Bible Study Guides – The Mind

April 11 – 17, 2021

Key Text

“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.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.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. 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.a. Explain Satan’s techniques to gain control over the human mind.

  1. Lying: Genesis 3:1–5.
  2. Deception: Matthew 24:4; Acts 5:3.
  3. Flattery and inducements: Luke 4:5, 6.
  4. Threats and intimidation: Acts 4:15–18, 21.
  5. 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.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.



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.

Copyright 1995 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Health Nugget – Your Brain Thrives on Optimism

When the brain is subjected to a heavy dose of sadness, anxiety, loneliness or depression, our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health is impaired. Trauma takes a toll on our ability to function, even simple tasks such as brushing our teeth or getting dressed can feel overwhelming.

Given the rise of negativity in our world today, it’s easy to feel drawn into that cave of darkness. But prolonged bouts of negative thoughts and emotions can absolutely threaten our overall health. Recent studies have even shown how a broken heart can contribute to actual heart disease and even cancer.

Understanding the Brain’s Negativity Bias

After many years of research and interviews, I had amassed a stockpile of information on the human brain, including learning about the brain’s “negativity bias.” This refers to the brain’s predilection [a preference or bias in favor of something] for retaining and recycling negative experiences over positive ones. Once we are caught up in negative thoughts and images, they are self-perpetuating to an alarming degree because of negativity predilection.

Research has shown that out of the 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts we have per day, 80 percent are negative. Once I learned this information, I understood why painful memories from my childhood could be retrieved with photographic detail, whereas happy times were more generic memories. Even minor issues such as critical remarks tend to stick with us.

The Brilliant Benefits of an Optimistic Mindset

Many people believe that they are stuck with their thoughts. That old familiar expression, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, has been disproven by science. Through neuroplasticity or brain plasticity, we know that the brain can change at any age or stage of life.

When the brain consciously engages in new ways of thinking, it forms new neural pathways and connections. Even after traumatic events, the brain has the capacity to generate new neurons. Neuroplasticity is proof that the brain thrives on absorbing new information. Another remarkable fact is that our brains have the ability to delete neural pathways that are no longer useful through a process called synaptic pruning. With time and repetition, the brain can release toxic thoughts and develop new ways of thinking and feeling.

The Hazards of a Negative Mindset

Abundant research correlates a negative frame of mind with harmful psychological and physiological symptoms. A negative mindset can actually change the physical structure of your brain. The nervous system responds through inflammation and oxygen restriction. The hippocampus, or memory part of our brain, releases cortisol, which can inhibit the growth of new neurons and, thereby, shrink the brain. Other parts of the brain are also impacted, leading to lack of focus and concentration, loss of energy, reduced productivity, memory loss, disinterest, diminished sexual drive, irritability, poor sleep patterns, loss of appetite, lethargy and confusion.

Physical symptoms also accompany a negative or pessimistic mindset: headaches, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, chronic pain, joint tenderness, stomach aches, indigestion, nausea, cramping, chronic fatigue, problems with the digestive system, weight gain and osteoporosis.

These symptoms are far too serious to not treat medically. How many doctors, however, understand enough about the mind-body connection to prescribe intensive, even radical, optimistic practices to replace habitually negative thoughts?

Retrain Your Brain to Think Optimistically

You make thousands of decisions every day. Why not shift your attitude by retraining your brain? The wonderful mental, educational, physical and spiritual benefits of a cheery attitude may inspire you to give optimism a try!

Optimists approach each day with fervor, even if they are aware of potential roadblocks. A few of the wonderful attributes include the following:

Psychological, Emotional and Spiritual Benefits

  • Hopefulness
  • Resilience
  • Heightened cognitive functioning
  • Innovative/creative thoughts
  • Increased focus and productivity
  • Ability to manage stress
  • Clarity of thought
  • Heightened problem-solving capacity/solutions-oriented
  • Higher levels of energy
  • Flexibility
  • Motivation
  • Compassion
  • Gratitude
  • Openness to experiences
  • Desire to self-actualize
  • Trustworthiness
  • Tenacity and persistence
  • Ability to flip the script from negative to positive
  • Healthy lifestyle choices, including nutrition and exercise

Physiological Benefits

  • Boosted immune system
  • Enhanced ability to heal from illness and surgery
  • Improved oxygen flow
  • Lowered cortisol secretion
  • Long-term sustenance and longevity
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced risk of hypertension
  • Reduced cardiovascular disease
  • Improved cholesterol
  • Lower risk of dementia/Alzheimer’s


These physiological health benefits are ones that have been studied through research. Every day there is new and exciting information on how the brain changes with intentional, focused optimistic thinking.

Unless you know what you are thinking, how can you change? Pay attention to what you are thinking and how it is affecting you, without forcing the thoughts away.

Make a habit to “take your temperature” throughout the day to adjust your thinking. Changing your brain is a conscious and conscientious process. In the beginning, it might feel difficult; however, with time and repetition, your brain will develop new neural pathways. Just as you learned to brush your teeth and tie your shoes, your positive thoughts will, with time, become second nature.

Be Mindful of Negative Triggers

A trigger is a stimulus that evokes a particular thought or emotion from the past. A trigger can derail the best of intentions. This can be a specific word, song, location, person, season, or any cue in the environment that induces a specific feeling within you. As you gain familiarity with the issues that cause you distress, you will be able to adjust them.

Do the Opposite

There are instances when it is in our best interest to simply stop thinking and behaving in a manner that causes distress. Stop, pause, take a deep breath, and eliminate those negative thoughts as soon as they appear.

Challenge yourself to spring into an optimistic mindset. The extraordinary life force will enable you to find joy in your life and also afford you the numerous health benefits along the way.

When you reflect upon all of the meaningful benefits of an optimistic mindset, I think you will agree that it is well worth investing the time to retrain your brain.

Thrive, Anne Boudreau, vol. 27, 53, 54.

“Nothing tends more to promote health of body and of soul than does a spirit of gratitude and praise. It is a positive duty to resist melancholy, discontented thoughts and feelings—as much a duty as it is to pray.” The Ministry of Healing, 251.

“Let your thoughts be directed to the evidences of the great love of God for you.” Ibid., 286.

“Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute … dwell on these things” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NKJV; Philippians 4:8 NASB).

Health – Mood Food

Growing up, if a person was in a sour mood or being difficult, they were often asked jokingly, “What did you have to eat today?” Back then the connection between food and mood wasn’t really connected but today it is a different matter.

“Researchers from New Zealand wondered if the mental health benefits of fruits and vegetables were greater when eaten raw, compared to canned, cooked or processed. The following is an interesting study that took place. 422 Americans and New Zealanders were enrolled aged 18 to 25. The researchers chose people in this age group because they have a higher risk of mental health disorders and tend to consume low levels of fruits and vegetables. The participants completed a survey to assess diet and lifestyle, and there were questions relating to depression, anxiety and mood states.

“In addition, the researchers asked them about factors that could influence the outcome of the study. These included gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, physical activity, smoking, alcohol use and sleep.

“After taking all these into consideration, the research team found a significant association between consuming raw fruits and vegetables and better mental health outcomes. More raw meant a better mood, life satisfaction and overall psychological well-being compared to eating cooked, canned or processed.

“According to psychologist Tamlin Conner from the University of Otago, who led the study, ‘We used to think about what we ate in relation to our physical health, but now there is more evidence suggesting it also impacts on how we feel.

“ ‘This research is increasingly vital as lifestyle approaches such as dietary change may provide an accessible, safe, and adjuvant approach to improving mental health.’

Raw Contains More Brain-Healthy Micronutrients

“This is the first study to look specifically at this issue, although three previous studies found raw fruit and vegetable intake was associated with lowered feelings of depression and stress.

“Cooking, canning and processing are known to decrease the nutrient content of some produce, so while the mechanisms that would explain the results of the study were not tested, the authors believe foods in their raw state deliver more micronutrients.

“They write, ‘Cooking fruits and vegetables can alter the bioavailability of nutrients which may … play an influential role in the neurotransmission systems involved in mood and well-being.’

“Cooking and processing also diminish the quantity and activity of antioxidants. This too can negatively affect mental functioning.

“But cooking does have some benefits. It sometimes enhances bioavailability – it has this effect on lycopene in tomatoes, for example – so the situation isn’t clear-cut.

“Nevertheless, the authors continue, ‘for key micronutrients that have been linked to mental health such as vitamin C and carotenoids, cooking and canning would most likely lead to a degradation in nutrients, thereby limiting their beneficial impact on mental health.’

“These were the top 10 raw foods tied to better mental health in the study: carrots, bananas, apples, dark leafy greens like spinach, grapefruit, lettuce, citrus fruits, fresh berries, cucumber and kiwifruit.”

So, what did you eat today? Was your mental stability a consideration or are you walking around biting and chewing on anybody around you?

Restoring the Temple – The Nervous System

The brain is a marvel that only God can ever fully understand. Our brain controls our emotions, sleep cycles, digestion, heart rate, breathing, and movement. Our brains are who we are and everything we will ever be. Only in being filled with the Holy Spirit would we ever transcend this. Our first parents’ brains were undoubtedly more complex and certainly more efficiently used than our own today. Someone once said: “The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.” I know that many of us can relate to that, including myself. A popular myth is that we use only ten percent of our brains. This myth may be due to a misquote of Albert Einstein, but there is no scientific evidence that backs up this myth.

Of the vast information on the brain, one thing we do understand is that it controls all of our body’s functions as well as being the seat of the mind. This was not always known, however. Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, believed that the heart, not the brain, was the location of thought and intelligence. The ancient Egyptians also did not have much respect for this organ as seen when making a mummy. The brain was removed and discarded, whereas the heart and other organs were carefully preserved.

The nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and the nerves. The main cell that makes up nervous tissue is the neuron. It is estimated that there are 100 billion neurons in the brain. To better understand this number, let us think of it in other terms. Neurons come in different sizes, but for the sake of this illustration we will say that they are ten microns wide. If you placed 100 billion neurons in a line, the line would be invisible but it would stretch to 100 km (62.14 miles).

The brain and spinal cord are bathed in a circulating fluid called the cerebrospinal fluid or CSF. CSF acts as a shock absorber as well as a diffusion medium for nutrients, special chemicals, and waste products. Blood vessels circulate blood through the brain, just as anywhere else in the body. Amazingly, however, chemicals dissolved in the blood do not have free access to the brain. Cells called endothelial cells line blood vessels in the brain and control the chemical exchange between the blood and the fluid surrounding brain cells. This is called a blood-brain barrier, isolating the central nervous system (CNS) from the general circulation. God knows how to protect the delicate but marvelously intricate processes of the CNS.

The function of the nervous system, in general, is to gather information, store data and control the body’s systems. The nervous system collects information about the conditions in relation to the body’s external state and analyzes this information. The information is then used to initiate appropriate responses. Simplistically, you put your hand on the burner of a stove, the brain determines “stove is hot—hot is bad!” Your hand is removed from the burner. All of this occurs much more quickly than you just read it. Information travels along nerves at speeds up to 120 meters/second or 268 mph.

The nervous system uses electrical impulses, which travel along the length of the neurons, as well as chemicals called neurotransmitters. The endocrine system has its own method of data transfer using hormones, but unlike the nervous system, it may take many hours to respond with hormones.

All intellectual functions are the major function of the cerebrum, which is the largest portion of the brain. Have you ever heard of a person who is brain dead? That means that they no longer have brain waves that translate into thought, but the physical control center, the brain stem, is still functioning enough to keep the body alive. Yet the higher functions of thought and emotion are closely interlinked with the physical functions. “The senses . . . are the avenues to the soul.” Healthful Living, 193

Like the rest of the body, the nervous system requires adherence to the laws of health to function optimally. Ellen White said, “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. And in order for the brain to be healthy, the blood must be pure. If by correct habits of eating and drinking the blood is kept pure, the brain will be properly nourished.” Medical Ministry, 291. She also understood that there is a balance between physical exercise and mental exercise that must be maintained. We can all understand that we need to study to learn, but on the other side of the coin, “The exercise of the brain in study without corresponding physical exercise has a tendency to attract the blood to the brain, and the circulation of the blood through the system becomes unbalanced. The brain has too much blood and the extremities too little.” Healthful Living, 180.

Even when all of our nervous system’s hardware and software is working correctly, we do not always use it properly. In the nineteenth century, Ambrose Bierce said that the definition of a cabbage is “A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head.” This is too often true isn’t it? I would have to say that without the Lord’s guidance it is always true. David’s insight was that “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise [man] keepeth it in till afterwards.” Proverbs 29:11. A current saying puts it this way: “Lord, keep Your arm around my shoulder and Your hand over my mouth.” Indeed!

The Power of Music, Part II

There have been and continue to be many studies on what the precise effects of music are as related to the mind and body. These studies have been performed under controlled conditions in the attempt to further scientific understanding. They have not been based on the desires of the scientists to prove that their favorite kinds of music are superior to others. Rather, these studies have been undertaken using scientifically valid methods of measuring the effects of music on the human being.

Effects on the Body

A number of experiments have been conducted with regard to the effects of musical stimuli on the digestive system. Changes in digestion, internal secretions, and even assimilation and nutrition have been recorded. (David Tame, The Secret Power of Music, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, 1984, 136.) The use of dinner music in restaurants is of longstanding. Although some may doubt the effects of music on digestion, apparently business people are more pragmatic, and depend on the effects of music to enhance their profits.

Tarchanoff found an effect on muscular activity, which increased or diminished according to the nature of the music played. Ibid., 137.

Portnoy summarized his findings by stating that music can change metabolisms, affect muscular energy, raise or lower blood pressure, and influence digestion. (Julius Portnoy, Music in the Life of Man, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, New York, 1963.)

The circulatory system also seems to be strongly affected by music. Byers and Smyth studied cardiac surgery patients. They found that a music intervention during the first postoperative day decreased noise annoyance, heart rate, and systolic blood pressure. (J. F. Byers and K. A. Smyth, “Effect of a Music Intervention on Noise Annoyance, Heart Rate, and Blood Pressure in Cardiac Surgery Patients,” American Journal of Critical Care (3), May 1977, 183–189.) Significant changes in the circulatory system under musical stimuli have been so great that music has been used effectively for therapeutic indications. Other experiments show that listening to music can measurably affect heart rate, and therapeutic exposure to certain kinds of music decreases heart rate significantly. Beyond this, there is abundant evidence that music can decrease blood pressure as well as heart rate, and even cause changes in plasma stress hormone levels. Some types of music can have the opposite effect. Gerra performed in Italy an experiment with 18- and 19-year-olds using techno-music. Techno-music was found to be associated with a significant increase in heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and significant changes in self-rated emotional states. (G. Gerra et al., “Neuroendocrine Responses of Healthy Volunteers to ‘Techno-Music’ Relationships with Personality Traits and Emotional State,” International Journal of Psychophysiology, January 1998, 99–111.) Watkins reviewed research on the effects of music and reported his findings. He suggested that “Music Therapy may be useful in a wide range of clinical settings with patients experiencing health problems as diverse as hypertension/cardiovascular disease, migraine headaches, and gastrointestinal ulcers.” (G. W. Watkins, “Music Listening Preferences and Preadmission Dysfunctional Psychosocial Behaviors of Adolescents Hospitalized on an Inpatient Psychiatric Unit,” Clinical Nurse Specialist, 1997, 43–50.)

The effects of music on the respiratory system go far beyond what one might imagine and are certainly based on the music itself and not merely dancing and toe tapping. Many studies have measured how music influences respiration. Music has been shown to enhance respiration even among mechanically ventilated patients, thus providing an important therapeutic device. (Tame, op. cit.)

Muscular activity and potential are also increased or decreased under the influence of different types of music, and this has been studied by several researchers. Research by Tarchanoff (Tame, op. cit.) revealed what specific types of music have the influence of increasing or diminishing muscular energy. Playing one kind of music can make you stronger. Playing another kind can make you weaker.

Several skin changes can be measured under exposure to music. Skin temperature changes have been noted in people listening to music. In a study by R. A. McFarland, 100 psychology students listened to music while their skin temperature was measured. “Arousing, negative emotion music terminated skin temperature increases and perpetuated skin temperature decreases, whereas the calm, positive emotion selection terminated skin temperature decreases and perpetuated skin temperature increases.” (R. A. McFarland, “Relationship of Skin Temperature Changes to the Emotions Accompanying Music,” Biofeedback and Self-Regulation, September 1985, 255.)

Other kinds of stress, such as galvanic skin response, are clearly in evidence. Such indicators suggest a powerful effect of music not only on the body, but also on the mind. Skin response is the principle upon which lie detection is based. There is a direct correlation between measurable skin stress and the state of mind produced by music. These correlations are of such magnitude that they have been therapeutically significant. (P. O. Peretti and F. Swenson, “Effects of Music on Anxiety as Determined by Physiological Skin Responses,” Journal of Research in Music Education, 1974, 278–283.)

Music and Pain

Music has been shown by many studies to be an effective treatment for pain. In their examination of the effects of techno-music, Gerra et al. (op. cit.) found a significant increase observed in beta-endorphin, adreno-corticotropic hormone, plasma norepinephine, growth hormone, and cortisol. The conclusion was that listening to techno-music induces changes in neurotransmitters, peptides, and hormonal reactions related to mental state and emotional involvement. Music cannot only lessen pain, but can change your emotional or mental state and actually even help you to grow. Music is being used in the control of pain in hospice care and to reduce postoperative pain.

A study of the effects of music on headache (Juanita McElwain, “The Effect of Somatron and Music on Headache,” Southern Medical Journal, 1992, 85), showed significant results in the number of subjects who reported that their headaches were gone after a 30-minute session of music and Somatron. All subjects with stress headaches reported their headaches were eliminated. A Somatron is an acoustic massage reclining chair. The music used was recorded American Indian wooden flute music.

Effect on the Brain

Music has a variety of effects on the brain. These include influence on the neural networks of the brain, changes in the balance of brainwaves in both hemispheres, and activity in paralimbic brain regions. The author has conducted a number of studies on the effect of music on brain waves, including a study for my doctoral dissertation. Some of the things revealed indicated that musicians process music differently than non-musicians. Musicians produce significantly more alpha brainwaves than non-musicians do. The two hemispheres of the brain process music differently. These influences have also been used in therapeutic situations, in the treatment of depression, anxiety and stress, and in mood improvement. Music may often be a cure for insomnia . . . .

Therapeutic Situations

The many and varied effects of music on the body and mind have given rise to the development of many specific therapeutic situations. Besides mood improvement and curing anxiety and insomnia, music has been used with many specific indications. Pacchetti et al. used active Music Therapy that utilized instruments structured to correspond to all sensory organs with Parkinson patients. Music Therapy had an improving effect on emotional functions, activities of daily living, and quality of life. The conclusion was that “Music Therapy, operating at a multi-sensory level, stimulates motor, affective and behavioral functions.” (C. Pacchetti et al., “Active Music Therapy and Parkinson’s Disease Methods,” Functional Neurology 13, 1998, 57–67.) Ezzone et al. studied the use of music during high-dose chemotherapy administrations. They found “that music helped to lessen nausea and vomiting.” (S. Ezzone et al., “Music as an Adjunct to Aromatic Therapy,” Oncology Nursing Forum 9, 1995, 551–556.) A study by Hanser and Thompson found housebound elders who were experiencing symptoms of depression, distress, and anxiety, when presented with music, performed significantly better on standardized tests evaluating depression, distress, self-esteem, and mood. (S. Hanser and I. W. Thompson, “Effects of a Music Therapy Strategy on Depressed Older Adults,” Journal of Gerontology 49, November 1994, 265–269.)

Souson analyzed the effect of music on mood and memory. Interestingly enough, his analysis revealed that the mood of the participants was influenced by the music played and not by the lyrics. (S. D. Souson, “Effects of Melody and Lyrics on Mood and Memory,” Perceptual Motor Skills 859, 1997, 31–40.)

Music in Daily Life

Two authors have compiled lists of music for specific uses in daily life. (Hal Lingerman, Life Streams, The Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Illinois, 1988; Barbara Scarantino, Music Power, Dodd Mead & Co., New York, New York, 1987.) Examples include:

1 Physical therapy—use music with stronger rhythms, peppy tunes, and powerful contrasts. However, do not play this music too long or too loudly because you can shock and exhaust yourself.

2 Anger—use strong music to release anger or quiet music to calm anger.

3 Hyperactivity—use more quiet music, melodically pleasing, and slower in rhythm and pacing.

4 Depression and fear—play music that will induce sleep for dejection and negative feelings. Other music can pierce through melancholy, fears, and doubts.

5 Boredom—use music that will arouse new enthusiasm.

6 Strength and courage—powerful music will cause increases of blood flow, speed of circulation, increased muscular energy and metabolism.

7 Relaxation and reverie—play quiet, perhaps nostalgic, music.

8 Love and devotion—play music that can arouse understanding and discernment and that will fill relationships with joys and overcomings.

9 Clear thinking and mental power—use music that will be clear melodically and rhythmi-cally. Much of the music of the baroque period is ordered and melodic with few surprises.

10 Waking up—play beautiful music, quiet pieces which will bring you back from sleep slowly, perhaps music for strings or flute. If you are prone to going back to sleep, choose music more peppy, bright, and airy.

11 Planning your day—play back-ground music; it should be joy-ous, transparent and clear, not heavily orchestrated or dissonant.

12 Meals—choose happy music that is light and airy; avoid heavy loud music and large contrasts. Music that is pleasing to the ear height-ens the taste buds, and both work to promote good digestion.

13 Insomnia—play quiet music for flutes, harps, or strings.

14 Home—music to quiet your home will treat stress, worry, and high-strung states. Lingerman says that it is very lovely to sing to your children, especially at bedtime.

15 Child’s energy—to release a child’s energy, avoid stressful, clashing sounds; beautiful, rhythmic music helps concentration, but chaotic sounds will make them lose con-centration and become jumpy.

16 Humor—music can help you unwind with a chuckle.

Music has become accepted as a therapeutic intervention worldwide. Historical studies show that this has always been true if only in an informal way. Now Music Therapy is a recognized and well-organized profession, which reaches out to a broad range of populations and applications. Some of the people with whom music therapists work include the mentally ill, mentally challenged, geriatrics, physically disabled, visually impaired, juvenile delinquents, those in criminal correction systems, people in hospitals, and coma and brain-injured patients. Music is used with childbirth and in kidney dialysis centers. Music is used for medicinal purposes more and more frequently.

In the summer of 1991, the U. S. Senate had a hearing on music and aging. One aspect, which was particularly emphasized, was the use of Music Therapy with Alzheimer’s patients.

Reprinted from The Lord is My Song, Print-Quik, Inc., Madison, Tennessee, 2002, and summarized from a 2003 Steps to Life Camp Meeting presentation.

To be concluded . . .

Juanita McElwain earned her PhD in Music Therapy from Florida State University. She has taught music on all levels from preschool to college graduate. She has worked as a music therapy clinician with the mentally challenged. Her areas of expertise in research include the effects of music on brain waves and the effects of music on headache. She has given numerous seminars on the power of music, which include good and bad effects of music—rock music, sensual music, music in worship and mind control through music—throughout the United States and in Europe. She and her husband are presently retired in West Virginia. She may be contacted by e-mail at:

Health – BDNF – Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor

We’ve all come to accept the notion that our brains will continue to shrink as we age. And nowhere is this decline more impactful than in the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center.

Researchers measuring the size of the hippocampus using MRI scans demonstrate a clear correlation between shrinkage of the hippocampus and declining cognitive function.

Challenging the status quo notion that loss of hippocampal function is inevitable is new and exciting research showing that we have the potential to actually grow new cells in this vitally important area of the brain, expanding the hippocampus in size and enhancing memory function.

The growth of new cells in the brain, neurogenesis, is enhanced under the influence of a specific protein called BDNF. And while there is no pharmaceutical approach to increasing BDNF, animal research has long recognized that aerobic exercise causes a robust increase in BDNF levels and as a consequence, increases both the growth of new cells in the hippocampus as well as increase in memory.

But while the animal research has long confirmed the relationship between aerobic exercise and the growth of new brain cells, this relationship has been only recently demonstrated to occur in humans.

Neuroscientist Kirk Erikson and his research team at the University of Pittsburg publishing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science studied a group of 120 adults over a one year span.

Half the group was given a stretching program to perform 3 times each week while the other half engaged in 3 days of aerobics.

After one year, the two groups were evaluated looking at three parameters. First, using MRI scans, the change in size of the hippocampus was calculated. Second, serum measurements before and after the trial were measured. And finally, the study actually measured memory function at the beginning and end of the trial.

The results were breathtaking. While the group doing the stretching program manifested a decline in memory, hippocampal size and BDNF levels, the aerobics group showed not only improvement in memory, but actually an increase in the size of the hippocampus accompanied by an increase in their blood levels of BDNF. The authors concluded: “These results clearly indicate that aerobic exercise is neuroprotective and that starting an exercise regimen later in life is not futile for either enhancing cognition or augmenting brain volume.” Simply stated, this landmark research demonstrated that aerobic exercise increases the growth of new stem cells in the human brain, and these stem cells mature to become fully functioning neurons.

The important role of BDNF in preserving brain function was the subject of a landmark report in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association. In the report, researchers showed that blood levels of BDNF almost perfectly predict future risk for declining brain function as long as 10 years in the future.

The results of these studies have huge implications. Multiple studies have now confirmed the fact that aerobic exercise can turn on the genetic machinery to manufacture BDNF, the brain’s “growth hormone,” creating new stem cells that become fully functioning neurons in the brain’s memory center and actually improving memory. Despite the lack of any pharmaceutical development to enhance this process, you have direct control of your BDNF levels and thus the fate of your brain.

You can increase your BDNF levels and enhance the growth of new brain cells and memory. Here’s how:

Engage in regular aerobic exercise. I recommend 20 minutes per day, 6 days each week. A good target heart rate is around 180 minus your age. Your specific target rate will depend on your level of fitness as well as medications you may be taking. That said, it’s always a good idea to check with a healthcare practitioner before engaging in a new exercise program.

The omega-3, DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), like aerobic exercise, has been shown to activate the genes that turn on BDNF production. So take a supplement that contains DHA. DHA is available in … algae-derived (suitable for vegetarians) products. … My recommendation is a dosage of DHA of around 800mg daily.

Curcumin, the main active ingredient in the spice turmeric, is currently the subject of intense scientific inquiry, especially as it relates to the brain. But curcumin isn’t new to medical research as it has been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine for thousands of years. Curcumin is known to possess a variety of biochemical properties including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antibacterial activities. But most exciting, as it relates to the brain, extensive research confirms that in humans, consumption of curcumin is associated with a significant rise in BDNF levels.

In a recent report in Food and Nutrition Sciences, researchers demonstrated how whole coffee fruit concentrate (WCFC) affected BDNF levels in humans. The study involved 20 young adults (25-35 years) who were asked to consume whole coffee fruit concentrate powder followed by blood evaluations of their BDNF levels. Remarkably, BDNF levels actually doubled in those individuals taking the whole coffee fruit concentrate in comparison to those who were given coffee or a placebo.

In another study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers administered a single 100mg dose of whole coffee fruit extract to a group of volunteers and observed a 143% increase in their blood values of BDNF. WCFC is a patented extract of whole coffee fruit from the common coffee bean, Coffea arabica. It contains chemicals called procyanidins which are known to protect brain cells, as well as a unique profile of polyphenols that may well relate to its ability to raise BDNF so dramatically.

Again, BDNF is powerfully influential in determining your brain’s destiny, so these new scientific reports showing the dramatic rise in BDNF with whole coffee fruit concentrate is very exciting, especially for me as a neuroscientist.

Extracts from Extraordinary Health, vol. 32, 2018, David Perlmutter, M.D. (America’s Brain Health Expert, Board-certified Neurologist, #1 New York Times Best Selling Author, Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, and expert in the Human Microbiome.)

Studies have proven we can increase BDNF levels and enhance the growth of new brain cells and memory by engaging in regular aerobic exercise, incorporating omega 3s, curcumin and whole coffee fruit in the diet. But nothing will strengthen the intellect more than the study of the Bible. “The Bible is the best book in the world for giving intellectual culture. Its study taxes the mind, strengthens the memory, and sharpens the intellect … .”  Gospel Workers, 100. “The mind will enlarge if it is employed in tracing out the subjects of the Bible, comparing scripture with scripture, and spiritual things with spiritual. There is nothing more calculated to strengthen the intellect than the study of the Scriptures. No other book is so potent to elevate the thoughts, to give vigor to the faculties, as the broad, ennobling truths of the Bible.” Christian Education, 58.

Health – That Hungry Brain

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Every known thing today had its origin in the six days of creation week. On the sixth day man was formed of the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7), from the very same elements from which the earth was created. God blessed our first parents, Adam and Eve, instructing them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, giving them dominion or rulership of all of creation. In order to have dominion over the earth that is around you, you must have dominion over the earth from which you are made.

God gave the human race every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it would be theirs for food (Genesis 1:29).

The nutrition, the elements from the ground in the foods that we eat, and our lifestyle, has a direct reflection on our general health and also brain functions and thoughts. We know that the physical structure of the brain is the medium through which the mind works to receive spiritual messages and enable a relationship with God.

If you build a house, it must be built from the basement up and not from the attic down. The body is the physical foundation, the basement is the structure of your life and the brain is the centerpiece of our interface with God. Without a sound physical structure, there will be impairments in our relationship with God. Nutrition influences memory so that the brain, the capacity to learn, and the ability to have self-control over behavior and moods are affected by the food eaten.

Each day we ingest any number of compounds that we know influence mental function. We do not want to be under the influence of drugs and alcohol but under the influence of the Holy Spirit. That is the influence that convicts us to eat according to the will and word of God. We are in a battle for the brain, the operating mechanism of the mind. God does not talk to your finger or your toe; He communicates with your mind.

If a person decides not to eat vegetables, they may very well become one! Repeated poor food choices and eating habits can set fundamental patterns in the production of the brain chemicals that regulate appetite and mood so that they become a victim of mood swings, food cravings, poor sleeping habits, and other emotional problems.

Diseases That Dull The Brain

We know that the enemy seeks to destroy, and his ultimate purpose is to separate all whom he can from God. The brain is continually stressed if the body does not get enough rest or exercise, and is continually being eroded, making it impossible to make intelligent decisions to stand for truth.

An experiment was carried out on 1,800 people who were tested on their learning and memory ability. They were poor performers because of the presence of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and smoking, all of which negatively affect brain function.

It was discovered that one risk factor caused a 23% decline in performance. If another risk factor was added, there was a further 23% decline. The more risk factors a person had, the greater the risk of developing memory and learning impairments. One risk factor is 23% decline. Two risk factors, 46%. Three risk factors, 69%. Four risk factors, 91%. If there are five risk factors the person is in big trouble! What did Jesus say? If the good man is not at home, the thief will come to crush, kill, and destroy. The enemy wants to get in there and decapitate you through lifestyle measures while you are sitting there eating food.

Elevated LDL cholesterol is linked to a four-fold increase of dementia. Dementia is senior moments that stay. You just can’t remember what you were going to say and you just hope the person you are standing in front of will have mercy, and say he/she has senior moments too!

Elevated total cholesterol is linked to a three-fold increased risk of dementia. Dementia means mental, thinking, inability to think, because the enemy has been stealing his way into the brain through our foods. God would have us eat according to His purposes and His design so that we may function with optimal performance.

The Purpose of Eating

The purpose of eating is to receive nourishment. We are admonished in 1 Corinthians 10:31 that, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” We should be more mindful of eating only that which is nourishing, according to God’s purpose.

The heart feeds blood to the brain. Foods that are eaten are processed through the digestive system; then through the liver before entering into the bloodstream and circling around the body and then feed the mind. It has been found that older diabetic women have a 74% increased risk of inability to think because of diabetes. The brain cells which fire electrical messages have pathways where nerve transmission moves along by various codes and circuits. These brain circuits are made up of brain cells which are nourished by what is put into the body.

The Purpose of Drinking

The body needs hydration and also cleansing. It is God’s purpose that we keep the body that He gave us healthy, eating that which is nourishing, and drinking according to that which is cleansing. Some beverages, e.g., soda pop, alcohol, coffee, to mention a few, which are consumed in extremely large amounts, are not beneficial for either hydration or cleansing. Some nutritious beverages like juices consumed appropriately meet another purpose. These should be consumed in moderation. Drinking pure clean water not only hydrates the body, but refreshes and also cleanses. There are also a number of herb teas that are cleansing or nourishing, or both.

We transgress the law when we “knoweth to do good, and doeth it not” (James 4:17); by killing ourselves slowly on the installment plan or by neglecting the laws of health, it is still murder. The enemy wants to destabilize the physical foundation so that the attic comes tumbling down. And the enemy wants to destroy your body so that your mind cannot know God. We have been told that God will say to some, “I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23), because you were not able to know Him.

Studies have been done on the effect of insulin resistance on the pancreas, the retina, and other organs. What about the effect on the brain? No one seems to consider the brain. For every Alzheimer’s patient, there are eight older people who suffer enough memory loss to significantly harm their quality of life, yet have no dementia-causing disease. This is because the physical body is being so stressed that the mind is being drained. Diets high in saturated fats, refined foods, and refined sugars cause brain drain.

Drinking beverages that are not cleansing to the body causes the body to rebel. The body begins to marshal water from the muscles and other parts of the body in an attempt to dilute whatever has been put into the stomach before passing into the intestines, and then into the bloodstream, and liver. The body gets all the water it can and tries to rush it over to the kidneys demanding them to “do your job; get rid of that stuff, because this guy doesn’t know what he’s doing!” These stimulating, dehydrating drinks are destroying us as a people.

If the brain is not sufficiently hydrated, it may lead to impairment with respect to reasoning. The thing that separates man from the animal kingdom is the ability to reason. Man has been so equipped with the power of choice but, if the right electricity is not supplied, the equipment will not function and learning, reaction time, alertness, among other things, are affected. When found in a difficult spiritual situation, it is imperative to be able to reason correctly, and be able to react in a quick fashion. Some of the ways the brain is tested with mental status examinations are to check if the attention span is impaired, concentration, the working memory, dialing a phone number, and picture recognition.

A person who is always making lists, and never completing any of them, may be suffering from poor eating habits. Word recall, abstract reasoning, and being able to conceptualize the message require understanding concepts and intellectual performance. All of these things are affected: short-term memory; long-term memory; spatial memory, like a rat in a maze; logical memory.

High fat and sugar cause problems with the structure of the brain, affecting its function. High fat and sugar alter blood sugar metabolism, promoting high insulin levels and hinder the oxygen-nutrient access causing free-radical damage.

Twenty years ago anti-oxidants and free radicals were unheard of, but now this is common language in the medical field. These things cause damage to the body when not eating healthfully, impeding circulation and intensifying nutrient deficiencies and hormones in the brain so that the nerve cells are damaged.

Time For an Oil Change

The body needs oil and the body needs cholesterol, but the stomach does not need cholesterol. Cholesterol does not need to be ingested. The body makes cholesterol from the fats that you eat, from the right fats, so we need an oil change. Taking out that old, dirty oil and replacing it with good oil may improve the attention and cognitive function, and in the elderly, lower the LDL cholesterol and elevate the HDL. LDL is the bad type just because we generally have it too high. The HDL is supposed to be high because it functions to help keep things in balance.

Exercise is the main thing that helps HDL, and proper diet lowers the LDL.

Plant foods provide phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, superior fats, and superior proteins. Plant foods promote lower dementia risk. Remember your veggies. If you don’t eat your vegetables, you might become one! If you don’t eat your vegetables, your brain is going to be drained and will not be able to function properly. Low fruit and vegetable intake is linked to higher levels of damage to nerve tissue, resulting in shrinkage of vital memory centers.

Antioxidants have a beneficial effect on almost any degenerative human disease. Eat smart to be smart!

May God give us a desire to want to serve Him fully and to be loyal to Him so that we will not be slowly impressed with the enemy’s character and paralyzed from the neck up, but that we will have His liberating influence and receive His seal.

Used by permission by Vicki Griffin and produced by Hope Media Ministry. Visit the website at Hope Media Ministry, P.O. Box 752, Ada, Michigan 49301

Voluntary Lobotomy

“Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons [and daughters] of God.”

1 John 3:1

We are sons and daughters of God right now—we can choose to sit in heavenly places right now. Light is shining upon you and me so we do not need to walk in darkness.

We are told in Counsels on Health, 38, “So closely is health related to our happiness that we cannot have the latter without the former.” The devil knows this and he does not want you to be happy. There are dangers that we cannot imagine. God warns us of the dangers and traps the devil has set for us so he can destroy our health. A trap is a pitfall, a snare—a life threatening condition.

Don’t be fooled! Satan is our enemy and he will do all in his power to destroy us. He knows that if he can get through the five senses of the body to the physical, there is a good chance that he can then destroy the mental and the spiritual. Those five senses are sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.

“We are God’s workmanship, and his word declares that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made.’ He has prepared this wonderful habitation for the mind; it is ‘curiously wrought’ [Psalm 139:14, 15], a temple which the Lord himself has fitted up for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.” Healthful Living, 9.

Our bodies were “curiously wrought.”

  • Our body is a living habitation for the mind
  • God Himself has “fitted up” or designed this body, this temple
  • Why? For the indwelling of His Holy Spirit

What does the Holy Spirit do for us? The Holy Spirit imparts to us the life of Christ. It imbues us with the attributes of the life of Christ or permeates our very being with these attributes. We are God’s temples to reside in through His Holy Spirit. That is why the Devil hates us so much. He does not want us to have the attributes of Christ but to reflect his own sinful character.

This is why it is such a battle to keep our minds stayed on heavenly things, to stay alert each moment and not to sleepwalk. A sleepwalker is not aware of what he is doing. In Ephesians 5:14 it tells us to: “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” Some characteristics of people who are sleeping are:

  • A sleeper is inclined to do nothing. He hears the warnings but thinks those warnings are for somebody else.
  • They are indifferent—neutral, thinking that a little bit of this or that is okay—that a little won’t hurt.
  • They are not interested in or concerned about what they are doing.
  • They are just walking with the group.

If you do nothing and are indifferent you have bypassed the narrow gate and have walked through the wide gate and are walking around with everybody else that is within that wide gate. In other words, you are eating the same as the group, dressing the same as the group and your health will be the same as that group.

In Ephesians 5:15–17 we are told that we need to walk circumspectly and not as fools, or unwise, and that we must redeem the time—that time which was a gift from God but wasted while walking with the group. Why? Because the days are evil and we need to understand what the will of the Lord is.

God tells us that we are His temples in I Corinthians 3:16, 17: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

Remember, God has prepared this living habitation for the mind. The devil knows this verse very well and is trying to get us to destroy these temples.

Remember the story of Phineas Gage. He was a family man, well loved by all around him because of his Christlike character; he was very personable.

On the 13th of September, 1848, 25-year-old Gage and his crew were working on the Rutland and Burlington Railroad near Cavendish in Vermont. Gage was preparing for an explosion by compacting a bore with explosive powder using a tamping iron. While he was doing this, a spark from the tamping iron ignited the powder, causing the iron to be propelled at high speed straight through Gage’s skull. It entered under the left cheek bone and exited through the top of the head, and was later recovered some 30 yards from the site of the accident. The tamping iron was 3 feet 8 inches in length and 1.25 inches in diameter at one end.

Whether or not Gage lost consciousness is not known, but, remarkably, he was conscious and able to walk within minutes of the accident. He was then seated in an oxcart, on which he was transported three-quarters of a mile to the boarding house where he was staying. At the boarding house, a doctor removed small fragments of bone, and replaced some of the larger skull fragments that remained attached but had been displaced by the tamping iron. He then closed the larger wound at the top of Gauge’s head with adhesive straps.

Shortly after the accident, Gage’s wife, and other people close to him, began to notice dramatic changes in his personality. Gage’s contractors, who regarded him before the accident as the most efficient and capable foreman in their employ previous to his injury, now considered the change in his mind so marked that they could not give him his place again. Gage became fitful, irreverent, indulging at times in the grossest profanity, which was not previously his custom. He manifested little deference or courteousness for his fellows and was impatient of restraint of advice when it conflicted with his desires. His mind, his character, was radically changed, so decidedly that his friends and acquaintances said he was “no longer Gage.” Thus, the damage to Gage’s frontal cortex had resulted in a complete loss of social inhibitions, which often led to inappropriate behavior. In effect, the tamping iron had performed a frontal lobotomy on Gage.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)! The frontal lobe is viewed as the emotional and personality control center of a person’s mind and body that is responsible for how a person acts and reacts to information, reacts to other people and situations in life.

Some of the characteristics the frontal lobe controls are drive, mood, memory, attention, initiation, judgment, spontaneity, impulse control, problem solving, social behavior, feeling of empathy and sympathy, mental planning and execution, understanding humor, irony, sarcasm, and dishonesty.

Gage had lost his frontal lobe! What a change to his whole life and to the lives of the people around him! He had a total character transformation.

About 50 years later, after Phineas Gage had his accident, doctors began to perform frontal lobe surgeries—lobotomies. The idea of a lobotomy was tried when a man decided to slice the frontal lobes out of his dogs’ brains just to see what would happen. In a very short time someone decided to try the technique out on humans. The devil has no mercy—he wants to destroy us.

Lobotomy became the practice of surgically removing parts of the brain as a treatment for the thoughts housed within—specifically the frontal lobe. If somebody thought you acted funny, or thought differently, or were hyper like children, you were given a lobotomy.

From the 1930s through the 1950s, lobotomies were all the rage. Certain doctors revolutionized the procedure by making it quick and easy. You may have heard reference to someone performing a lobotomy with an ice pick and assumed it was a joke. Unfortunately, it was not.

In 1949, about 5,000 lobotomies were performed in the U.S. Some estimates place the total number of lobotomies performed in the U.S. from the 1930s through the 1950s as high as 50,000. From the 1940s through the end of the 1950s, at least 10,000 more lobotomies were performed in England and tens of thousands more were performed worldwide. In Sweden, 4,500 people were lobotomized against their will, including children, between 1944 and 1963.

Many resulted in a severe mental impairment that left people paralyzed. People were involuntarily institutionalized and subjected to barbarous treatment; many ended up as vegetables. The devil is very cruel. He will do anything to destroy these temples.

During the 1960s, new anti-psychotic drugs began to emerge on the scene. They too often had only spotty success rates, but you could actually stop an anti-psychotic drug regimen. A lobotomy, on the other hand, was an irreversible procedure—damage to neural tissues almost never heals.

With the tide of public opinion turning sharply against the practice, the number of lobotomies performed in the U.S. dropped dramatically through the 1960s and fell almost completely out of favor by the 1970s.

Today, the procedure has been almost completely discredited and abandoned in the Western world. Only a handful of lobotomies are performed in the U.S. each year, most of which involve laser microsurgery rather than ice picks. Most U.S. states have today totally banned involuntary lobotomies.

Now begins a new era of voluntary lobotomies being performed, and very few realize it! Do you and I realize it? Why are we voluntarily doing this? Because we are sleepwalking! Remember Ephesians 5:14: “Awake, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

Now is not the time to be indifferent or neutral. This is not the time to walk with the group right into voluntary lobotomy. The devil has set a life threatening condition in front of us and has made a way for us to voluntarily yield our frontal lobes up to destruction. A voluntary lobotomy!

Are you ready for the battle? In I Timothy 6:12 it says, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, wherewith thou art also called, and has professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

Are you ready to “fight the good fight of faith”? Do you understand what faith is and what the battle is? We need to understand this!

  • Faith is a conviction; in other words, you are convinced that something is true.
  • You are convinced that Jesus died for you and that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you.
  • And because you believe that, the devil is going to test your belief—your faith.
  • Is your faith a conviction or just a preference? If a conviction, you will want to keep your body and mind pure through God’s grace.

Every soul is required to “fight the fight of faith.”

Satan comes to prove your faith like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8)!! He is looking right at you and me—and he has found a way to destroy our connection with God.

Voluntary means you choose to yield up your head for a frontal lobe operation—a lobotomy! You choose to become fitful, irreverent, indulging at times in the grossest profanity, to manifest but little deference or courteousness to friends and family, impatient of restraint of advice when it conflicts with your desires; in other words, you choose to reflect the character of the devil.

The devil could no longer by law destroy the judgment center so in the 1950s he brought forth the television.

“The brain nerves which communicate to the entire system are the only medium through which Heaven can communicate to man, and affect his inmost life.” Healthful Living, 54.

How protective then should we be of those brain nerves? Now comes the television, which is also called media—medium. Television is the devil’s medium. This is the devil’s means of communication, many calling it devil-vision, because it destroys the brain nerves through which God can only communicate. The devil’s medium destroys God’s medium!

Television is similar to mesmerism and one of the greatest dangers to our spirituality. Mesmerism is when one person can produce in another an abnormal condition resembling sleep, during which the mind remains passively under control, subject to the will of the operator.

“Each faculty of the mind and each muscle has its distinctive office, and all require to be exercised in order to be properly developed and retain healthful vigor. … Every wheel in machinery must be a living, active, working wheel. Nature’s fine and wonderful works need to be kept in active motion in order to accomplish the object for which they were designed.” Healthful Living, 69.

Today, the greatest educator in our nation is no longer school, church or home; it is the television. Hollywood does not like Christian values. Why? Christian values would not allow something to destroy the only medium through which heaven can communicate to us. Television teaches masses of people and it sells ideas, values, concepts and morals—behavior modification on a large scale.

“Impure thoughts lead to impure actions. … Some … are in danger of paralysis of the brain. Already the moral and intellectual powers are weakened and benumbed.” Healthful Living, 203.

Television destroys the frontal lobe and can be compared to the lobotomies in the 1900s. Every time you sit down to be voluntarily lobotomized, “Jesus is standing at the door knocking: If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). Jesus says, I will not destroy the temple I have made for you because I want to dwell with you. The devil destroys!

“Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the word of God, or through His delegated messengers, is a knock at the door of the heart; it is the voice of Jesus, asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, your determination to open becomes weaker and weaker.” Our High Calling, 352.

“Conscience and right principles of life should be sustained.” Healthful Living, 203. What is conscience? It is a sense of right or wrong in one’s conduct or motives. What does a “lobotomy” do? It takes away your sense of right and wrong.

There are many studies showing that television damages our brains. Here are a few:

The World Federation of Neurology expresses great concern over the way visual electronic media is affecting children by “halting the process of frontal lobe development and affecting their ability to control potentially antisocial elements of their behavior … the implications are very serious … children should also be encouraged to play outside with other children, interact and communicate with others as much as possible. The more work done to thicken the fibers connecting the neurons in this part of the brain, the better the child’s ability will be to control their behavior.”

“Like hypnosis, watching television is also thought to subdue the involvement of the most sophisticated part of our brain—the frontal lobe. This is the brain’s executive control system, responsible for planning, organizing and sequencing behavior for self-control, moral judgment and attention. Both hypnosis and television reduce our ability to analyze critically what we are being told or what we see.” Remotely Controlled, 95.

“It is reported that children watch an average of 43 hours of TV per week; that is longer than the average adult work week. While watching, they rapidly become almost hypnotized. It has been shown scientifically that within minutes of beginning to watch TV, the brain changes from the alert brain waves (beta waves) to the hypnotic waves (alpha waves) where the judgment center of the brain is bypassed. So the violence and moral degeneration that the child sees, bypasses the judgment center in the brain and is implanted in the child’s brain without any ability on the child’s part to decide whether what they are seeing is right or wrong. The violence and moral degeneration are accepted by the brain without any moral judgment being applied to it. It then becomes part of the child’s permanent subconscious. What goes into a child’s mind is just as important as what goes into his or her mouth!” Attention Deficit Disorder, by Lorraine Day, M.D.

“I have seen some common themes between the effects of watching television and the processes thought to lie behind frontal lobe psychosurgery … given the concern that current levels of television viewing may literally idle frontal lobe activity and then stun its development in younger viewers thereby changing their thinking and behavior, there are some unfortunate similarities [to lobotomies]. Opponents of psychosurgery saw it as the use of a medical procedure to achieve social goals. Television too is used to achieve social goals.” Remotely Controlled, 98.

“Reading vs. Television. Reading leads you to actively manage knowledge, to follow a line of thought, which means classifying, making inferences, reasoning, weighing up ideas, connection one to another, and more. It increases brain activity. Television bypasses all of this.” Ibid., 100. This results in voluntary lobotomies of God’s temples. The devil’s medium destroys God’s medium!

Media analyst Marshall McLuhan considered television as reducing the separation of thought and action, making human behavior more conformist. … Watching television reduces frontal lobe activity.

In Psalm 101:2, 3, it says: “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.”

Television influences our thoughts, our understanding, our likes and dislikes, our manner of speech, and even our dress. Television influences our ideas of right and wrong. Like Phineas Gage—total character transformation!!

“One of the most critical arguments against watching television is that it affects the three characteristics that distinguish us as human beings. In the first three years of life, a child learns to walk, to talk and to think. Television keeps us sitting, leaves little room for meaningful conversations and seriously impairs our ability to think. And when children do walk, talk and think, television can have a decisive influence on how they do it.” Remotely Controlled, 49.

As Christians we are to live a pure lifestyle, even in private. Does TV affect us? The answer is yes! Did you ever laugh at a sinful scene which you would not take part of in real life? To laugh at sin is to condone it. The media is not controlled by Christians. “If we can start changing attitudes in this country, we can start changing behavior.”—Grant Tinker, Former Chairman NBC TV.

Deuteronomy 7:26 tells us, “Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.” This verse deals with idols and images which Israel was to reject. Is there a parallel? Yes. The church is spiritual Israel and the same mindset about idols and images is present today. Many idolize movie stars and money. Satan is cunning and many of us have fallen for his TV snares.

Television programs are designed with the purpose of reprogramming your mind by breaking down your defenses so you will accept a lie as truth.

  • Does it mock Christianity?
  • Does it glamorize rebellion against any type of authority, such as parents, police, teachers, government, etc.?
  • Does it glorify controlled substances?
  • Are sinful lifestyles promoted like homosexuality, lesbianism, or living together without benefit of marriage?
  • Is violence glorified?

Look around! It seems to be okay because everybody is doing it. Before television came into popularity, each country had their peculiar characteristics/cultures of dressing, talking, living. Now the world walks and talks the TV walk and talk—it is Group Think!

There is now growing concern that watching television distorts the wiring in the developing brain, which is undergoing rapid growth during the first few years of a child’s life. The advice is that children should not start watching television before the age of three. The American Medical Association is now notifying pediatricians to assess viewing habits when treating all hyperactive children.

Professor Herbert Krugman found that within 30 seconds of turning on the television, the brain becomes neurologically less able to make judgments about what we see and hear on the screen. Our brain treats incoming information uncritically. Television is a communication medium that effortlessly transmits huge quantities of information not thought about at the time of exposure—in other words, it is brainwashing! (Journal of Advertising Research, 1971.)

We are no longer free thinkers! Do you see how the devil destroys our frontal lobes? What type of characteristics do we see being exhibited?

  • people become fitful, irreverent, indulging at times in the grossest profanity
  • manifesting but little deference or courteousness
  • impatient of restraint of advice when it conflicts with personal desires.

“Therefore let us not Sleep [or be inactive or careless], as do others; but let us watch [be alert] and be sober [possess properly controlled faculties].” I Thessalonians 5:6. [Emphasis supplied.]

Do not voluntarily allow the devil to destroy your faculties!

Judy Hallingstad is part of the LandMarks team. She can be contacted by e-mail at:

Health – Aging and the Brain

Several studies have shown a link between the number of infections throughout a person’s life and later development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

As we age, our immune systems become less efficient in combating infections. This is mainly due to poor nutrition and can be corrected simply by improvements in diet.

Nutrients That Prevent Alzheimer’s

Resveratrol, one of the active components of grapes, has been shown to reduce the accumulation of a substance called amyloid beta in the brain, and to suppress inflammation of the brain by inhibiting microglial activation—which is the mechanism for amyloid production. (Ono, K., et. al., J Neurosci 2004; 75: 742-750; Bi, X.L., et. al., Int Immunopharmacology 2005; 5: 185-193.)

Amyloid is the brain “crud” that accumulates in the brains of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Another beneficial plant flavonoid is called baicalein, an extract of a plant called skullcap, which has been shown to protect brain cells from damage by toxins and excitotoxicity (the process of nerve damage through continuous stimulation), as well as safeguarding the brain during strokes. Skullcap powerfully protects against free radical creation and lipid peroxidation in the brain, and reduces microglia-induced brain inflammation and immunoexcitotoxicity (excitotoxicity triggered by the body’s immune response). (Uchida, K., et. al., J Biol Chem 1999; 2234-2342; Kobuchi, H., et. al., Am J Physiol 1999; 277: C403-411.) A number of plant flavonoids also chelate iron, which means they bind the iron atoms, preventing the formation of free radicals, and thus protecting the brain. Flavonoids with this property include:

  • Curcumin
  • Green and white tea flavonoids
  • Quercetin
  • Hesperidin
  • Luteolin
  • Baicalein

This is important property because free iron in specific locations in the aging brain is associated with neurodegenerative diseases, especially Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, and plays a major role in stroke damage. These flavonoids do not interfere with normal iron functions. Luteolin, found in high concentrations in celery and parsley not only reduces microglial activation, it also switches microglia to a protective state, a mechanism that is impaired with Alzheimer’s disease and possibly chronic brain damage associated with multiple brain injuries in sports (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). (Blaylock, R. and Maroon, J., Sur Neurol Int 2011.)

Another study found that both apigenin (another flavonoid) and luteolin protect the brain by reducing microglial activation. (Resai-Zadeh, K., et. al., J Neuroinflammation 2008; 5: 41.) In addition, there is strong evidence that activation of microglia in the aging brain is playing a central role in a number of neurological disorders, including strokes, brain infections, vaccine damage, brain trauma, and neurodegenerative diseases. (Dilger, R.N., et. al., J Leukoc Biol 2008; 84; 932-939.)

As we age, the microglia in the brain become progressively more activated. In people with Alzheimer’s dementia, there is widespread, intense microglial activation. A number of flavonoids control brain inflammation by suppressing microglial activation; these include curcumin, quercetin, fisetin, EGCG, and resveratrol.

Excitotoxicity and Magnesium Levels

As we grow older the brain becomes progressively more inflamed. With age-related memory loss and Alzheimer’s dementia, the degree of inflammation increases dramatically.

Brain inflammation is caused by microglial activation; these immune cells are also the source of glutamate and other excitotoxins. Magnesium, which is abundant in fruits, vegetables, and nuts, suppresses excitotoxicity and inflammation.

Meanwhile, because of their high level of phosphoric acid, soft drinks deplete magnesium and play a major role in the widespread magnesium deficiency seen in the Western world.

Many prescription medications and birth control pills on the market also severely deplete magnesium.

Studies conducted by Dr. Mark Mattson and his co-workers have shown that physical exercise stimulates brain cells to release higher levels of growth factors (neurotrophins), which protect the brain from damage, heal existing injuries, prevent depression, and promote better memory and learning capacity. (Boyle, P.A., et. al., Arch Gen Psychiatry 2010; 67: 304-310.)

Mattson has also studied the effect of caloric restriction on brain protection, and demonstrated that reducing one’s intake of calories significantly reduces brain aging and stimulates the release of neurotrophic brain growth factors.

Caloric restriction also increases antioxidant enzyme levels and reduces excitotoxicity. (Mattson, M.P. and Ann, N.Y., Acad Sci 2008; 1144: 97-112.)

Of course, many people find it difficult to reduce their caloric intake enough to obtain these beneficial effects. However, new studies have shown that fasting just one day a week has the same beneficial effect; adding resveratrol to the diet has also been shown to be effective.

Recent studies have shown that daily physical exercise also increases a person’s thinking ability and reduces the risk of early onset dementia. (Wang, L., et. al., Arch Inter Med 2006; 166: 115-1120.)

Moderate exercise—such as brisk walking, using light weights or exercise machines—is sufficient for the elderly. Engagement in social events, reading, learning new topics, and participating in church functions are also important.

If we exercise regularly, fast once a week, and engage in regular intellectual activities, the benefits for brain health will be significant. Adding good nutrition—including eating a variety of flavonoids—will tremendously magnify those health benefits.

Source: Blaylock Wellness Report, November 2011.

Health – The Function of the Frontal Lobe

MTV-Problems with Violence

There is a concern that many teenagers are moving from more typical television options to MTV (music television) and its imitators. This type of music programming constantly stimulates the visual senses through its provocative, fleeting images of rapidly changing scenes. Not only do the images rapidly change (even multiple images per second on occasion) but the ear is stimulated as well. This eye-ear combination seems calculated to induce an even more profound shutdown of the analytical processes.

One study that uniquely demonstrates this was done in a maximum-security mental hospital with 222 patients. During a period of about a year, patients were exposed to seven months of MTV followed by five months without it (normal TV options remained available). The results showed that aggressive behavior decreased by up to 52 percent.

The standard, modern, rapid-paced television has a well-proven negative influence on the frontal lobe. However, we see here indications that the effects of MTV are even worse.

Television and Sex

Television also effectively increases sexual activity in teens and younger children. Studies show it significantly decreases the age of first sexual intercourse. The more television watched, the lower the age for that first sexual encounter. Not only do studies show it, but the children themselves report that television encourages them to take part in sexual activity too soon.

Television Is Addictive

Most people do not realize that television is addictive. They find themselves gravitating toward the set without thinking about it, and some leave it on all day. In 1976, the Detroit Free Press conducted a survey to help determine why their newspaper circulation was decreasing. The survey results showed that most people received their news and information from television. This is unfortunate because, as we have seen, in some respects it is the poorest source of information. We can learn so much more from reading newspapers, newsmagazines, or online computer news services than by watching one-sided news clips pass before our eyes in rapid succession. Also, we may miss a point, but we cannot go back and take another look. Reading is by far a better way to review the news, learn new things, and involve our frontal lobe.

The Detroit Free Press did not stop with their survey. They went on to offer $500 to any family who would give up television for one month. The paper extended the invitation to 120 families. A total of 93 of them could not be enticed to part with their television for even thirty days. However, 27 families accepted their offer. To make sure they could not cheat, the newspaper company installed electronic devices that would interfere with any television used on their premises.

The results of the one-month trial were amazing. Family members manifested actual withdrawal symptoms. Insomnia and headaches were common. One man, noted for being a kind husband, lost his cool during the first week, became irritated, and began beating his wife. However, throughout the month, attitudes changed. At the end of the month, to almost everyone’s surprise, all 27 families said that it had been a good experience. Most of the families put their extra time to good use by getting things done around the house. One of the most rewarding findings was that the families were able to relate to each other in ways they had not done for years. They found things they could do together; their minds were more creative, and they were actually enjoying life more than when they had television.

Would they go back to television now that they earned their $500? They were generally convinced that they would do much better if they kept television viewing to a minimum. The study helped to illustrate television’s addictive allure and demonstrated that in many respects TV viewing works against us rather than for us. This study actually provides a glimpse into another danger of TV viewing: the influence of parents is greatly diminished when TV becomes the main companion to children in a home. This lack of parental involvement in the lives of children directly relates back to another frontal lobe robber: alcohol and tobacco use. Researchers from Louisiana State University Medical Centre in New Orleans, Lousiana, demonstrated this when they studied over 2,000 fifth and sixth graders for three to four years. Children who reported that their parents spent more time with them and had more communication with them were less likely to use alcohol and tobacco. They were also less likely to choose friends who used these substances. Unfortunately, research shows what we all would expect: with more television viewing, the amount of time spent in active conversation with family members significantly decreases. If television viewing is depriving us of active time spent together as a family, parents may likely reap an extremely bitter harvest.

Television Robs Spiritual Qualities

Television viewing, because of the time it takes, can keep us away from other meaningful activities and pursuits, including spending time with God. When we look at an average person’s weekly activities before and after the arrival of television, we see that the amount of time in church or in reading spiritual material such as the Bible has noticeably decreased. The reason for this probably has to do with more than TV subtly stealing away our time. Remember, television depresses activity in the frontal lobe, which is the seat of spirituality, morality, and the will. We would expect a corresponding decrease in such intangible frontal lobe qualities as spirituality and faith in God.

However, if we consider television from just the standpoint of time: it often captivates the few hours of discretionary time that we have in our day. Before television, the three most profound influences on American values were the family, the church, and the school. If the amount of time we spend in an activity directly corresponds to its power to shape our values, then in the 1950s television superseded the church. In the 1960s TV superseded the family; and by the 1970s it superseded the school. Currently, United States children spend approximately 20 percent of their waking hours watching television. The average American child, by the time he graduates from high school, has spent more time in front of the television set than he spent in 13 years in the classroom.

Many believe that these thousands of hours of random exposure to television programs have profoundly affected our nation [the United States]. They blame TV as one of the prime reasons for a decline in our nation’s moral values. Some critics would like to use legislation to fix the problem, but we should not and cannot legislate what people do in their homes. Families should set their own rules. But how can a family be motivated to set rules without being adequately informed of the injurious effects of television? Somehow, accurate information should go out to every family in America so that informed decisions can be made. If simple, healthy, and enjoyable TV-less family activities became the foundation of the home life, I believe there will be generally few regrets about abandoning the former life in which the TV set held full control.

If any are still wavering as to whether television should be emphasized less in their homes, let me summarize 17 deleterious effects of TV watching.

  • Produces a hypnotic effect, by passing the frontal lobe filtering
  • Reduces interest in reading and learning
  • Weakens brain power
  • Encourages poor lifestyle habits
  • Encourages obesity
  • Increases daydreaming
  • Weakens creativity
  • May reduce our powers of discrimination
  • Trains in non-reaction
  • Influences viewers to regard violence lightly
  • It makes children more irritable
  • Increases aggressiveness
  • Accelerates sexual activity
  • Addictive
  • Reduces time available for productive achievement
  • Steals time from family interaction
  • Adversely affects spiritual pursuits

These harmful effects collectively build a strong case for personal action—today. After all, the very moral conscience of you and your family—residing in your frontal lobes—may be hanging in the balances.

Summary List of Seven Actions to Take for Enhancing the Function of the Frontal Lobe

  • Protect the frontal lobe from mechanical injury: boxing, football, and motorcycle riding are examples of high-risk activities.
  • Prevent diseases that may damage the frontal lobe; e.g., controlling risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, current tobacco use, heart disease, and alcohol.
  • Improve the quality of your brain’s blood supply
  • By breathing clean, fresh, well-oxygenated air
  • By taking deep breaths of fresh air you may be able to boost oxygen saturation sufficiently to improve frontal lobe function
  • Provide good nutrition. A total vegetarian diet that is free from all stimulating agents appears to be the best diet to improve the abilities of our front brains.
  • Get adequate sunshine as it increases serotonin production in the daytime. This, in turn, can help prevent depression and fatigue.
  • Challenge your frontal lobes by exercising the thinking power of your brain. Serious reading, the study of nature, asking questions about the vast world surrounding you, and other wholesome uses of your mental capacities tend to produce a salutary frontal lobe.
  • Control what you see and hear. Exposing your mind to great inspirational material will enlarge the mind and strengthen the intellect. Since spirituality, morality, and the will are centered in the frontal lobe of the brain, the inspirational material chosen should ideally appeal to your spiritual and moral being. The study of the word of God fills this requirement like no other can.


God has provided each one of us with the power to freely choose how we will live. And He usually does not interfere, even when we make bad choices. Truly, there is much truth in the adage that every person is the architect of his own fortune.

In view of this tremendous power that you have been given to shape your own future, won’t you take some time today to again seriously look at your lifestyle? I challenge you to reflect on your current health habits and ask yourself what you can do to take advantage of what you have learned. Try to identify some concrete steps that you can take within the next week to help protect and enhance your frontal lobe—and of course with it, your entire body. A healthful lifestyle makes sense. Do not merely follow your old ways of doing things just because they are comfortable, or “because everyone else is doing it.” In the words of Scripture, “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2.

Dr. Neil Nedley, M.D., Proof Positive, Nedley Publishing Co., Ardmore, Oklahoma, May 1999, excerpt from chapter, “The Frontal Lobe.”