Before attempting to exercise some form of mind control, you have to know something about who you are going to try to control. You need to discover something about their spiritual and psychological makeup.
Based on their studies of American soldiers, the Chinese Communists found that American soldiers had a very weak sense of loyalty. They found that their concept of right and wrong was poorly formed, predisposing them to be opportunistic. They learned that when they are alone, they are frightened and insecure. They also found that the American soldiers, even those who were well educated, were ignorant of social values and had a poor understanding of the American political system and how it worked. Not only were these men uneducated regarding their own system but they had little understanding of other countries and other systems. They discovered that the Americans held an unrealistic concept of America’s eternal and inherent, rather than earned or proven, superiority and absolute military invincibility. This, they believed, was their most vulnerable weakness.
They found that the American soldiers did not see the value of any form of order and discipline, they had a low level of patriotism, and they did not see the necessity of military service but viewed it as a hateful, though unavoidable form of servitude, to be escaped as soon as possible. On the basis of these facts, they found the reeducation of American prisoners a relatively easy and very successful form of control.
As I have thought about this situation, I have realized that there are supernatural agencies that are on our track and that they are doing an analysis of each of our spiritual and mental makeups, trying to figure out what type of mind control technique will work best.
The first point that the Communists’ report mentioned was the weak loyalties that the American soldier held for his family, his community, his country, his religion, and to his fellow soldier; and they capitalized on that weakness.
Several years ago I read the book, Fee the Captor. It tells the story of a young lady who was taken captive by the Gestapo in Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, she had on her person a list of people who were working in the underground. They took her to where they were beating a man who was strapped down to the table. They told this young lady, “You either tell us what these names are in this little booklet that you have, or you are going to the table.” She gave them the information they wanted, and, as a result, there was a large number of people who were taken prisoner and lost their lives. You see, her loyalty was not strong enough to the people she was working with that when she was put to the test, she could remain faithful.
There is a decision of loyalty that is going to be made by the whole world. Everyone will be called to choose between the Law of God and the laws of men. There is going to be some pressure applied. You will not be able to buy or sell, and eventually there will be a death decree. Is your love for God and you loyalty to Him so strong that you will be able to say, “I am going to be faithful to the Lord and obey Him whatever takes place”? Have you asked the Lord to help you develop a loyalty that will stand up under pressure and will not give way?
“All will be called to choose between the Law of God and the laws of men. Here the dividing line will be drawn. There will be but two classes. Every character will be fully developed; and all will show whether they have chosen the side of loyalty or that of rebellion.” Desire of Ages, 763.
A second weakness of the American soldiers was their poorly formed concepts of right and wrong. Are your concepts of right and wrong hazy and ill-formed, or are they crystal clear in your mind?
Some years ago I was attending a class in a Seventh-day Adventist university in which we were studying behavioral psychology. The lecture this particular day was on values clarification. I was already a minister at the time, so I was older than most of the students in the class. As the teacher was lecturing, I looked around at the other students, intently watching the teacher and taking notes on all that was being said. I began to wonder if there were any other students in the room who were thinking. In our educational process, we shoot information at people so fast and so heavy and with such pressure to memorize things that they have no time to think.
I began to evaluate what was taking place and asked myself, “Why do I need to be interested in this? After all, I am a Seventh-day Adventist minister and I know the Ten Commandments, but I do not know anything in them that is not clear, or that needs to be clarified. I have a value system and I do not need someone to explain and clarify it. The Ten Commandments is an all-inclusive value system that works.”
How is it in your mind? Is your concept of right and wrong crystal clear? or does someone need to clarify your values for you so that you now what right and wrong is?
“A government, of whatever character, requires a governor. This world has a Governor—the God of the universe. His guardian-care is universal, extending to man and beast, reaching even to the little sparrow; for Christ declares, ‘Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.’
“In God’s moral government, which is a government based upon a distinction between right and wrong, law is essential to secure right action. God’s Law is the expression of His character, and in His Word it is pronounced holy, just, and good. David says, ‘The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.’
“Lucifer took the position that as a result of the Law of God, wrong existed in heaven and on this earth. This brought against God’s government the charge of being arbitrary. But this is a falsehood, framed by the author of all falsehoods. God’s government is a government of free will, and there is no act of rebellion or obedience which is not an act of free will.” Signs of the Times, June 5, 1901.
Though it is a total contradiction to behavioral psychology, the truth that God’s government is a government of free will and there is no act of rebellion or disobedience that is not an act of the free will is a truth that it is very important to understand.
“As Creator of all, God is Governor over all, and He is bound to enforce His Law throughout the universe. To require less from His creatures than obedience to His Law would be to abandon them to ruin. To fail to punish transgression of His Law would be to place the universe in confusion. The moral Law is God’s barrier between the human agent and sin, thus infinite wisdom has placed before men the distinction between right and wrong, between sin and holiness.
“God is supreme. It is not for finite men to question His right to govern the universe. God asserted His right to rule when He declared, ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before Me;’ ‘for in six days the Lord make heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.’ He is the Creator and Preserver of the worlds. He upholds the universe by the Word of His power. Nature and science bear witness that He has a right to govern His own creation. Angels are subject to His rule; therefore let man bow in adoration before Him.
“The Scriptures make it plain that God is Ruler, and that man is under the highest obligation to acknowledge this, and to obey His Law with heart and mind, trusting in His power for help and protection. This Law, which man is called upon to obey as a standard of right for the universe, is the wise and holy counsel of God. It is a moral law, and has its foundation in the difference between right and wrong. Moral law is universal; positive law is not necessarily universal, but may be restricted or extended according to the will of the lawgiver. Moral law must be immutable, while positive law may be changed or abolished, as the lawgiver may choose.
“The Decalog, or moral code of God, consists of ten precepts, engraven on stone by the finger of God. These precepts contain the whole duty of man. . . .
“To admit that God made a law so imperfect that it needed to be changed would be to stamp God as changeable and imperfect. God has spoken on this point. Let us heed what He says: ‘My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that has gone out of My lips.’ Psalm 89:34.” Ibid.
The whole Sabbath-Sunday controversy is not over just a day. At the root of the whole thing is the issue of God’s Law and who is going to be God.
The third point that they discovered about the American soldier is that when he is alone, he is frightened and insecure. Can you maintain yourself when you are all by yourself? Now for the Christian, we have the assurance that we are never totally alone; and we need to remember this or we are not going to make it through the times that are coming when we may be separated from every earthly friend. “The perversity and cruelty of men will reach such a height that God will reveal Himself in His majesty. Very soon the wickedness of the world will have reached its limit, and as in the days of Noah, God will pour out His judgments.
“But even when wickedness is at its height, we may knowthat our Helper is close by our side.” Upward Look, 334.
The commander of a concentration camp once became so angry with a Bulgarian pastor who would not yield his Christian convictions that he told him, “I am gong to throw you down into a dark hold and you are never going to come out of there. You are going to rot in there.” They put him in a dungeon where there was no light. One of the things that takes place when you are in total darkness is that you become totally disoriented in regards to time, and this affects every system in the body, because your whole body is regulated by the sun. Under these circumstances, your mind becomes completely disoriented; and you can very easily go crazy.
One day it got so bad that he began to wonder what he was going to do to keep from going crazy? As he was praying, he saw a light. That light, which was a Person, came over to him, picked him up, and held him in His arms. “After that,” he said, “I was all right.” Oh, friends, the worse things become, the more help you are going to receive if you put your faith and trust in Jesus.
The fourth point that was mentioned in the Communists’ findings about the American soldiers was their lack of understanding of social problems and tensions. Jesus said,
“And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.” Matthew 10:22. Is that social tension and conflict? “We ought to be thankful that these words are left on record. Every child of God that is brought into difficulty and trial because of his faithfulness to Jesus, may claim the promise, and will receive sufficient grace for every emergency.” Review and Herald, April 15, 1890.
You are preparing day by day to either stand or to fall when the test is applied. Will you be loyal to the cause of God? Will you be able to clearly determine the difference between right and wrong? When you are all alone and you are told that everyone is giving in, will you have the strength to stand and say, “Lord Jesus, by Your grace, I am going to be faithful and true. Help me”?
A fifth weakness that the Communist psychologists learned about our soldiers was their lack of understanding of our political system and how our government works, and they used that to tremendous advantage. Let me ask you, Do you understand the character, the government, and the purpose of God? If you do not, you will not be able to stand through the time of test that we are approaching. We are to be the people of God, and we need to know the system that we are operating in. We need to understand God’s character, the nature of His government. Ellen White says that if you do not understand the character of God, His government, and His purposes, you will not be able to honor Him. (See The Great Controversy, 593.) You will not be able to make it. “None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict. To every soul will come the searching test: Shall I obey God rather than men?” The Great Controversy, 593.
There are those who do not believe that God will actually burn people up. They use the life of Christ to try to prove it. Listen, friends, Jesus spoke about the terrors of hellfire more graphically than the prophets. It was Jesus Christ who said that it would be better to cut off your hand or poke out your eye than to be cast into hellfire, because when you go there, the fire will not be quenched, and the worm will not die. Do not take any of this soft, syrupy talk that is all one-sided about the character of God based on a partial understanding of what Jesus is like. Read all of the Scriptures of what He said. Yes, Jesus is loving and kind and merciful, but He is just, and He will not connive with our sins. He expects us to overcome. Do you see that a misunderstanding of the character of God prepares people to fall? If people believe that you can just go on sinning and that when Jesus comes everything will be all right, when the pressure is applied to break the Law of God, what defense do they have? They are prepared to believe that you cannot keep it anyway.
A sixth point that these people learned by studying the American soldier was this: he has little or no idea of the problems and aims of other countries. In other words, he does not understand the enemy that he is fighting against. God wants us to understand the enemy that we are fighting against and to be alert and on guard at all times. We are to be like a soldier that has armor on from head to foot. (See Ephesians 6.) “We should study the nature, character, and extent of this spiritual wickedness in high places, lest we become the dupes of the powers of darkness. But how difficult it is to awaken minds to realize the continual activity and great earnestness of our wily foe, notwithstanding the warnings and cautions of the Bible, and the experience of many who have been overthrown by subtlety. The testimony loses its force; the warning passes out of the mind. Men cease to watch and pray; they do not solicit the aid of holy angels, who would lift up for them a standard against the enemy.” Signs of the Times, August 5, 1886. This is the reason for our study of this subject, that we may be better able to understand what is going on and the attempt that is being made to gain control of our mind without our even being aware of it.
The seventh point, and the one on which they believed the American soldier was most vulnerable, was his unrealistic concept of America’s eternal and inherent, rather than earned or proven, superiority and absolute military invincibility. How is this applicable to us today? Have you ever heard, “Oh, the church is going through”? Do you see why it is important to know who and what the church is? If you think that something is going through and you cannot prove from the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy that that thing is going through, you might be headed for a terrible disappointment. I have been asked, “Do you believe that the church is going through?” Yes, I believe that the church is going through; but the question is, Who and what is the church?
Concerning the American soldier, they said, “He fails to appreciate the meaning and the necessity for military or any form of organization or discipline.” Do you understand the meaning and necessity for organization and discipline among God’s people, or are you one of those people who think that everyone can just go their own way? We do not have time to fully consider this point here, but this was one of the items of information that they were able to capitalize on and bring our men into absolute mental submission. You cannot successfully resist unless you are organized. Ellen White has a lot to say about organization.
There probably are some people who are quaking, wondering how they are going to make it. Here are some wonderful promises.
“The soldier of Christ must meet many forms of temptation, and resist and overcome them. The fiercer the conflict, the greater the supply of grace to meet the need of the soul.” Review and Herald, June 16, 1896.
“The important future is before us. To meet its trials and temptations, and to perform its duties, will require great faith, energy, and perseverance. But we may triumph gloriously; for not one watching, praying, believing soul will be ensnared by the devices of the enemy. All heaven is interested in our welfare, and waits our demand upon its wisdom and strength. Neither wicked men nor evil spirits can hinder the work of God or shut out His presence from His people, if they will, with subdued, contrite hearts, confess and put away their sins, and in faith claim His promises. Every opposing influence, whether open or secret, may be successfully resisted, ‘not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ If the Lord had a company of workers who would rely wholly upon Him, He would accomplish a great work through them. One could chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight. God is just as willing now as anciently to work through human efforts, and to accomplish great things through weak instrumentalities. We shall not gain the victory through numbers, but through full surrender of the soul to Jesus. We are to go forward in His strength, trusting in the mighty God of Israel.” Review and Herald, January 11, 1887.
Oh, friend, do you want to have that experience? When you receive the Holy Spirit in your life and Jesus is abiding within, He put His love into your heart and into your mind; and a divine miracle takes place inside your mind so that your mind will be a fortress for Jesus Christ that will be impregnable to all of the assaults of Satan.