Why Should One Leave Dispensationalism?

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  • #16
    Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
    (1 Corinthians 15:51-52 ESV)


    A mystery is something that has been hidden in the past but is now being revealed. The resurrection of the dead wasn't a mystery because it was revealed in the Old Testament. The rapture is something new that was first revealed to Paul. A resurrection only affects those who are dead. The resurrection will involve all believers, living and dead.

    The resurrections and the rapture | clydeherrin
    Clyde Herrin's Blog
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    • #17
      Originally posted by theophilus View Post
      Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
      (1 Corinthians 15:51-52 ESV)


      A mystery is something that has been hidden in the past but is now being revealed. The resurrection of the dead wasn't a mystery because it was revealed in the Old Testament. The rapture is something new that was first revealed to Paul. A resurrection only affects those who are dead. The resurrection will involve all believers, living and dead.

      The resurrections and the rapture | clydeherrin
      In spite of the popular translation of 1 Corinthians 15:51, the Bible doesn't teach the Rapture. And, the mystery Paul reveals isn't a Rapture, but is our transformation from perishable to imperishable bodies.
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      • #18
        Originally posted by Cornelius View Post

        In spite of the popular translation of 1 Corinthians 15:51, the Bible doesn't teach the Rapture. And, the mystery Paul reveals isn't a Rapture, but is our transformation from perishable to imperishable bodies.

        I agree Cornelius. The word rapture isn't even found in the Greek. The word "rapture" came from a Latin translation and was misappropriated by Darby, many believe in response to his acceptance of a young woman's ecstatic trances where she proclaimed this supposed "truth." Up till then, no one had even heard of a "rapture" which was entirely novel.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Cornelius View Post
          the mystery Paul reveals isn't a Rapture, but is our transformation from perishable to imperishable bodies.
          But isn't that what the Rapture is?
          Clyde Herrin's Blog
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          • #20
            Originally posted by theophilus View Post
            But isn't that what the Rapture is?
            Actually no.

            The "rapture" is a novel teaching by Darby which uses this passage to teach, not what Paul taught, but something else, a secret coming of Christ.

            Paul never taught a secret coming of Christ.

            Paul taught we are caught up in the air at Christ's Second Coming when all eyes will see Him.



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            • #21
              Originally posted by theophilus View Post
              But isn't that what the Rapture is?
              When we are resurrected, we get new bodies and we're caught up to be with Jesus.
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              • #22
                Originally posted by Cornelius View Post

                When we are resurrected, we get new bodies and we're caught up to be with Jesus.
                The Rapture is more than just a resurrection; both the living and the dead are included in it.
                Clyde Herrin's Blog
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                • #23
                  Here's what some of the early reformers believed before the popular Rapture theology crept into the church:

                  John Calvin on 1 Corinthians 15:51: Hitherto he has included two things in his reasoning. In the first place, he shows that there will be a resurrection from the dead: secondly, he shows of what nature it will be. Now, however, he enters more thoroughly into a description of the manner of it. This he calls a mystery, because it had not been as yet so clearly unfolded in any statement of revelation; but he does this to make them more attentive. For that wicked doctrine had derived strength from the circumstance, that they disputed as to this matter carelessly and at their ease; (127) as if it were a matter in which they felt no difficulty. Hence by the term mystery, he admonishes them to learn a matter, which was not only as yet unknown to them, but ought to be reckoned among God’s heavenly secrets.

                  51.We shall not indeed all sleep. Here there is no difference in the Greek manuscripts, but in the Latin versions there are three different readings. The first is, We shall indeed all die, but we shall not all be changed. The second is, We shall indeed all rise again, but we shall not all be changed. (128) The third is, We shall not indeed all sleep, but we shall all be changed. This diversity, I conjecture, had arisen from this — that some readers, who were not the most discerning, dissatisfied with the true reading, ventured to conjecture a reading which was more approved by them. (129) For it appeared to them, at first view, to be absurd to say, that all would not die, while we read elsewhere, that it is appointed unto all men once to die. (Heb 9:27.) Hence they altered the meaning in this way — All will not be changed, though all will rise again, or will die; and the change they interpret to mean — the glory that the sons of God alone will obtain. The true reading, however, may be judged of from the context.

                  Paul’s intention is to explain what he had said — that we will be conformed to Christ, because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. A question presented itself, (130) what then will become of those who will be still living at the day of the Lord? His answer is, that although all will not die, yet they will be renewed, that mortality and corruption may be done away. It is to be observed, however, that he speaks exclusively of believers; for although the resurrection of the wicked will also involve change, yet as there is no mention made of them here, we must consider everything that is said, as referring exclusively to the elect. We now see, how well this statement corresponds with the preceding one, for as he had said, that we shall bear the image of Christ, he now declares, that this will take place when we shall be changed, so that mortality may be swallowed up of life, (2Co 5:4,) and that this renovation is not inconsistent with the fact, that Christ’s advent will find some still alive.

                  We must, however, unravel the difficulty — that it is appointed unto all men once to die; and certainly, it is not difficult to unravel it in this way — that as a change cannot take place without doing away with the previous system, that change is reckoned, with good reason, a kind of death; but, as it is not a separation of the soul from the body, it is not looked upon as an ordinary death. It will then be death, inasmuch as it will be the destruction of corruptible nature: it will not be a sleep, inasmuch as the soul will not quit the body; but there will be a sudden transition from corruptible nature into a blessed immortality.

                  (127) “Par maniere de passe-temps, et tout a leur aise;” — “ By way of pastime, and quite at their ease.”
                  (128) This is the reading of the Vulgate. Wiclif (1380) translates the verse as follows: Lo, I seie to you pryuyte (secret) of holi things, and alle we schulen rise agen, but not alle we schulen be chaungid. — Ed.
                  (129) “Qui leur estoit plus probable;” — “Which appeared to them more probable.”
                  (130) “Il y auoit sur ceci vne question qu’on prouuolt faire;” — “There was a question as to this, which might be proposed.”
                  Matthew Henry:

                  To confirm what he had said of this change,
                  I. He here tells them what had been concealed from or unknown to them till then - that all the saints would not die, but all would be changed. Those that are alive at our Lord's coming will be caught up into the clouds, without dying, 1Th 4:11. But it is plain from this passage that it will not be without changing from corruption to incorruption. The frame of their living bodies shall be thus altered, as well as those that are dead; and this in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, 1Co 15:52. What cannot almighty power effect? That power that calls the dead into life can surely thus soon and suddenly change the living; for changed they must be as well as the dead, because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. This is the mystery which the apostle shows the Corinthians: Behold, I show you a mystery; or bring into open light a truth dark and unknown before. Note, There are many mysteries shown to us in the gospel; many truths that before were utterly unknown are there made known; many truths that were but dark and obscure before are there brought into open day, and plainly revealed; and many things are in part revealed that will never be fully known, nor perhaps clearly understood. The apostle here makes known a truth unknown before, which is that the saints living at our Lord's second coming will not die, but be changed, that this change will be made in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and at the sound of the last trump; for, as he tells us elsewhere, the Lord himself shall descend with a shout, with a voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God (1Th 4:16), so here, the trumpet must sound. It is the loud summons of all the living and all the dead, to come and appear at the tribunal of Christ. At this summons the graves shall open, the dead saints shall rise incorruptible, and the living saints be changed to the same incorruptible state, 1Co 15:52.

                  II. He assigns the reason of this change (1Co 15:53): For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. How otherwise could the man be a fit inhabitant of the incorruptible regions, or be fitted to possess the eternal inheritance? How can that which is corruptible and mortal enjoy what is incorruptible, permanent, and immortal? This corruptible body must be made incorruptible, this mortal body must be changed into immortal, that the man may be capable of enjoying the happiness designed for him. Note, It is this corruptible that must put on incorruption; the demolished fabric that must be reared again. What is sown must be quickened. Saints will come in their own bodies (1Co 15:38), not in other bodies.
                  III. He lets us know what will follow upon this change of the living and dead in Christ: Then shall be brought to pass that saying, Death is swallowed up in victory; or, He will swallow up death in victory. Isa 25:8. For mortality shall be then swallowed up of life (2Co 5:4), and death perfectly subdued and conquered, and saints for ever delivered from its power. Such a conquest shall be obtained over it that it shall for ever disappear in those regions to which our Lord will bear his risen saints. And therefore will the saints hereupon sing their epinikion, their song of triumph. Then, when this mortal shall have put on immortality, will death be swallowed up, for ever swallowed up, eis nikos. Christ hinders it from swallowing his saints when they die; but, when they rise again, death shall, as to them, be swallowed for ever. And upon this destruction of death will they break out into a song of triumph.

                  1. They will glory over death as a vanquished enemy, and insult this great and terrible destroyer: “O death! where is thy sting? Where is now thy sting, thy power to hurt? What mischief hast thou done us? We are dead; but behold we live again, and shall die no more. Thou art vanquished and disarmed, and we are out of the reach of thy deadly dart. Where now is thy fatal artillery? Where are thy stores of death? We fear no further mischiefs from thee, nor heed thy weapons, but defy thy power, and despise thy wrath. And, O grave! where is thy victory? Where now is thy victory? What has become of it? Where are the spoils and trophies of it? Once we were thy prisoners, but the prison-doors are burst open, the locks and bolts have been forced to give way, our shackles are knocked off, and we are for ever released. Captivity is taken captive. The imaginary victor is conquered, and forced to resign his conquest and release his captives. Thy triumphs, grave, are at an end. The bonds of death are loosed, and we are at liberty, and are never more to be hurt by death, nor imprisoned in the grave.” In a moment, the power of death, and the conquests and spoils of the grave, are gone; and, as to the saints, the very signs of them will not remain. Where are they? Thus will they raise themselves, when they become immortal, to the honour of their Saviour and the praise of divine grace: they shall glory over vanquished death.

                  2. The foundation for this triumph is here intimated, (1.) In the account given whence death had its power to hurt: The sting of death is sin. This gives venom to his dart: this alone puts it into the power of death to hurt and kill. Sin unpardoned, and nothing else, can keep any under his power. And the strength of sin is the law; it is the divine threatening against the transgressors of the law, the curse there denounced, that gives power to sin. Note, Sin is the parent of death, and gives it all its hurtful power. By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, Rom 5:12. It is its cursed progeny and offspring. (2.) In the account given of the victory saints obtain over it through Jesus Christ, 1Co 15:56. The sting of death is sin; but Christ, by dying, has taken out this sting. He has made atonement for sin; he has obtained remission of it. It may hiss therefore, but it cannot hurt. The strength of sin is the law; but the curse of the law is removed by our Redeemer's becoming a curse for us. So that sin is deprived of its strength and sting, through Christ, that is, by his incarnation, suffering, and death. Death may seize a believer, but cannot sting him, cannot hold him in his power. There is a day coming when the grave shall open, the bands of death be loosed, the dead saints revive, and become incorruptible and immortal, and put out of the reach of death for ever. And then will it plainly appear that, as to them, death will have lost its strength and sting; and all by the mediation of Christ, by his dying in their room. By dying, he conquered death, and spoiled the grave; and, through faith in him, believers become sharers in his conquests. They often rejoice beforehand, in the hope of this victory; and, when they arise glorious from the grave, they will boldly triumph over death. Note, It is altogether owing to the grace of God in Christ that sin is pardoned and death disarmed. The law puts arms into the hand of death, to destroy the sinner; but pardon of sin takes away this power from the law, and deprives death of its strength and sting. It is by the grace of God, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, that we are freely justified, Rom 3:24. It is no wonder, therefore, (3.) If this triumph of the saints over death should issue in thanksgiving to God: Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through Christ Jesus, our Lord, 1Co 15:57. The way to sanctify all our joy is to make it tributary to the praise of God. Then only do we enjoy our blessings and honours in a holy manner when God has his revenue of glory out of it, and we are free to pay it to him. And this really improves and exalts our satisfaction. We are conscious at once of having done our duty and enjoyed our pleasure. And what can be more joyous in itself than the saints' triumph over death, when they shall rise again? And shall they not then rejoice in the Lord, and be glad in the God of their salvation? Shall not their souls magnify the Lord? When he shows such wonders to the dead, shall they not arise and praise him? Psa_88:10. Those who remain under the power of death can have no heart to praise; but such conquests and triumphs will certainly tune the tongues of the saints to thankfulness and praise - praise for the victory (it is great and glorious in itself), and for the means whereby it is obtained (it is given of God through Christ Jesus), a victory obtained not by our power, but the power of God; not given because we are worthy, but because Christ is so, and has by dying obtained this conquest for us. Must not this circumstance endear the victory to us, and heighten our praise to God? Note, How many springs of joy to the saints and thanksgiving to God are opened by the death and resurrection, the sufferings and conquests, of our Redeemer! With what acclamations will saints rising from the dead applaud him! How will the heaven of heavens resound his praises for ever! Thanks be to God will be the burden of their song; and angels will join the chorus, and declare their consent with a loud Amen, Hallelujah.
                  John Calvin on 1 Corinthians 15:52:

                  52.In a moment This is still of a general nature; that is, it includes all. For in all the change will be sudden and instantaneous, because Christ’s advent will be sudden. And to convey the idea of a moment, he afterwards makes use of the phrase twinkling (or jerk) of the eye, for in the Greek manuscripts there is a twofold, reading — ῥοπὣ (jerk,) or ῥιπὣ (twinkling.) (131) It matters nothing, however, as to the sense. Paul has selected a movement of the body, that surpasses all others in quickness; for nothing is more rapid than a movement of the eye, though at the same time he has made an allusion to sleep, with which twinkling of the eye is contrasted. (132)

                  With the last trump. Though the repetition of the term might seem to place it beyond a doubt, that the word trumpet is here taken in its proper acceptation, yet I prefer to understand the expression as metaphorical. In 1Th 4:16, he connects together the voice of the archangel and the trump of God: As therefore a commander, with the sound of a trumpet, summons his army to battle, so Christ, by his far sounding proclamation, which will be heard throughout the whole world, will summon all the dead. Moses tells us, (Exo 19:16,) what loud and terrible sounds were uttered on occasion of the promulgation of the law. Far different will be the commotion then, when not one people merely, but the whole world will be summoned to the tribunal of God. Nor will the living only be convoked, but even the dead will be called forth from their graves. (133) Nay more, a commandment must be given to dry bones and dust that, resuming their former appearance and reunited to the spirit, they come forth straightway as living men into the presence of Christ.

                  The dead shall rise What he had declared generally as to all, he now explains particularly as to the living and the dead. This distinction, therefore, is simply an exposition of the foregoing statement — that all will not die, but all will be changed “Those who have already died,” says he, “will rise again incorruptible.” See what a change there will be upon the dead! “Those,” says he, “who will be still alive will themselves also be changed.” You see then as to both. (134) You now then perceive how it is, that change will be common to all, but not sleep. (135)

                  When he says, We shall be changed, he includes himself in the number of those, who are to live till the advent of Christ. As it was now the last times, (1Jo 2:18,) that day (2Ti 1:18) was to be looked for by the saints every hour. At the same time, in writing to the Thessalonians, he utters that memorable prediction respecting the scattering (136) that would take place in the Church before Christ’s coming. (2Th 2:3.) This, however, does not hinder that he might, by bringing the Corinthians, as it were, into immediate contact with the event, associate himself and them with those who would at that time be alive.

                  (131) It is stated by Semlr, that some in the times of Jerome preferred ῥοπὟ, but Jerome himself preferred ῥιπὟ is derived from ῥέπω, to tend or incline to. It means force or impetus. It is used by Thucydides (v. 103) to mean the preponderance of a scale. In connection with ὀφθαλμοῦ, (the eye,) it would probably mean, a cast or inclination of the eye. ̔ΡιπὟ, (the common reading,) is derived from ῥίπτω, to throw. ̔ριπὟ ὀφθαλμοῦ is explained by Nyssenus, (as stated by Parkhurst,) to mean — επιμύσις —the shutting or twinkling of the eyelids.
                  (132) “Pour ce que quand on se resueille, on cleigne ainsi des yeux;” — “Because, when persons awake, they twinkle in this way with their eyes.”
                  (133) “The trumpet shall sound, (1Co_15:52,) says the prophetic teacher. And how startling, how stupendous the summons! Nothing equal to it, nothing like it, was ever heard through all the regions of the universe, or all the revolutions of time. When conflicting armies have discharged the bellowing artillery of war, or when victorious armies have shouted for joy of the conquest, the seas and shores have rung, the mountains and plains have echoed. But the shout of the archangel, and the trump of God, will resound from pole to poles — will pierce the center and shake the pillars of heaven. Stronger — stronger still — it will penetrate even the deepest recesses of the tomb! It will pour its amazing thunder into all those abodes of silence. The dead, the very dead, shall hear.” — Hervey’s Theron and Aspasio, volume 2 page 66. — Ed.
                  (134) “Voyla donc ques les viuans et les morts;” — “Mark then how it will be as to the living and the dead.”
                  (135) “Non pus le dormir, c’est a dire la mort;” — “Not sleep, that is to say, death.”
                  (136) “La dissipation horrible;” — “The dreadful scattering.”
                  Another words, Paul is declaring that it will come to pass that those who will be found alive in the latter day will not descend into that corruption of the grave, but will be renewed with a sudden change, which change is very necessary. And he further states that the certain enjoying of the benefit and victory of Christ, is deferred to that latter time. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

                  God bless,
                  William
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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by William View Post
                    We shall not indeed all sleep. Here there is no difference in the Greek manuscripts
                    That shows Calvin was only familiar with the Majority texts. Most of the older Greek texts do not say "We shall not all sleep". But, Calvin was familiar with the Latin texts that also do not say "We shall not all sleep." At some point, a copyist moved the word "not" in the sentence between "[not] all sleep" and "[not] all be changed". Which direction the "not" moved is the question. Calvin would reasonably choose the Majority texts over the Latin texts, even though the Latin texts are based on older Greek texts, a translation is still an inherently imprecise copy. Modern scholars (many of whom don't believe in inerrancy, or even Christianity) generally favor the older texts over the Majority, but here they go with the Majority. They reason as Calvin, that someone probably changed the text to make it more satisfying, even though they modern scholars are familiar with the older texts. Modern scholars follow the rule that more difficult readings are to be favored, on the presumption that easier readings result from scribes trying to smooth over the text.

                    Regardless of the "not", 1 Corinthians 15 labors for many verses building the case that we all will die, such as v36 You foolish person! What you sow [your body] does not come to life unless it dies. Or, v22 which flat out says we "all die" in every Greek and Latin manuscript. We have 51 verses of the chapter building the case that we all die, all must die, to be resurrected, and be given imperishable bodies. And, then for Paul to suddenly say we won't all die comes out of no place and is inconsistent with the text. V52 is the only verse in the entire Bible that might say we won't all die (another verse in Thessalonians 4 might be interpreted to imply that we won't all die).

                    Calvin was an amil who did't believe in a pretrib Rapture. He did believe in a Second Coming at which time the saints alive would not die. That may be the case, but it has really nothing to do with the ridiculous pretrib Rapture teaching that we have today. But, my preference is to understand Paul to mean something other than there will be people who won't die. Maybe he did say "we shall not all sleep" but his meaning isn't what some think it is.

                    We will all die. In the past, death has shown to be a fool everyone who has doubted they would die.
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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Cornelius View Post

                      That shows Calvin was only familiar with the Majority texts. Most of the older Greek texts do not say "We shall not all sleep". But, Calvin was familiar with the Latin texts that also do not say "We shall not all sleep." At some point, a copyist moved the word "not" in the sentence between "[not] all sleep" and "[not] all be changed". Which direction the "not" moved is the question. Calvin would reasonably choose the Majority texts over the Latin texts, even though the Latin texts are based on older Greek texts, a translation is still an inherently imprecise copy. Modern scholars (many of whom don't believe in inerrancy, or even Christianity) generally favor the older texts over the Majority, but here they go with the Majority. They reason as Calvin, that someone probably changed the text to make it more satisfying, even though they modern scholars are familiar with the older texts. Modern scholars follow the rule that more difficult readings are to be favored, on the presumption that easier readings result from scribes trying to smooth over the text.

                      Regardless of the "not", 1 Corinthians 15 labors for many verses building the case that we all will die, such as v36 You foolish person! What you sow [your body] does not come to life unless it dies. Or, v22 which flat out says we "all die" in every Greek and Latin manuscript. We have 51 verses of the chapter building the case that we all die, all must die, to be resurrected, and be given imperishable bodies. And, then for Paul to suddenly say we won't all die comes out of no place and is inconsistent with the text. V52 is the only verse in the entire Bible that might say we won't all die (another verse in Thessalonians 4 might be interpreted to imply that we won't all die).

                      Calvin was an amil who did't believe in a pretrib Rapture. He did believe in a Second Coming at which time the saints alive would not die. That may be the case, but it has really nothing to do with the ridiculous pretrib Rapture teaching that we have today. But, my preference is to understand Paul to mean something other than there will be people who won't die. Maybe he did say "we shall not all sleep" but his meaning isn't what some think it is.

                      We will all die. In the past, death has shown to be a fool everyone who has doubted they would die.




                      There was no such thing as a "pre-trib rapture" when Calvin was alive as that was hundreds of years before Darby was even born and had a chance to invent it.

                      But if those who are alive when Jesus comes do indeed die, it will be but for an instant.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by thereselittleflower View Post
                        But if those who are alive when Jesus comes do indeed die, it will be but for an instant.
                        That's one possibility I thought Paul might mean. "Sleep" (waiting for resurrection) is what we do after we die. To be transformed in an instant would be discarding the perishable bodies (death) and being given imperishable bodies, without "sleep" in between. At the resurrection, those alive won't sleep because the resurrection has already come. They may not sleep, but they will die. Each of us is appointed to die. Hebrews 9:27


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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Cornelius View Post

                          That's one possibility I thought Paul might mean. "Sleep" (waiting for resurrection) is what we do after we die. To be transformed in an instant would be discarding the perishable bodies (death) and being given imperishable bodies, without "sleep" in between. At the resurrection, those alive won't sleep because the resurrection has already come. They may not sleep, but they will die. Each of us is appointed to die. Hebrews 9:27



                          I think though we can become too overly literal in our approach to scripture.
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                          • #28
                            Shame these three people are no longer active on the forum. Thread has been reopened.

                            God bless,
                            William
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                            • #29
                              Darby didn't invent dispensationalism. It has been there all along. Our interpretation of it has proven to be the problem. We just need to give it a new name and describe it correctly. Obviously, no one will do that. No one. It will just result in more and more debate. Sad.
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