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The Betrayer

English: "The Judas Kiss", (Mark 14:...

“The Judas Kiss”, (Mark 14:45) by Gustave Doré. Judas kisses Jesus in order to betray him to the guards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Gerry Legister

The payment was made before Jesus was arrested, and the transaction was carried out during the time of the last supper. The Devil put a wicked desire into the heart of Judas the betrayer, the idea of how he could foolishly betray his master to the other side, and get some money for doing it. What was he going to do with that thirty pieces of silver?

Here was a man who had wander off the path into a muddy lane, where he began to slip backwards very quickly, that is what is known as backsliding, wandering away from truth into covetousness, and into unlawful deeds that would eventually bring his downfall.

Jesus was betrayed with the kiss of death

Judas goes away to the high priest and commit a treasonous crime, he gets himself entangled in the web of deceit. And while all this is treachery is taking place with Judas. Jesus and the other disciples are in the garden of Gethsemane, and being in agony Jesus is praying earnestly for the father to remove the task away, but of course the request is denied, and not long after Jesus finish praying, he could see torch light in the night making its way towards him, as they came nearer, he could recognize Judas immediately, that he was the betrayer who came with a salutation.

The moment that Jesus was betrayed by Judas, immediately the conspiracy gain momentum.  

The betrayer is a person whose action takes no account of the consequences their offenses will cost, to the lives of others. For their conscience is only geared up for their own self-gratification, and they are looking for what they can get most out of a situation. Judas was blinded not by the darkness of the night, but by the deterioration of his conceited soul.

For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Mark 8:37

In your lifetime you may have come across individuals who had made promises to you, but then afterwards broke those same promise and then betray your secret to others, would you ever trust that person again? Even if they came back to you, pleading for mercy and forgiveness, would you be brave enough to trust that person again? And make them feel comfortable around your dinner table?

For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many grief’s. 1 Timothy 6:10

The love for money will make you betray your very best friends, just so that you can come out looking better than them. But at what cost to yourself? Greedy people bring quick ruin upon their lives, and they are easily taken in by bribes, and the tools they uses to get what they want, later becomes meaningless to them.

Jesus said to him, ‘Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss’? Luke22:48

So if riches increase, and most likely they will if you are hardworking and industrious, but the wisdom of sensible thinking is that, it is an unwise thing to put your heart upon riches, because wealth easily grow wings and fly away quickly.

Judas was dipping into the dish and taking out what he could for himself, I don’t think he really was interested in the message that Jesus was trying to convey to the other disciples. And Judas had any intention of going the distance, because all he could see was the thirty pieces of silver.

Which was the going price for a slave, he got paid for Jesus, just like a slave owner would get pay whenever they sold a person as merchandise. In the last super Judas was dipping his hand into the dish when Jesus spoke to him about the intentions that were clouding his mind, and he looked for the opportunity to mark the unenlightened moment of history.

What was on Judas mind?

Satan had entered Judas mind with dollar signs, so we could say that he wasn’t in his right mind, especially if a demon had entered into him, which was not there before, but let us think for a moment, his barriers must have been down in the first place for him to allow Satan to use him in the way that he did.

He worked up inside of his heart corrupt thoughts and he entertained them for a while before he carried them out. There was nothing good on the mind of Judas, he had words smoother than butter, but war was in his heart, and he betrayed Jesus with the kiss of death.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Proverbs 27:6

Keep in mind what the scripture said about Judas, and in what light he was placed, which suggest that the evil things that was on his mind, may have resembled the kind of trickery that the serpent used on Eve to get her to eat the forbidden fruit.

The serpent, like Judas, was a villain that came up from behind the dark screen, and none of the disciples had discern the spirit in which Judas was operating, there was nothing out of the ordinary that would lead them to suspect Judas of any deceitfulness, and why would they suspect the chief treasurer? But Jesus pinned down the motive of the betrayer around the last supper table.

There are some things that money cannot buy, one of them is salvation, and no amount of money can save a person in the moment of death, there is more to life than the pursuit of money. In reminiscent of the finest moments that Jesus spent with his disciples. Many years later, some of those disciples looked back over on that dark night in Gethsemane with tears in their eyes.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/christianity-articles/the-betrayer-7131684.html

About the Author

I love creative writing, it is just a wonderful way of expressing myself. I have been writing from a tender age, and therefore it gives me a deep sense of satisfaction. To share my articles with others. Writing is a treasured passion inside of me that will never die. I hope one day I can say something that will help others to appreciate the gift of life. In a career spanning over 20 years in Pastoral work. Gerry has decided it is time to enhance his spiritual outlook on broader subjects, and has recently collaborated on a new spiritual manuscript with a friend, compiling and presenting a thorough research work on the book of Revelation.


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Is Atheism Scientific?

All Giza Pyramids in one shot. Русский: Все пи...

All Giza Pyramids in one shot. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Richard Aberdeen

No one knows for certain who designed Stonehenge or the pyramids of Egypt or, exactly how they were constructed.  Yet, no archaeologist or historian has ever proposed they appeared on their own, without input from designers or builders.

Such universal assumption is the most likely conclusion given the known evidence and, much of what science ‘believes’ is based on similar assumptions.  Even though people can create things that can repair and even create other things by themselves, all known evidence indicates no finite living being or object can exist without a creator.

Descartes first principle of philosophy, science and reason states:  ‘Accept nothing as true that is not self-evident’.  The history of science tracing prior to ancient Greece on into the present, is a history of the most likely conclusion based on the current known evidence.

Just as all evidence indicates for every action there is a re-action, likewise all evidence indicates nothing can be in motion by its own volition.  All known evidence indicates a universe filled with ‘zillions’ of complex parts within ever greater complexity of parts and, containing intelligent finite beings of conscience and conscious awareness, requires Creative Intelligence.  Thus, the correct postulate of true science is ‘Eternal Creator(s)’ until proven otherwise.

Pretending that ‘science’ is somehow different than belief in God is an obvious lie.  Just as scientists ‘believe’ in black holes and invisible light based on mirrored evidence, much more so, mirrored evidence of a Creator(s) is overwhelmingly self-evident.  And, just as if someone claims the earth is cube-shaped or, A2 B2 does not equal C2, the burden of proof remains on atheists, because all known evidence indicates the opposite conclusion.

According to Jesus, as well as many historical scientists and sages of note, basic to wisdom, education and survival itself, is to attempt to sort out what is actually true, from whatever fiction the cultures and religions we are born into claim is true.  As Jesus implied, if we do not know what is true, we have no hope of being free.

Believing the earth is square doesn’t change the reality of the shape of the earth.  What is true about the earth remains the same, regardless of what we believe or, fail to believe.  Whether we categorize something as ‘science’, ‘religion’, ‘history’ or anything else, what is actually true remains the same.

Someone can’t just assume a steel ball and feather will fall at the same rate of speed and call it a ‘scientific theory’, without significant supporting evidence.  There is nothing more unscientific and irrational than pretending there is no God, because all known evidence indicates the opposite conclusion.

If someone says they do not know if there’s a God, perhaps they just need to get out and smell the roses once in a while.  However, if someone says there is no Creator, they are by all scientific and  other rational default, plainly a liar, because there is no evidence to support such an absurd position.

Is atheism scientific?  You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for this article:
http://www.freedomtracks.com/500/atheism.html

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/spirituality-articles/is-atheism-scientific-1334976.html

About the Author

Richard Aberdeen

Nashville author, songwriter and homeless advocate.

www.RichardAberdeen.com


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Spiritual Growth: a Paradigm of Modern Times

Paradise: Ascent of the Blessed

Paradise: Ascent of the Blessed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Kaz Domagalski

We are all spirits inside a body. To enable us to realize this great truth is to believe in the opposite that has been taught for years, specifically that we are bodies with a soul. Explained in a different way, we are all souls, being of spirit that have utilized bodies so that we may grow.  To grow spiritually is to recognize these interconnections. The difficult part is to understand that to grow spiritually in a world enveloped by power, money, and influence is a mammoth task. Modern amenities such as electronic apparatus, gadgets, and tools as well as entertainment media through television, magazines, and the web have cultivated us all to confine our attention mostly to physical needs and desires. As a result, our perception of self-worth and self-meaning are at best confused. How can we even begin to strike a balance between the material and spiritual aspects of our lives?

To grow spiritually we need to look within ourselves.

Soul-searching goes beyond recalling the events that happened in a day, week, or month. You need to review intimately and reflect on your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and motivations. Periodically examining your experiences, the choices you made, the relationships you encourage, and the events you engage in provide useful insights on your life goals, on the good habits you sustain and the bad habits you need to abandon. Furthermore, it gives you suggestions on how you should act, react, and conduct yourself in the midst of any given situation. Like any skill, self-examination can be learned. It does take a degree of courage and willingness to seek the truths that lie within. Strive to be objective, forgiving of yourself, and focus on  areas for improvement.

To grow spiritually is to evolve.

Our understanding of spirituality change as we come to see others as potential teachers. Religion and science have conflicting views on matters of the human spirit. Religion regards people as spiritual beings temporarily living on Earth, while science views the spirit as just one dimension of an individual. Mastery of the inner self is a recurring theme in both Christian (Western) and Islamic (Eastern) teachings. The requirements of the body are recognized but positioned under the needs of the spirit. Values, morality, rules, beliefs, experiences, and good works provide the master plan to ensure the growth of the spiritual being. When you have fulfilled the basic physical and emotional needs, spiritual or existential needs emerge next. Achieving each need leads to the complete development of the individual. Perhaps the difference between these two religions and psychology is in the meaning of self-development. Christianity and Islam believe that self-development is a means toward serving God, while the psychologists view is that self-development is an end by itself.

To grow spiritually is to search for interpretation.

Religions that believe in the existence of God such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam presume that the purpose of human life is to serve the Creator of all things. Several  psychological theories submit that we ultimately give meaning to our lives. Whether we believe that life\’s meaning is pre-determined or self-directed, to grow in spirit is to recognize that we do not merely exist. We do not know the meaning of our lives at birth, but we gain knowledge and wisdom from our relationships with people and from our actions and reactions to the situations we find ourselves in. As we discover this meaning, there are certain beliefs and values that we reject and some we affirm.  Our lives have purpose. This purpose puts all our physical, emotional, and intellectual capabilities into use. It sustains us during trying times giving us something to look forward to, perhaps a goal to achieve or a destination to reach. A person without purpose or substance is like a rudderless ship drifting out at sea.

To grow spiritually is to recognize relevance.

Religions stress the concept of our significance to all creation and as a result we call other people ‘brothers and sisters’ even if there are no direct blood relations. Likewise, divinity centred religions such as Christianity and Islam speak of the relationship between humans and a higher being. On the other hand, science clarifies our link to other living things through the evolution theory. This relevancy is clearly seen in the concept of ecology, the interaction between living and non-living things. In psychology, connectivity is a characteristic of self-perfection, the highest human aspiration. Recognizing this paradigm makes you more humble and respectful of people, animals, plants, and things in nature. These beliefs and attitudes towards a particular dimension in your life makes you appreciate everything around you. It moves you to go beyond your comfort zone and reach out to other people, a necessary shift before you can grow spiritually and succeed at whatever you are trying to accomplish.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/meditation-articles/spiritual-growth-a-paradigm-of-modern-times-7068763.html

About the Author

Kaz Domagalski has been involved with internet business development since 1998 and resides in the UK. He is passionately aware of the need to coach and help people who are ready to discover their internet path to abundance and prosperity, helping to solve the obstacles to your success. Get more free reports at http://www.cloudnineprofits.com


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Failure Changes Us, But Sometimes We Fail to Change

Image via Blogger

By PK Christian Writer

I am a slow learner. All the basic things in life that a boy my age is supposed to know, I learned them quiet late.

Basic bathroom rules, tying shoes laces, drinking milk in a glass instead of a baby bottle, and so on.

I was not the physically proficient as well, as far as sports were concerned.

Why am I talking about all this today? Because I feel the need to put some things in perspective. The mind can process only so much information, and hence it is better to write it down.

Life is not going smooth. As time passes, I am realizing that it isn’t supposed to go smooth. And yet we are expected to stay calm and keep moving forward.

I still remember the day when I woke up during the school holidays and sat at the breakfast table. As I was eating, my parents broke the news that they collected my result from school, and that I had failed the 9th grade.

I didn’t know to how respond. Neither did my parents. This mutual numbness (for a lack of a better term) continues to this day whenever we are faced with bad news.

It was sad to have flunked, but even worse was the fact that I couldn’t bring myself to understand the situation. Was I supposed to apologize, grieve, or hurt myself? I couldn’t  bring myself to open up emotionally, and hurting yourself physically requires courage, which I obviously lack.

But then the best thing happened to me. I was born again.

To cut the long story short, I was experiencing a change in life as started my personal journey in the Christian faith.

I found something that gave direction to my life and I was able to push myself through school, while also managing to get couple of other personal issues resolved .All the while, I engaged in worship, research, debate, and fellowship.

Things went on like this for another 5 years, and then I woke up one day to realize that we are going through a financial crisis. Once again, I did not how to react. The numbness returned.

Anger and frustration started boiling inside, and eventually it all burst out. My emotions got the better of me, and this changed my relationship with the people closest to me.

Today, I have put on more weight than I had when I started my life in Christ, even though the Bible calls gluttony a sin. I also experience occasional bouts of anger and depression. I am also exhausted, both mentally and physically, which is why you may notice some typos despite the fact I did proof-read the article.

It as if failure once changed me for the better, but now I have failed to change myself.

But there are other things that happened in this same period:

  • I developed a personal collection of books on topics like evolution, astro-physics, comparative religion, history, poetry, psychology, and of course, Christian theology. Currently I am reading Jacobo Timerman’s The Longest War and The Greek Myths by Robert Graves.
  • Still an undergraduate, I am earning more than $400 per month in a country marred by unemployment, and where the minimum wage is around $120.

What is the moral of the story? At 22, I am too young to make a learned comment on what pattern a person’s life takes. But what I do know is that as my faith changes me for the better, I have not grown immune to failing. New challenges will influence me, but God will continue to make his presence known.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. I also started this blog around the same period, and today is it’s 2nd anniversary. In the coming weeks, I will not only post new articles, but also translate some selected posts into Urdu.Click here to subscribe.

About the Author

Suleman, M. John – I am a writer who creates content for clients (and myself as well). I think, read, and surf a lot, but my strong areas of research and writing include religion, history, literature, and online content creation (especially ghostwriting).


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Religious New Year Values for Christians, Muslims and Jews

Symbol of the three Abrahamic religions.

Symbol of the three Abrahamic religions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Rabbi Allen S. Maller

Each year millions of people make new year resolutions to improve their lives. This autumn is an especially good time to do so, because three ancient New Year festivals fall in the 99 days between Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year (September 25, 2014), the Muslim New Year (October 25, 2114) and the Christian New Year (January 1, 2015).

And the simplest way to improve your future is to improve your attitude to the present by learning to down play the media’s constant emphases on all that is bad and elevate your attention to all that is good in your life.

For example, American highway fatalities rose during the 50′s and 60′s until they peaked in 1972, at 54,589. Since then they have declined by more than 40% even though the number of cars and drivers has more than doubled.

If traffic deaths occurred at the same rate in 2012 as they did in 1950; over 180,000 more people would have died in the U.S. last year. This fantastic achievement in increasing traffic safety has gone largely unheralded.

Why does the news media devote so much attention to bad news and so little attention to good news? Why do people seem more interested in the occurrence violence than the absence of violence?

The Abrahamic religions teach us that we should count our blessings.
Politicians and the news media teach us to count every single thing that is wrong; everywhere in the world.

How can people keep their optimism, sanity and balance in our media driven democracy? A religious answer for Jews, and a good way for all others, is to say a hundred blessings every day.

A person who can sincerely voice a hundred blessings a day will feel truly blessed.

The best way of influencing yourself to think positively about your live is to learn the importance of saying blessings for the many things we experience, both in our ordinary daily and weekly life, and at occasional extraordinary times.

Thus, it is a Mitsvah for a Jew, and everyone else, to say blessings at every meal over food and drink.

Every morning when we awaken it is a Mitsvah to say several blessings because various parts of our mind and body still work. There are blessings for daily prayer and the weekly celebration of the Sabbath.

Their are also many blessings to say for special occasions. The rabbis urged everyone to thank God for as many blessings as we can, since the more blessings you can say, the more blessed you are.

Indeed, Jewish tradition maintains that everyone who is able to say 100 blessings a day is truly blessed. Among the special occasion blessings there is a blessing for seeing a non-Jewish sage and another one for seeing a Jewish sage.

There is a blessing for hearing good news and another one for hearing bad news in accordance with Rabbi Huna’s view that we need both joy and suffering in order to experience the ‘very good’ of the sixth day of creation. Here are a few examples of blessings for special occasions:

On beholding fragrant trees: Praised be Adonai our God, Ruler of space and time, creator of fragrant trees.

On seeing trees in blossom: Praised be Adonai our God, Ruler of space and time, whose world lacks nothing we need, who has fashioned goodly creatures and lovely trees that enchant the heart.

On seeing an unusual looking person: Praised be Adonai our God, Ruler of space and time, who makes every person unique.

On seeing evidence of charitable efforts: Praised be Adonai our God, ruler of space and time, who clothes the naked.

On seeing people who overcome adversity: Praised be Adonai our God, ruler of space and time, who gives strength to the weary.

This last one is one of my favorites, because it sanctifies the human value of being non-judgmental in most areas; and the Divine value of plural opinions and human physical variety.

According to the Talmud (Berakhot 58a) when you see a large crowd of people you should say: Praised be the Sage of enigmas, for just as no one person’s opinion is the same as another, so are their faces different from one another.

The best way to preserve your sanity and balance in today’s world is to make a New Year’s resolution to count your blessings every day.

Rabbi Maller’s web site is: rabbimaller.com


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True Religion

15th century depiction of Cain and Abel, Specu...

15th century depiction of Cain and Abel, Speculum Humane Salvationis, Germany. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By PK Christian Writer

Now all of us know there are many religions in the world, and each one is further divided into schisms, factions, and sects. Christianity has its denominations, Islam has its sectarian differences, and even Buddhism is divided into different schools of thought.

Moreover, there are tons of ways to classify these religions. So you can have “Eastern & Western religions”, or “Monotheistic & Pantheistic religions” so on and so forth. But I suggest that there are only 2 kinds of religions in this world.

One is the God-centered and the other is the man-centered religion. We also have to name these two religions, so let’s call the God-centered religions the “religion of Abel” and the man-centered religion the “religion of Cain”.

The story of the Cain and Abel is popular worldwide. The Qur’an says:

“Recite to them the truth of the story of the two sons of Adam. Behold! they each presented a sacrifice (to God): It was accepted from one, but not from the other. Said the latter: “Be sure I will slay thee.” “Surely,” said the former, “God doth accept of the sacrifice of those who are righteous.” Sura 5:27

So here are two brothers who both worship the same God. We see that even since the inception of humanity, religion has been a divisive issue where people always have differences in beliefs and practice. But the question is, why did God accept one offering and the reject the other?

The Qur’an does not give us the details. So let us move to the Torah and the books of Jewish scholars. What do we find there?

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. (Genesis 4)

So what was it about the meat that God liked it instead of fruits?

I asked the questions in my Sunday school class and received some interesting answers. I was told that “The fruits were old “and that is why God didn’t like them!

English: Sacrifice of Cain and Abel

Sacrifice of Cain and Abel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some people even suggest that Cain did not bring the tithe, the 10%. That is why God did not like it. But obviously, scriptures do not provide these details.

The fruits symbolize man’s own efforts, and this is in essence what a man-centered religion is all about. On the other hand, when Abel offered a blood sacrifice, he was admitting the fact there is nothing a man can do that would please the Almighty. In other words, it is not my efforts that make God happy.

Centuries later, Jesus told us a story:

10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God (Luke 18)

Those who show God their “fruits” will leave the alter empty handed, but those who admit that they can do nothing to please a Holy God stand justified in His presence.

However, that’s not the only difference between the religion of Abel and the religion of Cain. Man-centered religion is the religion of hate, whereas the God-centered religion works in the best interests on humanity.

Have you ever realized that the first murder in the history of the world was done in the name of faith? What Adam did to Cain is what religious people have doing all the time.

So instead of worshiping God hypocritically, we should rather sing with U2:

She stands with a naked flame

I stand with the sons of Cain

Burned by the fire of love

English: Cain and Abel; as in Genesis 4; illus...

Cain and Abel; as in Genesis 4; illustration from the Sunrays quarterly (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is also interesting to note what the books of Jews says on the Cain-Abel episode:

We find it said in the case of Cain who murdered his brother, The voice of thy brother’s bloods crieth (Genesis 4.10). It is not said here blood in the singular, but bloods in the plural, that is, his own blood and the blood of his seed. Man was created single in order to show that to him who kills a single individual it shall be reckoned that he has slain the whole race, but to him who preserves the life of a single individual it is counted that he hath preserved the whole race.(Mishnah Sanhedrin, 4.5).

This is the value the God-centered faith places upon human life. Someone asked Jesus, “Which is the greatest commandment?”, and he replied:

‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12

So what is the true religion? That we don’t boast of our own religiosity, but rather serve humanity in love.

If you liked this article, subscribe to the blog for free. 

©PK Christian Writer 2012-2014

Author bio:

I am a writer who creates content for clients (and myself as well). I think, read, and surf a lot. My strong areas of research and writing include religion, history, literature, and online content creation (especially blogging and ghostwriting).


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The story behind The Bible

The Gutenberg Bible displayed by the United St...

The Gutenberg Bible displayed by the United States Library of Congress, demonstrating printed pages as a storage medium. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mini review: An Introduction to the Bible by J. W. Rogerson

This introduction to the historical aspects of the Bible should be required reading for every religious person who talks about “The Word” without ever really thinking about what they mean.

Shows how the Bible was put together by (mostly) men over the centuries. God may have overseen the entire process, but the Bible didn’t drop down directly from heaven.

Here’s a freely online revised edition, with minor updates to the original >> https://archive.org/details/J.w.Rogerson-AnIntroductionToTheBibleRevisedEdition

—MC

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