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The Flesh-Ruled Spiritual Leader
Stats: 8,526 words / Reading Time: 42.63 mins

Published: Tuesday 9th July 2019

The Flesh-Ruled Spiritual Leader is read 342 times on CentreNDL.org 342

The Flesh-Ruled Spiritual Leader

Discover How To Lead From Inside-Out

Last week was a great time as we examined Understanding God's Commandment of Love. It was  a moment with the Holy Spirit as the Lord guided us. Tonight, He is going to take us forward again, and I want us to be very attentive. I trust God that it would be more like Bible study, we will be engaging the word of God and we will be reasoning the word of God together. It won't be a preaching, it would be teaching and I trust God to help us through this experience in Jesus' name. But I believe it is because of us that God has sent this word. Now, my wife used to say sometimes ago that this is how you know what God is doing or about to do in the midst of a people by the word He sends. He sent His word to them, the word healed them and delivered them simply because they need healing and they need deliverance. That is why the word of healing and deliverance was sent to them.




The question is: what word has been sent to us today and how are prepared to receive it knowing full well that whatever God has sent to us is what we need. Today, we are looking at The Flesh-ruled Spiritual Leader. We will be reading many Scriptures, and it looks as if we are going to be having our texts by examining four Scriptures together. But let us begin with the book of Genesis 1:26. Everything on this earth began from Genesis. We are looking at the flesh-ruled spiritual leader, and in this context, the spiritual leader that we are focusing on is a man, is a woman and a person. So, we want to understand the origin of that person so that we can move on from there. Genesis 1:26, the Bible says:

"Then God said (and I want you to note the word God said; it was God who said, and was not a chemical reaction, it was not a demon neither is it a man who said, let us make ourselves; it wasn't) let us make man in our image, according to our likeness (and I want you to note this: "according to" because it is going to be a key word for our study tonight) let them (the ones, the man that we have made in our image; who is not just our image, who is now according to our likeness) let that man have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping things that creeps on the earth."

Let them have dominion over everything that we have created on the earth. But who will have that dominion, who will exercise such rulership? Isn't it the man that has been made in the image of God and then according to His likeness? Until these two are real or true in the life of anyone, such a person can never exercise dominion on this earth. Now, we are ultimately looking at a flesh-ruled Spiritual leader, and we must not forget that this man or this woman that we are looking at is already a spiritual leader. One of the things that we must note about who a spiritual leader is, three words. The first word about a spiritual leader is Spiritual Influence.  And then the next word is spiritual responsibility and the final one is spiritual authority.


We are looking at a man or a woman who has spiritual influence, spiritual responsibility and then spiritual authority over a people or a place. We are considering such a man, and we are looking at such a situation where a man of that kind of responsibility, influence and authority being ruled by his flesh or by her flesh. We want to see what happens. Now, in Genesis 1:26, we are able to see that God made man in His image and likeness and He then said, let them have dominion. Let us go to Genesis 2:7, You know, Genesis 1:26 simply shows us what God intended. He intended to make man and then it told us the manner of that man and how he is going to function. And I don't want us to forget that. He told us how the man would function. Now let us go to how God actually did the work. From Genesis 2:7 the Bible says:


"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breath into his nostrils, the breathe of life, and man became a living being."

The question is: what is man before he became a living being? He was just the formed dust of the ground, it was lifeless, he couldn't function or move. He could not do things or carry out great works. It was already formed, but lack the life. So, we are able to see here that God actually and eventually formed the man and then released into his nostrils the breathe of life and the formed man became a living soul. Now, let us go again. In Genesis 2:8, the Bible says "And the Lord God planted a garden eastward of Eden and then He put the man whom He had formed.....let us jump to verse 15 Then the Lord God took the man (we are trying to see a series now, the sequence of events and how things happened. Don't forget the Bible does not need to say the Lord God took the man that He formed, but that is the meaning. The man that was formed, that had now become a living being, the Lord God took him in verse 15) and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and to keep it."


So, there was a sequence. The first phase is Genesis 1:26, "Let us make." Man had never been until that statement was made by God. And this is how we will make this man, and this is how that man would function. He will function according to our likeness, how we function, he will also function. Why? Because he is made in our image. So, he will function like us because he is made in our image. If he can then function like us, he will be able to exercise authority on the earth. Exercising authority on the earth is not just in you being formed. So, that you are a man does not mean everything (goat, demons, Lions etc) should be afraid of you. It is not automatic. There is a necessity for you to be made and conformed to His image and then there is a necessity for you to function according to His likeness.


It is said if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. so, if dominion were horses, everyone would be in dominion. But the question is: Is every man, every woman on this earth in dominion? His everyman ruling? So that calls to question the sequence and the necessary steps that must be taking for dominion. There must be a conformity to an image, then there must be a functioning according to a pattern. It says "Let us make man in our image and according to our likeness and then let them have dominion." So, we can see that in Genesis 2:7, God formed, and then "something" from God was released into that man. And then in verse 8, the Bible says God created the garden, and the Lord God planted the garden and then in verse 15, that man that was formed and had become living; was put in the garden that God had planted.


So, it is like God created a sphere of responsibility, a place and a scope of assignment and then God put the man in responsibility. It is like God saying "I have made you carefully and wonderfully, now that you have grown up; take responsibility over the management of my estate." It is like God is saying you must first be my son, and then you must grow up, and haven grown up, then I know you have the capacity to manage my estate in Lagos or anywhere else. So, only my estate are your responsibility, if you go elsewhere where I do not own, they will call you thief. so, there is a scope or a sphere of responsibility. Within your sphere, you have both authority and influence. But all these is premised on a man being made in the image of God, and then according to His likeness. When we are talking about a man being made and functioning according to the likeness of God, it is simply talking about the mannerism of a man that looks like God. The things God does are the things that you are doing, and you are doing it just the way God will do it. I don't know if you understand that.


But it is first premised on you being made in His image, then if you can be made in His image and function according to His likeness; then you can exercise dominion. It is like God is showing us how to have dominion, because there is already an assumption that we are spiritual leaders. There is somebody somewhere, there is a place somewhere that we are expected to have authority over, we are expected to be responsible for. If there are five people  living in a house and I am suppose to provide food for, it means I have a responsibility for them. And now, because I have a responsibility for them, it also means I have influence over or with them, and then I have some authority either with or over them. Do you understand?


Your authority is premised on your responsibility. And your influence is inside your responsibility. Do we understand? That is like a background. We are seeing a sequence, don't forget the Bible says in Genesis 2:15, God put the man that He has formed in the garden and the reason was not to sleep around, eat around, but to tend and to keep it. And we must never forget that the responsibility of Adam was restricted to that garden. In case we think that garden was like a fenced house, it is bigger than that. It is a big land, but that was his sphere of authority. And if he would ever succeed doing that work, then He must function like God. If he would ever function like God, he must be made in the image of God. Do we see the sequence? There is the image, there is likeness and there is dominion.


It is one thing for a person to be made the DG of a parastata of Government, he has a position. But before he can have a position, he or she must have some qualifications, like the university he attended and several places he or she has worked in the past. Those qualifications are like the image, there is a personality you must be. They can't just pick up a boy somewhere and they will say become the DG of NIMASA. It won't happen. You must be a man, a woman, a mature personality that has some education or some background. That becomes like the image. Having gotten good image, then you are now given the position as the DG. There is one thing for you to be given the position, it is another thing for you to be doing the work of the DG. That dominion talks about you actually doing the work.


So, you have an image, and then you are given a position, and then you are doing it. Now, later on, God brought animals to Adam to see the names he would give to them. And many of us are aware today that there was no name given by Adam that God changed. so, it means Adam actually functioned in authority. The reason God didn't have to change it is because he named them just the way God would name them. It was as if God was naming them through him, and that is the ideal, it is what God desires of us. The things you do, even though it looks as if it is you doing it, it should be God doing it. So, when you want to function like God, it means God gives you the willingness to do something and then also works in you to do it.


If you can have the willingness to do a thing from God, not from you, and then God is also helping you to do it, you will actually do it the way God wants you to do it. I don't know if you understand? If I am the one working in you to will, and I am the same one working in you to do, will you do it differently from the way I will do it? No! That is exactly what God is looking for. But that is not what always happens. Now, let us go again to the Scripture that I want us to study as the Lord guides us. 2 Corinthians 3, familiar Scripture, many of us have read it several times. 2 Corinthians 10:1, the Bible says:


"Now I Paul, myself I am pleading with you by the meekness and the gentleness of Christ, who in presence I am lowly among you but being absent I am bold toward you but I beg you that when I am present, I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh, for though we walk in the flesh, we do not work according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but might in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God bringing every thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ."

So, if we pause there, we will still go back to the ending of chapter two. Many of us have read this, but it looks as if certain words have been used interchangeably and we have not been giving enough thoughts over them. The latter part says, talking about I intend to be bold against some who think of us as if we worked according to the flesh. Now, that shows Apostle Paul considered certain people to have certain assumptions about them. They perceived apostle Paul and his team in a manner that was not accurate. Because what Apostle Paul was raising there was an issue. They think of us, it is not everybody, they think of us as if walked according to the flesh. He now said in chapter three that for though we walk in the flesh, somebody may say, are you not even contradicting yourself? But there is no contradiction.


There are some people, some brothers and sisters, who think that we walked according to the flesh. There is a difference between working in and walking according to. In Genesis 1:26 that we read, the Bible says "God said let us make man in our image and according to our likeness and let them have dominion." That is why we said a man must first be made in the image of God, then he must function like God for him to ever exercise dominion on the earth. He is made in the image, then he functions according to. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh." Tonight we will not be using the word 'war' or 'walk', we will be using it for other words. Words like work or function. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not function according to the flesh. We don't work in the flesh, or carry out assignment in the flesh, that is another way to say it.


You cannot have an intending battle to fight, and that is when you are thinking about farming. You can't farm when you are meant to be fighting. Anytime there is a war, you don't think of any other thing except about the war. So, when there is a war, a battle to be fought, that becomes like the next thing you must face. For though we walk in the flesh, we don't solve our daily problems according to the flesh. We can be walking in the flesh but we are not functioning according to the flesh. For the means, and our tools of executing out assignment are not according to the flesh. Now let us see it. 2 Corinthians 10:, the Bible says: "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God....(and there is another word I want us to not which is..."But mighty in God." I am sure many of us have read it, but we didn't pause here. If I say for instance, what I use to look good, they are not mine but they are mighty in my wife, are they mine? If you are looking for them, where will you find it? It means you will get my wife and find out the secrets for my looking fine.


You see, the weapons of your warfare, they are not yours. They are not even things that people see around, they are not physical, but they are mighty in God, another word for that mighty is "they are effective in God." If they are effective in God, then they are of God, they are sourced in God. If they are sourced in God, then they are part of God. Our weapons are part of God. You know, when Goliath came to David, and he was looking Militarily kitted, and he was looking at David like a man that is a little bit unkept, and David said you have come to me with this and that, but I have come to you in the name of the Lord. So, is the name of the Lord separate from God?


Our weapons are mighty in God, they are of God. We don't engage them outside of God, in a nutshell, what it means is that we are simply engaging God in a warfare. And we have said that warfare is another word we can use for our assignments, our daily pursuits, our functioning, our work; for the means of us doing them are mighty in God, we actually engage God on a daily basis on this earth. This is why the Bible says for it God who works in us both to will and to do. Then if it is God working in you both to will and to do, where are you then coming in? That is why apostle Paul said though we walk in the flesh, our secrets are not of the flesh.


So, God is engaging your mortality to achieve His immortal plans. God is engaging your physical attributes to achieve His invincible results. There is a goal in the heart of God and He is using you to achieve it. You slept and woke up, and you have a desire to do something, it is not of you, it is of God. He is not stopping with a desire to get a job done, he is now helping you to get it done. He is giving you the secrets of how to do it, and someone is then asking you how did you do it? Apostle Paul said he labour more than the other apostles, yet not him, but the grace of God that was bestowed upon him; lest you think he is the one doing all the works.


So, Christ is helping you, God is helping you to do the work He gave to you. So, where do you boast again, where do you come in? Why should you then be ruled by your flesh when the entire job is to be executed by the Spirit? For the weapons of our warfare are not canal, our means of getting the job done are mighty in God. Physically, you could feel weak, and it is in your weakness that God even wants to show His strength so that the glory does not even go to you. Apostle Paul said we have these treasure in earthen vessels so that the excellence might be of God and not of us who works in us both to will and to do.


Ephesians 2:10 tells us that you are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus. Let us make man in our image. What is the image of God? For he is the express image of the invincible God (Hebrews 1). There is a Scripture we read sometimes ago, as He is, so are we on this earth. Let us read that 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 in Amplified Bible.


"For though we walk in the flesh [as mortal men], we are not carrying on our [spiritual] warfare according to the flesh and using the weapons of man. 4 The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 being ready to punish every act of disobedience, when your own obedience [as a church] is complete."

So, going over it again, let us go back to that 2 Corinthians 10:7

"Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s. 8 For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed..."

You know we have said that a spiritual leader is a man or a woman who has a spiritual influence, responsibility and spiritual authority over a people or a place. Do we understand that? Now Apostle Paul acknowledged that in verse eight when he said, he mentioned the authority that the Lord gave to them, not for their destruction, but for their edification. A leader has an authority from God to edify the people or to edify a territory. However, when a leader is not in the image, when a leader is not according to the spirit, then a leader finds it difficult to do what was originally intended by God. We have seen the sequence of dominion for man, it begins with image, then likeness and then dominion.


So, a man who misses any of the two parts will never have correct dominion. You can have dominion by force, you can take territory by force, you can subjugate people by force, but if it is going to be through dominion that God is pleased with, then it begins with a sequence. You must be made in the image, you must be conformed to the image of Christ. And then you must walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. It is easy for a canal pastor, a canal leader to curse the people. Some pastors can even curse their members simply because they give meagre offerings in church. A man who will not use his authority anyhow is a man who will not be ruled by the flesh. You cannot be ruled by the flesh as a spiritual leader and then you will now destroy the people with your authority.


There is nothing that you will have as a spiritual leader: influence, authority, responsibility that cannot be abused in the flesh. A man in his right senses, does he find it easy to slap his wife? But how difficult is it for a drunkard to slap his wife? So, the authority he has over the woman, he is now using it to destroy her simply because he is in the flesh. That is why the Bible says no man in the flesh can please God. It is not possible, because the desires of the flesh are different from that of the Spirit. Even though we walk and live in the flesh, but we are not of the flesh. And that will help us as we go into our case studies tonight.


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style="color:black">There is a difference between a man who lives in Lagos Nigeria and the man who is of Lagos Nigeria. You can be living in Nigeria and you are not of Nigeria and examples are obvious. If you see a typical Chinese man in Nigeria or Africa for instance, does he dump his Chinese way of life simply because he is in another country? No! What they do rather is to have Chinese restaurants, Chinese village, Chinese this and that where they do and live the Chinese way, eat Chinese way and practice their Chinese culture. Can a Chinese man come to Nigeria and he now starts thinking like a Nigerian?


So, even though a Chinese man has spent several years in Ghana, he will not be of Ghana. So, there is a difference between been in and been of. How do you do your things, do you do it like a typical Nigerian? Then you are of Nigeria. Then you will get Nigerian kind of result. There is a difference between living in the flesh and living according to the flesh. Functioning according to the flesh. You can be in Bwari and not do your things as Bwari people do their things. For instance, Bwari people are Gbagi people, and they carry heavy loads on their shoulders. But since you have been living in Bwari, have you ever carried something on your shoulder like that before? So, you can be in Bwari and yet not function like Bwari people function. Then you can say the way you function is not according to Bwari people but mighty in God. You get better results, why? Because the way you get your things done is different from the way other people gets their things done.


Before we round off, I want us to see case studies. And let us go to Luke 9 for case study number one, we want to learn from the mistakes of James and John Zebedee. Luke 9 from verse 51, the Bible says:


"Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?"

Why were James and John asking for instruction to call down fire to consume? Because they were in command and they were beside the commander-in-Chief. They said “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?" See how they used the Elijah example in a wrong way. You cannot say because you are so and so, or General overseer so and so, is doing so and so, and then you also must do this. That somebody did something and you want to use it for a basis for your action, is it a spiritual basis? Is it a leading from the Holy Spirit? So, are you now walking according to that man? So, are your weapons of getting your own result, are they according to Elijah?


Bible says our weapons are mighty in God and not mighty in men or authorities or in people, but mighty in God. So, God becomes our examples, our models of how we get things done. Then God is even the one doing them in us. Let us further see what happens.


"But He turned and rebuked them, (and I am sure we know rebuke, nobody rebukes and smile. Firm look ) and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. And they went to another village." If a man does not understand how to walk in the Spirit and is ruled by the Spirit as a spiritual leader, he will destroy what he is expected to save. Until Apostle Paul encountered Christ, and the issue of image was resolved in his life and likeness, Bible says he was looking for the opportunity to imprisoned anyone following Christ Jesus. But when he encountered Christ, he started looking for them, loving them and the one looking out for their welfare. They said of Apostle Paul that the one who used to persecute us is now with or for us.


So, before, he was trying to destroy the people and he was ordained by God to preserve the people. Why? He was in the flesh. He thought he was doing the work of God, but he was doing it in the flesh. It is the Spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing. You can't be ruled by what profit nothing. If you are ruled by your flesh, what you will produce will be nothing. Nothing means zero. Zero times any of your effort will simply give you zero. Let us not waste our efforts. In Romans 8:8, the Bible says "So then those who are in the flesh cannot please God." Let us see the second case study as we conclude.


Matthew 16 from verse 13, it is the case of Peter and I believe we know the story.

"When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

I want you to note this. When Simon Peter answered, the Bible didn't say the Holy Spirit or God answered. Bible says "Simon Peter answered." I am emphasizing this so that you can see how God works in men. 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven."


Is this not equivalent with what we saw in 2 Corinthians 10. For the weapons of our warfare are not flesh and blood. Jesus said flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. So, what he did at that moment, talking about the dominion; that Peter exercise, that quick second, he exercised dominion. It was the dominion of revelation, over ignorance and foolishness. At that moment, he was knowledgeable, he was a man of revelation. Let us see how it continues from verse 21.


"From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day." If you are a man of the spirit and you are listening to this that Jesus was saying here, sincerely, will you tell him not to do it? If you are a man of faith, a man of the Spirit, will you struggle with that? But if you are a man of the flesh, you will struggled and let us see how he struggled here. The Bible says then Peter took Him aside..and begin to rebuke Him, as if Jesus was a boy. It says "Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!"


"Far be it for you...this shall not happen." That is it. A spiritual leader who is ruled by the flesh shall never please God. Far be it, he said. The will of God in you will never be accomplished....Far be it Lord! But let us go on from verse 23. "But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me (for it is God who works in you both to will and do of His good pleasure. If it is God's bad pleasure, then who is at work?, Satan), for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."


So, a man who is ruled by his flesh is a man who is doing what the devil makes him will and makes him do. When you catch a thief today, anywhere in Nigeria, what would the thief says? "He go say na the devil oo." Even those caught in the very act of armed robbery, when they would say, they will say it is the devil's handiwork. But many of us are even tired of hearing it, but that is the truth anyway. They are saying the truth, it was not God, you see, what you do, it is either God giving you the willingness to do it or the devil giving you the willingness to do it. so, if what they have done does not please God, then it must have been the devil who gave them the will and the ability to do. I don't know if we understand what we are saying?


Jesus says to Peter.."Get behind me satan." So, satan gave him the will to rebuke him and satan helped him to rebuke. When Judas was to betray Jesus, satan entered him, gave him a willingness to betray and the Bible says, immediately he left. So, he had the courage and a sense of direction on how to betray Jesus. You can even ask Judas, he can write a book on how to betray Jesus, he knew it so well. Why? The devil gave him a willingness and an ability. When people have ability, they get things done. A man who is ruled by his flesh, a spiritual leader who is ruled by his flesh will get things done, but it would displease God. It would be a dead work and a work of iniquity. Why? Because they are ruled by the flesh.


Don't forget, it is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh profits nothing and I really love that word "Nothing" it shows us there is nothing to gain from it. You can live in the flesh, but don't function according to your flesh. When you function according to your flesh, then you are ruled by your flesh because functioning according to something means to depend on something. There is a spiritual ability that comes from God, it does not erode you of your intelligence. The Bible says there is a spirit in ma (Job 32:8) and the inspiration of the almighty gives them understanding. There is a place in Zachariah 4:6-7 where the Bible says it is not by power nor by might, but by my spirit says the Lord. In 1 Samuel 2:9, the Bible says for by strength shall no man prevail. All these things are talking about the flesh.


So, the quote I wrote here is "No job given to man in the spirit can be finished by the flesh." If it was the Spirit that gave you, then you need the Spirit to do it. That is why the works of Christ can only be done by the Spirit of Christ.


I pray that God helps us in Jesus' Name!


Thanks for the gift of your time, I am Gboyega Adedeji!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony with me in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!

Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.


Flesh Rule Spiritual Leader Spiritual Leader Church Believers Devil God Holy Spirit The Fl

PERCEPTION is the way and manner we ascribe meanings to the EVENTS that happens in our EVERYDAY LIFE. Whether those events are good or bad, how we chose to REACT to them, understood and interprets them are largely perceptual in NATURE.

Published: Obayomi Abiola Benjamin | Sunday 22nd December 2019

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PERCEPTION is the way and manner we ascribe meanings to
  PERCEPTION is the way and manner we ascribe meanings to
  PERCEPTION is the way and manner we ascribe meanings to
  PERCEPTION is the way and manner we ascribe meanings to
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