REMEMBER GOD IS IN CONTROL

In times of great political change, major cultural transformation, and social upheaval like you and I see today, we have to remember that God is in control. 

Great article by Martyn Iles, God has raised up the Martyn Iles for His purposes in these last days.

This is of extraordinary comfort to the Christian. God knows His people and He cares for them.

That is the story of Scripture and of history. And that is your story. He will not leave or forsake you – that is one thing you can be certain about.

There is not one square inch of all creation over which God is not sovereign. He governs all things; He ordains all things. He sits above and behind all things and gives all things their meaning – including the government.

Daniel 2:21 tells us: “He changes times and seasons, deposes kings, and sets up kings.” 

Romans 13:1: Paul said: “there is no authority except God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God.”

God can’t be shut out of government.

Some want to say, “No, this is a secular society and God cannot come in.” But it’s not possible. It matters not whether the people in government have faith or not. God was, and is, already there.

And you and I are in a rare situation today – it’s called a democracy.

That means as Christians in this nation, you and I can be a voice of righteousness when leaders are weak, failing, or evil. It means you and I have an opportunity to speak up. We can tell the truth. We can mobilise.

Some may say, “Does political action really matter? Shouldn’t we just preach the Gospel?” My response would be: “Why can’t we do both?”

You and I need to be whole Christians. We need to be Christians who live and speak the Gospel in the workplace, in the community, and in the public squares. That’s when people will ask, “What’s different about you?” and they’ll come on the journey towards Christ.

That is desperately needed right now. YOU are needed right now – to be salt and light in a society that is gripped by uncertainty.

In difficult times the work of God becomes more urgent, not less. People need to hear the truth with more urgency and clarity because the stakes are higher.   

You and I are called to speak of Christ, represent Christ, and do good. To be salt to stop the decay, and light to drive out the darkness.

Democracy is a precious gift we can use to be the voice that our leaders sometimes are not.

And that leads me to the upcoming elections. If you want to know how you should vote, I will tell you … Vote for righteousness.

Don’t vote for the widest motorway or the biggest welfare cheque. Vote at a macro level for right and wrong.

Obviously, it’s never a perfect choice. But vote for the one who you truly believe will promote that which is good, and restrain that which is evil, more than the other. That’s what the government is meant to do!

ACL is here to inform you, equip you, and mobilise you to be a voice of truth and righteousness at a time when there are many conflicting messages, and when our government is making critical decisions for our nation.

MIRACLES TODAY

Craig Keener’s new book: Miracles Today: The supernatural work of God in the modern world. is not about miracles that took place in the first century (see his outstanding two-volume tome Miracles for that); this book is about miracles that occur today.

Miracles Today: The Supernatural Work of God in the Modern World. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2021

Keener is not one to throw ideas against walls to see if they’ll stick. Keener is one of the best-known scholars of the Bible and early Christianity in the world today. He is careful with his research and documents everything. The point of the book, as the back-cover states, is to demonstrate via examples “that miraculous works of God, which have been part of the experience of the church around the world since Christianity began, continue into the present.”

This stated goal is admirably accomplished by Dr. Keener. He commences the book by addressing a few preliminary questions. What is a miracle, anyway? Why do some people assume that miracles don’t happen? Do many people witness miracles? Do only Christians report Christian healings?

He then launches into the main portion of the book in which he briefly relates the details of hundreds of well-attested miracles, but especially healings. This middle section comprises about 75% of the book proper. At the end of the book, Keener addresses a few more key questions people often wonder about miracles. Why don’t we see more miracles in the West? What is the role of faith? What about when healing is temporary? What does the Bible say about non-healing?

Let us not be tardy in praying for the sick but be on time in step with the Holy Spirit.

I appreciate Keener’s candid honesty in acknowledging that most blind people who have received prayer are still blind, and most dead people prayed for are still dead (pp. 137, 202). He comments, “What we call miracles are still the exception rather than the rule,” (p. 221). But his main point is that whether you or I have personally witnessed a dramatic miracle or not, many significant and verifiable miracles have occurred and still occur in answer to the prayers of God’s people all around the globe.

One other thing I appreciate about this book is Keener’s acknowledgment that more dramatic miracles occur more frequently on the frontlines of Christian evangelism than they do where the church is well-established (pp. 31, 33 135, 183, 201, 203). He still affirms, however, that such dramatic miracles sometimes happen in the West, too (pp. 151, 203).

Practically, this book reminded me to stay expectant when I pray. In any way He chooses, and at any time He chooses, God may do something momentous to display His glory and help those who witness His mighty acts of mercy to trust Him more fully.

IN WHOM DO YOU TRUST AND FOR WHAT?

I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings, you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday ... Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place – the Most High, who is my refuge – no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.Psalms 91:1-6, 9-11

For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.

Now, this magnificent poem does not necessarily mean that the faithful – those who dwell “in the shelter of the Most High”– will not get the pestilence or suffer the other afflictions mentioned. 

Satan used this Psalm in his temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4:5-7), trying to get him to invoke its promise that angels “will bear you up” by throwing himself off from the pinnacle of the Temple.  But such an interpretation, Jesus points out, would be to put God to the test, violating Deuteronomy 6:16.

But those who trust God as their refuge will be delivered from the evil of the pestilence and from fear of it.

Look at these promises of God to David. They are yours if you hold fast to God in love.

Because He holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect Him because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life, I will satisfy him and show him my salvation
.” Psalms 91:14-16

KNOWING GOD’S WILL

Some things are crystal clear

When it comes to knowing God’s will, His Word makes many things clear. For example, we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and we are to love others as we love ourselves. We are to repent of our sins and believe in Jesus Christ as our Saviour. 

We are to worship God and be holy and set apart for His glory. We are to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. We are to do good deeds, witness to others, and make disciples. 

However, there are many circumstances in life in which the Bible does not give specific instruction. For instance, the Bible doesn’t say who to marry or where to work. When there is no instruction regarding God’s will on a specific topic, the Bible provides principles that will always lead you in the right direction.

If you’re not in the Word, the Word won’t be in you

God directs us to make “wise” decisions that correspond with His Word. Disobedience leads to disappointment. Before making an important decision, ask, “Is God truly guiding me?” If you’re not sure, then wait. And always remember: If you’re not in the Word, the Word won’t be in you, and your spiritual vision will be very cloudy.

Three keys: Pray, stay, obey 

One of the best ways to know if God is truly guiding you is to pray, stay, and obey — pray for direction, stay in His Word, and obey His principles. J.I. Packer has said, “God is more likely to direct me through wise teaching than through inner voices.” Packer isn’t discounting the work of the Holy Spirit, but he is cautioning against “inner voice”

Satan, the world, and our flesh all work against us. God’s leading calms your heart, but the flesh wants to rush. God leads, but Satan pushes. God calms, but the flesh obsesses. God encourages, the world discourages. God reassures, but the world frightens. God enlightens, Satan confuses. God convicts, Satan condemns.

The need to pray, stay, and obey is absolutely vital when it comes to knowing God’s will — partial obedience is the same as disobedience. Obeying the Word leads us in the right direction. Truth conquers deception and exposes sin; it prevents danger instead of leading us into danger.

Hearing but not doing

Often, we follow the wrong voice because we live in deception. We hear but do not do. 

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22

Worshiping God and applying the Word saturates our spiritual lives just like a slowly dripping water source renews a dying bush. A plant that was once dead, barren, and unfruitful can once again be alive, active, and fruitful as the result of being watered. You too can hear God’s voice and regain lost ground by allowing the Word of God to saturate your heart and mind. 

Satan’s ultimate plan is to distance us from God, and “to kill, steal, and destroy”

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10

The NKJV Study Bible offers these five points regarding how the enemy plants thoughts in our minds: 

1. Doubt: Makes you question God and His goodness. 
2. Discouragement: Makes you look at your problems rather than God. 
3. Diversion: Makes the wrong things seem attractive so that we want them more than the right things. 
4. Defeat: Makes you feel like a failure so that you don’t even try. 
5. Delay: Makes you put off doing something God wants you to do so that it never gets done.

The slippery slope of sin 

As noted earlier, sin is deceptive — it blinds our spiritual eyes and leads us away from God. It deceives us into a false sense of security while justifying poor choices. Sin excuses wrong behavior and prevents us from fulfilling the will of God, but obedience redirects us and brings clarity and joy to our lives.

Imagine how encouraging it will be when you saturate your mind with God’s Word on a daily basis and remove many of the distractions and discouragements of life. Begin today.

Hearing a familiar voice 

If you’re searching for God, I encourage you to look to the One who has the answers and surrender your life to Him. No matter what you have done or have experienced you can turn to Christ and get on the right track:

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be savedRomans 10:9

Once you know the Good Shepherd, then you will hear His voice and know His will. Jesus said,

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” John 10:27

One famous quote captures it well: “A true measure of a person is not who they were, but who they will become.” It’s all about Who you know!

 adapted from Christian Post article Feb. 20th, 2022 “How to hear God’s voice to know His will” by Pastor Shane Idleman

GOD IS WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO

Think about how Joshua felt when God told him to lead the Israelites into Canaan, drive out the pagan inhabitants, and secure the land as a homeland for His people.

In the natural, this would seem to be an impossible task but the key of course is revealed in the following Scripture:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 

God does not commission us without the promise of His presence and provision. We only have to be “strong and of good courage.”

How would you like to be Noah, being told to build an enormous boat as God was going to destroy every living creature on the earth save those on this boat Noah was to build. We are simply told that “Noah did this; he did all that God had commanded him” Genesis 6:22

How Long Was the Ark?

At approximately 510 feet long, it would take nearly one and a half football fields to equal the Ark’s length. That’s big enough that NASA could lay three space shuttles—nose to tail—on the Ark’s roof! 

How Long Was the Ark?

How Tall Was the Ark?

The roof of Noah’s Ark was more than 50 feet from the ground—higher than a modern four-story house. That’s plenty of space for three extra-tall inner decks as the Bible describes.

How Tall Was the Ark?
Truckloads of Cargo Space

The Ark had the same storage capacity as about 450 standard semi-trailers. A standard livestock trailer holds about 250 sheep, so the Ark had the capacity to hold at least 120,000 sheep.

And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” Genesis 6:13-22

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Are you confident that God is with you wherever you go? He will be if you are obedient to His commands. Moreover, you will know if you are not being obedient because you will experince His discipline. What form that takes varies widely but repentance is required to get you back on track. This is a word usually not spoken of in apostate churches.

Do you want times of refreshing from the Lord? If you do then repent.

PROOF GOD IS IN CONTROL OF NATIONS

In the episode of Keeping it Israel, Jeff Futers, Executive Director of First Century Foundations, talks to Stephen Briggs, a Christian Filmmaker who has an astounding comprehension of God’s Word and God’s faithfulness to Israel. Learn about Stephen’s new film, AMERICA AND THE ISRAEL EFFECT: BLESSING, CURSE OR COINCIDENCE – the newest film in a powerful series about God’s promises to “bless those who bless” and “curse those who curse” Israel.

I first met Stephen through our involvement with the International Christian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) at an ICCC International Conference in Jerusalem. I think it was 2008, Stephen had just joined Hatikvah Films and Lance Lambert who produced and presented the first video in the series “Blessing Curse or Coincidence? The womb of the Kingdom of God on Earth” was a speaker at our conference. Every conference attendee received a copy of the first video in the series.

Israel’s existence is a reminder to the nations that God is in control of nations. The evidence is clear that God deals with those nations that curse Israel. Babylon, Persia, British Empire, and Germany to name some of the significant nations. Stephen covers this in-depth.

KING JESUS REIGNS ON THIS EARTH

Is Jesus enthroned in your life? Is allegiance to King Jesus central to your life? If not, then it is unlikely you will rule and reign with Jesus in His Millennial Kingdom.

An important and neglected part of the Gospel Message is Jesus return to this earth to fulfill the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants and the prophecies of the O.T. prophets that has Israel’s Messiah ruling and reigning over all the nations of the earth from a totally renovated/restructured Jerusalem. How many pastors are talking about the need for Christians to prepare now to rule and reign with Jesus on this earth.

“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.Revelation 5:9-10

Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6

Moreover, Jesus and the Saints will need to rule with a rod of iron even though we are told Satan is bound for one thousand years . The curse has not been lifted off this earth. This earth still has one thousand years of existence in its fallen state before it is finally destroyed with fire. Jesus will rule and reign on this earth for one thousand years and then the unthinkable happens Satan is released and he gathers an enormous army from those who are living under the reign of King Jesus and His Saints to come against them. It is not a battle, fire comes down from heaven and destroys them. Even with Jesus and the Saints ruling on this earth in what must seem like paradise in comparison to today people will still rebel against God reigning over them just as Satan and one third of the angels did.

This earth and heaven is then destroyed and what follows is the second resurrection of the dead, the White Throne Judgement and only then a New Heaven and Earth where sin/rebellion is no more along with no more pain, suffering and death.

Ruling with a rod of iron in Jesus Millennial Kingdom

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.” Revelation 2:27

From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron.” Revelation 19:15-18

What will life be like in the Millennial Kingdom? Does God reveal in His Word what it will be like? Yes He does, and I will be revealing much of it on this website as I believe this is what God has called me to do with the final years He has allocated for me on His Earth. I am presently working on a new website http://www.millennialkingdom.net where House Church leaders in particular will be able to access PowerPoint sermons and videos on the Millennial Kingdom.

To encourage you to search God’s Word for information on the Millennial reign of Jesus on this earth, we will take a look at what the Scriptures say about the new Jerusalem. Did you know the entire world will be restructured when the wrath of God is poured out with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements? Did you know that the new Jerusalem will be on the highest mountain in the world?

The cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.Revelation 16:19-20

It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it,” Isaiah 2:2

It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it,” Micah 4:1

It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it,” Isaiah 2:2

The mountain’s great height emphasizes Jerusalem as the centre of world authority, for all the nations will flow to it.

The millennial Jerusalem is nine times larger than the current city.

Jerusalem – A new city, A new name – The Lord is There, A new Temple

The temple is located outside the city, in the northern section of the sacred land given to the priests and it alone is bigger than the current city of Jerusalem.

The millennial Jerusalem sits on the highest plateau and has two rivers flowing out of its east and west sides. A totally new construct.

The land surrounding Jerusalem will have been transformed into a plain. It will run from Geba in the north to Rimmon in the South. The plain will contrast with the then highly lifted Jerusalem. (Zechariah 14:10)

Geba and Rimmon/Beersheba marking respectively the northern and southern limits of Millennial Israel. (2 Kings 23:8)

I hope the above has encouraged you to do your own research: Isaiah and Ezekiel are replete with information on the Millennial Kingdom. You will note that I have quoted from Isaiah, Ezekiel, Micah, Revelation Zechariah and 2 Kings in the above post. I will be posting more on the Millennial Kingdom in the months ahead as the “end times” prophesied events continue to play out.

THE POSTSCRIPT TO ALL PRAYERS

Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.Luke 22:42-44

This is the most challenging prayer of all. Here we have Jesus asking His Heavenly Father to remove the coming experience of suffering and death on The Cross. Thank goodness Jesus added the postscript, “not My will but Your will be done” otherwise all of us would be consigned to Hell on Judgement Day.

When the German Christian mystic Meister Eckhart would pray he would qualify whatever he brought before God with the following words. “Lord, give me nothing but what you will and do Lord whatever and however you will in every way”.

I was reluctant to quote Eckhart as much of what he had to say has been picked up and misquoted by New Age thinkers but this quote is Biblical.

According to Eckhart therefore, none of our prayers can insist that God give us this virtue, or this thing, or this way of life but rather “Lord give me nothing but your will, and do Lord whatever and however in every way..”

We truly have learnt how to live the Christian life when we come to the knowledge that we are not in control and that God is working out His plans and purposes on His earth. Moreover, in the Bible, His written Word, He has given us a history of His world from its beginning and with prophecy, what He is doing now and will do right up to its end. Our prayers need to get in step with what He is doing on this earth, particularly in our sphere of influence. All prayers need to have the postscript “Not my will but yours be done” and probably our greatest prayer is a simple “Thank You“.

ALWAYS REMEMBER WHO IS IN CONTROL

“And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Luke 17:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6

The Apostle Paul says that in every single circumstance, we can tell God what we are feeling and, as a result, the Lord will protect our hearts and minds from the weight of this world.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.Romans 8:26

Here Paul makes it clear that the indwelling Holy Spirit helps us communicate our requests to God. We can rest assured He is advocating for us in our confusion and lack.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1-2

Paul reminds us that our lives are not determined or controlled by forces on this earth. Our security is in Jesus, and that should guide our thinking.

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you — you of little faith?” Matthew 6:30

Even if His provision doesn’t look the way we think it should, God can be trusted to meet our greatest needs. How much more can God care for you, for whom He sent His Son, Jesus, to die?

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing, and perfect will.Romans 12:2

While we certainly ought to engage in the world, Paul warns against becoming so consumed by its trappings that we begin to mirror it. Instead, we should set boundaries and see the temporary circumstances around us through the lens of our renewed minds, which come through sanctification as a result of salvation through Jesus.

The Lord is eager to meet us in every situation and circumstance, including when we’re overwhelmed by the constant flow of information fed to us by our newsfeeds. Take some time today to turn off your phone and focus on our priority: Jesus.

Remember as long as Peter kept his eyes fixed on Jesus, he was able to walk on the water. Live eternal now.

BEING OBEDIENT TO GOD

For Christians sometimes obedience comes before understanding.

To enable us, Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell our Spirit to be our counsellor, teacher and comforter.

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.John 3:5-8

In my own life, many times, I am confronted by the Holy spirit prompting me to do something I would not ordinarily do and when I am obedient and do it, I discover that God had orchestrated all aspects of the the event, circumstances, people and location and it invariably did one or more of the following things: helped others, proved God’s existence and brought glory to Him and His Word.

Even before Jesus made it possible for believers to be born again and receive the Holy Spirit, God was working with people like Abraham who by faith was prepared to be obedient . Think about it, Abraham could have had no understanding of why he was called to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice. This is trusting God to the uttermost.

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.Hebrews 11:17-19

What did God promise Abraham because of his obedience:

By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voiceGenesis 22:16-18

Long after Abraham had died the children of Abraham knew that:

Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” Joshua 21:45

Jesus now calls us to do the following things, which in the natural you would not do, but by the power of the Holy Spirit you can do.

But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.Luke 6:27-31

Are you being obedient to the Holy Spirit’s leading each day of your life? Are you living eternal now?

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