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MyDevotions.today We have recently launched our new MyDevotions.today website that will bring you daily devotions that you can access via desk top computer, tablet or mobile phone while on the move. The daily thoughts cover a range of topics and will give you something to think about as you go about your daily activities. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You (the Lord) will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” It is a good idea to seek the Lord first thing in the morning so you can begin your day with Him. It seems as if David the man after God’s own heart used to do the same. He writes in Psalm 5:3 “My voice you shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to you, and I will look up.” Build your faith each morning, keep your mind on Him and let His peace keep you all day.


Contents EDITORIAL 4

REFLECTIONS

FEATURE ARTICLES

How Could I? By Yve Clark

Why Believers Should Meditate Daily 6 “Biblical meditation... involves reading, reciting, learning and thinking about a Bible passage in order to understand it.” The Heart Of The Matter 8 “Love is the grease that oils the gears of life.” Intimacy In The Kingdom 10 “Children are always seeking for intimacy. A wife or husband seeks a spouse’s intimacy...” The Heart Of God And You 12 “I will hide your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” W

World In View Chained up like an animalMental Health Abuse! E

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It Is A Love Relationship 16 “When I found the one I love. I held him and would not let him go…” TESTIMONY 18

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Think! 22 Easter & Hot Cross Buns. By Philip Clark W

Did You Know? Jesus May Have Died Of A Broken Heart. E

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Jargon Buster 26 Understanding Religious Terminologies. Note To Self Time For A Heart Check! By Angela Slack

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The Story Teller Real life stories that grip the very heart of you...

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In Praise Of Hymn 30 Reviewing Great Christian Hymns. – O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

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“I groaned so deeply in my spirit only God could hear, and answer.” - Graham Clark

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t the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He wasted no time in highlighting what the New Covenant was all about. He did not hesitate to go straight to the heart of the matter. In Matthew chapter 5 Jesus gave a very detailed teaching while seated on a mountain side. This teaching revealed that God is not after superficiality but a people who would worship and serve Him from their hearts. This could not be fulfilled by a mere outward observation of the laws given through Moses. The religious leaders of the time were hypocrites who were misguiding the people and displeasing God. They did not have a heart for God neither did they understand the heart of God. Note that... • Our prayers are not effective because they are long and filled with religious jargons but because they are honest and heart felt. • When we give it is not the amount we give that matters but the fact that we gave out of a genuine concern and love for God and others. • When we make religious sacrifices it is not the extent of the sacrifice that matters but the fact that it came from a spirit of brokenness and desperation to see change that will glorify God and help others. God is after relationship not religion He wants us to know Him intimately and trust Him exclusively above all others and to remain loyal and faithful to Him come what may. If our hearts have not been miraculously transformed by the power of the Spirit of God, it is impossible to come into this kind of love relationship. God is a covenant keeping God that 4

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is, He keeps His word He never breaks contract or goes back on what He has promised. He has promised that He will acknowledge the vilest of sinner as His own dear child as long as they have surrendered themselves to Jesus Christ His Son and asked to be forgiven and transformed into a new creation - a child of God, a believer. We are the children of God, His new creation that have been changed from the inside out. Once we are His, He is dedicated to keeping, sustaining and protecting us and looking out for our wellbeing. Where else can mankind find such security except in the Love Of God through Jesus Christ? No other religion promises this, there is no greater love than this, that God’s only son should lay down His life for the redemption of sinful man. We are commanded to love each other as Christ first loved us. This is easy when we have a new heart that is overflowing with God’s love that is unclogged with the world’s selfishness, untainted by its wicked ideology and free of its deceit. Following Jesus’ example, let us love, love, love, until it hurts, until we can love no more and even then it would have been the very least we could do to honour our loving, gracious and merciful Lord. What is the state of your heart today? Maybe it’s time for a heart to heart talk with loved ones, a heart check up with God or some deep reflection and meditation in God’s word. When all is said and done it is our hearts that matter! I remain in Jesus’ Service. Love as always

Angela Slack

Editor and Cofounder

Volume 3 - Issue 2

About Us

SHARE MAGAZINE is a FREE Christian quarterly that deals with challenging Christian topics that have been mostly ignored or left unanswered. The magazine includes written articles, poems and thoughts etc. Read our online version at www.TheShareMagazine.com/ online where you can discuss articles. If you would like to submit articles, join our writers group or get involved in any other way kindly email us. SHARE MAGAZINE is produced by Select Arrow, which is the publishing arm of United In Christ.

Disclaimer

Throughout this magazine the editor & contributors seek to present a balanced and accurate view of Scripture’s teaching. We are all on a journey of studying and understanding God’s Word. Because of this, all we can offer is as balanced an understanding as the Holy Spirit has offered us at this time. The views or opinions represented in this publication are personal to each of our contributors and may not fully represent those of any other contributor or editor.

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Eastern meditation requires the emptying of the mind... Biblical meditation is very different. It involves reading, reciting, learning and thinking about a Bible passage in order to understand it.

Why Believers Should Meditate Daily Yoga. The second is what Biblical writers both practiced and recommended to their readers.

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What Is Meditation Really? If you look in a dictionary the word ‘meditation’ has two distinct meanings. Both have to do with exercising the mind. The meaning most people are familiar with nowadays involves emptying the mind and thinking about nothing. The other meaning is to think deeply about something in an attempt to understand it. The first kind is associated with many Eastern religions and is closely related to 6

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Eastern meditation requires emptying the mind completely and often involves chanting or humming as well as holding a certain position for an extended period in order to become one with the universe. Biblical meditation is very different, and involves reading, reciting, learning, thinking and understanding a Bible passage. In fact it is exactly the opposite of the Eastern practice. The aim is, to come into a closer relationship with God and becoming more like Him in every way.

The Battle For Your Mind And Spirit Lynda K Smith in her article ‘The mind field of resistance’ in last year’s October issue of SHARE magazine[1] talks about the believer having the mind of Christ, so that the enemy cannot control our lives. Eastern meditation encourages us to relinquish control of our minds. Biblical meditation requires disciplined control and conscious effort. The New Testament calls this self-control. Paul includes this when he writes about the fruit of the Spirit as a sign that we are living according to the Spirit. If something in our lives requires us to relinquish control, we should seriously


consider whether this is godly behaviour. Bible writers were well aware of the link between our thoughts and how we live spiritually. The one similarity between Eastern meditation and Biblical meditation is that both require discipline. Spirituality doesn’t just happen. Many Christians today think that there is no effort involved. I cannot count how many times I have heard the phrase, ‘Let go and let God’. How does that tie up with what Paul, the Old Testament writers or Jesus taught? Paul put it like this: “You know that many runners enter a race, and only one of them wins the prize. So run to win! Athletes work hard to win a crown that cannot last, but we do it for a crown that will last forever…” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25 CEV) He Talks About Hard Work Psalm 19:7 tells us this: “The Law of the LORD is perfect; it gives us new life. His teachings last forever, and they give wisdom to ordinary people.” The book of Psalms begins with these words; “God blesses those people who refuse evil advice and won’t follow sinners or join in sneering at God. Instead, the Law of the LORD makes them happy, and they think about it day and night.” The words ‘think about’ are translated ‘meditate’ in other versions of the Bible. When the Psalmist talks about ‘law’ he uses the word ‘Torah’ which literally means ‘instructions’. So we are to be thinking about His instructions all the time. Is that really so surprising? Meditation on God’s word reinforces its truth into our hearts and continually transforms our thinking and attitudes into what is righteous. Psalms 119:9-11 says, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (NIV)

example of how he practiced this in His own life in Matthew 4. It is the familiar account of how Satan tempted Him in the wilderness. Jesus used scripture to answer every temptation. He obviously knew and applied the scriptures very well. That comes with experience. There is no substitute for reading and studying the Bible and there are no short cuts. But if we put in the effort the rewards are amazing.

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B.I.B.L.E. Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth A friend of mine recently shared this simple acronym with me (see subheading). It is exactly that, God’s instructions to us for life. Why would the Lord want us to work hard at getting to know His instructions? So that we can practice them. That takes effort. But don’t take my word for it. Read the verses in this article and the verses around them. You will find what wonderful blessings await those who ‘meditate on and practice God’s word’. Jesus and the early believers did not have the New Testament. Yet Paul could say this about what they had: “Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live. The Scriptures train God’s servants to do all kinds of good deeds.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) Are You Ready For The Challenge? What are we waiting for? We responded to the challenge of the Gospel to receive new life. Let’s decide now to learn what God wants us to do since He has given us this precious gift of His word. Let us meditate on His instructions every day. p Further Reading: [1] Mind Field of Resistance by Lynda K. Smith. SHARE Magazine October 2014, pg 14. Or visit: http://joom.ag/c1Nb/p14 See also: mydevotions.today

What about Jesus? After all, He is the greatest teacher we have. We have a great COMMENT OR DISCUSS ARTICLE AT: www.thesharemagazine.com/archives/0003-02

Article by Yve Clark songwriter and speaker with special interest in Biblical Studies

Text your email address to: ++447533741439 Or complete the form at: thesharemagazine.com/subscribe. html We will not share your email address with a third party as we are bound by our privacy statement. See details on our website. April - June 2015

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THE HUB OF ALL THINGS s we live in God’s Kingdom we may soon discover that our efforts to keep all the rules are not just frustrating but also not what God requires. Out of frustration you may wonder if there is a single thing that will cause all other things to effortlessly fall into place. The answer is yes, there is a cog which turns the whole wheel. That cog is a love for Christ that is pure and undaunted. Listen to what Jesus says is the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:35-40. “One of them was an expert in the Jewish Law. So he tried to test Jesus by asking, ‘Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?’ Jesus answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like this one; and it is, ‘Love others as much as you love yourself.’ All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments.” The greatest commandment, according to Jesus, is ‘all love’. If this is in place, all the requirements of the Law and the prophets will be met. We should love God with all our emotions, thoughts and actions and do to our neighbours and for our neighbours all we would want done to and for us. It is imperative that we understand that our whole existence, all we do or say, must flow out of a heart that is entirely, 100% full of God’s love. HOW DO WE LOVE? Love must go beyond mere feeling or talk. If love does not produce action then that love is false. “...God’s love 8

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has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit...”[1] so all we need to do now is to allow it to also influence our actions. Read and understand 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and Galatians 5:22, then pray to the Lord and ask Him to help you, and begin to do what you have read. Begin to love.

WHY DO WE LOVE? John gives us the answer. 1 John 4:7- 8, “My dear friends, we must love each other. Love comes from God, and when we love each other, it shows that we have been given new life. We are now God’s children, and we know Him. God is love, and anyone who doesn’t love others has never known Him.” We love because we are born of God who Himself is love. Kindly note that John started out by instructing us to love one another, because having love in our DNA does not mean we will automatically go on to practice it. Before we were dead in sins but now we are alive in Christ to love, hope and have faith. We now have the ability to love God and others in a pure and genuine way. Do not be afraid and quench love. Go on to practice until this love is perfected. Remembering how God loves us greatly motivates us to return that love to Him and to others. 1 John 4:19, “We love because God loved us first.” Finally, we love because it is required by God. Our Father requires His children to love each other and not to be fighting, back-biting and

destroying each other. God’s family must be a loving family. Listen to this... Ephesians 3:14-19, “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,

“Love is the grease that oils the gears of life.”


of the Matter

Let us understand what Paul communicates in this passage. Paul is praying to God to grant us. • Inner strength by the Holy Spirit. • Faith to allow Christ to live in our hearts. • Confidence in His love both intellectually and experientially • Infilling with all the fullness of God.

THAT CHRIST MAY DWELL IN YOUR HEARTS through faith; that you, being ROOTED AND GROUNDED IN LOVE, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— TO KNOW THE LOVE OF CHRIST which passes all

WHO DO WE LOVE? By faith we must allow Christ to remain and fully own our hearts. We must be determined to let His love permeate our beings. We love everyone even our enemies (Luke 6:35) but the love we have for our spiritual siblings must be even deeper. We must love others and even our enemies so that we will be concerned for their welfare. “If your enemies are hungry, give them something to eat. And if they are thirsty, give them something to drink.” (Romans 12:20) But we must love the brethren enough to die for them. Jesus commanded, in the great commandment, that we love our neighbours as ourselves, but then in John 13:34, He gave His disciples a new commandment that we should love each other as He loved us. How did He love us? He died for us. “We know what love is because Jesus gave His life for us. That’s why we must give our lives for each other.” (1 John 3:16)

COMMENT OR DISCUSS ARTICLE AT: www.thesharemagazine.com/archives/0003-02

CONCLUSION Loving makes doing much easier. Love is the grease that oils the gears of life. The man who really loves his job doesn’t drag himself out of bed depressed every Monday morning. The bride whose marriage is arranged may have to drag herself to the wedding, but the bride who is in love is excited and can hardly wait. Love for Christ so overwhelms our hearts that even beatings, stoning and imprisonment we consider as light afflictions[2] compared to the day we so anxiously await, the return of our Lord. p [1] Romans 5:5; [2] 2 Corinthians 4:17

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knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (NKJV)

Kindly note, anything not done from the heart does not meet God’s standards. The greatest sacrifice will go unrewarded if not done from a heart of love. Paul says, “What if I gave away all that I owned and let myself be burned alive? I would gain nothing, unless I loved others.” (1 Corinthians 13:3) In other words, if we give to the poor, or even offer ourselves as martyrs for selfish motives - like human admiration, tax relief or to be seen and honoured by men then God does not count it. We must give because we are concerned and care about the wellbeing of those in need. If we submit to martyrdom, it must be because we love God and we resolve to please Him and not disappoint Him. In the final analysis it is your heart that matters! By Homer Slack author, preacher, Bible teacher, IT tutor, programmer & graphic designer

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Intimacy In The Kingdom “Children are always seeking for intimacy. A wife or husband seeks a spouse’s intimacy. A baby finds intimacy when cuddled on a mother’s breast...”

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ohnny kept scraping a knife slowly across an empty plate as his father was reading the evening news. The grating sound set his father’s teeth on edge. “Johnny!” screamed his father. Suddenly his father smiled as he remembered the parenting seminar at church. “Children are always seeking for intimacy.” A wife or husband seeks a spouse’s intimacy. A baby finds intimacy when cuddled on a mother’s breast, and as it begins to walk, it looks for approval. 10

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An actor’s face glows from the sense of intimacy with his adoring fans. Many people do terrible things to those from whom they failed to receive intimacy. Broken Promises, Broken People Intimacy is an age-old yearning inherited from our first parents, Adam and Eve, whom God created to be close to each other. God walked and talked with them for that very same reason. But that intimacy was sabotaged through

disobedience, then their broken relationship with God spread like a cancer throughout the human race. Today Christianity and Judaism have been no less affected; resulting in broken promises, broken hopes, broken homes, broken hearts and broken nations. The first followers of Christ attended the Jewish temple regularly even after the resurrection of Christ, but not for very long. Temple leaders soon threw them out as rabble-rousers. But they were also


“Church for that brother is an empty experience, where he and others come week after week for a spiritual shot in the arm.”

“I’m fine!” (but really he is not) His wife is having an affair with another man; his children keep ungodly relationships and are on drugs. No one is connected to any small group where accountability is a priority. All do their own thing. Church for that brother is an empty experience, where he and others come week after week for a spiritual shot in the arm. A look at the early church is enlightening. Intimacy Alive In The Church First the five fold ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers operated in their specific zones (Eph 4:11). No one was a lord over God’s heritage or owned the church. The pastor was a shepherd, not the chairman, or regular speaker at services. Members began growing in maturity. Why? Because each member benefitted from the intimacy within small accountable groups and moved toward having one belief system. The idea of “one faith” did not include everybody having their own opinion about any theological point. That was because together in small house to house groups they searched the Scriptures to see if what the apostles taught was so, and found their teaching aligned with God’s Word. Therefore they followed the apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42 – 47; 5:42).

meeting in small house to house groups, so that even during persecution their intimate relationships stood firm. The old religion was already experiencing several divisions within its ranks: Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and others. Today it has splintered into Conservative, Reform, Liberal, Hassidic and Kabbalah. Similarly, the church also has splintered like shattered glass into numerous denominations, so that the world cannot discern where the real followers of Christ are. In many church services people listen to one man churning out his philosophy week after week. Many are too lazy or too busy to search the Scriptures for themselves. Listen to this after service greeting: “Hi Brother Thompson, how are you?”

Moreover they grew in their private relationship with Jesus Christ to a “full knowledge,” (Greek -“epignosis” i.e. INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE Eph 4:13). Jesus Christ was not Someone they visited once every week, but Someone with Whom they ate, slept, studied Scripture, worked, followed and lived. They visited the world outside as their mission field where members witnessed to bring people to Messiah, King Yeshua (Jesus). Paul, the apostle, taught that they would grow in love by speaking the truth (Eph 4:15). That means that they spoke the Word constantly. Remember Jesus’ prayer to the Father, “Your word is Truth!”(John 17:17). They had transparent lives, not like brother Thompson above, who hid his real problems to protect his selfimage.

sexual problems to come for healing, many came running to the front for deliverance. Such transparency I had never seen anywhere before and why not? Most of us want to preserve our selfimage before our fellow believers. Paul declares that the level of intimacy comes when “every joint is compact, i.e. ‘close,’ with every joint contributing to the growth of the assembly (v 16). He is not talking about the pastor alone as the supplier of spiritual food. No! The pastor is a shepherd, whose work is described by the prophet Ezekiel; at times he leads the whole flock to fresh pastures; at other times he tends to individuals and their problems (Ezek 34). The prophet gives forth a supernatural word of direction and the assembly follows (Acts 13). But every member is a servant whom the five-fold ministry brings to maturity of ministering wherever the Spirit leads. It Must Be Real Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones reflects the scattered relationships that now exist within the modern church (Ezek 37:710). But just as after Ezekiel’s prophecy of a coming together of each bone to its adjoining bone must take place, similarly today’s modern assembly can only be built up by loving relationships of intimacy and transparency. This cannot be faked. When the real thing comes, a united church can speak to the world. Persecution will also come because she is not compromising with a worldly, empty gospel of material prosperity, but of suffering, deliverance and true inner healing. This is what Jesus came to do and He confirmed it when He said, “You are my disciples if you love one another”. (John 13:35). John, the apostle, echoed the same message, “Let us not love in word and in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18). Thus we will stand beside each other in our weakest moments (Acts 4:34). p Further reading: Examining the Five Fold Ministry by Yve Clark. SHARE Magazine, January 2015, page 14. Or visit: http://joom.ag/w5wb/p14

By C Richard McCaw author, music teacher and many years as a Bible teacher.

In 1978 I saw this clearly displayed in a conference in Bognor Regis in England. After the messenger called everyone with

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The Heart of God and You “I will hide your word in my heart that I might not sin against you”

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Won’t you agree with me that our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made by God in His own image? (Genesis 1 verse 27) So He knows and understands everything about us. He knows all about the human body that He created. Medical Science invests billions each year, all over the world, trying to understand the human body, to find cures for various diseases. They are still discovering aspects of the human body that astounds them, for there is so much for them to discover as they try to play God. God Examines Our Hearts “From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind from His dwelling place. He watches all who live on the earth. He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.” (Psalm 33: 13 – 15) In Genesis 6: 5-8 The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time… the Lord was grieved that He had made man on

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the earth and His heart was filled with pain. God is definitely in the heart business, He created it and knows all about it, how it works what makes it clean and what makes it unclean. In 1 Samuel chapter 16 when the prophet Samuel was sent by God, to anoint a king over Israel, he was sent to the house of Jesse in Bethlehem. God had already chosen one of Jesse’s sons to reign over Israel He just had not told him which one. Here Samuel had to listen to the Holy Spirit of God to know who to anoint as king. As a prophet of God part of his office was to anoint future kings of Israel as directed by God. He had a horn full of oil ready to go to the first son he saw who was Eliab. Why? Because he was a tall, handsome man and looked the part. “But God said to Samuel don’t look at his appearance or his height for I have rejected him for the Lord does not look at the things man looks at. For man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks upon the heart.”


undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” David in Psalms 51, cries out to God in repentance because he knew that after everything God had done for him and given him, he had murder and adultery in his heart, which he knew was against God. He had murdered a man and taken his wife. After the prophet Nathan visited David and confronted him about what he had done, David fell down before God and repented and this was his cry... “Create in me a clean heart oh God and renew a steadfast spirit within me: do not cast me away from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me: restore to me the joy of your salvation…” David also said: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Jesus tells the religious leaders of the day that He knows what is in their hearts and what they think is clean is not. Matthew 15. They think that if they keep on holding to the traditions of the elders they will be okay but here Jesus makes a very stark statement. Jesus definitely did not pull any punches either in Luke chapter 11 especially in verse 37 - 53 “...these people do honour me with their lips but their heart is far from me...” (Mark 7:6) Friends I do hope Jesus does not say that to me or you. So How Do We Get A New Heart? God said at the beginning in Genesis that He was grieved for making us... but God always has an answer, always. He had an answer for Israel, in the book of Ezekiel we have an account of God’s answer for an undivided heart, a rebellious heart and a wicked unclean heart that is full of sin. Ezekiel 11:19, “I will give them an

a meeting to accept Christ as your Saviour does not make you a Christian, only Jesus can change your heart. So by sincerely asking Him to become your Saviour His Holy Spirit will make you a Christian by changing your heart. We have to give these hard cold stone like hearts to Jesus. Stop pretending and being religious and allow Him to perform heart surgery on us to turn them into hearts of flesh, then we will do great things for Him. God’s heart is full of love for us but are our hearts full of love for Him? “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) We are to love the lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind. When God looks into your heart what does He see? Let us, as Paul says, examine our own hearts. Jesus says: “I am the way the truth and the life…” If we allow Him He will reveal the truth of our hearts and we can then allow Him to deal with whatever is not fully dealt with in our lives. Solomon said, “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he”. John the Baptist said, “I must decrease and He must increase” meaning that we need to have more of God’s word in our lives and then our hearts can be renewed so that “...I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” As stated by Paul the apostle in Galatians 2:20.

“I will remove from them their heart of stone...” Jews observe Yom Kippur every year (A Day of Atonement for the sins of the people of Israel) but we have Jesus who atoned for our sins once and for all AND THROUGH His death and resurrection we receive a new heart, a clean heart a loving heart, a compassionate heart.

Friends God has and always will be in the heart business, so lets do business with Him. We can have a heart operation for free, the price has been paid! p

FURTHER READING Read Matthew chapter 15 or Mark chapter 7. A wonderful Psalm to read is Psalm 139 “Search me O God…” By Barbara Payne intercessor, worship leader, retired minister and Divorce Care counsellor

You see attending church does not make you a Christian, putting your hand up in

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hroughout the world people with mental health problems are often feared and badly treated. This usually comes from a belief that all mental health problems are caused by demons. Unfortunately such false notions are also held by many believers who in turn bring the house of God into disrepute. The shocking truth is that, in some places around the world, people with mental health problems experience worse treatment in churches than they do in secular institutions.

A man chained to a tree at Jesus Divine Temple (Nyakumasi) Prayer Camp, Cape Coast, Central Region, Ghana sleeps on a bed made out of bamboo. This is where he lived for over eight months. © 2012 Nick Loomis/Human Rights Watch Published under Creative Commons Licennce.

In this “World In View” article we will consider the need to address such abuse of Scriptures to justify the ill treatment of mental health patients. We will look at the truth of God’s Word in relation to such matters as the lovely Name of our Lord and Saviour is being brought into disrepute by these false teachers.

News Channel showing mental health patients being taken to ‘Prayer Camps’ run by supposed ‘Apostles’ of Christ. It also showed others who were left in the ‘care’ of churches for extended periods of time. In all cases these unfortunate people were restrained with chains, some residing out in the open for many years. At times they were left without food for days. All this was supposedly based on the statement made by Jesus in Mark 9:29. This is a perverse misinterpretation of Jesus’ statement. Sometimes these poor

Held In Chains A number of disturbing reports have recently been coming out of Africa. These included a report featured on the BBC

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people are locked in a special building, called a ‘Dry Fasting Home’ where they are forced to fast for three days. In Mark 9:29 Jesus was telling His disciples that prayer and fasting is required to deal with some demonic cases. Note very carefully, Jesus is not saying that the person suffering needs to pray and fast – it is those who seek to minister to them that should do this. At some point during service those mental health patients who are chained


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View at the back of church are brought forward for ministry. The ‘deliverance’ that then ensues is quite often physically demanding and exhausting but yielding no spiritual results. These ministers would shout, scream and slap these poor

On the contrary, Elijah prayed a simple prayer to his God and a great miracle, that none could deny, occurred. In the New Testament passage mentioned above, it was the demon that shrieked and made a fuss. Jesus merely tells the demon

Victoria is a 10-year-old girl with a mental disability who was put in Jesus Divine Temple (Nyakumasi) Prayer Camp, where she was chained to a tree all day and slept on a mat in an open compound. She had no relative present at the camp at the time Human Rights Watch visited. Victoria had a skin infection which had affected her whole body, but she was not given access to medical treatment for this disorder. © 2012 Nick Loomis/Human Rights Watch Published under Creative Commons Licence.

mentally ill people. Scripture in no way endorses this kind of abuse. In fact, it was the Ba’al worshipers who would behave in this manner in the hope of getting their god to perform a miracle. We see this when Elijah challenged them on Mount Carmel (found in 1 Kings chapter 18). They did all they could to get their god to send fire and consume their sacrifice. This included increasingly demanding and exhausting acts as they got more and more enthusiastic. But nothing happened.

to leave the boy – no shouting or physical routines. It was the same with Paul when he encountered the demon possessed girl in Acts 16. He quite simply turned and commanded the demon to leave, and it did. The Scriptural way therefore is, that if we speak with the authority of Jesus the forces of hell must obey. No drama necessary.

We must take a stand against those who abuse physically ill people in the name of exorcism. We must help those with mental health problems in a caring and compassionate manner. I would willingly admit that some mental health problems may stem from a demonic problem. However, I have worked for many years amongst those so suffering and have come to realise that most are nothing more than a physical illness. Your view may be different, but never the less, the answer to mental health problems must be administered with the same love and authority of Jesus, our Lord and Master. Physical manipulation and abuse are not the Master’s way. We are not priests of Ba’al, who practice such witchcraft. No! We are Priests of the true God who walk and speak in His authority. It is in His authority that we cast out demons and not our own enthusiastic efforts. The Church should be one place where the vulnerable are able to receive compassion, comfort and care. Amongst God’s people they should experience a peace and joy that releases them from the darkness scarring their minds. We have a challenge to live up to this Biblical standard and correct this distorted world view. We should not remain silent! p By Philip Clark author and archeologist specialising in Biblical Studies

We are commanded to cast out demons but it must be done in the correct way.

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T

The divorce rate today (about 50%) is a direct reflection of the coldness that is overcoming the hearts of this generation. We live in a time, as predicted by Jesus and the apostles, when hearts are hardening like meat frozen solid. Many have removed the less favourable sections of the traditional marriage vow, since the shallow love of this generation cannot endure times of testing. I take you to be my wedded wife/ husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or and in health, to love and to cherish ‘till... WE DECIDE TO PART… death do us part. The first king of Israel, king Saul, did not love God and was therefore bent on going his own way so God rejected him. 1 Samuel 13:14, “But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart…” (NKJV). Saul was soon replaced by a young man who had a heart for God. His name was David and though he made mistakes he would lead God’s people with care and compassion. Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. So God rejected Saul because He knew what was in his heart but chose David for the very same reason. God sought for a man like David, today Scripture says God is seeking true worshipers.[1] God loves us and is seeking those with whom He can have a love relationship. A PASSIONATE PURSUIT God, in His word, paints many pictures of natural scenarios to help us understand Spiritual things. For example, Jesus would speak parables to indicate that we are like wheat in God’s field, or fishes caught in God’s net, or branches nourished by sap from Jesus, who is the vine, etc. Scripture also uses a marriage relationship to paint a picture of our relationship with Christ, hence we are referred to as the ‘bride of Christ’.[2] This comparison is very important. As a bride loves and longs for her groom, so we too should love and long for Christ. God by His sovereign will, even designated a whole book to be included in the Bible that focuses on 16

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the passionate side of love. That book is the Songs of Solomon. This is how we should love our Lord. “By night on my bed I sought the one I love; I sought him, but I did not find him. ‘I will rise now,’ I said, ‘And go about the city; In the streets and in the squares I will seek the one I love.’ I sought him, but I did not find him. The watchmen who go about the city found me; I said, ‘Have you seen the one I love?’ Scarcely had I passed by them, When I found the one I love. I held him and would not let him go…” (Song of Solomon 3:1- 4a) EPIC HEART FAILURE One of the main reasons I believe there will be a great falling away in the end times is because God will test the hearts of men with intense troubles, and many hearts will fail. He is going to remove the comforts of ‘Christianity’ and replace them with great persecution, the type that only true love could endure. Remember that true love “bears all things…” and “...endures all things.”[3] Those who follow Him only for the pleasures of the spiritual experiences or the material blessings, will soon take flight when things get difficult. “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith…” (Matthew 24:9-10 NIV). Sadly, many today only bear the Name of Christ but do not have a heart for Him. Such people will not enter the Kingdom of God for Jesus is not returning for a bride who is in it only for what she can get. We love Him for who He is and not for what He can offer us. The time of testing is coming and is almost here when God will sift the peoples of the earth to distinguish those who are His. Yes, God has appointed a time of testing and only those who endure to the end will be saved. “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to

test those who dwell on the earth.”[4] CHEATING HEARTS God will use persecution to highlight the hypocrites hiding among His people. He will expose the fornicator who wants to marry Him for what she can get while secretly having an affair with another. Ezekiel 33:31, “So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain.” They speak convincingly of love while secretly their hearts are after material gain. Jesus Himself spoke of them. Matthew 15:8, “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” We erect the statues of great men to remind and inspire later generations, but do we realise that God created a statue of His own to remind us of the importance of the heart. Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back, with longing, to the evil corrupt city of Sodom.[5] Though she was physically out of Sodom her heart was still there, and so she was transformed into a statue by God as a memorial for all times. We must understand that when we come to God we must come with our whole heart, leaving the world and our selfish ambitions behind. p


LOVE It is a

Relationship HEART CHECK-UP Take the test. It is good that we test ourselves and correct any errors before God tests us. Let us judge ourselves so that God will not have to judge us. Here are some guidelines.

“When I found the one I love. I held him and would not let him go…” COMMENT OR DISCUSS ARTICLE AT: www.thesharemagazine.com/archives/0003-02

Test Question

Consider

Are you obeying God?

Jesus tells us that, if we love Him, we will obey His commandments.[6]

Where is your affection?

1. What would get you out of bed early each day without the need for an alarm clock? 2. What would you work at daily even without pay? 3. What do you long for? 4. What would you defend with your life?

What value do you place on Christ?

Have you given up everything to follow Christ. A person who has given up something will not think twice when told to give it away. [7]

Can your love fail?

Love cannot be drowned by oceans or floods; it cannot be bought, no matter what is offered. [8]

References: [1] John 4:23; [2] 2 Corinthians 11:2; [3] 1 Corinthians 13:7; [4] Revelation 3:10 (NKJV); [5] Genesis 19:12 - 26; [6] John 14:21; [7] Matthew 13:44; [8] Song of Solomon 8:7

By Homer Slack author, preacher, Bible teacher, IT tutor, programmer & graphic designer

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TESTIM W

here should I start? Let’s start where God found me in the Asda Supermarket in my home town Grimsby UK. I was seated at my usual single person’s table, by the wall staring out of the window onto the car park, watching the passersby go about their business. I groaned so deeply in my spirit, only God could hear and answer. I sat there thinking like so many times before, “is this it? Is this as good as it gets? What’s the point? Why am I here? Why won’t you come for me death? Stick a fork in me…. I’m done!” DROWNING IN THE DEPTHS OF DESPAIR

You see up until that point I had a need to be forgiven, only I never knew what for. It was like a weight that dragged me down and as if that wasn’t bad enough I suffered from what I can only describe as, a thing! A thing called loneliness. It was crippling and soul crushing like a shadowy serpent that would slither out of its pit from the split second I woke up until the last second I fell asleep. Spiritually, it would wrap itself around my very soul and then squeeze. Sadly the pit from which it came was the swirling, pitch black abyss where my heart should have been. It got to a point that I just wanted to die; I was tired, drained, isolated and cut off from life, love, meaning and hope. My best friends were disgust, disillusion, despair, depression, despondency, all the D-bombs of the enemy of my soul.

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HIDING MY PAIN

And so, there I was seated in Asda, yearning for an end. Up until that point, I had on rare occasions thought of suicide. The problem was that I never could take that way out because I was a coward. I guess it was good that I was. All this pain, agony and despair of life started with my mother’s divorce, I know it now. I thought I was always resilient, that it didn’t bother me, that I was O.K., but I wasn’t. For a very long time I locked it away deep down inside of me and kept it there. My siblings handled things externally and their pain manifested in ways that were unique to each of them. However, I was the one that always internalized everything, I had other issues to deal with too… I was alone, always alone. WHISPERED ENCOURAGEMENT

I struggled to handle the fact that my step dad hated us and hated me especially. So much so that he used me as an excuse to abandon his wife of 15 years and his 5 children. Also, I had to deal with the fact that he gave my mother the ultimatum of choosing me or him knowing full well she was always going to choose me. It was hard enough without having to arrive home every day from whatever I’d been doing and realise that my mum had probably spent most of the day crying. Therefore at the tender age of about 15 years I had to take responsibility for the things he was supposed to do. However, though it was strange, I had this overwhelming sense that it wasn’t my fault. Then it

came to me like a whisper, “I would not, could not and was never going to take responsibility for this so called man’s cowardice and selfishness”. I had no idea at the time as to the source of this whispered encouragement. So you see, over the years I had tried many things to be rid of my burden, many things and many “isms” to fill the void. But I found no lasting satisfaction. That is how I found myself at my usual table in Asda, with my bottle of diet vanilla coke. I laugh to myself whenever I think how ordinary an occurrence it was. AN UNEXPLAINABLE EXPERIENCE

There are no earthly or heavenly words, that could truly describe the extraordinary thing that happened next. I consider the words I have used to be so weak, feeble, and pathetic. It was like an overwhelming presence, a tidal wave of cleansing, healing, restoration, wholeness, love, peace and joy. It was like an onion being peeled away one layer at a time. One layer being depression, another despair and yet another disgust and others too like self-loathing, self-hatred, low self-esteem, lack of confidence and the inability to find a reason to live. To put it another way it was like being in a shower and having layers upon layers of dead worthless skin falling away at last. I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. I didn’t have any words, feelings or thoughts at that point.


MONY of Graham Clark

I groaned so deeply in my spirit only God could hear, and answer.

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I was too dumbfounded. At the same time I knew that it wasn’t finished. I knew that what I had wanted, what I had needed so desperately for so long, I was at last receiving. So I didn’t want to move, say, think or do anything. Like a car going through a car wash, I just wanted to stay there and enjoy the ride! So I did. WHAT JUST HAPPENED?

As I was there slap, bang, in the middle of this experience, this presence kept stripping away and washing away my burdens. I was just there. I cannot tell how long the experience lasted. It seemed to go on forever and yet in reality it probably wasn’t very long. By the time this inexpressible joy and peace had ended, It took me awhile to move, and to figure out what happened. I felt giddy and light headed like everything was new.

blue skies, mountain views and rich full vibrant colours. THE BURDEN OF GUILT AND SHAME HAD GONE

I had also been extremely fretful and the baffling thing to me was that I was actually looking for the things I usually worried about, like a child looking for his security blanket, but there were no worries. I felt like a patient in intensive care waking up and being told that the operation I had to remove different forms of cancer had been completely successful. In short, Jesus had forgiven all my sins and the burden and shame of them had gone. WOW, THIS WAS ACTUALLY MY NEW LIFE!

My heart-cry was to die and ironically in every sense that had become real, I did die. Graham the sinner had died, but not only For the first time life was colourful that, I had been reborn, and radiant, I felt different in my renewed and restored to being, my soul, my heart... wholeness and For the first time life was colourful and more mind blowing than that, I had been radiant, I felt different in my being, FORGIVEN and cleansed! Since that my soul and my heart. I found that I day I have learned so much especially actually cared about life and people. I about the only person who saved me, the was overwhelmed with compassion and only person who could save me, Jesus felt like at last I had a heart that beat. My the only begotten of God the Father. I mind, which had always been important don’t know why but I know full well that to me, was so clear. Instead of it being I wasn’t worthy. I’m in awe of God and a labyrinth of shadows, demons, hatred have to ask, like the Psalmist in the Bible and confusion. It was peaceful and wrote, “Who am I Lord that you are was the very concept of Psalm 23 like mindful of me?” a magnificent panoramic scene of the world full of wide open spaces, bright Why should He send His precious Holy 20

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Spirit to save me like He did, why should He love a wretch like me so much that He sent His one and only Son to die for me, to take on the punishment that I deserved for breaking His precious laws? It makes no sense to me! I’ve never had anyone love me enough that they’d want to die for me willingly. Such love is too amazing, too monumental, and too profound for me to get my fragile little brain around. But then again God does say in His Word that “My ways are not your ways,” and of course He is so right. There are aspects of my salvation that to this day I don’t understand and maybe this side of heaven I may never know, but I do know this, EVERYTHING that God tells us about Himself through His Spirit and through His Word is completely and wonderfully true. The scriptures in Romans 8:26, says that when we can’t find words the Holy Spirit will pray for us with groans that cannot be uttered and Romans 10, says that if you call upon the Lord He will save you and I can honestly say that if Jesus wasn’t real, and had He not saved me, I wouldn’t be here!! And so this is my testimony, I’m pleased that after 8 years of walking with the Lord I have had this opportunity to give it. Thank You so much Jesus, my Lord, my Saviour, my Master. To His Glory now and forever Amen! p

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How Could I ? How could I, think that I Am central in Your thoughts, O God, When Your Son, heaven’s darling came And walked where only sinners trod? The One who gave the earth its place Who spoke and all things came to be Who lit stars by the power of His word How is it He remembers me? I wonder much that Bethlehem’s sweet babe Should suffer so and die for all mankind We are but chaff upon the wind How is it we are so much on His mind? And yet, we can His brothers be Through Him forgiveness and salvation came Not for our sakes He ransomed us But for the sake of Yahweh’s Holy Name.

© Yve Clark 2013

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By Philip Clark

Think! Whose Idea was

Easter

Anyway?

“Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns, One a penny, two a penny, Hot Cross Buns. If you have no daughters, give them to your sons, One a penny, two a penny, Hot Cross Buns.�

T

he above nursery rhyme is one many English-speaking people have heard, and probably sung to their children. However, most will not realise that they are singing about traditions that go back at least 3,000 years! It is even mentioned in the Bible. 22

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In three books of the Bible (Hosea 3:1, Jeremiah 7:18 and Ezekiel 8:14) we read about the women baking special cakes. From other sources we know that these cakes were made to venerate a goddess


called Ishtar or Astarte. Another title given to this goddess was ‘The Queen of Heaven’. This was one of the many gods & goddesses of the people who lived at the same time as the ancient Israelites. There is another interesting fact about these special cakes: it was the tradition for the daughters of the house to eat them. If there were no daughters in the family, then these special cakes could be eaten by the sons. Wow! All this is remembered 3,000 years later in the above nursery rhyme. These special cakes were spiced raisin cakes with a cross on them. Today, we call them ‘Hot Cross Buns’. It is interesting to realise that 3,000 years ago they also had crosses on them. We bake or buy these spiced raisin cakes at the same time of year that the people in the Bible did. However, the God of the Bible, YHVH, was very unhappy about all this, for in doing this the People of Israel were acknowledging through this tradition a pagan goddess, rather than Him! Greeting The Rising Sun In Ezekiel 8:16 we read, “I was then led into the temple’s inner courtyard, where I saw about twenty-five men standing near the entrance, between the porch and the altar. Their backs were to YHVH’s temple, and they were worshipping towards the rising sun.” The really terrible thing about what these men were doing was not so much watching the sun rising in the east. No, in doing this they were standing with their back to YHVH God, Who dwelt in the Holy Of Holies, behind them! Once again ancient Israel had adopted the worship traditions of the people who lived at the same time as they did! Today, many churches have a tradition of climbing a nearby hill early on Easter Sunday morning to worship as the sun rises in the east! Once again they are mimicking a tradition dating back, at least, 3,000 years. What About The Easter Bunny? In British culture there is a tradition of

associating bunnies, chicks and eggs with Easter. What has all this to do with Jesus, His death and His resurrection? The only answer we can truthfully give is, nothing! Why then do we have all these things in our Easter traditions? Well, the clue is in the name, ‘Easter’. Back before Christianity was introduced to Britain there was a tradition about a goddess named ‘Eostre’. This goddess is the very same goddess the Bible calls ‘Ishtar’, ‘Astarte’ or ‘The Queen of Heaven’.

Around the world, this goddess was represented by the moon. At Easter she was supposed to come down to earth in the form of a hare. This hare would often be seen gazing longingly at the moon, from where she had come. A few years ago it became very popular to buy pictures and models of a hare, with its ears laid back looking upwards; this hare is called the ‘Moongazing Hare’. The ancient British tradition, tells of this hare, representing the goddess Eostre, laying an egg. From this egg, the goddess Eostre would break out and rise, on wings, back to the moon. It is easy to see how this tradition was transferred into the ‘christian’ Easter festival and became bunnies, chicks and Easter Eggs. Even the name of the goddess was used to speak of this ‘christian’ festival – ‘Eostre’ became ‘Easter’. [It is interesting to realise that at about the same time as the church started using eggs at Easter, the Jewish People also began to use eggs in their Passover meal!]

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What Does YHVH God Think Of All These Things? When God’s Chosen People, Israel, decided to follow the same traditions of the surrounding nations, YHVH was very angry. Consequently, it was because they were practicing these pagan worship traditions that God sent the Babylonians to cruelly take them into captivity and exile as punishment. God Has Given Us A Way To Remember The Death And Resurrection Of His Son In the Bible Jesus tells us how to remember Him. Jesus’ last meal was the Passover Celebration. He said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” He also went on to say about the wine they drank at the Passover Meal, “From now on I will not drink any wine, until I drink new wine in God’s kingdom.” (Mark 14:25) There is little doubt that Jesus was expected to observe the Passover with His disciples when He returns to establish His Kingdom. Some people say, “But Passover is a Jewish feast, part of the Old Covenant!” But this is wrong, Passover is one of God’s feasts and has always belonged to Him. What we so often glibly call “communion”, started as our Lord’s last meal - The Passover meal. YHVH God Said To His People, Israel: “But that’s when you must be especially careful not to ask, “How did those nations worship their gods? Shouldn’t we worship the Lord in the same way?” No, you should not! YHVH hates the disgusting way those nations worship their gods.” (Deuteronomy 12:30-31) Maybe it is time to question some of our beloved traditions and to ask ourselves: Should we, as conscientious believers rethink these non-biblical traditions? Should we educate ourselves about the Biblical feasts and practices God Himself has ordained for us the Bride of Christ? Once we know the truth can we justify mixing the pure with the profane?p April - June 2015

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Jesus may h

Broken He DEATH BY CRUCIFIXION: SLOW SUFFOCATION 1. Shallowness of breathing causes small areas of lung collapse. 2. Decreased oxygen and increased carbon dioxide causes acidic conditions in the tissues. 3. Fluid builds up in the lungs. Makes situation in step 2 worse. 4. Heart is stressed and eventually fails The slow process of suffering and resulting death during a crucifixion may be summarized as follows: “...it appears likely that the mechanism of death in crucifixion was suffocation. The chain of events which ultimately led to suffocation are as follows: With the weight of the body being supported by the sedulum, the arms were pulled upward. This caused the intercostal and pectoral muscles to be stretched. Furthermore, movement of these muscles was opposed by the weight of the body. With the muscles of respiration thus stretched, the respiratory bellows became relatively fixed. As dyspnea developed and pain in the wrists and arms increased, the victim was forced to raise the body off the sedulum, thereby transferring the weight of the body to the feet. Respirations became easier, but with the weight of the body being exerted on the feet, pain in the feet and legs mounted. When the pain became unbearable, the victim again slumped down on the sedulum with the weight of the body pulling on the wrists and again stretching the intercostal muscles. Thus, the victim alternated between lifting his body off the sedulum in order to breathe and slumping down 24

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April - June 2015

on the sedulum to relieve pain in the feet. Eventually, he became exhausted or lapsed into unconsciousness so that he could no longer lift his body off the sedulum. In this position, with the respiratory muscles essentially paralyzed, the victim suffocated and died. (DePasquale and Burch)

Due to the shallow breathing, the victim’s lungs begin to collapse in small areas. causing hypoxia and hypercarbia. A respiratory acidosis, with lack of compensation by the kidneys due to the loss of blood from the numerous beatings, resulted in an increased strain on the heart, which beats faster to compensate. Fluid builds up in the lungs. Under the stress of hypoxia and acidosis the heart eventually fails. There are several different theories on the actual cause of death. One theory states that there was a filling of the pericardium with fluid, which put a fatal strain on the ability of the heart to pump blood (Lumpkin). Another theory states that Jesus died of cardiac rupture.” (Bergsma) The actual cause of Jesus’ death, however, “may have been multifactorial and related primarily to hypovolemic shock, exhaustion asphyxia and perhaps acute heart failure.”(Edwards) A fatal cardiac arrhythmia may have caused the final terminal event. (Johnson, Edwards) JESUS LAID DOWN HIS LIFE John 10:17-18 “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

Used with permission from David Terasaka, M.D. © www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/terasaka_david/m


ave died of a

eart

Luke 23:46 “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit’.” When He had said this, he breathed His last. The average time of suffering before death by crucifixion is stated to be about 2-4 days (Tenney), although there are reported cases where the victims lived for 9 days.(Lipsius) The actual causes of death by crucifixion were multifactorial, one of the most significant would have been the severity of the scourging. (Edwards) Jesus died a quick physical death (Pilate was surprised that He had died so soon. (Mark 15:44)). While many of the physical signs preceding death were present, one possibility is that Jesus did not die by physical factors which ended His ability to live, but that He gave up His life of His own accord. His last statement, “Into your hands I commit my Spirit” seems to show that Jesus’ death occurred by giving Himself up. In John 10, He states that only He has the power to lay down His life. He proved His power over death by His resurrection. Truly, God is the one who has power over life and death CONFIRMATION OF DEATH: HASTENED by the breaking of the legs, so that the victim could not push up to take a good breath. John 19:32-33: The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. CONFIRMED by a spear thrust into the right side of the heart.

©1996. All Rights Reserved, David Terasaka, M.D. misc/crucify.cfm - accessed 23/03/2015

John 19:34: Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. Death in crucifixion was hastened by the breaking of the legs of the victim. This procedure, called crurifracture, prevented the ability of the victim to take in a good breath. Death would quickly occur from suffocation. In Jesus’ case, He died quickly and did not have His legs broken. Jesus fulfils one of the prophetic requirements of the Passover Lamb, that not a bone shall

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be broken.(Exodus 12:46, John 19:36) To confirm that a victim was dead, the Romans inflicted a spear wound through the right side of the heart. When pierced, a sudden flow of blood and water came from Jesus’ body. The medical significance of the blood and water has been a matter of debate. One theory states that Jesus died of a massive myocardial infarction, in which the heart ruptured (Bergsma) which may have resulted from His falling while carrying the cross. (Ball) Another theory states that Jesus’ heart was surrounded by fluid in the pericardium, which constricted the heart and caused death. (Davis) The physical stresses of crucifixion may have produced a fatal cardiac arrhythmia. (Johnson) The stated order of ‘blood and water’ may not necessarily indicate the order of appearance, but rather the relative prominence of each fluid. In this case, a spear through the right side of the heart would allow the pleural fluid (fluid built up in the lungs) to escape first, followed by a flow of blood from the wall of the right ventricle. (Edwards) The important fact is that the medical evidence supports that Jesus did die a physical death. The story, of course, does not end here. The greatest event that separates Jesus from all others is the fact that He rose again and lives today. He intercedes for those who follow Him at the right hand of the Father. (Heb 7:25) p

Ball, D. A. “The Crucifixion and Death of a Man Called Jesus”. J Miss St Med Assoc 30(3): 77-83, 1989. Bergsma, Stuart. “Did Jesus Die of a Broken Heart?”. The Calvin Forum, 14:165, 1948. Davis, C.T. “The Crucifixion of Jesus :The Passion of Christ from a Medical Point of View”. Ariz Med 22:183187, 1965. DePasquale, N. P. and Burch, G.E. “Death by Crucifixion”, Am Heart J 66(3):. 434-435, 1963. Edwards, W.D., Gabel, W.J and Hosmer, F.E. “On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ.” JAMA. 255 (11), pp. 1455-1463, 1986. Johnson, C..”Medical and Cardiological Aspects of the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus, the Christ”, Bol Asoc Med P Rico 70 (3) :97-102, 1978. Lumpkin,R..” The Physical Suffering of Christ”, J Med Assoc Ala 47: 8-10, 1978. Lipsius, Justus. “De Cruce. Libri tres, ad sacram profanamque historiam utiles. (3rd part Tom III. Opera Omnia. Antwerp, 1614) Tenney, S.M. “On Death By Crucifixion”, Am Heart J.68(2) :286-287, 1964.

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JARGON BUSTER

What is Love?

The truth about love has always been debated and diligently pursued by every civilization, which has had its noteworthy legends of heroes and heroines who performed outstanding feats because of love. The Greeks are among the many who have tried to understand and define love. It was seen as an ideal existence that was worthy of attaining to, for humans to live an optimal life. According to the Greeks, there are four broad ways of expressing love.

Agape Love

Philia Love

Eros Love * “Éros - ‘love, mostly of the sexual passion.’[1] The Modern Greek word ‘erotas’ means ‘intimate [erotic]love.’” This is the kind of love expressed between persons involved in a dating relationship as well as marriage. This is the type of love that people will most commonly refer to as having falling into or being in as it typically triggers so many pleasant hormones and other chemicals in their bodies that it is the most talked about and everyone wants to experience it. * “Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself. Plato does not talk of physical attraction as a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word platonic to mean, ‘without physical attraction.’”

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* “Philia - means ‘affectionate regard, friendship,’ usually ‘between equals.’[2] It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle.[3]” Philia - Love is known as brotherly love, as in the brotherhood of mankind. It is characterised by virtue, loyalty and equality among friends, colleagues, teammates, members of our community, and the type of social enjoyment shared between lovers.

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Storge Love

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April - June 2015

* “Storge - Is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring...” It is the love we have for each other or for siblings and family members based on mere acceptance of the fact they are blood relatives. References: 1, 2 & 4. Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus 3. “Philosophy of Love (Philia)”. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 24 August 2014. 5. H. G. Liddell; Robert Scott (October 2010). An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon: Founded Upon the Seventh Edition of Liddell and Scott’s GreekEnglish Lexicon. Benediction Classics. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-84902-626-0. * Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Greek_words_for_love#cite_refLiddellScott2010_2-0 Accessed 28/03/15

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* “Agápe - [4] means... ‘charity; the love of God for man and of man for God.’[5]” It is uncompromising, unconditional, unyielding and unending. This love made Jesus suffer and die on the cross for the sins of all humanity and made Christian martyrs die for Christ. Christians who have the Spirit Of Jesus Christ living in their hearts grow in agape more each day. As Agape love is expressed it makes us feel, think, react and respond in the following ways bringing us into a state of contentment and oneness with God: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not selfseeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”(1 Corinthians 13:48 NIV) Jesus’ life and teaching demonstrated love so profoundly that the apostles concluded that: God is Love Love did not therefore originate with man but with God. God’s nature and character [LOVE] is expressed through humanity and creation in action. I love you therefore I do... GOD loves us so He gave Jesus, Jesus loves you therefore He died for you.

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• Am • Am I pow er • Is t I insec hung h ry? u for ere an re? giv e? yone So • D I r • r n oI Am Am y? say eed t • • Wo I lazy I am o Am I jealo & uld • u • I ris indis to Am I unkin s of a s kd cip nyo • lin d? righ tand is Do I selfi u n t • p fo missa ed? e? sh I • Do ? l rw & Am have I • gre w hat u in • is hat se pe Am I a hy tegrit edy? • po y • Am I wa ople t Am I prou crite ? n o • t I ? get a li ? d • A ? I ar? m Am bitte • r Ca I mate arr I confi and r na riali oga n • den esen stic f y a o ith nt Am n to t r ju ful? • Do ful fr e call ? I pr ? ien st eju me I • lo d dic ? ve Wo a e? G u • beli ld I die od fir s eve • t? for ? wh • at I ps. I ne ed a cha nge !

d? line p i isc ind issal & sm is ned? i i l zy t p i d a a c l I wh indis isk & Am ld I r p for y al to z s s a i l I m u • d u Am getrisk• disAm isI lazy Wohungry? right?& indisciplined? • Am I power I o tan • t d t l • a s h oeu W to for w odgeentt or opl • ? ? p e t y u r p h g • ry?Am • eoI pWould e st?a nd loentfi I risk dismissal uIninsecure? c rig h s r g u t e p m n I n eA hu I pow rm Do t I wa D?o I• us ? t?a nt? to? anyone e o e r A t u d • Is there I need to d c w e ga stand up d? what is •po ureI?insenee nee • a gwrhua dg• a liar haatlistIicwaarrnoe to Gofor I e I e v I m c n o l i I wr g Am •I inseA yoenereforgive? aynIyaom arbyDo imaor? reatlliyc? oIuarimnI say AI mam mate m eI caalllD I right? to h n a t s a h • oI I ? ody•? Am I• Ayon • ?aterialis e doewan m Am • ereIsa o I s?AD ? m ll m h D i•v e • issatol get ntea nyb e? • ed taon an AmrieIndm• IffiDo m ritsntecacI aIuse people o s i Is t ivef?org Sorry? s y d e n f i n n ? agaan nyo e I • C • ithful an• Gaondyo whaott?ion or g • what r for yS?orry s ofous orfe aa nyon d o m C e f n o a r e f • lov i p ? of anyone? rr • aAm he ou ealI jealous I ithdfiuel fpofwhat Ifiswant? rtsatn?d u So AI jm e lI• j dI?s tnd?reedy o a d I f I o D • Am in i give? reedy? yon e? uld lovw e oGulId a liar? hgea!t I nIk unIkfhounkind? • o Do• I? Am w &rg &y?g • Am n u r a m o W f I n A f e s sh it t e ?a so • • Am • • believould I isdirightch elfiselfintegrI jegaritloyu? to ge I s e l p m I ? i e o W• Ama I materialistic? mte greedy? • • • AAmAm vIevselfish ? l? • • ? id I use pe •aha Aepioncrit ritn& d e ? n d i v h e I ? e k i e l u I o e I n•e D u • • D o ondgaey! me a po?Icintegrity? hhyAym tcall ntfrs need • • b• e m a a . a • • DDo I have Can anyone s a h I ps m I• ud pnudtreotheusttful? haere c for what I w • AAm I IpprrooDuod? • Ir a reorsej n n? d e ie I ne t y ow t • •• Am friend? Am ld I d iteter a ndednm ps. faithful AmI• a I ithypocrite? u b o s t u W j e • mAImb beofnofir nt or • e edy? A I proud? c d e? first? fi I • • Am • Do I love n elievGod • m AI mco nt?I gre e? b am ic • A• I bitter •g aarrnoAtg? h? juderesentful? e • Am and r o pdiIcse?lfis ? • Would I die for what I arr I y m it u j r A e m g r inte m• •I pA vejust y? a • Am or h I • IAconfident o thorit • believe?

• D ct au e p s e arrogant? Do I r • ? proud I m Am I prejudice? • A

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ps. I need a

change!

April - June 2015

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Unshake

The

STORY TELLER

True stories that grip the very heart of you

LUKE 16:15

To book the story teller:

Email : index_us@ yahoo.com Personal Mobile Number : ++7940 875-674 Office Phone Number : ++1472 485-408 Fax Number : ++1472 485-408

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“ You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. ”

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When I first accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour I was very passionate about Him and His Kingdom. I wanted to learn more and more about Him, so I would go over to the church where I got saved almost every day. On some of these days there were no meetings but I would still go and have a talk with the caretaker, who was the only one there. He wasn’t a preacher, teacher or my mentor, but I wanted to speak with anyone who could tell me about Jesus so I could learn more about Him and His Kingdom. RIVALRY BETWEEN CHURCH SISTERS One day he told me a story that I would never forget. He told me of two ladies who attended the church of which he was a member years before. These two ladies were bitter rivals to the point where their differences were now spilling over into the rest of the congregation and affecting others. The pastor of the church, seeing the need to put this thing to an end met with them and played the part of a mediator. He heard both sides, thrash it out between them and brought a resolve, or so he thought. Since their differences had affected the whole church and threatened division he thought it a good idea to have both ladies come into a member’s meeting and openly show that they are now in agreement. Most attended the members meeting on the set night, including my caretaker friend, Mr. Bell. After a brief talk from the pastor, the two ladies were called up to shake hands in agreement before everyone. These ladies, who could not agree before, came forward and with wide smiles shook hands with each other. Something was not right however, and only the wise discerners could pick up on it. A church brother and good friend of Mr. Bell, who was sitting next to him,

April - June 2015

leaned over and whispered this to him. “They have shaken hands but their hearts remain unshaken.” His observation turned out to be true. These ladies had put on an act for all to see, but their hearts were unchanged. Mr. Bell, the caretaker of the church, taught me a lesson that many fail to understand. We judge and honour people based on things like their education, social status, spirituality and wealth, but not according to their hearts. GOD GOES DEEPER A most profound statement was made by God in 1 Samuel 16:7, “Samuel, don’t think Eliab is the one just because he’s tall and handsome. He isn’t the one I’ve chosen. People judge others by what


they look like, but I judge people by what is in their hearts.” This is the very essence of Jesus’ message. Jesus taught the new and better way of the New Covenant. He removes the emphasis from outward performance to inward transformation. “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28 (NKJV)) Jesus shone the spotlight deep within the dark souls of men so that we could realise that we are all adulterers and murderers even though some of us have not yet physically carried out the act. Our true personality is revealed in the meditations of our hearts even though we may put on a show for others.

Jesus was hated for saying these things but He continued to speak them boldly and with much authority because He knew He was speaking the truth. He understood that God was not impressed with outward performance but was looking into our hearts. Prophets of old perceived this, as we can see from Joel’s demand for true repentance. Joel 2:13 “Don’t rip your clothes to show your sorrow. Instead, turn back to me with broken hearts…” In those days people would tear their clothes as a sign of their grief and sorrow. However, very often the tearing of the cloths was not a true reflection of what was happening in their hearts. This is why Joel, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, insisted that their repentance come from a truly broken and torn heart and not just an outward show. “The way to please you [God] is to feel sorrow deep in our hearts. This is the kind of sacrifice you won’t refuse.” (Psalm 51:17) p

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*Conditions apply

Jesus’ analogy of the dirty cup teaches us that the Christ life must flow from the inside out, i.e. we live from our hearts. If our heart is clean, our actions will also become clean. If however, our heart is nasty, eventually its true state will be manifested, even though for a time, we may successfully mask it with good works .

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Jesus during His nine woes exclaimed in Matthew 23:25-28 “You Pharisees and teachers are show-offs, and you’re in for trouble! You wash the outside of your cups and dishes, while inside there is nothing but greed and selfishness. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of a cup, and then the outside will also be clean. You Pharisees and teachers are in for trouble! You’re nothing but show-offs. You’re like tombs that have been whitewashed. On the outside they are beautiful, but inside they are full of bones and filth. That’s what you are like. Outside you look good, but inside you are evil and only pretend to be good.”

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en Hearts

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In Praise of Hymn Reviewing Great Christian Hymns

O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

1 2 3

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free! Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me! Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above! O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore! How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore! How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own; How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best! ‘Tis an ocean vast of blessing, ‘tis a haven sweet of rest! O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ‘tis a heaven of heavens to me; And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

“O the Deep Deep, Love of Jesus” is a well-known Christian hymn, written by the London merchant Samuel Trevor Francis.[1] Francis (1834–1925) had a spiritual turning point as a teenager, contemplating suicide one night on a bridge over the River Thames. Experiencing a renewal of faith, he went on to author many poems and hymns and was a preacher in addition to his merchant career.[2] The song compares Jesus’ love to the ocean in scope, emphasizing the limitless, unchanging, and sacrificial nature of God’s affections for the singer and all of humanity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_the_Deep,_Deep_Love_of_Jesus - Accessed 26/02/2015

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SHARE Magazine April 2015  

A free quarterly Christian magazine that doesn't shy away from challenging topics but will often go where others fear to trod.

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