NO SALVATION WITHOUT A MIND CHANGE
“The soul of the wicked desireth evil.”
The mind can be described in many different ways and studied from several different angles. For the Christian’s purpose, the supreme definition of the mind is to be understood from God’s standpoint. According to inspiration the mind is the capital city of a man’s body; therefore the body and soul are at its command. If man’s mind has no higher intelligence to draw from for nourishment, it eventually becomes totally degraded. We know this from some of our own experiences and from the devastation man can bring upon himself, left on his own. But God said “Let this mind be in you that is in Christ Jesus.” This tells us our minds must have a greater source of inspiration than ourselves.
God created man and He is by right the ruler of man’s mind, that was, until sin stepped in. Since then, there’s been another force in competition with God to take the human mind under its control. This other force is the arch deceiver, the enemy, the devil. Since then the mind is in a constant struggle to make a choice between these two forces: God and his enemy.
“We should ever keep in mind that unseen agencies are at work, both evil and good to take control of the mind.” AH 405:1
The MIND: the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experience, to think, and feel, the faculty of consciousness and thought.; brain; sense; understanding; reason; judgment.
So we can say the mind holds the history of all our actions, good and bad. It is the data bank of our souls and establishes our character.
There is a key word introduced in the definitions of the mind and that is, the senses.
What are SENSES? A faculty by which the body receives external stimulus; the five natural powers: touch, taste, smell sight, hearing, through which you receive information about the world around you.
Here we see senses are important to the function of the mind because they are much like a set of workers who feed information to the mind. We would say later that the conduit through which these two: senses and mind, communicate is the thoughts. The mind is continually advised of the environment and how to process it vcia the senses. The dynamic of thought plays the middle man role. The thoughts are the intangibles received from the senses and delivered to the mind.
How does inspiration view the senses?
“All should guard the senses, least Satan gains victory over them; for they are the avenues of the soul.” AH 401:2
The senses are how the devil gains access to the mind.
Further: “You would have to become a faithful sentinel of your eyes, ears, if you would control your MIND and have vain and corrupt thoughts from staining your soul.” AH 401:3
Were the senses always a bad thing?
”Nature speaks to our senses without ceasing.” Steps to Christ. Chpt 10
Speaking of Adam and Eve: “Paradise delighted their senses” CTBH 96:1
“The holy pair (Adam and Eve) looked upon nature as a picture of unsurpassed loveliness….The brown earth was covered with a covering of living green, diversified with an endless variety of self-propagating self-perpetuated flowers. Shrubs, flowers and trailing vines, regaled their SENSES with their beauty and fragrance.” TMK 13:4
Further inspiration says: “God gave men eyes, that they might behold wondrous things out of the law…He gave them the hearing that they might listen to his messages, spoken by the living preacher. He gave men the talent of speech that they might present Christ as their sin pardoning Savior.” AH 401:1
So we know without a doubt the senses are given by God to glorify Him. In the employ of Satan, senses are only a detriment to the sinner because corrupt information is not censored before entering the mind. The senses were perverted by sin and man developed a liking for the sensualities of life, instead of righteousness.
“Satan and his angels are busy creating a paralyzed condition of the senses so cautions, warnings, and reproof shall not be heard.” Counsels for the church p 166:3
“Worldly associations attract and dazzle the senses so that piety, the fear of God, faithfulness, and loyalty, have no power to keep men steadfast.” AH 461:3
“You have to become a faithful sentinel over your eyes, ears, and all your senses if you would control your MIND.AH 401:3
Satan and his angels are busy creating a paralyzed condition of the SENSES so warnings and reproofs cannot be heard…AH 401:4
” Indulged appetite paralyzes the senses.” cdf p 28:4
Here we see we were given our senses to glorify God, but our senses were perverted by the enemy. So which better way can the devil get to us than through our senses. It is the initial form of communication between the mind and the outside world.
It is imperative for us to identify our senses, and study carefully how the outside world affects them and our responses to their demands. We in other words, should know ourselves.
The senses pick up any and everything from its environment. Sensual information then forms into thoughts and is transferred to the mind where they become solidified. But before they reach the mind they are vulnerable to being intercepted and tossed out. And this is where the Christian has the most power to control his unsanctified thoughts.
Thoughts are: the act of thinking of something; an idea or opinion produced by thinking.
Thinking: reasoning or rationalizing.
Thinking is a very important step in the process of sin or righteousness.
So here the person has time to contemplate, as brief or prolonged as that period may be, he has time to make a choice to do or not to do.
Senses create thought and thoughts enter the mind.
“It is within the power of everyone to choose the topics that shall occupy the THOUGHTS and shape the character.’ Education
“No one but yourself can control your thoughts. 2 MCP 665:3
Many thoughts make up the unwritten history of a single day…Our thoughts are to be strictly guarded, one impure thought makes a deep impression upon the soul. An evil thought leaves an evil impression on the MIND.”MYP 144
So we see here it’s from senses to thoughts, to mind.
Read the previous passage very slowly again.
It tells you the thought phase becomes active between the senses and the mind.
“Every Christian must stand on guard continually watching every avenue of the soul where Satan might find access. AH 403:2.
We are to keep guard by protecting the avenues to our minds, continually.
.Did Jesus Give Us An Example of How He Fought Evil Thoughts?
According to inspiration He did. The Sermon on the Mount highlights the sin-thought relationship, most specifically. You cannot misconstrue the message.
Matthew 5:27 “He who looks at a woman and lust at her had already committed adultery in his heart.”
“He taught his hearers that the law was transgressed before the evil desire was carried out in the flesh.” R&H June 12, 1888, 2MCP 658:1
Christ wouldn’t have made this declaration to sinful man: that man was capable of intercepting a thought before it became a sin, if he hadn’t done it himself. It is comforting to know that Christ told us through Him, we are capable of this same power act.
“Not even by a thought could He be brought to the power of Satan’s temptation. Yet it was written of Christ, that he was tempted in all points just as we are…He fought the battle right in the field of the thoughts.”
Yes, in the thoughts Christ overcame.
“Never in the subtlest form of the thought was there allowed any such thing to conceive.”
We must bring “…into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ …”
“Thus at the very citadel; of the soul , the very citadel of the thoughts, the very place, there only, where sin can enter-there God sets up His throne, he establishes his kingdom.”
“Therefore, the only place where the Lord could bring help and deliverance to us, is right in the place where the thoughts are, at the very root of the thing that is sin, the very point where the sin is conceived and where it began.”
But if we allow a temptation beyond the boundaries of a thought “…we have consented to it, and receive it into the mind, and hold it there, then, there is sin. And whether that desire is carried out into action or not, the sin is committed, in the mind.”
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE AND OVERCOMING
Now we know, now we see practical spiritual science at work, and the rules of how to overcome sinning in the mind.
“There is a science of Christianity to be mastered — a science as much deeper, broader, higher, than any human science as the heavens are higher than the earth. The mind is to be disciplined, educated, trained.”
“For every class of temptation there is a remedy. We are not left to ourselves to fight the battle against self and our sinful natures in our own finite strength.”
“Jesus is a mighty helper a never-failing support…The mind must be trained to dwell upon Scripture and upon noble elevating themes. Portions of scriptures, even whole chapters, must be committed to memory, to be repeated when Satan comes with his temptations….he must be effectively resisted with it is written.” 2MCP 659
“If your thoughts, your purposes are all directed toward the accumulation of the things of this earth, your anxiety your study, your interest, will all be centered upon the world. The heavenly attraction will lose their beauty.” 2 MCP 662:2
“Those who consecrate soul body and spirit to God will continually receive a new endowment of physical and mental powers.” CSW 40:2
“Avoid reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts.” AH 403:3
.“Gird up the loins of the mind that it shall work in the right direction and after the order of well-formed plans. OHC 112
We see here the thoughts submit to training by its owner. This is the kind of power God wants to give man over his being; rather than he remains as brute beasts, slave to his lowest instinct, which the senses suggests.
It is an existence where the mind is so filled with sinful thoughts that nothing righteous can find a place there. In sinfulness, the senses seek out only the sensual pleasures in life; God is never in those thoughts.
“Satan work is to lead man to ignore God to so engross and absorb the mind that God will not be in their thoughts.” AH 401:6
What is the goal of a christian? It is to prevent sinful thoughts from entering the mind; it is to overcome the flesh.
There are principles set out in God’s word which are to be adopted and successfully mastered in this effort.
From Senses to Thoughts to Mind
Stage 1. Senses absorb its environment and target the mind for interpretation.
Stage 2. The interpretation is formed into something called thoughts.
Stage 3.The thoughts then seeks to deposit themselves in the mind, where they remain.
NOTE: When the information goes past the threshold of thought, whether it is solidified into an act or not, it becomes sin.
But there is an action that can prevent stage 3, the final resting place of sin, that is in the mind, from taking place.
This is when the Christian has the greatest power in his hands: to block unsanctified thoughts from entering his mind.
This power had been demonstrated by Jesus throughout His lifetime, and testified in the Sermon on the Mount. Matt 5:27
Information to avail yourself with in the warfare:
- Know that you have control over whom you yield to.
- Have a firm grasp of the relationship between the mind, the thoughts, and the senses, and how sin penetrates.
- Have all the information always available on the tools you must use to wage your warfare against your thoughts, as follows:
- a Persistent and regular prayer is what gives you the strongest control.
- b. Memorize scripture and passages in preparation for warfare against evil thoughts.
- c. Avoid reading, watching, listening, tasting, and touching things that are threatening to tempt you.
- d. Do not allow your thoughts to wander mindlessly about. Resist it with a litany of prayer.
- e. Always be mindful that self is your worst enemy; so learn your enemy’s ways and do not be seduced by self.
- f. Know that the devil cannot read your mind but he can interpret your actions.
Note: If you are wondering how can your own self seduce you? It is by doing the things that the self demands through the senses even though you know there are laws governing against those actions.
These tools described above are a failsafe remedy of warfare and growth, in a consistently developing sanctified life. This is when the Christian begins to rise above the earthly realities and starts to comprehend the divine. It is where he/she begins to see the actions of God as demonstrated among the Patriarchs of old.
“Self-knowledge leads to humility and to trust in God, but it does not take the place of efforts for self-improvement. He who realizes his own deficiencies will spare no pains to reach the highest possible standard of physical, mental, and moral excellence.” MCP 4:5
It is where we see, know, and expect God, to work in the same manner in which He did with Daniel, Joseph, David, and so many others in times past. We begin to understand the reflective power of God, and how it is not a strange thing for him to imbue his covenant keeping children with these powers, in small measures, as the need be in their everyday lives. The Christian has now entered a new and empowering chapter in his walk toward complete sanctification.