Why This is not the Appointed Times for the Jews

Michael Heiss—October 23, 2016

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God has a master plan; He's a long-term strategic thinker and planner. Today I'm going to, hopefully, try to show you why today is not the appointed time for the Jewish people. Not just them, but for the whole world.

God has a specific commission and command for the Jews. He commissioned them to perform a certain function, and that function is on going. It's going on today, and it's been going on for the last 2,000 years and will continue on until the day Jesus Christ returns.

John 1:11—a very succinct statement: "He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him." Here He was of the line of David and came to His own people, and they did not accept Him.

Of course we read in John 6:44, 65 that they couldn't. Only if God led you to Jesus could you come to Him. God had to call you. God called them for a great purpose, and He loves them even though they are enemies of the Gospel.

Paul has some very interesting things to say about this. Romans 11:25: "For I do not wish you to be ignorant of this mystery, brethren, in order that you may not be wise in your own conceits: that a partial hardening of the heart has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in."

Paul is explaining that the reason that the Jews are not able to see and understand is so that God can temporarily shove them aside and allow Gentiles to be grafted in.

Verse 26: "And so all Israel shall be saved…" All Israel will be given a chance for salvation. It doesn't mean that every last one of them will accept it. After all, there is a thing called the Lake of Fire! But most of them will.

"…according as it is written: 'Out of Sion shall come the Deliverer, and He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. for this is My covenant, which I will make with them when I have taken away their sins'" (vs 26-27). God is going to take away the sins of Judah. It's a promise! He is!

Verse 28: "On the one hand, concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sakes; but on the other hand, concerning the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes."

God made them enemies of the Gospel so that the Gentiles can come in. Even though they're enemies of the Gospel, why would we say that there's an advantage to being a Jew. What advantage do the Jews have? Paul answered that one, too! In Rom. 3 we have the great commission that God gave the Jews.

Romans 3:1: "What then is the advantage of the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way. Primarily in that they were entrusted with the oracles of God" (vs 1-2).

What is meant by the oracles of God is the Old Testament text: Genesis through Chronicles. God gave it to them to copy it, protect it and preserve it!

Verse 3: For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God? MAY IT NEVER BE!…." (vs 3-4). Paul is saying, 'So what if many of them don't believe.' In fact, what if almost none of them believe.

That has nothing to do with faith and being faithful with the text. It has nothing to do with copying the text. It has nothing to do with copying the text. Not at all! You don't have to be a spiritual giant; it does not call for faith in Jesus as the Messiah or to feed the flock. It's simply recording, preserving and protecting that text. Now we will see why God called the Jews to do that; He had a reason for that.

Romans 10:1: "Brethren, the earnest desire of my heart and my supplication to God for Israel is for salvation. For I testify of them that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge" (vs 1-2). Paul said that they had a zeal for God. He didn't say that of any of other people, "…but not according to knowledge." That was certainly true!

Verse 3: "For they, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God." Even so, that does not detract from their ability to have a zeal for God, a love of the Scriptures and just a burning desire to preserve them.

They did go about setting up their own righteousness. We've seen some of that. Let's see what Jesus had to say about it. Jesus was not all in favor of their traditions and rituals, and the Father is certainly not in favor of them. Let's see what Jesus said about them:

Mark 7:1: "Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes from Jerusalem came together to Him. And when they saw some of His disciples eating with defiled hands (that is, unwashed hands), they found fault" (vs 1-2).

This is not referring to coming in from doing a lot of work and just washing up your hands with soap to have them clean before you eat. This is a ritual bathing where you dip your hands, hold them up and let the water fall off properly in a ritual way. That's what Mark is referring to here.

Verse 3: "For the Pharisees and all the Jews, holding fast to the tradition of the elders, do not eat unless they wash their hands thoroughly…. [ritually!] …Even when coming from the market, they do not eat unless they first wash themselves. And there are many other things that they have received to observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and brass utensils and tables. For this reason, the Pharisees and the scribes questioned Him, saying, 'Why don't Your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with… [ceremonially, that's what it's referring to] …unwashed hands?' And He answered and said to them, 'Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you hypocrites, as it is written, "This people honors Me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men." For leaving the commandment of God, you hold fast the tradition of men, such as the washing of pots and cups; and you practice many other things like this.' Then He said to them, 'Full well do you reject the commandment of God, so that you may observe your own tradition. For Moses said, "Honor your father and your mother"; and "The one who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death." But you say, "If a man shall say to his father or mother, 'Whatever benefit you might receive from me is corban'" (that is, set aside as a gift to God), "he is not obligated to help his parents."'" (vs 3-11).

There was this belief that was practiced, that if you decided to give something to God, whatever it might be—money, an object of some kind—and your dad and mom were in trouble and they needed help financially, if you said that 'this is dedicated to God, I don't care dad and mom, tough, that's the way it goes, this is going to God'… God doesn't need that gift. He doesn't need money; He can create all the money He wants. He says to 'love and honor your parents.'

Verse 12: "And you excuse him from doing anything for his father or his mother…. [that is what Jesus did not like] …nullifying the authority of the Word of God by your tradition, which you have passed down; and you practice many traditions such as this" (vs 12-13).

None of these traditions got in the way of their copying down the Old Testament Scriptures. None of them got in the way of their preserving, protecting, and in some cases even dying for those temple and synagogue scrolls.

Now let me give you one small paragraph from a little book I have called The Guide to the Sabbath and it talks about Sabbath rituals. It will give you a feeling for the mentality of the rabbis. Speaking of them,

from The Guide to the Sabbath

Uniformity… [they believed] …could be achieved not by the enunciation of general principles, but by sharp and detailed demarcation of the areas of what is forbidden and what is permitted by prescribing even for the remote contingency by governing the apparently trivial circumstances of daily life, and by strict definition of terms. Life itself… [they felt] …consists of a multitude of minimals.

That pretty much sums up the Pharisees! Sums up the rabbis! From the time you get up in the morning until the time you go to bed at night, there is a prayer for everything. There is a prayer for when you wake up. When you go to relieve yourself in the bathroom, there's a prayer for that. There's a prayer for meals, for activity, you name it!

This was a prescribed ritual. But you see the strong point in that, and why God let those traditions stand is because it preserved them. They had the Old Testament and their rituals; they had their traditions. In the movie Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye talks about traditions. He says, 'Without our traditions we would be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof.' He was right! Their traditions kept them intact. They were an insular community where no outside forces could come in.

God knew this, and He used this strength and this bulldog tenacity to help them preserve the Old Testament text. That's exactly what happened.

Today you and I have The Faithful Version, or we have the King James Version, or whatever we want. If you want to go back to the days of Jesus, up until the day Mr. Guttenberg came along with the Guttenberg Press and could print the Bible, they didn't have Bibles.

Paul had his problems of preaching the Gospel and the synagogue people, especially rulers of the Jews.

Acts 17:10: "Then the brethren immediately sent away by night to Berea both Paul and Silas, who, when they arrived, went into the synagogue of the Jews.  Now, these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the Word with all readiness of mind and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so" (vs 10-11).

  • What Scriptures did they use?
  • Where were they?

They didn't go home and get out their Faithful Version of the Bible and read. Nobody had that except if you were rich and powerful enough, yes. Remember the Eunuch with the Queen of Ethiopia that Philip was sent to. He was reading from the scroll of Isaiah; he was a high official in the court of the Queen of Ethiopia. He was rich and could have his own copy.

But the average person, forget it! They went to the synagogue. You had scrolls of the Law at the temple in Jerusalem and almost every synagogue had its synagogue scrolls from Genesis to 2-Chronicles, and they had to go to the synagogue to look at them.

Who maintained those Scriptures? The leaders of the Jews, those who had rejected Jesus! Some accepted, but most rejected. Once again, my point here is the fact that they rejected Jesus did not in any way nullify their ability to protect and preserve that Old Testament text. These Jews were an institution by themselves.

Their zeal for God, their love of the Scriptures in stubbornness they would hold onto the Old Testament text. They would also hold onto their traditions! Well, God didn't worry about those traditions, He knew that He would take care of them in time.

God had the choice of who He was going to have preserve His Word. He had a choice of three groups:

  • the Jews
  • the ten tribes of Israel
  • His Church

Believe it or not—this is true—for the job, for the task, for the commission of preserving His Bible, His text, He did not chose the Church, He did not choose the ten tribes of Israel; He chose the Jews for the Old Testament text, and He chose the Greek Orthodox priests for the New Testament text.

For the New Testament we talk about the Byzantine text; why was it called the Byzantine text? Because it came from the Byzantine Empire! They were not Jewish, and they were not comprised of the Church of God either. These were Greek Orthodox priests. You want to see some wacky doctrines, go read the doctrines of the Greek Orthodox Church; just as bad as the Roman Catholic Church.

Why did God choose these Greek Orthodox priests? Because in their own way they had the same mentality as the Jewish rabbis! They had a love of these texts. They were a law unto themselves. They were once again an insular community, among themselves where they could read, study and copy. That's what they did.

From those texts we ended up with the William Tyndale Bible, with the Textus Receptus, the King James and from there other translations. But not a single one of them was a converted begotten child of God! You did not need God's Spirit to perform that function!

Let's take a look at why God could not use the ten tribes of Israel for that job. This is discussing the days of David, and in this particular case, after he was returning from having fought against his own son Absalom. The children of Israel were angry with the children of Judah for escorting David back across the Jordan River.

2-Samuel 19:39: "And all the people went over Jordan. And when the king had come over, the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him. And he returned to his place." This old man was over 80-years-old.

Verse 35: I am eighty years old today, and can I discern between good and evil? Can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink?…."

So, he was asking David, v 37: "Please let your servant return so that I may die in my own city by the grave of my father and of my mother…."—in my own land, rather than cross over with you to Jerusalem.

Verse 40: "And the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him. And all the people of Judah were bringing the king, and also half the people of Israel. And, behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said to the king, 'Why have our brothers, the men of Judah stolen you away and have brought the king and his household, and all David's men with him, over Jordan?' And all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, 'Because the king is near to us. Why then are you angry for this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king's cost? Or has he given us any gift?' And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah and said, 'We have ten parts in the king, therefore, we also have more right in David than you….'" (vs 40-43).

They were boasting on how close to David they were. But that didn't last. If you remember, it didn't last because the matter was of God. Because of the sins of Solomon that were so grievous in marrying foreign women and setting up shrines and worshipping there, the separation was of God.

But nevertheless, notice how the men of Israel reacted. This occurs after Rehoboam had met with the men of Israel. They explained their grievances to him:

  • please lower our taxes
  • don't be so harsh on us

Rehoboam didn't listen to the old men. He was a spoiled brat to put it bluntly!

1-Kings 12:16: "And all Israel saw that the king [Rehoboam] did not hearken to them, and the people answered the king, saying, 'What part do we have in David?….'" What were they saying 40 years earlier? We have more right to David than you do! Now they're saying:

"…'What part do we have in David? Yea, there is no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Now see to your own house, O David!' And Israel went to its tents" (v 16).

We can wrap that up and say that was because God was behind it. That much is true, but notice what they did. Of course, Jeroboam was made king of Israel.

Verse 25: "And Jeroboam built Shechem on Mount Ephraim and lived on it, and went from there and built Penuel. And Jeroboam said in his heart, 'Now, the kingdom may well return to the house of David!'" (vs 25-26).

If you go back and read the prophet came to Jeroboam in the name of God and said, 'I'm giving it to you because of what Solomon did. If you will walk in My ways, keep My laws, My commandments, I will bless you and make your house strong.' But Jeroboam really didn't believe Him! Jeroboam did not accept God's Word, and he said, "…'Now, the kingdom may well return to the house of David!" God told him that won't happen. 'I will see to it that you are a strong king over Israel.'

Verse 27: "If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah… [they never would. God promised that He wouldn't do it, but he didn't believe God] …and they shall kill me and return again to Rehoboam king of Judah.' Then the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold… [Oh, Oh! Back to the golden calf! That's a no, no!] …and said to them, 'It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Behold your gods, O, Israel… [remember Aaron and the golden calf, and what he said: 'behold, your god.' Once again, the repetition] …who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!' And he set the one in Bethel, and he put the other in Dan. And this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one, even to Dan" (vs 27-30).

It was all downhill from there. There never was a righteous king in the northern tribes; they never turned to God. Could He use them to preserve His Word? Not a chance!

He could have chosen His Church, but He didn't. God chose the Jews for their strength, which was their zeal for God. It didn't matter about anything else.

I want to read to you from a book by Peter F. Drucker, who is dead now, but during the 20th century he was one of the leading gurus in management and corporate structure. He wrote many works, more than I can possibly read. I bought and read only one, but this is a fabulous one: The Effective Executive. He brought out some keys in here to make me realize even how backward the old Worldwide Church of God was. When they chose people to be ministers and other leaders, they chose based on an absence of weakness instead of strength.

Peter Drucker shows that' not the way to do it! In fact, God was doing this long before Peter Drucker ever came along, so he didn't come with the idea.

from The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker:

Whoever tries to place a man or staff an organization to avoid weakness will end up at best mediocrity. The idea that there are well-rounded people, people who have only strengths and no weaknesses, whether the term used is the whole man, the mature personality, the well-adjusted personality or the generalist, is a prescription for mediocrity if not for incompetence.

Strong people always have strong weaknesses, too. Where there are peaks there are valleys and no one is strong in many areas.

What he's saying is that if you have a function it's got to be performed. If you have to choose someone or a group you look to the strength. Does this person have the strength to perform this function? If he does, and as long as the weaknesses don't get in the way, you choose that person.

One of the prime examples is during the Civil War. I'm a history buff, and I just love names, dates and places. I can tell you this, if Abe Lincoln were running for office today he's never, never get in. You would look to his weaknesses. He's a tall guy, and he wasn't the most handsome, dashing looking fellow. In fact, he once said, 'Call me two-faced? If you think I'm two-faced would I be wearing this one?' Lincoln had a sense of humor.

During the war he was pulling his hair out, because he couldn't find a general who would fight and win. On the eastern front Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jeb Stuart were running all over the Union armies. Even when the Union army did win, they didn't have a general to really get wrapped up and take the fight to the enemy.

But Lincoln had his eye on a particular general in the west that seemed to fight and win. He was know as Ulysses S. Grant! Actually, his name was Hiram, but Grant was one of the few great generals to be virtually ego-less. He did not have much of an ego; he really didn't. He waited to be selected. He never bucked for command.

There's no question in my mind that God led Lincoln to choose Grant. But Grant was fond of the bottle, and he drank. He never got drunk in a battle, and as his biographer pointed out, Grant was never a habitual drunkard. You cannot sleep on the ground for two or three hours and have to be up instantly in case of a battle and give commands and be a drunkard. NO! But he did drink and he did get drunk on occasion.

The Women's Temperance Union went to Lincoln and said, 'No! You can't have this man as general, he drinks too much. Look at all the men he lost at Shiloh, this man is careless.' Lincoln said, 'It doesn't matter, I need a general who can fight and win, and Grant is my man, and Grant got that job done.

In fact, I didn't realize this, but there were a lot of things about Grant that I didn't realize in studying him. Grant graduated from West Point toward the bottom of his class. To me he really wasn't that great a general, and yet, Sherman who was his #1 lieutenant said that he was the greatest general of his age.

And of all people, Robert E. Lee—the great southern commander—said that 'I have read the histories of all the ancient and modern generals, and there was none greater than Ulysses S. Grant.'

In my reading of history, I'm thinking of Alexander the Great, Hannibal, and of course, my favorite is Julius Caesar. These were brilliant commanders, but I'll defer. That's what Gen. Lee said of Gen. Grant. The point being is that Lincoln staffed for strength.

Now let's look at another man that God staffed for strength. Once again we find Israel sinning. Israel sinned again and again, whoring after other gods.

Judges 10:6: "And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baalim and Ashtoroth, and the gods of Syria…" Finally it got so bad:

Verse 13[transcriber's correction]—God says: "Yet, you have forsaken Me and served other gods; therefore,, I will deliver you no more." That's the last thing we ever want to hear God say about us! Never!

Verse 14: "'Go and cry to the gods, which you have chosen. Let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.' … [just how God said this to them, how it was manifest, I don't know] …And the children of Israel said to the LORD, 'We have sinned. Do You to us whatever is good in Your eyes; only deliver us, we pray You, today.' And they put away the strange gods from among them and served the LORD. And His soul was moved by the misery of Israel" (vs 14-16).

God loved Israel so much that even though He was fed up with them at times, even though He was 'pulling His hair out' and said, 'I've had it…' Yet, when they repented and begged Him, He relented.

Just a thought: What about us? If it says that His soul was smoothed by the misery of Israel, how much more is God's being—His soul, His life—going to be moved to help us when we call upon Him? we who are His own begotten children?

He will help us even more than He helped Israel of old. How did God do it?

Judges 11:1: "Now, Jephthah, the Gileadite, was a mighty man of war. And he was the son of a harlot…. [not a good upbringing; not fancy, not the high class] …And Gilead begat Jephthah. And Gilead's wife bore him sons. And his wife's sons grew up, and they threw Jephthah out and said to him, 'You shall not inherit in our father's house, for you are the son of another woman.' Then Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob. And worthless men were gathered to Jephthah, and went out with him" (vs 1-3).

These are worthless based men. These are bandits, marauders! He led bands to go out there and attack certain groups so he could live; so he could get cattle, sheep or whatever he needed.

Talking about the Civil War, he would be at home with Quatrill's Raiders. That's what he was; this guy was a rough man. Yet, lo and behold, those who cast him out…

Verse 5: "And when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to bring Jephthah out of the land of Tob. And they said to Jephthah, 'Come and be our commander, so that we may fight against the children of Ammon'" (vs 5-6).

Read the rest of Judges 11. They despised him; they hated him, but when all else failed, call for Jephthah. He was the one man! He had the arm! He was the military commander! And that choice was backed up and vindicated by God.

Verse 28: "And the king of the children of Ammon did not hearken to the words of Jephthah, which he sent to him." Jephthah was a diplomat in his own right. We was a remarkable individual.

Verse 29: "Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah…" Here is God sending His Spirit to be with Jephthah. Now, right off the bat that should tell you that no matter how bad Jephthah might have been, no matter how much of a roughian, how much of a bandito he might have been, there was some gold in him, otherwise God would never have sent His Spirit to be with Jephthah.

God used Jephthah for his strength as a military commander, forgetting all the rest. He needed a man, a human instrument, that He could use to deliver His people. That's what He did. God staffs for strength.

Let's look at what Paul said about Jephthah, and for that matter, what he said about Samson. When I think of spiritual giants—great spiritual people—Jephthah and Samson just don't come to mind. But look at what Paul said in the faith chapter, Heb. 11, in which he is talking about the great men of old and what they all did.

Hebrews 11:32: "Now, what more can I say? For time would fail me to relate the accounts of Gideon, Barak also, and Samson and Jephthah, David also, and Samuel, and the prophets" Here are Samon and Jephthah in the same verse along with David and Samuel. So, maybe I need to rethink. Maybe Jephthah is little better than I think he was.

But the point is that God staffed for strength. Why didn't God chose His Church? Jesus said, 'I will build My Church and the gates of the grave will not prevail against it. But His people were located in different spots, different times, different locations. There was no continuity.

How were they going to take care of the scrolls? Look today, most of us started out with the Worldwide Church of God or Radio Church of God. Not every one of us, but most of us did. Look what happened. We had the Global Church come out of that, and later on it became the Living Church. Then we had the United Church of God, then splits from them and the most recent split was Church of God Association.

  • Which of those could take care of the scrolls?
  • Which one of those knew enough Hebrew to maintain the integrity of those scrolls?

I submit to you, none of them! Not one! Look what God said about those churches.

Church at Ephesus:

Revelation 2:4: "Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works" (vs 4-5). He certainly couldn't use the Ephesus Church, that would be impossible.

Church at Thyatira:

Verse 20: "But I have a few things against you, because you allow the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants…"

Every one of those congregations disintegrated. Who knows where they all went. Which one of them could have successfully copied, preserved and maintain the Law.

You talk about how well the Jews preserved those Old Testament Scriptures, those scrolls:

New Discovery Authenticates Biblical Text by Michael Medved (http://www.kvoi.com/michael-medved/new-discovery-authenticates-biblical-text/)

Forty-six years ago Israeli archaeologists discovered a charred lump of parchment in the ark of an ancient synagogue near the Dead Sea. They couldn't unfold it without destroying the burnt scroll but hoped for future technology allowing the contents to be read.

University of Kentucky researchers recently developed the necessary techniques that revealed the parchment to contain the first two chapters of the Biblical book of Leviticus. Amazingly, this 2,000-year-old relic – dated to about 30 AD…

About the year Jesus was crucified!

—conforms in every word, every letter, to the Masoretic Hebrew text used today in Bibles around the world.

The earliest copies of the scroll that we have date back to about the 900s. They're used, they disintegrate, they burned them, they got rid of them, and they copy and re-copy. We don't have any original copies.

Well, lo and behold, they found a burnt parchment in a synagogue near the Dead Sea that contained two chapter of the book of Leviticus. When they managed, with the latest technology, to open it up and read it, it was letter for letter, word for word what we have today in the Old Testament text that is used in Hebrew Bibles around the world.

I ask you: Did those Nazarites, those Jews with zeal, stubbornness and dedication correctly preserve God's Word? Oh, they did! Christ-rejecting they were, and they were not used by God to feed the flock or preach the Gospel. They were called to preserve that Word, and so they did.

That's why God did not call them. He wanted them insular, like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, an enclosed community where they could day and night copy that Word. Not influenced by the outside world. Not like the Church. I'm not dissing God's Church. I'm simply saying that God's Church could never have preserved the Word the way the Greek Orthodox priests did, and he way those Jews did.

Now we know why God did not choose the Jews for salvation today. He will when He returns. He will build up the 'tents of Judah.'

That finishes up our series on the appointed times. There are other books and other appointed times and I would encourage you to read The Appointed Times of Jesus the Messiah by Fred R. Coulter. It is magnificent. There are appointed times for every facet.

Scriptural References:

  • John 1:11
  • Romans 11:25-28
  • Romans 3:1-4
  • Romans 10:1-3
  • Mark 7:1-13
  • Acts 17:10-11
  • 2 Samuel 19:39, 35, 37, 40-43
  • 1 Kings 12:16, 25-30
  • Judges 10:6, 13-16
  • Judges 11:1-3, 5-6, 28-29
  • Hebrews 11:32
  • Revelation 2:4-5, 20

Scripture referenced, not quoted: John 6:44

Also referenced:

Books:

  • A Guide to the Sabbath
  • The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker
  • The Appointed Times of Jesus the Messiah by Fred R. Coulter

Article: New Discovery Authenticates Biblical Text by Michael Medved (http://www.kvoi.com/michael-medved/new-discovery-authenticates-biblical-text/)

MH:bo
Transcribed: 12/30/16

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