For over one hundred years, Seventh-day Adventists have known that the time is coming when all who refuse the mark of the beast will be faced with a death decree. But friends, there are going to be many Seventh-day Adventists who will never reach the point where their life is threatened. Without realizing it, their minds will have already come under the control of Satan long before the crisis arrives.
The first method of mind control that we looked at was the attempt to change the terminology. Change the terminology and you will change the way a person things about the subject. As an example, we showed how rebuke has been called criticism, thereby changing the way people relate to it.
The second method is actually more deceptive than the first. In this method, the same words are used; but they are given a different meaning. Has anyone ever asked you, “Do you believe that the church is going through?” Well, of course you believe that; but the real question is, Who and what is this church that is going through?
There have been some Historic Adventist preachers who have made statements like, I don’t believe in sarcasm.” Now that sounds like a very pious thing to say. In Webster’s dictionary, 1828, it says that sarcasm is an expression that is uttered with some degree of scorn or contempt. Accordingly, a Christian will never, ever utter a sarcastic word.
I am bringing this up because when you get to studying cybernetic warfare, you find that eventually a person goes contrary to the direct command of Jesus in Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” In this same chapter, Jesus also said, “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Verses 16–20. Therefore, on the basis of the Word of God, we can check the fruit, which is a person’s words and actions; but we do not have authority to say what motives they may have had in speaking those words.
Let me give you an example. “And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, ‘Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is mediating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.’ So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.” I Kings 18:27–29. In twentieth century English, that is sarcastic speech; but I do not have the authority to say whether Elijah had the feeling of contempt in his heart toward these people. That is God’s prerogative, and that is one of the problems that you run into when you start changing definitions of words. Eventually you get to assigning motives to other people.
To the person lacking spiritual vision, it appears that the agents of God and those of Satan are doing the same work. Because of God’s agents rebuke and reprove, sometimes with severity, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, this reproof and rebuke is interpreted by unconverted hearts to have been given from the same motives that they themselves feel when making such remarks. You see, we judge things on the basis of our own motives and heart and experience. That is why the Bible says, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” And so it is that the person who, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, speaks the words of God in reproof and rebuke finds his words interpreted as sarcasm, faultfinding, criticism, and condemning.
Many years ago there was a life insurance salesman in the United States by the name of Vash Young. He wrote a book entitled The Go-Giver. In this gook he wrote about a number of his experiences. One of the conclusions that he came to was that the average human being makes about 85% of his decisions on any subject based upon his feelings or emotions; but he needs about 15% of logic and reason to justify that feeling or emotion. Now cybernetic warfare, when we say changing the terminology of the word involves communicating an emotional picture to a person’s imagination which influences that person’s decisions and get his sympathy in a desired direction. Often this desired direction can be completely contrary to the facts.
Suppose that you invited my daughter and me to come along with you for a ride and a picnic in the mountains. However, when the time comes, I notice that there are not enough seat belts to go around and, in addition, that your car does not have very good tires. Rather than hurt your feelings by referring to the poor condition of your car, I just tell you that I have decided that I would rather not go. Suppose, then, that a couple of days later a friend of yours calls me on the telephone after talking to you and tells me that you informed him that I boycotted your picnic and he was wondering why I would do anything so traitorous as this.
Ellen White says that, “It is a fact widely ignored, though never without danger, that error rarely appears for what it really is. It is by mingling with or attaching itself to truth that it gains acceptance.” Education, 230, 231. Very often these mind control techniques are a perversion of something that actually is true. Is it true that I did not go on the picnic? Yes. But how has my decision been described? It has been described by words that have a very powerful, negative, emotional connotation. I receive letters all of the time in which this technique is used.
Deuteronomy 6:6–9 says, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” What is the principle here? If you really want to learn something, you expose your mind to it over and over again.
Experts in mind control techniques understand this principle. Did you now that this principle of repeating something over and over again is one of the main principles upon which all propaganda is based? When you hear something you immediately have to do one of two things. You have to decide whether to accept it or to resist it. It does not matter whether the information is true or false; if it is repeated often enough and you are not resisting it, you will believe it. That is the way the human mind is made, and the devil knows it.
When you hear a minister speaking, do you believe what he has to say on the basis of the Word of God, or because he has said it? Not too long ago I received some videos. The person doing the speaking would consider himself an Historic Adventist preacher. I did not have the time to watch them, so I asked a relative of mine to watch them for me and tell me what he heard. It was reported to me that on these videos, the minister made a particular statement. I asked my relative if the person speaking had shown that statement to be true from the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy? “No,” he replied, “he didn’t prove it, but he repeated it 12 times throughout that video.”
If you are not asking the questions, “Is this substantiated in the Word of God?” and resisting everything that is not, after something is repeated 12 times you are going to believe what you are told. You will probably write me a letter or call me on the telephone and tell me about it. It happens all of the time.
This same principle also applies to the speaker. Something repeated over and over again, even if it is not true, eventually becomes truth to the one speaking it, until he will believe it so thoroughly that no one can convince him otherwise. In the effort to get other people to think a certain way, you will influence yourself.
Ellen White tells us that in the last great crisis, “Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies of law and order, as breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing anarchy and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God upon the earth. Their conscientious scruples will be pronounced obstinacy, stubbornness, and contempt of authority.” The Great Controversy, 592.
Of what law are you an enemy? Well, you are an enemy of the Sunday law, obviously, so you are an enemy of order. In our society, does that send a strong, emotional message that will turn people against you? It certainly does! When this type of information is broadcast on radio and television, you will find that people will accept it; and immediately their emotions will be stirred to a white-hot heat. If you have already experienced, in a degree, this sort of thing, the Lord has just allowed it to take place in your life to harden you up and get your ready for the real attack that is coming.
Let me tell you, friends, we are living in the time when the vast majority of the people in this world are going to be subject to mind control without realizing it is taking place. They will believe that they are about to enter the most wonderful period of human existence that there has ever been. (See The Great Controversy, 588, 589.)
How are you going to escape this? Only by being grounded on the foundation of God’s government—love to God and love for your fellow man. These are the two fundamental principles. If these principles are not in your heart and in mine, if you are not manifesting them in your family or where you work or with the people you associate with, you are not going to make it. I used to naively think that studying the Bible so that I would know the truth would be sufficient; but I want to tell you that unless the truth about Jesus and the love of Jesus has taken possession of your heart, all of the theoretical knowledge is not going to hold you in the battle we are entering.
“That which distinguishes the character and conduct of Christians from all others is the principle of holy, Christlike love, which works in the heart with its purifying influence. The true Christian will work the works of Christ in giving expression in deeds of love one to another. With this living, abiding, working principle in life and in character, no one can resemble the world. If you know the character and works of Christ, you will know the disposition and conduct of Christians. Christ hated evil so much that sin and evil met a strong rebuke from His lips and from His example. While He hated sin, He loved the sinner. . . .
“How much greater strength you might have had as sons and daughters of God had you loved God supremely and your neighbor as you love yourself. How much higher ground you might stand upon if you had been following on to know more and more of the truth and gathering more and more divine light to shine forth in good works to all around you.
“Your works are not pleasing to God but pleasing to the enemy.
“You have lessons to learn in the school of Christ before you will be fitted for heaven. Your self, your ways, your sharp traits of character make you unskillful in dealing with minds and hearts. . . . If you allow yourselves to be dictatorial, accusing, and judging your brethren, and with unsanctified hearts and unholy tempers seeking to mend their wrongs, you do unskillful work and drive souls away from the service of Christ. . . .
“You must take hold of God with one hand while with the other hand, in love, you lay hold upon the erring and the sinner and draw them to Jesus. Pray with them, weep with them, feel for their souls, love them, and never let go of them. This is the love Jesus has expressed for you. You must ever strive for unity and forbearance and love. Never draw apart, but press together, binding heart to heart and making supplications in the Spirit. Then the power of God will work in your midst and many souls will be brought to the truth through your influence.” Manuscript 32, 1887.
Now, friends, I believe in missionary work with all of my heart, and I believe in proclaiming the gospel and the Three Angels’ Messages; but if we are going to get the kind of results that God wants us to have, we must love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind and our neighbor as ourself. It may take a great deal of prayer to know what Jesus would do in the situation in which you find yourself right now, but ask the Lord to teach you how and what to do.
There was a Bulgarian pastor who was taken captive by the Communists. They tried again and again to break him down, but they could not. He said that during the 13 or 14 years that he was in a prison camp, his captors considered him the number one enemy because what he represented would destroy their system. In telling his experience of being beaten and tortured, he said that he noticed that many of the soldiers who were administering this torture became just like animals. At the very time that these people were losing all human feelings and emotions, among some of the prisoners an amazing thing took place. There would be men who, because their jaws had been broken as a result of their beatings, could not take a piece of bread and eat it. Some of their fellow prisoners would take the bread and break it up into small pieces and put in into these injured prisoner’s mouths so that they could get some nourishment. As the torturers were becoming satanic in their nature, there were prisoners who were becoming godlike.
I want to tell you, friends, in the midst of the great crisis that we are entering right now, there is going to be a world full of people who will be like the devil in human flesh. But in the midst of all of this horror, there are going to be some people who will become and exact reflection of the character of Jesus Christ. And, friends, if you live until the end, it is going to be one way or the other with each of you. The only way that you are going to survive is if you have the love of Jesus in your hearts—you love God with all your heart, soul, and mind—and you have love for your fellow man so that nobody can induce you for anything to do something to hurt or harm one of your fellow men because you love others with all of your heart. If you have that love in your heart, they will not be able to break you down. This is the only thing, friends, that will hold you.