When God made Adam from the “moist dirt” of the earth [Heb., adhama], a multitude of wondrous complexities were a part of that creation. As late as our present time in history, science is still discovering more wonders and mysteries that are part of the complexity of man. How could anyone believe in evolution and its promulgation that the human body came together by “chance,” when the body clearly and boldly announces that a God of law, order, design, purpose, and beauty brought forth this creature through omnipotence and wisdom? The very intricacies of veins, arteries, vessels, and capillaries, along with the seventy-eight organs, truly declare this body a miracle of wonder. Of these organs five are vital for life, but the most vital is the brain.
The Brain versus the Mind
As the most complex of the organs, the brain includes some 90 billion neurons. Neurons are the basic unit of the nervous system. These specialized cells communicate information to other nerve, muscle, and gland cells throughout the human body. Their electrical and chemical signals coordinate all the essential functions of life. However, an important distinction between the complex physical brain and the human mind must be established. The brain is made of physical matter whereas the mind is not made of physical matter. The brain can be touched by a human hand and studied, but the mind cannot be touched and seen: it is invisible. The brain is a conglomeration of nerves, cells, blood vessels, and the like; the mind is a conglomeration of thoughts, memories, emotions, and the like. The brain has been placed by God within the body and has its definite appointed existence for the full control of the body. God’s creative wisdom has placed the brain in the most important part of the body: the head. The mind has no definite designated place within the body. While it is presumed to reside within the brain, the mind is definitely part of the soul.
Although the medical world can demonstrate that the brain can be diagnosed with diseases, the mind cannot be diagnosed with physical diseases. Perhaps the brain can be seen as the “center of control of all the vital functions of the body.” If the brain ceased to function, even for a few minutes, physical life would be in danger of shutting down. Although this brain controls the body, the mind deals with memory, thought, emotions. The mind is not made up of cells; it is tied into the conscience of a person, his understanding and thought process. The debate on the difference between the brain and mind goes back to the days of the philosopher Aristotle, before the birth of Christ.
God made the brain and the mind distinct; the brain dies with the body, but God preserves the mind. We believe that the mind, though closely associated with the brain, is part of the soul and will live on forever somewhere in eternity. The close association of these two entities is similar to the terms soul and soulish. When the soul is living through the body by being consumed in the desire of the flesh, it is said to be soulish. Such a person would be called a soulish person; the “natural man” (1 Cor. 2:14) is called pseuche in the New Testament Greek, the “soulish man.”
Though the brain is identified with the body and its functions, the mind is identified with the soul that will live on after the body dies. The mind includes both man’s memory and his thought process. Luke 16:25–31 gives the true story of the rich man in lower Hades looking up and seeing Lazarus in upper Hades, or in Abraham’s bosom. Here we read of the rich man’s thoughts and memories:
Abraham proceeded to inform the rich man that his brothers “have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.” But the rich man pressed for Abraham to send Lazarus, for they would believe one who came back from the dead. Abraham responded, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” This proves there will be memory of our sojourn on earth.
Likewise, we also read in Revelation 5:9, 10 of the continuation of the mind in heaven:
Both in hell and heaven, the mind will continue to live and function.
In the work of God’s creation and the preservation of that creation through providence, we carefully observe that God gave us the two realms of the natural and the spiritual. And in those two realms, we acknowledge the mind does the thinking, while the brain has the ability to express those thoughts via language and speech. It is true that the brain can be diseased in a variety of ways, but the mind cannot be diseased. There certainly are what could be declared organic malfunctions affecting the brain which may be caused by brain damage. These malfunctions could be in the area of chemical disorders within the body or physical attacks on the brain by the effects of tumors, or cancer, or even some genetic disorder. Yes these can affect the brain and, in turn, the way a person thinks; at the same time, a vast number of other human problems have been falsely classified as “mental illnesses” for which there is no evidence that they have been engendered by disease or illness at all. As a description of these problems, mental illness, as used in our contemporary time, is nothing more than “a figure of speech” and is not a true physical diagnosis. The Scriptures plainly reveal that organically based problems could affect the mind, but also sin and its attitudes and behavior can profoundly affect the mind. Yet the Bible does not reveal any third cause of problems that approximates the modern concept of mental illness.
The Crucial Problem of the Mind
According to Scripture the beginning of such human problems must come from either a physical malfunction or a spiritual problem. Medical authorities declare that less than three percent of all brain disease or mental disturbances have an organic basis. If this be true, we need to ask the question: What is the problem with the remaining ninety-seven percent! If these illnesses and disorders are not caused by the organic brain, or the physical body, or by God Himself (1 Sam. 16:14, King Saul), then what is the source of the problem? The Bible gives only one other answer—it is either the result of our sins or the presence of demonic influence. Every problem of humanity has an answer in the Bible, and there is a reason for mental problems.
We do read in several passages of God disturbing the mind and thought life. In Romans 1:28 we read, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” We also read in 2 Thessalonians 2:11, “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” Another passage dealing with the apostasy of the End Time declares, “And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim. 4:4).
Yet we once again declare that the contemporary concept of “mental illness” is a myth! Equally so, it must be declared that the mind is spiritually sick because of the fall of man, and the result of the curse that came upon man is because of his fall. Thus, in this context the mind is affected by sin. Because of this, a healing of the mind can only come from God!
The Crisis of Man’s Fall into Sin
The Bible declares that at the beginning of creation Adam was “fearfully and wonderfully made.” He walked in constant fellowship with his Creator. This creature man was strong and perfect in every way: physically, mentally, and spiritually. In Genesis 2:19 before man fell into sin, God gave him the great monumental task of naming all the animals and birds. This indicates that Adam possessed a tremendous mind of thought and perception. The dominion of the earth as given to him by God in Genesis 1:28 suggests Adam’s capability and great mental authority. Yet, at that time he was in total subjection to God’s will. Before creating the woman, God spoke to Adam and placed a restriction upon him. This tested his obedience to his Creator, which was only a singular requirement: that of forbidding him to eat of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen. 2:16, 17). This commandment immediately suggests that God desired for man’s thinking process of mind to be under His divine control. Gradually, Satan took note that the only way to turn man from God’s divine control would have to come by changing man’s thinking process. This change of thinking could destroy the fellowship the Creator enjoyed with His creation. Satan knew he must manipulate this first couple to think independently from God and His Word. Satan knew through his own experience in heaven (when he convinced one-third of the angels to join him in rebellion against God) that sin must be birthed in the thought-life of this couple, first in Eve who would then influence Adam. The power of change must begin within the mind of man. Could man be tempted to question God’s words, believing he had the ability to reason through the right or the wrong of God’s command? If his reasoning of God’s words could show a flaw in those words, or that God was holding back something precious from the man, then Adam would become his own god.
Let us pause for a moment and introduce a word that has been named by Merriam-Webster as its word of the year for 2022: gaslighting. Note its official definition for gaslighting:
Psychological manipulation of a person usually over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one's emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator.
Did the words of the old serpent gaslight man’s mind and control it to such a depth of manipulating man to reject the words and command of God? In our own contemporary times, we read of the powers of “fake news,” especially from governments, carefully manipulating through news media to control our thinking about politics, health, the covid plandemic and even the economy. This “gaslighting” goes all the way back to that old serpent and his subtle move on Eve and her thinking. How did the control of her thinking begin? It was simply the questioning of God’s Word: “Yea, hath God said?” He attempted to plant doubt in her mind as to the veracity of God’s Word. Oh, how even more so today the overwhelming questioning of God’s Word is evidenced by the ever expanding six hundred English translations, paraphrases, and revisions gaslighting Christianity!
Eve could have resisted the Devil, but instead, she succumbed to the serpent’s sensual and manipulative psychological appeal to her thinking. Once she partook of the forbidden fruit, she then influenced her husband Adam (Gen. 3:6b, 17). Her own gaslighting then profoundly affected him. We read that “the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.” They were drawn into the new world of sin through the manipulation of their minds. The apostle Paul reveals that “Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Tim. 2:14). And in succumbing to the reasoning of the old serpent (the Devil), they fell into sin. Because of this transgression, they were stripped of intimate communion with God and removed from the presence of God’s glory. A new nature, called the sin nature, entered Adam, and man has never been the same since then. The malignant sin nature has laid hold of the offspring of Adam, progressively deepening in power and influence from generation to generation. This invisible nature, the sin nature, became a far-reaching influence within the human nature.
Though the unfolding of history illustrates that men have been brilliant in mind and thinking, time also proves that the power of sin within man overtakes every aspect of man, including his mind. Genesis 6:5 states “that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” The depth of this statement is overwhelming: the great wickedness within man began first to profoundly affect the thoughts of his heart and mind; and then the formation of those thoughts together (his imagination) was only evil continually. And it was this aspect of man, the thought life of his heart, that now controlled the product of his thoughts, his imaginations.
Imagination included his thoughts prompting both purposes and desires for life. Even more profoundly, “Every imagination of his thoughts [Heb., chasheb, meditations, purposes, plans] was only evil continually.” His mind had now become the dark masterpiece of endless evil, with sin’s debauchery going deeper than man’s spirit. Man’s total depravity in spirit and soul profoundly affected his body.
The Fallen Mind of Man
Man’s nature radically changed at the Fall! In 1 Corinthians 2:14 we read of the “natural” man [Gr., pseuchikos] where the soul of man and all of its parts are consumed in the living of the flesh. The natural man now made him believe he was only flesh, without the concept of a soul (Gen. 6:3). We are told in 1 Corinthians 2:14 that “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God.” The reason is that the present fallen mind of man views the things of God as foolishness. The natural man cannot know the things of God “because they are spiritually discerned.” The mind of fallen man has no understanding of God. For the spirit, yea, the mind of man, is in rebellion against God—and thus cannot receive the true concept of God, or even the true concept of life itself, because of the plague of sin that controls the mind of man. It must also be biblically seen that as sin goes deeper in its pervasiveness of the total man, everything that man perceives must go through this fallen mind before going through any other part of man. Because of the Fall, man’s mind is in insanity, and the deeper he goes into sin the deeper the mind will be infected by insanity. For as man rejects God, God will reject man and increase his fall into deeper rejection of the Creator (Romans 1).
How must we view the mind of the fallen man? Only the Bible reveals the truth and the clarity of the fallen condition of the mind of man. In 1 Timothy 6:5 we read, “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth.” Here the mind is designated as “corrupt” (the Greek includes the meaning “destroyed”). Man has been mentally corrupted and destroyed both within and without, not only because of the fall of his nature, but also because of the deepening powers of the sin principle that now consumes his life.
In addition, the Bible reveals that the mind is defiled: “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled” (Titus 1:15). In Colossians 2:18 we are told, “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.” Thus, man will never think right until he is born of God! Paul warns the Ephesians in 4:17, 18,
The “vanity of the mind” is the description of one who has a misconception of reality, or a mind that is void of true understanding. Indeed, the natural man considers spiritual things foolish because he himself is a fool. In his vain mind is lodged a distorted image of the reality of truth, of life, of the living of life, and of right and wrong. And the way we live daily will be affected by how we think.
Dear reader, this explains the intense pursuit of the world for money, pleasure, immorality, sports, etc., which never satisfies the soul’s thirst for the true God. This truly reveals that man is driven by a vain and foolish mind.
Spiritual blindness is another plague of the human mind away from God. The apostle Paul unveils the truth in Ephesians 4:18 that the sinner’s “understanding” is darkened. This shroud of darkness over the mind is caused by the spiritual blindness of the heart. The sinner has been cut off from God’s life through ignorance and, therefore, is devoid of all spiritual knowledge. Our word ignorance stems from our word agnostic meaning “not to know.”
But with all the trouble of the mind with which we are born, there is also the Devil and his powers influencing the mind. Note 2 Corinthians 4:3, 4:
In the light of all of these biblically revelatory statements about the mind of the sinner, it must be soberly discerned that the radical change imperatively needed must be to the mind first. This radical change in and of itself will be a miracle of God as the Holy Spirit must grant the change of mind for the Lord to enter the heart of a man. We need a miracle from the Lord in the work of repentance: there must be a change of perceptive thinking. And “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” What words of insight are given in Luke 15:17 concerning the prodigal son, “And when he came to himself.” It takes the work of God to bring the mind to sanity. It begins with repentance; and the deeper we go in God, the more our thinking should become what God intended: “And 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” (Rom. 12:2).
Salvation for the Mind
As the life of a human being begins to unfold after being birthed into this world, the power of the sin nature within the spirit-heart of the soul begins to make its way through every aspect of human living. The heart of the soul is where that Adamic pollution is initially found, and over time this pollution becomes the indwelling sin principle. It becomes the influence deepening itself in the heart, the will, and also the mind.
We have seen thus far how extensively the mind can be affected by sin. Added to this power is the influence of the age in which we live. Finally, the Devil himself contributes his influence of thought and insanity. We have also observed that the thinking becomes corrupt concerning thoughts about life, the self, the world, ordinate affections, God, and all creation. The mind can drift away from how God made it to think and enter into an illogical, irrational realm where it convinces itself this is normal thinking. We have observed that Romans 1 becomes the classic reality of how far in natural thinking of reason, rightness, and goodness one can go; it could enter a realm where logic is illogical, right becomes wrong and wrong becomes right, and ultimately a reprobate mind can result. We have also observed in Romans 1:28 that a mind of which God cannot approve can be given over to being reprobate. It is possible that a mind can be totally rejected by God. Hebrews 6:8 declares, “But that which beareth [present tense, ‘continually beareth’] thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.” Note Paul’s exhortation in 2 Corinthians 13:5–7a:
We observed previously in Ephesians 4:17 about those who “walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind.” Who is a person who walks in the vanity of the mind? He is one who has a misconception of reality, a mind void of true understanding. In 2 Thessalonians 2:11, we read of God giving over to delusion or wandering those who do not have a love for the truth. When we read in the New Testament of those who “are led astray,” it refers to those who roam hither and thither, the phrase meaning those who are in constant mental straying.
The Final Frontier
But what is the final frontier of a mind gone astray? In 1 Samuel 16:14, we read of an evil spirit coming upon King Saul. The Hebrew expresses that a spirit of melancholy or depression came from a demon upon Saul. Second Timothy 1:7 speaks of the “spirit of fear.” One of the most powerful dark influences to come upon a person’s mind is when a demon controls the thinking of a person. It can come through the fear of death or dying; because of this men could be “all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:15). The final frontier is known when the mind through the will opens the heart to be possessed by the powers of darkness. Perhaps the worst of such darkness is presented in Luke 8:26 in the context of the man from Gadara. We are told in Matthew 8:28– 34 that there were two possessed with demons, but Mark and Luke focused on one of the two. The man declares his name is Legion, a term indicating a definite number of six thousand men of the Roman army. Was it possible for that many demons to reside in one man? If so, it likewise reveals the potential depth of the heart of man for which God had created man—for Himself!
Yet how far can a man be controlled by objective powers? Gaslighting can be in the controlling powers of either humans or demons. Such control is the initial work of the Devil: to destroy the mind of the individual into thinking irrationally and antithetically to what is true, and away from God. Oh, the bitter shame of life and the inhumane manner of living that described this man from Gadara! Indeed, the mind can be utterly destroyed in its thinking and, in turn, can destroy the body.
What were the symptoms evidenced in the demon-controlled man prior to the Lord changing his life? We first read he wore no clothes; he had a propensity to nudity. Dear reader, we are in a society given over to the final frontier of insanity, where the powers of demonic forces are commingling with humanity’s thoughts. And because of this, we are witnessing the evidences. Our country has entered a profound, insane thought life that has produced a bold, open acceptance of nudity in the social media, in movies, magazines, television, and even in many textbooks of our schools. The open display of nudity is witnessed in the contemporary music of our times, in politics that are interwoven into the human trafficking of Washington, as well as in many of the religions that include promiscuous sexual overtones. We read of this man in Gadara, “For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness” (Luke 8:29). This man had often been driven to despair, hopelessness, and utter darkness. We read that he also lived in the tombs; he was unable to live with human society, and his life had become preoccupied with death.
It is amazing to note how many professing Christians in the End Time are filled with insecurity, and their decisions in life are often driven by fear. In the Gospel according to Mark, we read of this man being restless and destitute, “crying and cutting himself with stones.” The morbid influences contributing to body mutilation are ever escalating in our Western civilization. The tattoo parlors are located on nearly every street corner in America; both men and women have made their God-given skin a walking tapestry to flauntingly advertise for the world and the Devil. If the enemy of our souls cannot keep us from coming to Christ, he will do all he can before our conversions to permanently mar our visual testimonies after we become a Christian. His visual symbols and markings will be openly right there with the so-called testimonies of Christ. And then there are the body piercings, which have become more and more extensive in appearance, especially the display found in the very countenances of people. Cuttings are also becoming more and more prevalent bringing about permanent markings and scars upon society’s youth. We read in Leviticus 19:28, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.” All forms of markings are now the norm for human society. This will make it easier for a global society to accept the name, the number, or the mark of the Beast upon the forehead or forearm when the hour comes. We have been mentally conditioned for such a marking to come. Truly the human race is bent on destroying itself.
Another power of the End Time that abounds everywhere and controls the mind is all forms of addictions. Such addiction control is causing humanity to make a mockery of itself. We read in Revelation 9:21, “Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries [Gr., pharmaceutikon, the connection of drugs to the occult], nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” All this is the product of much thinking into realms beyond the normality of humanity. Perhaps one of the terms that could be used at this hour in history is found in Matthew 4:24, “and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils.” In the Greek the vivid word for “possessed with devils” is demonized. When we take this word and understand its full revelation, it reveals a demonization, or degrees of being demonized. Dare we say that every soul is demonized to some extent, and it simply intensifies in degrees of control over time? The final frontier of sin’s effect upon the mind is when the will opens the mind to a greater and deeper power of darkness that produces thoughts intertwined in and within the kingdom of darkness. Demonic possession is becoming more of the norm of our society. We would be surprised to learn how many people we pass in the daily concourse of life who are under the control of demonic powers, unlike the living of humanity several decades ago. Our country and its ruling political and religious powers today reveal how deep we are in demonic activities. Society has been taken captive in the stronghold of Satan, who is truly the god of this world!
We are witnessing an unprecedented hour on the planet Earth where the final frontier of the mind is being resolved in a demonization of global proportion. Western civilization has been the last bastion of sound thinking because it was strongly influenced by Christianity. The apostle Paul gives the warning in Ephesians 4:27, “Neither give place to the devil.” The verb is found in the present, active, imperative in its condemnation. “Stop giving place to the Devil.” Don’t give room or opportunity for the Devil to act in you or through you. This reveals there must be a special act of vigilance and self-control over the mind and thought life, so the Devil does not get a hold on the mind and our thinking. It is not to be understood in this burden that we are looking for a demon in every nook and cranny or for one to be behind every bush. But demonic powers are increasing in their influence on the planet; God is permitting this as part of the judgment of the End Time.
Christians have been given a saved mind, and we must carefully use it and at the same time protect it. Since our bodies and even our souls are not completely redeemed, we are still plagued with disease and mental attacks. We must ever be on guard against the world, the flesh, and the Devil that are ever out to destroy us. It is imperative that we remain obedient to the Word of God and be given to faith in that Word. We must not let our emotions, mind, and proclivities of thought be controlled by anyone except the Lord Jesus Christ.