April 11 – 17, 2021
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
Study Help: Medical Ministry, 110–117; Selected Messages, Book 2, 349–353.
“The brain nerves which communicate with the entire system are the only medium through which Heaven can communicate to man and affect his inmost life.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 347.
1 THE ORIGIN OF THOUGHTS
1.a. Where do both good and evil communication and thoughts have their origin? Luke 6:45; Matthew 15:18.
Note: “The mind controls the whole man. All our actions, good or bad, have their source in the mind. It is the mind that worships God, and allies us to heavenly beings.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 426.
“When the thought of evil is loved and cherished, however secretly, said Jesus, it shows that sin still reigns in the heart. The soul is still in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity. He who finds pleasure in dwelling upon scenes of impurity, who indulges the evil thought, the lustful look, may behold in the open sin, with its burden of shame and heart-breaking grief, the true nature of the evil which he has hidden in the chambers of the soul. The season of temptation, under which, it may be, one falls into grievous sin, does not create the evil that is revealed, but only develops or makes manifest that which was hidden and latent in the heart.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 60.
1.b. What is the function/purpose of the brain? Proverbs 23:7.
Note: “The brain is the capital of the body, the seat of all the nervous forces and of mental action. The nerves proceeding from the brain control the body. By the brain nerves, mental impressions are conveyed to all the nerves of the body as by telegraph wires; and they control the vital action of every part of the system.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 69.
“The brain is the organ and instrument of the mind and controls the whole body. In order for the other parts of the system to be healthy, the brain must be healthy.” Counsels on Health, 586.
“The brain is the citadel of the being.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 299.
2 THE INTERNAL/EXTERNAL RELATIONSHIP
2.a. Describe the relationship between the mind and the physical appearance. Proverbs 15:13, first part; Nehemiah 2:2.
2.b. Why is it so important to protect the healthy function of the mind (heart)? How can we do this? Proverbs 4:23, 27.
Note: “The [spiritual] heart is to be carefully kept and guarded. ‘What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul’ (Mark 8:36, 37)? Christ must abide in the heart by faith. His word is the bread of life and the water of salvation. Trust in its fullness comes to us through constant communion with God. By eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ we gain spiritual strength. Christ supplies the lifeblood of the heart, and Christ and the Holy Spirit give nerve power. Begotten again unto a lively hope, imbued with the quickening power of a new nature, the soul is enabled to rise higher and still higher.” Counsels on Health, 593.
3 A BATTLE OF ETERNAL CONSEQUENCES
3.a. Describe the basic battle of the great controversy within human hearts. Galatians 5:16, 17. Why are we warned in this regard? 1 Corinthians 10:12.
Note: “Satan well knows the material with which he has to deal in the human heart. He knows—for he has studied with fiendish intensity for thousands of years—the points most easily assailed in every character; and through successive generations he has wrought to overthrow the strongest men.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 457.
“In every soul two powers are struggling earnestly for the victory. Unbelief marshals its forces, led by Satan, to cut us off from the Source of our strength. Faith marshals its forces, led by Christ, the author and finisher of our faith. Hour by hour, in the sight of the heavenly universe, the conflict goes forward. This is a hand-to-hand fight, and the great question is, Which shall obtain the mastery? This question each must decide for himself. In this warfare all must take a part, fighting on one side or the other. From the conflict there is no release.” Sons and Daughters of God, 328.
3.b. What is Satan doing in these last days? Job 1:7; Revelation 12:12.
Note: “The work of Satan as an accuser began in heaven. This has been his work on earth ever since man’s fall, and it will be his work in a special sense as we approach nearer to the close of this world’s history. As he sees that his time is short, he will work with greater earnestness to deceive and destroy. He is angry when he sees a people on the earth who, even in their weakness and sinfulness, have respect to the law of Jehovah. He is determined that they shall not obey God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 167, 168.
“The temptations of Satan are greater now than ever before, for he knows that his time is short and that very soon every case will be decided, either for life or for death.” Early Writings, 46.
4 SATAN’S METHODS TO CONTROL THE MIND
4.a. Explain Satan’s techniques to gain control over the human mind.
- Lying: Genesis 3:1–5.
- Deception: Matthew 24:4; Acts 5:3.
- Flattery and inducements: Luke 4:5, 6.
- Threats and intimidation: Acts 4:15–18, 21.
- Force: Acts 5:26–29, 40.
Note: “Satan exercised his power of hypnotism over Adam and Eve, and this power he strove to exercise over Christ.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1081.
4.b. Upon whom is Satan focusing his main attention in these last days? Matthew 24:24; Revelation 12:17.
Note: “False theories, clothed with garments of light, will be presented to God’s people. Thus Satan will try to deceive, if possible, the very elect. Most seducing influences will be exerted; minds will be hypnotized.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 293.
“Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. God’s people will not find their safety in working miracles, for Satan will counterfeit the miracles that will be wrought. God’s tried and tested people will find their power in the sign spoken of in Exodus 31:12–18. They are to take their stand on the living word: ‘It is written.’ This is the only foundation upon which they can stand securely. Those who have broken their covenant with God will in that day be without God and without hope.” Ibid., vol. 9, 16.
5 GOD’S METHODS TO DEVELOP THE MIND
5.a. Describe God’s method of developing human mental faculties. Joshua 24:15; Proverbs 23:26; Philippians 2:5.
Note: “The Lord requires His people to use their reason, and not lay it aside for impressions. His work will be intelligible to all His children. His teaching will be such as will commend itself to the understanding of intelligent minds. It is calculated to elevate the mind.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 230.
“God sets before man life and death. He can have his choice.” Early Writings, 221.
“Now we may go into a cellar and stay there and look around into its dark corners, and we can talk of the darkness and say, ‘Oh, it is so dark here,’ and keep talking about it. But will it make it any lighter? Oh, no! What are you going to do? Come out of it; come out of the dark into the upper chamber where the light of God’s countenance shines brightly.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 490, 491.
5.b. How does God’s method of influencing the mind differ from Satan’s? Isaiah 1:18, 19; John 8:32, 44.
Note: “God does not force the will or judgment of any. He takes no pleasure in a slavish obedience.” The Great Controversy, 541.
“In His dealing with sin, God could employ only righteousness and truth. Satan could use what God could not—flattery and deceit.” Ibid., 498.
“God never forces the will or the conscience; but Satan’s constant resort—to gain control of those whom he cannot otherwise seduce—is compulsion by cruelty. Through fear or force he endeavors to rule the conscience and to secure homage to himself.” Ibid., 591.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What is the relationship between the mind and the body?
2 Where is the battleground of life’s greatest conflict?
3 What methods does the adversary use to control the will?
4 Discuss God’s methods of developing the human mind in preparation for eternity.
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