Overcoming Mind Manipulation
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
The human mind is the source of all behavior. It is a complex entity that stores memory, develops intelligence and encourages inquisitiveness. Although there are many more facets to this incredible function locked within the brain or cerebrum, without naming them all, it is quite evident that it represents the center of man’s thinking. Interestingly, the human mind is inseparably linked with the human soul and spirit, and it constantly interacts with the sin nature. When the Bible talks about the mind, it may very well say the “heart” as in, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7) or It may refer to the “spirit,” “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is” (Romans 8:27). When we think in terms of the mind interacting with the sin nature, we are referring to the soul. The essence of the soul consists of self-consciousness, mentality, volition (will), emotion and the sin nature. The sin nature is the part of the essence of the soul acquired by Adam and subsequently passed on to every person at birth. The sin nature has strengths and weaknesses and is the center of the soul’s rebellion against God. It is the basic motivator of all human activity and the source of spiritual death, (Romans 5:12). According to the Bible the sin nature is synonymous with the terms: sin, flesh, old man, heart and carnality (Philip, 123A1, pp.2-3).
Understanding Human Viewpoint
“Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful,
but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise,
they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible man…” (Romans 1:21-23)
When human viewpoint dominates the way a person thinks s/he will go through various changes, some harmful. There are two groups by which mind manipulation, philosophies and opinions belong to and they are “Divine Viewpoint” and the “Human Viewpoint.” The “Human Viewpoint” is the following of the viewpoints, opinions, suggestions and philosophies of others. The “Divine Viewpoint” is the following of the Word of God or through the Holy Spirit. Everyone tend to fall into the trap of Human Viewpoint at one time or another. It is when a believer willfully chooses to continue to follow the Human Viewpoint will harmful mental changes take place in his life, causing long-lasting deep rooted effects to his overall outlook.
Johnson C. Philip covers such changes in his book Resisting Mind Manipulation, (016). The first change that takes place is the Changing of Value. The book clarifies values to be the norms and standards by which things are measured. Determining upon the level of value a believer have towards a particular thought, action, and choice will rule the way in which a believer makes decisions. For the believer, the value of things in life depends upon the value assigned to them by the Scriptures. Philip elucidates that perception and appreciation of these scriptural values depend upon the boundaries. Two believers with two different boundaries may attach different values to the same thought, action or choice. Quite naturally one may value it according to the scriptures, while the other may value it according to Human Viewpoint. When values are shifted, people will lose the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, essential and nonessential. As Lot’s incestuous daughters did in Genesis 19:30-38 out of the fear of family line extinction. The firmness with which a person handles things also depends upon the value he assigns to different issues. However, a person lacking scriptural values will most likely resort to expediency behavior. This is what we see so prevalent today in society when we look at the stance of the liberals. Displaying the behavior that of a jellyfish, soft and mushy, unless of course, it sounds good, looks good or feels good at the time, even though the Scriptures warn that it is not good (p. 2).
The second change that takes place in a believer who is not careful is Shifting of Focus. Since Christian life is a process, a believer must keep his eyes always on the goal. Taking his eyes off the mark can cause a focus shift. When the focus is shifted, a reversal takes place and the vision becomes skewed. The minor things appear major while the major things become minor. People with shifted focus fail to distinguish between those things they deserve and those things they do not. Interestingly, those with shifted focus often show a tendency towards “Criminal/Victim Exchange.” Criminal/Victim Exchange is a situation where the criminal poses as the victim, and accuses the victim as the person who actually perpetrated the crime, which becomes a form of blaming others for self-created misery. As an example, a burglar breaks into someone’s home that is very wealthy. In the thief’s mind, the reason for stealing is because the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer. Therefore, he is justified to take that which does not belong to him/her, because of their lack. Or how about being in an abusive relationship and a spouse strikes the other. Oftentimes, the abuser will accuse the abused of making them hit the other (p. 3).
The Uncontrollable Thought Life is the third change that takes place. The human mind can become out of control, it has the capability to conjure up an endless list of ideas, ranging from the most elaborate to the most perverse. It is virtually impossible for a human being to exercise total or perfect control of his thought world.
However it can be controlled to a degree of satisfaction. A person who allows his thoughts to be controlled by the world will eventually think and behave like the world. Unfortunately as Philip explains, there are people who find it more fulfilling to meditate on evil and lustful things because they excite them and they keep them alert. There are three things that become prominent in the life of this type of person. First there is an “objectivity and subjectivity interchange.” Where a person should be objective and honest, he is instead subjective and bias. His decision is based on the way he feels and not the Biblical truth. Secondly they tend to shift blame through blame shifting. Although the individual has created a problem in his/her life, they tend to blame others for their failure and fault. My daughter and I were walking on a track with a friend, while walking and talking my daughter bounced her basketball. Suddenly, the ball went out of control and hit the friend. My daughter shouted, see what you made me do. Immediately, I asked her to apologize, for it was my daughter who lost control of the ball, not the friend who was just walking. At any age, it is important to take full responsibility for our own mistakes and shortcomings. Thirdly, the unhealthy mental preoccupation with sins, lust and competition becomes a part of an individual whose thoughts are controlled by the world (p. 4).
The final changing result of “Human Viewpoint” is Sinful Choices. The threefold enemy to the believers of Jesus Christ: the world, the flesh and the devil are diligent at leading believers to sinful lifestyles. When guided (or should I say misguided) by this threefold monster, it is quite difficult to return from such a place on ones own. So they become comfortable in that backslidden or sinful state. The three changes; Changing of Values, Shifting of Focus and Uncontrollable Thought Life work together to produce Sinful Choices (p. 5).
Strategies In Combat
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapon of our
warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” (2nd Corinthians 10:3-4)
Mind Manipulation is warfare and there are strategies that are used to combat against it. Knowing the enemy’s strategies and techniques to controlling believers’ minds is half the battle. There are four strategies that are covered in Philip’s book on Resisting Mind Manipulation and they are very helpful to know in this fight. Repeated Exposure to Experiences can eventually cause a God-fearing Christian to cross forbidden boundaries. In using this technique, after the initial shock, a person becomes more and more receptive and less sensitive (desensitization is discussed in more detail in chapter five). The second strategy is Consistent Repetition of Ideas, which is the repeated exposure of false ideas, doctrines and promises. Even if one knows that initially these things are not true, repetition gradually begins to alter the thinking of the recipient. What was false is eventually believed to be true. The third strategy is Depth Targeting of Human Mind, which attempts to affect the mind on the subconscious level. Advertisers and propagandist use this technique to sell products and concepts. Since abnormal products and unusual concepts are difficult to sell in societies that are God-fearing and of good morals, advertisers use shifting and twisting of values. “Value Shifting” takes center stage in selling many products. Once values are shifted, Depth Targeting is used to convince people to desire the things they do not ordinarily need or necessarily want (pp. 6-8).
Depth Targeting also affects “social behavior” to the point of convincing others to be showoffs in flaunting flashy lifestyles at any cost and to display abnormal behavior as if it is acceptable. Music and audiovisual are great influential tools that penetrate the subconscious mind to desire an unobtainable, unreasonable standard of living. Many young people buy into the music video hype of every rapper and ungodly performer is wealthy. The wealth may come to them only if the recipient believes what they see to be true and think there is magic in the memorization of the lyrics; dressing like them and being like them. This also becomes “hero-worshiping,” where people make idols out of movie stars, athletes and music artists to the point of emulation (pp. 8-9).
The last strategy of mind manipulation is Emotional Manipulation of People. Since God has given man a permissive will, He has also given man intelligence to evaluate the pros and cons of a situation to make a reasonable decision. Emotions are given to enhance intelligence and not to dominate. There are techniques used to bypass the intellect and dart directly to the emotions. Emotions are subjective and if the emotions are manipulated a Christian can be persuaded to do anything (p. 9).
There are circumstances and factors that also aid mind control according to Philip, and knowing what they are can assist in the battle against mind manipulation. “Ignorance” to the enemy strategies and techniques will aid in being manipulated.
Learning the techniques illustrated in this chapter and words of wisdom from parents, teachers, pastors and counselors are great defenses against such snares. “Peer Dependence” can become quite tricky as an aid in mind control. People who depend on the “arm of the flesh” and not the “Arm of God” will find themselves obligated unnecessarily to another, to the point of being manipulated by the independent party. Those who depend greatly on others will find themselves being pressured into doing things they would not ordinarily do. “Lack of Parental Support” can in addition contribute to peer dependency. It is imperative for parents to communicate with their children and teach them how to recognize and avoid wicked traps. Parental guidance is essential in the growth of children, by developing a support system a child can depend on if s/he encounters worldly wiles. Also, the social and spiritual “Atmosphere” can influence individual’s mindset. If the atmosphere is geared toward sinful things, the individual is enticed to participate, even if he is only watching (p. 10).
Three Departments Of The Mind
“Who has put wisdom in the mind? Or who has given understanding to the heart?” Job 38:36.
There are three departments to a Christian’s mind: the Subconscious Mind, the Conscious Mind and the Super-Conscious Mind. All three should be operating within a Believer’s thought life. The first department of the mind that will be discussed is the “subconscious” area of the mind. The “Subconscious Mind” represents the soul of a Christian. It sees what an individual most deeply feel. There is no escaping the soul, for it is the depths of the Christian mind. The subconscious mind is empty thoughts that have no direction. Imagine a cord plugged into a live outlet (socket), but picture it not attached to anything. Because the cord is not connected into anything other than the outlet, you have a live cord without direction. Since the live cord has no direction, it can become hazardous. Once the cord is connected to a toaster, the toaster knows to toast. If the cord is connected to a washing machine, the washing machine knows to wash and if it is connected to the refrigerator, it knows to refrigerate. Since the subconscious mind operates the same way, without direction, it becomes dangerous. Whatever a Christian dwells on the most, will be the direction the subconscious my focus its energy toward, whether good or evil. This means if you fear coming down with a cold, if you dwell on that fear, the subconscious mind does not comprehend that you do not want the cold, it reads, “coming down with a cold.” Guess what? You come down with a cold. People who dwell on lustful things will eventually fulfill them even if they have no genuine intention to. Proverbs 23:7 reveals, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Worrying, jealousy, anger and sadness, all thrive in the subconscious mind.
There are Christians who constantly worry about everything. They are always concerning themselves about what people might say or think. They are anxious all of the time and patience is much to be desired for them. They worry so much that when the very thing they worried about happens, they immediately say, “I knew this was going to happen,” “God was showing me this all week long,” “I must be psychic,” or “things like this always happens to me.” All the while, they were feeding their subconscious mind repeated garbage. The Bible advises the Believer to not have an anxious mind (Luke 12:29). Like Job, the very thing he feared the most had come upon him (Job 3:25).
Although the Bible does not tell whether Job was dwelling on his greatest fear, but it was somewhere in his subconscious mind, waiting to manifest. Like worrying, all other emotional outbreaks are developed in the subconscious mind first.
How these thoughts enter into the subconscious mind originate from what is being fed to the mind on a subconscious level. If Satan plants negative seeds, there must be dominating positive seeds to antidote the poison. Christians are instructed by the Apostle Paul in 2nd Corinthians 10:5 to cast down imaginations (arguments) and every high thing that exalt itself against the knowledge of God, and to bring it into captivity to the obedience of Christ. This means it is up to you to begin to change the way you think. It is Satan’s duty to screw up your life, for he came to kill, still and destroy and what better way for him to do that, but by entering into the believer’s subconscious mind. It is the area of your thinking that is least guarded. This is where the Christian believes is their most private place. And it very well may be, except what you allow to go into it, will surely come out of it. In addition, your thoughts are never private to God because He is omniscient (all knowing); he knows the thoughts of man, (Psalm 94:11).
Fear of any kind is a Christian’s worst enemy. It is designed to keep Believers in bondage and doubt. Worst of all, it was created by Satan as a tactic to control, but Paul announces that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind: having self-control. Gary Zukav and Linda Francis write in The Mind of the Soul: Responsible Choice, (2003), that unconscious choices reveal parts of a human’s personality that are out of control (p. 59). It is really up to the Believer whether s/he will change the way they think or will they allow themselves to be defeated by Satan’s scare tactics. For whatever you dwell on the most in your subconscious mind will manifest in the natural.
The second department of the mind is the “Conscious Mind” and the conscious mind represents the carnal, mortal or human mind. The carnal mind or conscious mind sees life, as it appears to be. As you look around you will see that which exist today. Yesterday, last week or last year, it would have been impossible to know all what the conscious mind is experiencing right now, or is it? Out of the subconscious mind, we are able to see the manifestation in the conscious mind’s eye. If you have studied Theology for the last year with dedication and persistence, then the fruit of your labor will manifest in the natural (carnal).
Over the past year, your subconscious mind was fed Bible teachings and Theology courses under the auspice of completing them by a certain time. Subconsciously, you spent time dwelling on your studies and completing them. You knew when each assignment would be completed and you were able to see the fruit of your labor. This is how the conscious mind works. If you and a committee are planning an event that is going to take place say two months from now. You meet with your committee initially with no direction. Some have ideas and others are willing to go along with anything. After a couple of meetings your event planning now has direction. Each person knows exactly what s/he needs to do to make this event materialize. Unless someone drops the ball somewhere, the event becomes a great success just as you planned it. Your planning and preparation started in the subconscious mind. Each member dwelled on their part, unless something else dominated their thinking.
By the same token, negative thoughts will manifest in the conscious mind as well. Remember the cord plugged into the outlet, but not connected to any appliance? Imagine that same cord being plugged into the outlet and then stuck to your tongue. Depending upon how much voltage, you can be electrocuted to death. That is exactly the outcome of negative thinking. You must direct subconscious thinking towards positive thoughts, so that you may have a positive outcome. Not to say that you will not run into adversities and trials during positive thinking, but it also depends on your actions in those situations that must be considered.
Note: I stated “actions” and not “reactions.” Actions are positive-thought-out responses to unfavorable situations. Where as reactions as described by Zukav and Francis, “An unconscious choice is a reaction. It is automatic anger, jealousy, vengefulness, or fear, in which a frightened part of your personality does what it is accustomed to doing” (p. 79). With that said, every believer must develop his mind or way of thinking to mirror the Mind of Christ.
The third department of the mind is a “Super-Conscious Mind.” The super-conscious mind is the divine mind, God’s Mind or the Mind of Christ and it is the realm of perfect ideals and thoughts. How the super-conscious mind is achieved, the lessons come directly from the Word of God. Lets examine Romans 8:5-8: “For they that are after the flesh do mind (care about or tend to) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit (mind) the things of the Spirit,” (v. 5). The first lesson is that God is Spirit, and in order to develop a divine mind, you can no longer be concern of the things of the flesh.
For the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God (1st Corinthians 2:14). Second, Paul states in verse 6, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” The carnal mind thinks like the world, it has human viewpoints and usually does what is right in its sight. The carnal mind is the sinful mind, therefore representing division, “but your iniquities (sin) have separated you from your God:” (Isaiah 59:2), deeming it impossible to develop a super-conscious mind. Why? “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither can be” (v. 7). Thirdly, verse 8 states “so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” If being in the flesh cannot please God, then being in the Spirit creates the super-conscious mind, by which a Believer is able to hear the voice of God to know what He is thinking, and by his actions he pleases God.
The Divine Mind (A Divine Viewpoint)
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God,
and they shall be My people.” (Romans 8:10)
The Bible tells us in the book of James that a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. It is impossible to have peace when a Christian’s mind toils between sin and righteousness. Teetering from both sides of good and evil causes turmoil and confusion. And clearly, God is not the author of confusion. He is the author of perfect peace for those who keep their minds stayed on Him (Isaiah 26:3). Having a “Divine Mind” requires a single process of thinking. A Christian’s thoughts must solely be on the things of God. Having a one-track mind is a good thing when referring to a Christ-like mind. Setting your mind on things above, will assist in a Christian’s life down here on earth. No longer conforming to the world, the carnal mind is transformed into a renewed mind. It becomes like that of Christ, viewing life from a spiritual perspective, opposed to a carnal or human perspective. Human thinking is replaced by Biblical thinking because the Christian studies and meditates on the Word of God. The Believer depends on the Holy Spirit for guidance daily. He prays regularly and seeks God’s face.
The Divine Mind is formed through the Christian’s tongue, attitude and beliefs. If the Christian speaks the Word of God into his life, his attitude will develop into what he is speaking, for the Bible advises us to let no corrupt words proceed out of the Believer’s mouth, but what is good and edifying to impart grace to the hearer (Ephesians 4:29). The Christian tongue is very powerful; it can cause either obliteration or creation. And whatsoever you speak represents what is in your mind, for it is declared in Matthew 12 by Jesus that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. If you sound like Christ, then your attitude will be like Christ, and if your attitude is like Christ then you begin to develop a mind like Christ. For having a mind like Christ, requires spiritual thinking and when you speak, wisdom comes forth. “…The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ”(1st Corinthians 2:14-16).
The Divine Mind follows God’s perfect will and not His permissive will, for He knows the value of being obedient unto God. Being in God’s perfect will assures the Believer that all things work together for good to those who love God and called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). So there are no outbreaks of emotionalism, no destructive behavior or negative reactions, but there is peace in knowing that God is the ruler over the Christian’s life and adversity and trials do not set them off, but pushes them closer to having a Mind of Christ.
The art of overcoming mind manipulation really comes from having a Divine Mind. All the strategies and techniques covered in this chapter could never measure up to the preparation through the Word of God. Being rooted and grounded in righteousness is the best defense. Having discernment and trusting in the guidance of the Holy Spirit aid in making decisions based on manipulative or persuasive tactics. Trust in the Lord with all of your heart [mind] and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all that you do, whether it is buying a car or taking a course, He will direct your path (Proverbs 3:5-6). God Bless.
Christians are being mind manipulated to the highest degree. There are people who call themselves Christians but do not exemplify being Christ-like. They follow practices that are not godly and behave contrary to God’s commands. God hates their abominable behaviors and their excuses for such weaknesses are classified as just being human. Abortion and homosexuality surrounds the Christian daily, they are seen on the streets, on television and have crept into Christian homes. Slow poison has been induced in what Christians watch on television, read in books, taught at schools and now even in some churches, that what is right, is now wrong and what is wrong should be accepted. Homosexuality has taken over, and to speak against it could land a Believer in jail. Millions are dying from HIV/AIDS and millions of pregnancies are being aborted each year. This alone should make an average Christian sick, but yet, it is not his/her problem until it hits home. Christians live in a society that constantly imposes secular beliefs and worldviews on the Believers of Jesus Christ. But instead of Christians standing up for truth, they settle for the way things are, thrusting them into compromise, complacency and pointless complaining.
The investigation has uncovered Christian attributes and the expectancy of God. If these standards and expectations were impossible, God would not have commanded them of Believers. Studying the Bible and learning godly principles are the keys to walking in dominion for the Believer. It is up to the Christian to make God’s Word priority in their lives. Ignoring the truth as some do, does not negate the believer from doing what is right in the eyes of God. Being man pleasers is temporal, but being a God pleaser is everlasting.
The Christian’s mind has been manipulated to believe that pagan practices and rituals are acceptable to God, but this study has exposed God’s repeated warnings to disobedient children. He has clearly stated from the very beginning that there shall be no other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3). But Christians all over the world have repeatedly broken this commandment by celebrating pagan holidays and rituals with justification being their good works and good intentions. God does not care about good intentions; He cares about your obedience to His Commandments, in the Old and New Testaments.
History and origins are provided in this research so that the reader is able to make a wise decision on his/her practices and participation in holiday celebrations, secret cults and organizations, based on truth. Hosea 4:6 declare that my people perish because a lack of knowledge; will celebrating pagan holidays, practicing unholy rituals and participating in immorality prevent you from eternal life in the kingdom of God? You will absolutely not see the kingdom, unless you repent from these things. Remember, repentance is turning away from sinful practices. It is my desire that the truths about these practices are revealed so that Believers can be freed from the bondage that Satan has entangled God’s people in for thousands of years. Jesus said in John 8:31-32, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.
Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” It is the Christian’s duty to reverse the curse and begin to worship God as He has commanded, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
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