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Dealing With Denial

I am spotless!

Image by Vanny via Flickr

By: Domenic Marbaniang

One issue that leaders face continually is the issue of denial. “Denial” may be defined as the act of asserting that something alleged is not true. Such assertion may either be verbal or behavioral, or both.  Psychiatrists refer to it as a kind of defense mechanism in which a person denies the reality of certain facts in order to avoid the discomfort associated with them. The denial may be of the reality of a fact or of the seriousness of it, or of both. In many cases, it also appears as a mechanism to avoid responsibility in a given situation. Though, lying is a direct form of denial, there are still others like false justification, caricaturizing, and minimizing that also fall into the category of denial. In this article, we’ll look at denial with regard to leadership situations.

Few examples of denial are as follows:

  • Adam denied his responsibility in the crime at Eden. He projected the blame on Eve, instead, to somehow escape divine censure.
  • Pharaoh denied the greatness of Jehovah despite being struck by the plagues. His political obsession with keeping Israelites as slaves made him minimize the seriousness of God’s command.
  • Saul refused to recognize the choice of David by God for the throne. He imagined that, somehow, what had been prophesied against him wouldn’t happen and that he would retain the throne.
  • The worshippers of Baal kept on hurting themselves in hope that their god would respond.
  • Gehazi denied being elsewhere when he had really gone after Naaman. His memory somehow denied the prophetic ability of Elisha as he succumbed to greed.
  • The Israelites kept doing things against the Law, despite the warnings of the prophets, saying “the Temple is here, the Temple is here”. They were denying God’s definition of holiness and used the Temple as a shield behind which they could do their works of darkness.
  • The people in the days of Haggai refused to build the Temple since they didn’t consider it to be very important.
  • The Pharisees and the Sadducees rejected the claims of Christ despite Scriptural and providential (miraculous) proofs.
  • Peter denied any relationship with Christ in face of persecution.
  • Felix refused to listen to Paul anymore when he began to speak about things pertaining to God’s Kingdom.

Often times, the act of denial leads to a kind of self-deception in which memory itself begins to get conformed to the false tendencies of the will. In such cases, a return is almost impossible since the imagination has already overshadowed reasonability. While denial may be looked at as a defense mechanism of the organism; yet, one must be careful to not deny the role of will in deciding for or against any ideas arising from a situation. One must remember that falsehood is never beneficial at the end.

Voluntary and Involuntary Denial

Voluntary denial refers to that denial which is willful and persistent. It persists in falsehood despite evidences contrary to it. Involuntary denial refers to that in which the decision of the will is absent or delayed. It is mechanical in nature and often is an initial response through a defense mechanism of the organism that seeks to avoid the unpleasant. For instance, when someone hears of the death of a beloved one, the initial response might be disbelief or denial. Such initial response of the organism prevents against hasty shock and might be preparative and directive in the ascertaining of truth.  Such denial doesn’t fall under the purview of morality since the will has not yet been brought into rational accountability in it.

Hamartiological Analysis

Spiritual Roots

In John 8: 44, Jesus declares the Pharisees to be the offspring of the devil. He says, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (RSV).

Obviously, the devil was not their genetic father but a father in the sense of their being part of the rebellion of falsehood began by him. Falsehood and lying are natural to the devil since, by rejection of the truth of God, he has turned his back on all truth-values. The demonic kingdom operates basically on falsehood and influences the kingdoms of the world to do so. Worldly politics, religions, and businesses use falsehood as an instrument to gain and retain power over human minds. Jesus categorizes all such leadership practices as demonic in origin. Tendencies towards falsehood are sharp in any intellect that refuses the rule of the Spirit of God.

The Pharisees were incapable of acknowledging Jesus as the Christ of God because their inclinations were in favor of the devil’s desires – “Your will is to do your father’s desires,” He said.  All rejection of God-given leadership is an instance of demonic rebellion (1Jn. 3:12; Jude 1:11; 1Sam. 19:9ff).  Even within Christian leadership, Paul asks Timothy to not include a novice as a candidate for leadership; for it is possible that he become lifted up in pride and fall into the condemnation of the devil (1Tim. 3:6). Similarly, Christians who haven’t matured and are still carnal can’t properly accept or acknowledge the value of the other in the family of God since they are ruled by worldly standards of acceptance and egotistic desires for self-aggrandizement (cf. 1 Cor. 3:1ff) after the manner of the devil (Isa. 14:12-14).

Spirits of Deception

The tendency to reject demonic influence in hamartiological analysis (or analysis of sinful instances) is a mark left by secular theologies. Of course, there is the danger of extremism in both cases and one need to draw a line of balance. In the preface of his The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis writes:

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”

The Bible clearly states that “in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (1Tim. 4:1,2). The warning is against those who renounce the truth by embracing falsehood. This is one way in which cults arise claiming hold over some particularly distinct truth unsupported by the Scriptures. The elements of deception in the world that keep people blinded from the truth of God also fall into the purview of the kingdom of darkness.

The Bible, therefore, exhorts one to be watchful (1Pt. 5:8), never give an occasion to the devil through prideful or resentful anger (Eph. 4:26), and to beware of the wiles and deception of the devil (Eph. 6:11; 2 Cor. 11:13-15) who attempts to destroy the Body of Christ.

Selfish Carnal Passions

Jude talks about mockers in the last days (those who deride the things and offices of God) as those “who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit” (Jude 19). The psalmist draws a picture of their departure from truth in Psalm 1:1:

  • Step 1: Walking after counsel of the ungodly: Placing worldly wisdom and views above the Scripture.
  • Step 2: Standing in the way of sinners: Expressing one’s approval of or neutral opinion regarding things that the Bible expressly calls “sin”.
  • Step 3: Sitting in the seat of the scornful: Assuming the position and the role of the rebel, the derider and opposer of all God’s truth.

Jesus taught His disciples to pray “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one” because it’s evident that the enemy of our souls can easily use situations in life to distort reality and confuse decisions. Such followers of sinful flesh easily rebel against all truth. The temptation to give in slowly to the current of worldly opinion is strong and leaders must beware of that.

Dealing with Denial in the Self

Jesus gave the first code of examination when He stipulated,  “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matt. 7:1). He told the hypocrite to first remove the beam in his eye before he could remove the mote out of his brother’s eye (v. 5). Self-examination is crucial for a leader’s spiritual health.

Following are some questions that can help ascertain if one is a denier:

  1. Do I try to justify some action of mine that my conscience accuses me of (1Jn. 1:8-10)?
  2. Am I angry with someone for some fault of mine (Gen. 4:5-8)?
  3. Do I feel threatened by someone’s progress (1Sam. 18:7-9)?
  4. Do I have doubts regarding the Bible, God, and ministry (Ex. 32:1ff; Pro.30:9; 1Tim. 4:13-16)?
  5. Am I doing or saying things to make people think of me what is not really true of me (2Cor. 12:6)?
  6. Do I regard the Biblical warnings as not very serious, particularly in connection with my situation (Jer. 7:10)?
  7. Do I consider someone as inferior to or less important than me (Phil. 2:3)?
  8. Do I try to defame or slander someone (behind his back or openly) without regard to any proof in favor of him/her (Prov. 19:5,9)?
  9. Do I wish to be safe, regardless of what happens to others (2Sam. 23:16)?

Following are some ways to deal with denial in one’s self:

  1. Examine oneself in the light of Scriptures (1 Cor. 9:27; Ps.1:2).
  2. Confess and renounce all sin and false justifications (1Jn.1:9).
  3. Be committed to the truth in every situation (2Cor.13:8).
  4. Deny self and seek to please Christ alone in every situation (Matt. 16:24; Gal. 1:10).
  5. Encourage others and invest in them for the glory of God (1Thess.5:11).
  6. Confront sin in others; this guards against compromise (Eph. 5:11; 1Cor. 5:2; 1Tim.5:20).
  7. Make prayer, hearing from God, and fellowship a priority (1Thess. 5:17; Prov. 28:5; Heb.10:25).

Dealing with Denial in Others

One must beware of the following things when confronting denial in others:

  1. Do not be hasty in confrontation (Pro. 14:29; 29:20).
  2. Do not let hearsay cloud your opinion about the other. In fact, do not even let appearance influence your view of the other person for in doing that you can be partner in evil (Jn. 7:24; Pro. 17:4).
  3. Before confronting someone, make sure that you’re first of all in the right (Matt. 7:1-5).
  4. Do not confront unless you’re certain that you need to (Acts 24:25).
  5. Do not confront unless you’re confident that you’re equipped for it (1Tim. 3:16; Tit.1:9).
  6. Listen to the Holy Spirit before you’re going to confront and speak (Jn. 16:7, 8).

The steps of confrontation may be as follows:

  1. Recognize the individuality, dignity, and freedom of the other as given by God (Gen. 1:26).
  2. Be updated about the denier’s latest position. This is important since it’s possible that the denier might already have been feeling remorseful and has repented of his falsehood. One way to do that is to ask questions in that direction. Jesus provides a classic approach to this when He confronts Peter without talking about the three denials he made. On the contrary, He just asks him if he loved Him more than the other things; and when he replied in the affirmative, Christ asked him to work for Him (Jn.21:15-17).
  3. Be confident of your authority from God, not to destroy but to construct (2Cor. 13:10).
  4. Be gentle and caring (Matt.11:29;  2Tim. 2:24; Jas. 3:17)
  5. Only proceed if you’re sure that the person is open to reason, to a fair discussion (Isa. 1:18; Jas.3:17; Prov. 1:5; 10:8).
  6. Remember that God is the one in total control of the situation (Acts 5:34).
  7. Gently show the person the facts of his/her situation and give space for his/her approval or denial of them (Jn. 4:9-19).
  8. Remember that the person reserves the final decision to accept or reject the truth and God oversees it all (Prov. 16:1,2).
  9. Provide answers as long as you’re sure that the denier is honest about his/her questions (1Pt. 3:15).
  10. If you’re unable to answer sufficiently, do not fail to express your disapproval of falsehood in any case (Jn. 9:24-33).
  11. Seek the help of other leaders if necessary (Matt. 18:17).
  12. Aim at restoration (2Cor. 2:4-11).

© Domenic Marbaniang, Published in BASILEIA, April 2009

About the Author

Dean of Post-Graduate Studies, Professor of Theology, Religions, and Missions, Author, Editor of Theological Journal, and Pastor

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/Dealing With Denial


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RENEW Your Mind: My Story

By Marshae

God showed me the importance of renewing my mind in 2012. This was all before I had a personal relationship with God. It all began the day my brother died on Jan 25. I had recently moved to Atlanta for a job as well as to fully engage into a sexual lifestyle. On the day of my brother’s death, I begin to go into a deep depression. By April, I’d lost my job and my cousin and I was falling behind on bills because of my depression.

I decided that I was going to kill myself that April. I guess I should take a second to backtrack so that you will understand where the depression came from. I lost both parents before 10, so I was extremely tired of death at this point and my childhood was not the greatest after losing my father. I felt all life was about was coming her to die, so why would I wait, let me just take my own life. The day I decided to do it, I’d just taken 4 sleeping pills (I’ll be honest, I still was scared to do it) and working to take more when my phone rang.

It was a friend of mine I had met when I first moved to Atlanta and became very close with, he knew the mind frame I was in and was practically begging me to listen to a sermon of a new Pastor he had heard. I decided to listen to it. I remember stating before I played the sermon, “I know I should give, I know I should love, I know I should forgive, tell me something I don’t know!” Let’s just say God answered that for me that day. The sermon was called “Whose Report will you Believe.”

I was barely able to finish the sermon because of the sleeping pills. I know I feel asleep after the sermon, but I immediately called him the next day of waking up. I had never heard so much wisdom in my life, I talked to him for two hours and then Pastor Otha of Lionheart Church, invited me to the Church. I went to a bible study and again so much wisdom was given I re-dedicated myself back to God that night. After church service I introduced myself to him and I told him: “I lost my job, I need a job, Can you help me?”
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His response was, “Give a person a fish, he eat for a day, Teach a person to fish, he eat for a lifetime, I’m going to teach you how to pray and manifest anything you need from God.” He showed me how to pray and explained a few things to me. That was in April. I received a part time job in May, but continued to do as instructed. In September 2012, every single thing I had prayed for came to past. There was not one thing I had on my list of things that I needed that God did not answer.

Not only did God give me my dream job but He also changed my life in every aspect. He truly did make me a new creature as the scripture says and the main concept of why this was possible was God showing me how to renew my mind daily in Him. There was a lot of things I had to unlearn and allow the Holy Spirit to show me. Because I was willing to learn these things God did some pretty amazing things in my life and He is still doing some amazing things. I am looking forward of all the amazing things He will continue to do. I pray that whoever reads this article, that you decide to renew your mind so that you may know the hope to which He called you to!

About the Author

Hello, My name is Marshae. I am the Founder of RENEW Your Mind Ministry and just trying to spread the gospel and education of God through as… (show bio)


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It Pays To Walk In Love Today

By Ngozi Nwoke

Is it worth walking in love? Some people think that walking in love is weakness and that they will get nothing in return for all their efforts. However, the truth is that those who enjoy the most are those who are walking in Love. This is because God’s attention is drawn to those who obey His commandments; and one of His commandments is that we walk in love – 1 John 4:21.

But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ – 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)

For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister – Hebrews 6:10 (NKJV)

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him… – 2 Chronicles 16:9 (NKJV)

It really pays to walk in love. God is love and He is looking for people through whom He can channel His love to men. And just like the saying goes, ‘the pipe that carries cold water is first cooled’, every channel of the love of God is first blessed with God’s blessings. Remember, the husband man who labours must be first to partake of the fruit, (2 Timothy 2:6)

The challenge is that some people consider only the answers to their prayers yet to come, as reward for their labor of love; meanwhile many other blessings, favour and healings, etc., had been showered on them. There are some things that money cannot buy but God is more than able to take care of them. God truly rewards His faithful followers, even with their desired answered prayers.

There are several scriptural examples of people who walked in love and were handsomely rewarded. We will look at a few examples:

Rahab – Joshua 2:1-21, 6:22-25

She hid the Israelite spies to Jericho and spared them from being killed. God rewarded her by sparing her life too and she ended up as one of the descendants of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Mordecai – Esther 6:1-11

He walked in love towards King Ahasuerus by exposing the evil planned against him and the King’s life was spared. God rewarded him greatly by honouring him before the whole kingdom at the very time evil was planned against him by Haman.

Dorcas – Acts 9:36-41

She showered great love on people, especially the widows, that when she died they refused to allow her remain dead. They sent for Peter whom God used to bring her back to life.

Cornelius – Acts 10:1-48

He gave much alms to the people, prayed to God always; and was of a good report among the nation of Jews. God saw his heart and his good works and decided to reward him not only with physical things but also with eternal life. While Peter was speaking, he and his household were saved and were baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

Jesus Christ – Philippians 2:5-11

Christ, our perfect example, suffered and gave His life for us all. And God gave Him a name above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee bows down and every tongue confesses that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Myself

My little contributions in people’s lives have been seriously rewarded. For example, I showed hospitality to some people some years back and I am still reaping the benefits. When I relocated back to my country where they were, they were all there to help me settle down quickly. I enjoyed awesome favour of God! I give God praise.

In conclusion, it pays to walk in love. God, who said we should not owe any man anything but love (Romans 13:8), does not owe. God certainly reward every form of love you show. Decide to walk in love, not minding the circumstances or what people will say, and God who sees in secret will reward you openly – Mathew 6:4.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/christianity-articles/it-pays-to-walk-in-love-today-6813278.html

About the Author

Ngozi Nwoke is a teacher and a counselor. She has a passion to teach people how to enjoy peace, God’s love and christian living for more…


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How to have an Intimate relationship with Christ whom you cannot see?

The following article seems to take the Bible a bit more literally than I would. But I post it because it makes a good point about being guided by the Holy Spirit. I have sometimes wondered just how spiritual people can be when they do not believe in God. For me, a recognition of being guided by the Holy Spirit was the true beginning of my mature spiritual life. And without that, I was just like an unfocussed infant. —MC

English: child Jesus with the virgin Mary, wit...

Child Jesus with the virgin Mary, with the Holy Spirit (represented as a dove) and God the Father, with child john the Baptist and saint Elizabeth on the right (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How to have an Intimate relationship with Christ whom you cannot see?

By prophet3333 (Written by Joseph Ho, March 28th 2015)

Jesus always speaks with analogy whenever he wants to explain the concept in the Kingdom of God. He uses such examples as an indirect way to explain that the Kingdom of God is everywhere and also within us. In order to have an intimate relationship with him, we have to remain in the Vine. He is the Vine and we are the branches. By this he means that if we are cut off from him, we will lose the life giving support which comes from the main vine and the roots. A branch that is not connected to the vine will have no more life giving force or nutrients to support it. So the kingdom of God is like a vine with all its branches, and it is also how we should lead our life in him.

John 15 King James Version (KJV)

15 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Jesus explains things in simple understandable principle, yet even theologians cannot understand what he is trying to say since it is so simply mentioned. So if the branches have to remain with the Vine, how are we to be connected to Christ when he is no longer on earth? If Jesus were alive on earth today, it would be easy to have a relationship with him since we can all call him, write to him and spent time with him by talking to him or listening to him whenever he gives a seminar. But this is no longer so. So how can anyone have a relationship with a person who is no longer visible or easily contactable? Such are the question of ordinary folks who have no education or any deep understanding of what the bible is talking about.

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded...

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded by angels, by Giaquinto, 1750s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The process of having a relationship with a saviour who no longer can be seen easily is indeed a mystery. Have you tried having an intimate relationship with your grandmother who has died? What would you do? You probably visit her grave, see some past photos and try to remember the times you had with her that you cherished. But the amount of material you have of her is limited because you didn’t get to say thanks. And you love her much but it never even occurred to you that she needs to hear those things from you either. When you were younger everyone lived for you and you never gave it another thought to return the gratitude for their time spent with you. So how can anyone love Jesus whom they have never spent any time with? We need to read the bible which kept an account of who he is.

Jesus although we know he is alive as a believer is someone who does not come to visit his sheep often. This is the truth, as I have asked many believers if they have seen Christ in their lives even once, and the answer is no; they have not seen Jesus at all. Even the most sincere of Christians and even pastors and evangelists, have not seen Jesus in their lives. So having an intimacy with Christ does not include seeing Jesus in their lives, if seeing Jesus was a requirement then 99.99 percent of all Christians do not have a relationship with Him. I only know that true apostles will see Jesus directly because he alone commissions them for his purpose. These are the real ones with the power to operate in signs and wonders. Then what was Jesus saying that we should be connected to him as the branches are to the Vine?

First of all if we are interested in the person of Christ we should know what he was teaching on how to enter into the kingdom of heaven. The bible contains much of his teachings on how to become his people. So we need to put in his teachings into our minds and hearts. Then Jesus said, we have to be baptized into his Kingdom in his name. After this baptism in water, Jesus promised to baptize us again in the Holy Spirit by sending us his Holy Spirit to teach, guide and remind us of what he has taught us in the bible. The evidence that we have this Holy Spirit is we can speak in tongues and we can hear his voice. When will we receive the Holy Spirit? It is written in the book of Luke that whoever asks the father for the Holy Spirit, he will give unto them this good gift. It is then upon the receiving of the Holy Spirit that we can begin to have an intimate relationship with God. We need to ask for the baptism in the Holy Spirit which Jesus can give himself.

Luke 11:13New International Version (NIV)

13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

Matthew 3:11New International Version (NIV)

11 ‘I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Mark 1:8New International Version (NIV)

8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’

Baptism of Christ. Jesus is baptized in the Jo...

Baptism of Christ. Jesus is baptized in the Jordan River by John. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once we can hear, we must learn to obey and move with the Spirit as he guides us. The very first thing that the Spirit will lead is in the area of Sin and Repentance. Sin separates us from the Holy Spirit of God so he would not hear from us. It is essential that we get deliverance from such iniquities that hinders us from having a close relationship with God.  Jesus has already paid this price so we can enter into the presence of God. The deliverance of such Sin is the first step. Once we get delivered, he will convict us of the need to learn from various different ministries that he would put into our paths. We must not limit or restrict how an what God will put into our ways to learn of what he wants us to have. He will put spiritual wisdom into our spirit so we can get involved in his kingdom work. Deliverance from spiritual bondage and oppression is an essential step into intimacy with him. We no longer need to worship Sin and be obedient to its torment once we are in Christ. This step may take a few months to a few years depending on how fast you response to his conviction. It also depends on your willingness to give up the particular Sin in your life.

When we begin to hear from God, we have to respond. We have to turn towards the burning bush to investigate if it is of God, like in the days of Moses. The next step would be the availability of our time and resources to do his errands. God will prompt us to do some errands for him so that he can authenticate his voice in our lives. There is a price to pay for being obedient to his voice. It requires your time and your resources. He will instruct you to do small little things, like giving some money to someone, give a book, speak to someone, and call a friend, and so on. But have no fear; God does not call us to do things beyond our means. We will be uncomfortable in the beginning, as it requires us to come out of our comfort zone to be bold to do things to strangers, people whom you have no prior relationship with. Only when you respond and obey the voice then he would speak to you more and give you a word of wisdom to minister to the poor, needy, oppressed and depressed. The gift and intimacy will develop through our own conscious effort to exercise hearing from God by our actions.

Giving of material things and resources is easy, but giving a word of knowledge is not so, as it requires us to hear accurately and with confidence. The fear of speaking something foolish is a greater fear to overcome for a new believer. But if you would not do this, then God will not be able to advance our spiritual intimacy with him. If you want an intimate relationship with God, he will take you for your word and commence to send angels to prompt you.

John 10:27King James Version (KJV)

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

The Holy Family with God the Father and the Ho...

The Holy Family with God the Father and the Holy Spirit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You will begin to feel things in your heart which you have never felt before. It will be like something which just drops into your spirit and you suddenly have an urge to do something for someone. Anything that is good comes from God; so there is no need to worry if you hear from the devil, as long as you address your prayers to God in Jesus’ name, Satan cannot intercept your messages. The name of Jesus is the gate to God in the heaven. This is an assurance from God, else no one can speak to God, we are given the password to address our prayers to God, and that Code name is Jesus, Yahushua. Jesus shared this name with God, his Father, because it was his Father’s own name.

John 17:11New International Version (NIV)

11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.

If you have no intentions to hear from God then don’t pray or ask him, because when you ask him, he expects you to obey his advice. Else, he may never speak to you again, since you do not trust him to take his advice. Remember you are talking to the Almighty God, King of Kings and he has no time for fools.  There is any other advice I can give to confirm the word from the Lord other than by using two or three witnesses. That means we can ask for any confirmation by seeking two or three witnesses. These witnesses can be word from the bible, prophetic word from man of God, pastors sermon, information that comes from other people speeches, streets signs, emails, as long as it’s not from the same source, it is a witness. The witness does not need to be a human they could be facts or given words, even dreams.

2 Corinthians 13:1New International Version (NIV)

13 This will be my third visit to you. ‘Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’

You can never be intimate with God if you cannot hear from him. That means there is no communications between you and Jesus, so you cannot be intimate with him. Reading the bible will not cause you to be intimate with him, it will caused you to know more about him but it will never replace a close relationship with him through communicates. You prayed, God answered and he tells you to so something and you did it. Many don’t have any breakthroughs because they think they know the mind of God, so they go ahead to do something of their own righteousness just to please God. God is not interested in the things you would do for him; he is only interested in the things he commanded you to do on his behalf. If you are still interested in the things you want to do for him then he cannot develop a relationship with you because you are still in your self-righteousness.

Romans 10:3King James Version (KJV)

3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

Romans 14:17New International Version (NIV)

17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

Philippians 1:10-11New International Version (NIV)

10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Detail - Glory of the New Born Christ in prese...

Detail – Glory of the New Born Christ in presence of God Father and the Holy Spirit (Annakirche, Vienna) Adam and Eva are represented bellow Jesus-Christ Ceiling painting made by Daniel Gran (1694-1757). Post-processing: perspective and fade correction. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In God contains all the wisdom of the world. He originally wanted to teach Adam about the godly wisdom but Adam would not listen to him instead he listened to the bone of his flesh, Eve, and proceeded to get this knowledge himself, thus he lost a great teacher. As God has all the wisdom of this world, he does not need any counsellor so he does not need to bless our desires and ideas but as he has plans to prosper us, we do need to follow him. How good it is to have the Almighty God as our adviser, so we do not need to worry and be concern about the way we do things as he can command legions of angels to guard us in all our ways when we follow him. He is better than all of the world’s richest mentor for he commands the insects, the wild animals, the natural storms, hurricanes, tsunamis, the waters and the seas, the rain and the invisibles elements to give us the support we need.

When we hear from him and obey his commands than we prosper. Yet, most people still do not learn this truth, they asked God to bless their plans and then when they get into troubles, they asked God to deliver them from the foolishness of their own plans. They get into the cycle of falling down and asking God for help. This shows that they have not learnt this truth. I would rather follow the plans of God so that my life will be smoother and more pleasant knowing that God is with me thus avoiding many sleepless nights caused by disobedience. But to follow God’s plan, we must be attuned to his ways, and be able to listen to him with intimacy and reverence. Yet, even though many people know and understand this truth, they have not been committed to take the time to polish their listening ears, so they do not hear perfectly and thus do not prosper holistically also. But they do expect God to answer their prayers immediately when something goes wrong, then the process of asking God for help never ends. This repeating of getting into troubles and needing deliverance is evidence of an un-renewed mind. They followed their own plans and thus do not submit to the perfect will of God so their plans failed; all because they could not hear from God and obey him.

Now why would God bless us? He wants to show the whole world a testimony of a man who listens and follows his commandments, decrees, and statues. For eyes have no seen, ears have not heard, what God will do for a man who follows him whole heartedly. Only when you have an intimate relationship with God by obeying him after you can hear from him, will you then mature into a great spiritual powerhouse for God, to be used according to his will. A sanctified vessel fit for honour. The Psalms 91 in the bible belongs to those who have an intimate relationship with God and the benefits are real. He is your support and strong high tower, and no one can come against you all the days of your life. Make him your real father, a father who is Almighty and invincible who can call upon anything to save you from your enemies. He is the kind of backing that any men would love to have but not many have his undivided attention because all have fallen short of his expectation. I testify to this truth, God is real and he can do anything to protect you from harm’s way. For he promises to tell his servants what event is to come and when it will come so that they will escape the disaster that will befall these places of wrath. Those who walked with God are blessed.

Psalm 91 King James Version (KJV)

91 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/christianity-articles/how-to-have-an-intimate-relationship-with-christ-whom-you-cannot-see-7234131.html

About the Author

Numbers 33:33, Job 33:33, Ezekiel 33:33. Apostolic, prophetic Ministry, Dreams and Dreams Interpretation. Author of My Sheep Hear My Voice, God’s Gift to the Chinese People.


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Living in the shadow of Judas

Español: Beso de Judas.

Español: Beso de Judas (Judas Kiss) Image: Wikipedia

By Gerry Legister

When a person like Judas dies his character lives on in other individuals, who are portraying symptoms of those same characteristic traits, they are reborn all over again with similar deep rooted guile.

Jesus answered them, “I chose you, the Twelve, didn’t I? Yet one of you is a devil.” John 6:70

Don’t hesitate to flee when you see the evil shadow of someone sinister trying to cover you, when a tree cast its shadow over a tiny part of the ground, nothing good grows there. Shadow is a dark place cause by the absent of light, and if you live in the shadow of someone, you may follow their bad examples and hardly get notice for the good that you are doing.

Don’t live in the shadow of a brother or a sister, there achievements and their abilities belongs to them, but you are unique and no one can take your place. God has placed you on this earth for a reason, try to find out what are the cause and reason that you are here.

We properly know the story well enough to repeat it over and over to our children. It is a sad story, and one that we are all familiar with, and the expression is that a person who is called a Judas is not a nice person to know, for he sold his soul to the Devil.

Some people may have strong disagreement about the final eternal state of the person who was called Judas, one of the twelve apostle of Jesus, who notoriously betrayed his master with a sentimental kiss, his reward for doing so was a mere thirty pieces of silver, hardly enough to make deposit on a new house.

The reason sinners don’t come to Christ easily, it is because somewhere in the back of their minds there are nagging doubts about certain things that they see Christians are doing, which just doesn’t seemed right, some do their wrongs in clandestine corners.

Others are bolder with their notorious behaviour, and they will climb the professional stage, and make their act believable, by reinforcing it with pride of ethics and the legality of their position.

Many who ply their craft this way, see the church as a business for profiting off the world, and whoever gets in their way will get tread upon. This could be the person who has help trained and nurtured them, until they were able to stand in the assembly of those they could only have admired before, but sooner or later when an investigation is on the table, the fame makes them unable to resist the bait, and like the ruthless practices of some business operations, they are persuaded to crush anyone who gets in their way.

They have all accounts prepare for scrutiny, for the love of money is the root of all evil 1 timothy 6:10

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, are thirsty for position in society and in their career prospect, have wandered from the faith and betrayed their integrity, sold their family and friends for what they can get out of it.

Sometimes it’s not so much the money that they are looking for, but the sheer satisfaction of seeing an individual being destroyed and humiliated, this makes them feel important, and make others look on them as someone who has an interest in seeing things improve.

As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” John 13:27

But the backlash is that they will pierced themselves with many grief’s later on down the road in life when they have been found out. Craving for the position of others that they were not called to serve in, but they will use extortion and start hiding behind money, and this makes the greedy bring ruin to their home.

The deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Mark 4:19

The Judases of this century do not operate by careless leverage, they use indirect diversion, career demolition experts, financial backing of those whom they are serving, with carefully planned surprises. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.

For example none of the other disciples of Jesus knew what Judas had in his heart to do, they were not aware of the dark gutter into which he wanted to plunge Jesus, his mild tempter gave no clue, but his soul was in utter darkness. In comparison to Peter; who was walking in the light, being loud and brassy, but meant no harm to anyone, Judas was quiet and unassuming, nevertheless, he had found himself in a privilege position, and he was going to make use of his good fortune.

Most of the time the person you least suspected is the one with the jealous agenda.

False friends can show signs to make them appear genuine, they make every effort to be perfect in everything that they do, hardly putting a foot wrong, and you would only know that they are false, when you scrutinise their attitude towards certain things, they are armed with great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the very elect, they are trust worthy, reliable, would never knowingly let you down.

But beware of the wolf in sheep clothing, they will sell you out for position, prestige and money. Friends selling out friends for a handful of barley, what sorrow awaits them? For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother Able? And like Balaam, they deceive people for money. And like Korah, Dathan and Abiram, they will perish in their rebellion. Blows and wounds scrub away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being.

Some people will have ask the question, did Judas had a choice or was he predestined to do this evil deed? It’s not such a bad question when you think that there are people living today, who harbour those same type of behaviour as Judas did, we cannot say for certainty that we have seen the last of Judas, for he may yet rise again in the resurrection, but what we can agree upon, is that Judas was one of the chosen disciple of Jesus.

For many are invited, but few are chosen. Matthew 22:14

Many people are called to be disciples of Christ, but not all are chosen, and whiles they are called, they may not venture to believe in the deity of the Lord, they may just be kingdom admirers, with no real relationship with the Holy Ghost, for if you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you would want to behave in a way which demonstrate loyalty to the cause in which you are involved with.

The scripture points to the evidence that Judas never believe in Jesus and he may not have been convinced that Jesus was the messiah, But there are some of you who do not believe. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.

The nature of Judas was easily read by Jesus, this foreknowledge of issues is no accident, and Jesus was conscious about what was going to happen to him, he was well informed about his betrayal by one of his own, his death and resurrection. And failing the sympathy for Judas, for many of us having this knowledge would only have led many into enmity.

The lack of faith by Judas speaks volumes, and the same holds true for many today who are living in the shadow of Judas. When you read the synoptic gospels, there is clear indication that Judas not only lacked faith in Christ, but he also had little or no personal relationship with Jesus. But those consistent with a good relationship with Jesus were always listed first.

The pairing of Mary and Judas creates a rhetoric of contrast, for they are both so very different.

The only brief dialogue documented between Jesus and Judas, involves Judas being rebuked by Jesus after his greedy remarks to Mary. When Judas accost Mary for wasting an expensive perfume on Jesus, it was out of his greed to steal he exposed his true feelings about his spiritual commitment. But Mays humble devotion is contrasted by Judas critical stinginess of insincere ambition.

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

We will be just like Judas if we fail to recognize that Jesus came into this world, to die for our sins and destroy the works of the devil, and only he alone can provide forgiveness for our sins.

So in the final summary, let us hear the conclusion about Judas, and be warned about close alliance with those characters. The Old Testament prophecy said.

Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me” psalms 41:9

Judas was consumed with envy and greed to the point of betraying the trust and loyalty of Jesus, and his fellow disciples, as we have seen in John 12:5 Judas may have desired to follow Jesus simply because he saw the great crowds of people following him, and perhaps believed he could profit from the collections that are taken for the group. In addition to that, Judas he had entertained political ambitions.

He may have followed Jesus hoping to benefit from assumption that most people had at the time, believing the coming Messiah was going to overthrow Roman occupation and take on a position of ruling over the nation of Israel. But Judas betrayal was known to God, and it was planned before hand as the means by which Jesus would be killed.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/christianity-articles/living-in-the-shadow-of-judas-7206687.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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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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The Dislike of Catholicism: Understanding the Holy in the Catholic Tradition – 6 – Philosophical and historical reasons

Roman Catholic by digitalexander via Flickr

Roman Catholic by digitalexander via Flickr

Philosophical Reasons

Philosophy is an ancient pursuit that has branched out in different, sometimes conflicting directions. So it’s difficult to write just a few lines about why people dislike Catholicism from a philosophical perspective.

Having said that, a broad distinction can be made between two types of philosophers:

  • those who rely solely on conceptual thinking, or believe they do
  • those who believe that reason should follow divine revelation or that reason, itself, may be inspired by God

For convenience I’ll call the first type A philosophers. These thinkers often seem entangled in a web of concepts, perhaps never learning anything beyond the range of their own abstract thought processes. They take great pains to define certain concepts – e.g. love, meaning, being, knowing, caring, commitment – and then say why their definitions and elaborations are best.

Type A philosophers may address the importance of experience, but their experience is mostly gained from the five senses. Type A individuals may or may not believe in God. Any kind of unconventional experience informing their ideas tends to fall within a limited form of the numinous (say, through drug use).

The latter group, type B, believe that thought may be informed not just by the senses but also by religious or numinous experience. Type B believe in some notion of God, a higher power or a divinity within. Their beliefs may be pantheistic or theistic. Even so, their ideas and convictions are often colored by their interpretation of a particular numinous experience (or series of experiences).¹

Concerning the dislike of Catholicism, if neither A nor B had experienced the numinous within a Catholic setting, they’d have no direct way of understanding Catholic spirituality. On the other hand, many Catholics do consciously sense the Holy Spirit upon entering a Church and through the sacraments (such as the Eucharist), so they have reason to believe in Catholic spirituality.

Catholics may not agree with all aspects of Catholic teachings at this point in history, but they do believe in the core elements. After all, the true elements of Catholicism, if they really are true, must be holy and everlasting. And any spiritually sensitive person should pick up on that, provided they meet with the opportunity.

English: Catholic church in Tehran

Catholic church in Tehran (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Historical Reasons

Finally, there are historical factors contributing to the dislike of Catholicism.

Sometimes when I mention words like Mass, Church or Eucharist, those disliking Catholicism instantly point out the dark aspects of Catholic history. To outline a few:

  • the Crusades and the murders, robberies and rapes committed during them, crimes that had nothing to do with any supposed holy war
  • the Inquisitions and the cruel torture and murder of so-called witches, which some say had more to do with the Church seizing property for economic gain
  • greedy, reprobate Popes
  • the silly trial, condemnation and house arrest of Galileo when he saw four moons around Jupiter with his telescope and advocated a heliocentric cosmology

Clearly the Catholic Church has made more than a few dark blunders throughout history. While it’s important to acknowledge past atrocities of any social or religious institution, it’s also important to recognize how things have changed for the better.

Psychohistory

History deals mostly with recorded events. Another side of the coin is psychohistory. Psychohistory is an odd sounding discipline. Rest assured it has nothing to do with Norman Bates or disturbed individuals and their violent rampages. Instead, psychohistory combines psychology and history in suggesting that past generations influence contemporary individuals through a mix of genetic and socio-historical factors. In other words, psychohistory does not assume we are born into this world with a blank slate.

From the perspective of psychohistory, it’s noteworthy that many individuals come from non-Catholic families. And these families might go back for centuries. When family roots are deeply entrenched in a given tradition, it’s more difficult to adopt a new set of beliefs. Not impossible, of course. But difficult. So for psychohistorians, some individuals dislike Catholicism because they’re biased by their non-Catholic genealogy. They may see themselves as open-minded, but longstanding biases, stemming back generations, close them off from exploring Catholicism in the 21st century.

Church of Sándorháza (Sandra)

Church of Sándorháza (Sandra) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Final Word

Some self-perceived freethinkers maybe aren’t quite as hip, liberated and progressive as they seem to be. Many shut down when it comes to talking about Catholicism in a mature, adult way. They’ve got it all figured out. At least, they think so.

But to be truly open-minded, we have to consider things we don’t like. For me, converting to Catholicism was about coming full-circle and getting past my preconceived beliefs about intellectual and spiritual freedom.

I realize these articles only scratch the surface. People dislike Catholicism for many reasons. And this series only covers a handful of those reasons. I had little interest in covering many of the known objections to Catholicism. A quick web search will reveal several non-Catholic sites opposing Catholicism. Instead of regurgitating all the known objections, I wanted a fresh approach. One that came from my own personal involvement within this, at times, irritating but also magnificent spiritual tradition.

¹ For instance, some Christians in the first century believed that Jesus would return in their lifetimes. For them, the end of the world was near.

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Copyright © Michael Clark, 2014

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