so. It wasn’t guesswork but fact and it has subsequently been proven so. Even Professor Hawking confessed to there being a Creational force at work. The Universe wasn’t created by chance but by design.

Shirley Anne

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