Reformation: Thinking New Thoughts

Scripture: Colossians 3:1-2
Date: 09/14/2013 
Lesson: 11
Our earthly bodies won't go to Heaven, only our minds in our new, heavenly bodies. What we expose our minds to here on Earth determines our character and our destiny.
When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.
If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.

Welcome to Sacramento central seventh day adventist church. We are so glad that you are tuning in, whether this is your first time or you watch every week. We are so glad that you study God's Word with us and, of course, you sing songs with us and today is no exception. So we're going to sing a couple of your favorites and I just want to say a special welcome to those of you who are listening on the radio. You can't see us but you can hear us and we know that you do tune in because we hear from you.

And then, of course, if you're on our website at '' watching live or on the various television networks and, of course, everybody here at Sacramento central - we're so glad. Let's open up our hymnals and let's start singing #626 - 'in a little while we're going home'. This is a request from erin and gloria in australia, karl, martine, alison, kelly, hannah, maisie and karl in France, malou in lebanon, wilton in peru and amelia in south africa just to name a few. There's so many of you and it's very exciting to hear and see the different countries that our requests come in from and we're going to sing the first, second and fourth stanzas - 'in a little while we're going home'. Thank you so much for sending in your requests and there's a few new - well, there's one new face up here this morning that you might not recognize.

This is ryan day and ryan is one of the afcoe students - the Amazing Facts center of evangelism - that just started last week. And so we have a lovely group of students that will be with us for the next four months here at central church. Ryan actually has his own music ministry and he lives with his lovely wife in jonesboro, ArKansas. So everyone in ArKansas, ryan sends his greetings. And, of course, omar and marlene and we have william on the piano - william is new.

We like new talent at central and when they come in, we snatch them up. And william and his wife just moved from Connecticut - Massachusetts, that's right - Massachusetts - I'm sure that - yeah I'm bound and determined that they're from Connecticut but from Massachusetts. So he is on the piano this morning so thank you very much william. Our next song - no, I want to tell you, if you have a favorite song and you want to sing that with us, how you can do that. Just go to our website at 'saccentral.

org' and click on the 'contact us' link and then you can send in your favorite hymn and we will do our best to sing that for you as soon as possible. Our new song, as we work our way through the hymnal is #68 - 'on our way rejoicing - #68. And this is requested by absolutely nobody so we're going to teach that to you so you can then request it because now you will learn it and know it. #68 - We're going to sing both stanzas. Father in Heaven, thank you so much for blessing us, for bringing us here.

And I pray that we will always praise you. As we go about our day, there are so many things that we do have to be thankful for and we thank you so much for just bringing us here to open up your word to study together - for the freedoms that we still have in this country. And I pray that you'll be with those around the world who don't have the freedoms that we currently have. I pray that you'll be with each one extra special. We know that there are many that are being persecuted for their faith and I pray that you will just put your arms around them and send your spirit to be with them.

Be with Pastor Doug as he brings us our lesson study and we thank you so much for his ministry. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time our lesson study will be brought to us by our senior pastor here at Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Old whatshisname. Hi, happy Sabbath, friends.

Good to see each of you here and we're glad for any visitors that may be in our local class here at Sacramento central and just as well as those who are watching. We've got our extended church family. Some of you may not know, but central ministers to some of our members who are scattered around the world because they do not have a local seventh day adventist church they can go to but they watch via internet or satellite each week and we want to welcome you who are part of that group. There may be some of you in that category who want to know 'what if I want to be one of your online members? What do I do? Just go to '' - I think at some point the website will appear up on your screen there - '' and you could be - e-mail with some of our local pastors and they'll try and minister to you and tell you what's involved in that. Also, we have a free offer.

Our lesson today, dealing with revival and reformation, is especially focusing on thinking and so we just made a decision in the studio a few minutes ago - I talked to dianne in our media department - I said, you know, we have a book that it was actually the sharing book of pacific press that I wrote a couple of years ago. It's called 'who do you think you are?' And it deals specifically with thinking. There's a whole chapter in there talking about 'you are what you think' and it ties in so perfectly with our lesson today that I thought, 'can we offer this?' She said, 'well, it costs us about three times as much.' But I'm the director so I made an executive decision. And so, if anybody - you've got to promise to read it and then, hopefully, share it with somebody else, we'll send this to you just for asking. And it's called 'who do you think you are?' - Ask for offer #603 when you call the number.

Here's the phone number - - I see our members writing it down - 866-study-more - -788-3966 and we'll send this to you. You need to read it. Share it with someone. It talks about the importance of what you think and how much that ties into revival and your being a Christian and what you can do to make a difference in what you think. Also, I was going to share with you some exciting news and this is something that I think is appropriate even on Sabbath.

Amazing Facts has been working for about a year and a half to develop a website to help people study the Bible and it covers the timeline of all Bible history from creation through the second coming and it's got the latest cutting-edge technology. It's a website called 'Biblehistory' - it's a Bible timeline - and you can scan back and forth and look at all the different people in the Bible, click on them, it shows them to you. It'll play videos. It shows when they lived and how their lives overlapped and it does everything short of setting a date for the second coming. But it's got all the other dates in the Bible.

'' - '' - we want you to look at that. Great for your personal study to understand the panorama of the Bible and share it with others. '' - take a look at that, you'll enjoy it. To our lesson - 'reformation: thinking new thoughts. And we have a memory verse that is from Colossians chapter 3, verses 1 and 2.

We always appreciate your reading that with us. Any of you notice anything different behind me? Things are starting to change. We're getting ready - some of you watching on tv were wondering about the metamorphosis you see on our set here and we are making some changes in preparation for an evangelistic series this fall. I'm telling you this because it's not done yet. It's a work in progress and you're going to see little things happening every week for the next few weeks so, anyway, hopefully you're seeing improvements and - but keep watching.

What did I say? Memory verse - Colossians :1 and 2 - you ready? You have it now? "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." We can choose to set our minds on heavenly things and, you know, it's important to remember - no body here is going to heaven - notice how I said that - no 'body' here. If you look at the person sitting next to you, their body's not going to heaven and neither is yours. Neither is mine. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.

But I want to go to heaven, so exactly what part of me goes to heaven? It's who you really are in your thoughts. You're getting a new body. Well, if it's a new body then what is it that goes into that body that inherits and experiences everlasting life? It's the essence of who you really are, which is contained in your mind. It's interesting that all of your nerves in your body terminate with your brain but your brain has no nerves. You can operate on a person's brain while they're awake.

They don't feel a thing. But the brain is this miracle organ that God has given us. It's this two and a half pound - roughly - electrochemical computer that is phenomenal. I read that it would require four times all the information in the library of congress - and there's a lot of information in there. It's growing daily - to equal what one human brain can store.

Or, put another way, it would be ,000 dvds and each dvd, you realize, can hold - what, is it - 4.7 gigabytes of information now, approximately. Now if you understand computers, you know that's a whole lot of information. One of the things that confounds evolutionists, because evolution - supposedly things evolve because there's a need - but they can't explain why is the human brain made where it can actually - you can live a full life and have an incredible prodigious mind and memory and all this information and only use ten percent of it? In fact, they do surgery sometimes, some children will have a problem with, you know, spasms or convulsions or something in one part of their brain and they can remove an entire hemisphere of a child's brain - fifty percent - and they can train the other half of the brain and grow up and live a perfectly normal intelligent life - as you say, with half their brain tied behind their back. It's true. Why? Well maybe God designed these brains to live forever and that's why we only use a fraction in this life.

And who knows, our minds may even grow through eternity to store and retain even more. It's a miracle. It's a mystery. You know, now with computers, what they do is your computer can actually have a zillion times more information on it than your hard drive can hold because it happens through 'the cloud'. How many of you understand what 'the cloud' is? For a computer.

How many of you don't know what 'the cloud' is? Well, let me explain it. This is - this is very important - you'll have to know this someday. Some of you are still not using cell phones, but someday you'll figure this out. You've got a computer. It's got storage right on the computer.

It stores its memory right on what they call the 'hard drive'. But now, because of the internet, there are enormous warehouses in Arizona and different parts of the country - that are air-conditioned - that contain nothing but hard drives that are storing your information in a secure format. And so, if you don't have enough room on your computer, you just upload it to the cloud and when you need it, you click and it downloads and so you don't actually store it there, it's on 'the cloud'. And through eternity how are we going to store all this information if you're learning for a million years? The Holy Spirit will be your cloud. You just upload and download what you need when you need it.

You know, I brought this in today just for you. You know what that is? It used to be called a 'thumb drive'. It's a little usb that you plug into a computer. And this one someone in my office gave to me. It's - it only stores 8 gigabytes.

Just Mark my words, in time they'll have these that'll have gigabytes of information on it and more and more and more - you all know how it works. This holds more information - ten times - fifty times more information than the first personal computers. Just this - they aren't even thumb drives anymore, they're fingernail drives because they're smaller than my fingernail. So, I could take everything on my computer - all the important documents anyway - most of them - put them on here and if my computer breaks and I get a new computer then I put this in the new computer. When Jesus comes back, he is going to somehow have - the Lord - you know, if man can make this what can God make? I don't know where he stores it but God, somewhere, has a storage of who you are and he will download that into a new body - but it'll be you.

Now, that's a pretty crude illustration, but that's not that bad an illustration. God stores the essence of who you are. So what's going to be saved? Not your body, it's going to be your mind. It's going to be who you are really between your ears, behind your eyes - it's what you think. And so, if you're going to be saved, you must first and foremost be saved in your thinking.

If you're sinning with your body, it starts with your thinking, you see what I'm saying? And all temptation begins - it's up here. And the single-most important thing you can do to have a victorious Christian life - to experience joy - the burdens, the temptations, the trials - most of the time they're not physical. Most of the time they're trials in the mind. They're burdens, they're stresses that are in the mind. And so salvation in the mind, joy in the mind, relief in the mind is usually worth more than anything and that's where it begins.

Now who only knows your heart can the devil read your mind? Can the devil put thoughts in your mind? Yeah, temptation is when he does that. A lot of times it's not something on the outside, it's happening on the inside. I'm putting thoughts in your mind even as I'm talking right now. So, I mean, your spouse can put thoughts in your mind, but no one can really read your heart but God. The Bible tells us, if you look in Mark 2, verse 8, 'right away Jesus knew what they were thinking and he said, 'why are you thinking such things?' By the way, that's the contemporary english version, but that's an accurate translation.

Jesus can read your heart. 'God and God only' - 2 Kings chapter 9 I believe it is - 'God and God only knows the thoughts of men's hearts' - actually that's 1 Kings 9, verse 38. Only God knows what you think. The devil cannot read your minds. And so there's something sacred about what's happening in your mind.

Can you pray without talking - just in your mind? Who in the Bible does that? How many of you remember when Nehemiah was before king ahasuerus and the King asked him a question and it says he prayed right there standing before the king. I'm sure he prayed right there in his mind. Most prayers in the Bible are articulated but that's at least one example - but everyone knows you can pray in your heart, right? Speak to God in your mind. And if you look in 1 Corinthians and 5, "therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels" - or the motives - "of the hearts." So what are you judged for in the last days? It is just what you've done with your body or is it what you thought with your mind? It says the motives are being judged. Can people pray and do it for the wrong reason? Can we fast for the wrong reason? Can we give for the wrong reason? So you can do outwardly religious things, but because the heart isn't right - you might have the right action and the wrong attitude.

And because you've got the wrong attitude, it isn't worth anything. So where does real worship begin? It's in the mind. I said 'in the heart - mind - it's in the heart' - but it means the same thing, biblically, right? So that's why this is so important. That's why the mind matters. Somebody look up for me job 31:1.

Who - do we got that? We'll get you a microphone, okay? And we'll get to you - be patient - we'll get to you in just a moment. God says in Isaiah 55, verse 8, "'my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways,' says the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" Does God know our thoughts? He knows that his thoughts are infinitely higher than our thoughts, but he wants to save us in our thinking. So how does that happen? Let's jump to the next day - 'the mind filters'. We are essentially who we are because of what we've taken in.

Now, you inherited a certain amount of some characteristics that may have come genetically, but most of us, we become who we are - our habits, our thinking are governed by the environment - how we are raised. Twins have been separated at birth, raised in different families and then they grow up and they have completely different personalities. Now, you've heard stories about even though they're separated they find out they had a lot of things in common? That may be. Those are some of the inherited things, but a bad temper is not necessarily inherited. It's usually learned behavior and it's because of, maybe, what we observed growing up.

Those things, in the mind, it's because of what they've taken in. Now you can't always control, when you're young, what you take in. Talking about little children, you know, your parents are putting things before you and saying things and doing things before you and it's framing you. But after awhile you become responsible for what you choose to take into your mind and you can change what you think about by what you choose to look at. Philippians 4:6 - you know this - "be anxious for nothing," - this is through verse 8 - "but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

" - Through prayer our minds can be changed - "finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate" - or think - "on these things." So, what should we think about? Zig zigler used to talk about 'stinkin' thinkin'' - people were negative because they were choosing to focus on that which was negative. What is the news principally filled with - good news or bad news? How many of you watch the news? I do, but let's face it, it's not usually good. Every now and then they'll have a human interest story that's got kind of a happy ending, but most of the time it's just the terrorism and the crime and corruption and the stealing and it's all just - it's heartbreaking, it's negative and what does that do to our thinking? Or, if you're watching violence, or if you're watching programs - soap operas - that are filled with intrigue and adultery - what does that do to your thinking? You become like what you look at. We are transformed into what we behold. Alright, someone was going to read for us job - job chapter - what did I say? - 31 Verse 1? "I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman?" Now this covenant that job made with his eyes - he specifically is talking about looking after a young woman.

Job, of course, was married - and thinking improper thoughts - but making that covenant with your eyes is something that you can do in a lot of other areas. In Psalms David says, 'I will set no evil thing before my eyes.' It may not just be lusting after the opposite sex. That can translate itself into many other ways. It means choosing not to look at things that are immoral in any way. If it is a sin to lie, to kill, to steal, to use God's name in vain - and we, as Christians, say we would not do those things, but if we do them vicariously by deliberately choosing to be entertained by watching those things - you listening to me? You hearing this? If we are choosing to be entertained by beholding those things, we're sort of sinning by proxy.

We're doing it - we're an accomplice. It says we're taking pleasure in those that do them - is how Paul words it. And this is, I think - I mention it frequently because I think it's one area - can I recommend a book? You can read it online for free. Amazing Facts also carries it - I'm not trying to sell things. It's called - it's a book by joe crews, the founder of Amazing Facts - he wrote a book that was a pretty stirring book.

It was a real benchmark. It's called 'enemy at the gate' - 'enemy at the gate' - and what he's talking about - the gateway of our senses, our soul and that - how people are inviting the enemy in through what we look at as though it has no change on the thinking. When you invite Jesus into your mind and into your heart, he reigns. He rules. He is enthroned in your heart - in your mind and then, when we invite the prince of darkness in by beholding those things that are immoral, lying, and adultery and violence, there's a real incongruous conflict there.

On one hand, we're saying, 'I want to be like Jesus who is lovely, whole and pure. I want to be pure in heart.' They will see God - the pure in heart will see God, right? But then, if we're choosing to behold and to listen to and look at those things that are the antitheses of Jesus, you've got a conflict there. You're not going to have a change in your thinking. No, you will have a change but it will be the wrong change in your thinking. And so, if you want revival, it really begins in the thoughts and there is something practical we can all do to choose what we think about.

Surround yourself with what you listen to and what you look at - let me back up and say this differently. There's a lot of stuff in this world that we would rather not hear, we would rather not see. You know, I grew up in the world and I don't know very many of the popular hit songs but I knew the old ones and they still play them. You might be walking through the Market or sitting in an elevator - I love the food of chipotle, but sometimes what they play is so loud and awful that my phone will ring and I'll answer the phone and they'll hear in the background - bom bom bom bom bom - and they'll - 'where are you?' I say, 'I'm just eating a burrito. It's a healthy - it's a vegan burrito.

But the music's not vegan. I'm sorry.' And then you get those things in your head and you walk out of the restaurant and you're going, 'oh, man, you know, I just' - and so then you start singing a good song and you overcome evil with good. So there's stuff you can't even control that's in the world around you that you're going to see. You're driving down the road - I'll just tell you right now, if you live in Sacramento, you may know what I'm talking about. They've got them all over the freeway - they've got these great big billboards for liposuction and it's got this body with - scantily clad body and I'm thinking, 'that's obscene.

' And you're driving down the road and - and so here we're living in a culture that is steeped in sin, where the morals are almost non-existent and so you've already got your hands full trying to be pure in heart but what you're surrounded with that you cannot control. Listening? You already have your hands full trying to be pure in heart because you're surrounded with things you cannot control. Why would you want to make it worse by deliberately taking in things that you can control? By subscribing to magazines or watching television programs or listening to music that is carnal and then say, 'I don't know. I'm having such a hard time being a Christian, lord, what's wrong? He's going, 'oh, well, what are you watching? What are you looking at? What are you listening to? What are you talking about?' The things that are shaping your mind you can choose some of it and guard the avenues to the soul. You know, the armor of God? You know the armor of God in - you've got the breastplate of righteousness.

You've got the belt of truth. You've got the shoes of the gospel. You've got the sword - spirit, Word of God. You've got the helmet of...what is the helmet? What do you do with a helmet? Put it over the head. You know, most of your senses of intake are from the neck up.

When I think of the helmet of salvation there in the Bible, how important is a helmet to an astronaut? Doesn't that astronaut's helmet kind of determine whether or not he's going to live? If he takes off his helmet for five minutes, how long will he last? 30 Seconds. It's just because his whole atmosphere of life is in that helmet. He's got to preserve - I mean the temperature's controlled in there. It's shielding his vision against the radiation of the sun that would blind him. That's why it's got that gold film on it.

It's got the oxygen that he needs to breathe. That helmet is his life. A Christian needs a kind of helmet that changes his whole environment where you are guarding the senses of what's coming into your mind. This is the holy of holies. Christ dwells in you - where? Does Jesus say, 'i'd like to come in and I'm going to enter in through your elbow - I will possess your elbow'? Is it your knee or your big toe? No, it's not even your lungs or your heart.

You can have a heart/lung transplant now. A person could be paralyzed from the neck down and still, they can be a unique individual. I mean, you know the story of many people, like last year I was at nrb and we had a sing-along with joni eareckson, that Christian who was paralyzed from the neck down. She's got a whole world-wide ministry and it's all happening from the neck up. She can sing.

She draws with a brush in her teeth and she communicates. Has a radio program. Thinks, plans - it's all here, right? But if you get paralyzed from the neck up, it's bad. You know what I'm saying? So the Lord, here's what he possesses - it's your mind. He inhabits your mind.

And so we ought to be considerate of what we're putting in there with him. You wouldn't want to make Jesus room with some of those things. Who has Matthew 5:28? This is similar to job 31 but we gave it out and I don't want to leave you out. Over here? Alright, let's get a microphone for you. Hold your hand up so pancho can find you there.

And keep in mind how important - this is under the section 'mind-body relationships' - 'mind-body relationships' - and you can read here in, for instance, Proverbs 17:22, "a merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones." Your attitude and happiness can be determined by what you choose to think about and talk about. You might have bad things happening in your life and you can choose to dwell on them - I had some disappointments this last week and I thought - I started thinking about it and I got depressed. And I realized, 'well, you're probably not going to be able to change that and so don't worry about it, just thank the Lord for the good things that are happening and don't feel bad about the bad things that are happening' and I started feeling better once I just accepted, you know, there's so many other good things and I can't change this and it had to do with somebody else and what they decided - that's up to - I can't change it. And, you know, all of a sudden I started feeling better. Nothing happened physically in my environment to change but I started feeling better because my thinking changed.

Alright, you're going to read for us Matthew 5:28. Matthew 5:28, "but I say unto you that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Does what you think make a difference in how you feel physically? Can a person physically have problems because of what they're thinking about? I talk to young men and women at schools periodically and I try to remind them that sex is not happening below the belt. Sex starts above the neck and it begins with, you know, we always think that it's, you know, has to do with the plumbing. It's really happening here. And when people think, 'I just couldn't help myself.

' It's not because of the hormones as much as it's what you're choosing to think about. And it's just so important for us to understand that. You know, every time Jesus healed a person he said, 'your faith has made you whole.' Never do you find where Jesus healed somebody and he said, 'my faith made you whole.' He always says, 'your faith'. God has dealt to all men a measure of faith and faith is something that happens in your thinking. Do you agree? I found something - I've read this several times and there's probably updated versions - if you know of any, please read them to me - I'm kind of stuck in a rut here.

But this is from 'time' magazine so it's old research, but it's still - it's about the placebo effect. You know about the placebo effect? And there's a lot of studies. Placebo is artificial medicine or pill. It's like some inert thing - it could be starch or sugar and you give it to someone but you tell them - you paint it up and you say, 'this is a powerful drug and it's going to make you feel a lot better with your headache.' And they found that a whole lot of people take one of these things and their headache goes away because they believe that it's real and the power - doctors are still trying to comprehend the power of the mind over the body. It's amazing.

So listen to this, it's just one little article on that. Doctors in one study successfully eliminated warts by painting them with a brightly colored inert dye and promising the warts would be gone when the color wore off. It worked because the people believed it. In a study of asthmatics researchers found that they could produce dilation of the airways simply by telling people they were inhaling a powerful bronchodilater even though they weren't. They gave them this mister solution.

They said, 'uh - uh - can't breathe - asthma!' And they said, 'here, breathe this. It's powerful. It'll help you breathe.' And it was just salt mist or something - 'uh - uh' and 'wow, thanks.' They felt much better. There was nothing in it but they believed there was and they started feeling better. Patients suffering pain after wisdom tooth extraction - this is interesting - got just as much relief from a fake application of ultrasound as from a real one - as long as both the patient and the therapist thought the machine was turned on.

So they found it seemed to work better if not only the patient but the therapist believed that it was working. And that could have been the body language that the therapist - that they just - if they didn't really believe it they exuded that somehow. But if they really believed it was making a difference, it seemed to make the patients feel better. Does that mean that, when I'm preaching, if I believe what I'm saying it works better? If we both believe together? I hope so. Percent of colitis patients treated with a placebo in 11 different trials reported feeling better.

It was just a placebo. 50 Percent of the inflamed intestines actually examined with a scope showed improvement. In other words, people who were suffering with all kinds of intestinal problems - they were given this medication - they said 'it's making you feel better' and there was really nothing in it but because they believed it they actually, physically felt better. Years ago a young seattle cardiologist named leonard cobb, he conducted a unique trial of a procedure, commonly known then - it was used for angina pain - in which doctors made a small incision in the chest and tied knots in two arteries to try to increase blood flow to the heart. It was called mammary ligation.

Percent of the patients reported it helped. But then cobb, he got suspicious and he began to perform some placebo surgeries where he'd make the incision, he'd muddle around like he was doing something. He'd sew them up - he'd actually do nothing but give them stitches - the same percentage of patients said that they felt much better afterwards. They've since abandoned the surgery. I think they should have kept doing it.

It seemed to be helping people. So Jesus said that God has dealt to all men a measure of faith. Now, I don't believe we're saved by faith in faith, but what you think has an incredible effect on how you feel. Have you ever felt like you're coming down with a cold? I've noticed sometimes when I think, 'oh no, I've got that scratchiness. Oh, I might be coming down with a cold.

' I tell myself, 'doug, don't tell yourself that, you may not be coming down with a cold. Don't talk yourself into it.' And I said, 'lord, I'm not telling myself I've got a cold but I feel scratchy in my throat. I hope it's not a cold.' You know, 90 percent of the time it goes away and it wasn't a cold. Or I'll do all the natural remedies I can think of and give them the credit. I don't care, as long as I don't get the cold.

But a lot of it has to do - I think Ellen white actually says that - is it 80 or 90 percent of all sickness - 90 percent of sickness originates in the mind. That's a lot. So, does it matter what you think for your body-soul relationship? Images have an influence on the mind. Corinthians 3:17 and 18 - now this is very important - "now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

" We become like what we worship. We seem to have this photographic chemical on our souls and our minds that, as we behold something - like a photographic plate - we absorb the image to which we're exposed. And it's this bonding. People become like - my mother would get on the phone and I could always tell who she was talking to even though it might not be through the conversation, but she had a lot of friends from around the world - she would assume the accent and the style and the personality of the people she talked to. Any of you know someone like that? They get on the phone, their voice changes.

It's like they morph a little bit into the same kind of person they're talking to. My mother would get on the phone with her friends in england, suddenly she had a british accent. She'd get on the phone with some of her New York Jewish friends and she had a very thick new york accent. Then she'd get on the phone with her California friends and she'd have the beverly hills accent. I said, 'oh, you're talking to so and so.

Oh, you're talking to so and so.' She said, 'how do you know?' I said, 'you become just like them when you're on the phone talking to them.' And I think we're all a little that way. We become like what we look at. That's why it's very important for us to choose our friends. Your friends affect your thinking. 'He who will be wise will walk with the wise.

' And my father used to say, 'if you sleep with dogs you get fleas. You hang around the wrong kind of people it will affect your thinking. And some of us - some of us, sometimes, don't think - well, I've got to be careful with how I say this. As a Christian doing missionary work, we need to be willing to work with and associate with all kinds of people. Did Jesus do that? To be good witnesses you need to go to where the people are.

But when it comes to your friends that you are accountable to that nurture you, pick the very best, wisest most dedicated friends you can because you will become like the people you respect - your counselors, your friends, the folks that you're intimate with - choose them carefully. You say, 'well, I've got this friend, he keeps dragging me down.' If your right hand offends you, cut it off. And you don't have to have those kind of relationships with people that are going to drag you down mentally. Do we all know people that you talk to them and they're good listeners and they're always cheerful - they're positive and they lift you up? We all want friends like that. How many of you know somebody that you're always afraid to ask them 'how are you doing?' Because they're ready to tell you and they've got a negative opinion of everything.

Those negative people - it starts to bring you down. It starts to make you feel negative. And, well, you don't have to hang around with those people. Psalm 115, verse 4, "their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths but they do not speak; eyes they have, but they do not see; they have ears but they do not hear; noses they have but they do not smell; they have hands, but they do not handle; feet they have, but they do not walk; nor do they mutter through their throat.

Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them." Why does God say idolatry is such a big deal? Why is it so offensive to the lord? Because you become like what you worship. Now, if we become like what we worship - if we idolize Jesus, will we become like Jesus? So how do you do that? You talk to him. You spend time with him. You look at his life. You study him.

It doesn't come from praying and kneeling and gazing at a picture of Jesus because that doesn't tell you anything about him. You don't become like me by looking at me. My body - older I get the more I want to trade this in for a newer model. The body has nothing to do - I told you - this body is not going to heaven. If you want to know about me you can do it on the phone by communicating, right? And so it's through the word of Christ.

Have you heard about people that develop love relationships on the internet? I used to be very suspicious of that but I can think of several friends that did it - some of them, they used to do it by letter - by correspondence. I've got some friends that did it as missionaries in different parts of the world. They just sent letters, they got to know each other and they got together - the courtship was very short - and then there was a wedding. They had decided all that through the mail. Now it's the internet, which is almost too fast.

But can you get to know a person through their words and their mind and how they think and - you get to know a lot about them that way. But how do we get to know the Lord? Through His Word, through how he speaks to us, through his spirit, through providence, through other people that reflect him. You become like what you worship and that's why it's very important for us to spend our time keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. Let me read you a quote from 'steps to Christ' page 47 - this is good. If you didn't write that down I'm going to say it again, 'steps to Christ' 47.

Alright, now listen to what it says, "many are inquiring, 'how am I to make a surrender of myself to God. You desire to give yourself to him but you're weak in moral power, in slavery to doubt, and controlled by the habits of your life of sin. Your promises and resolutions are like ropes of sand" - here it is - "you cannot control your thoughts." You ever struggle to control your thoughts? "Your impulses, your affections, the knowledge of your broken promises and forfeited pledges weakens your confidence in your own sincerity and causes you to feel that God can't accept you. But you need not despair. What you need to understand is the true force of the will.

This is the governing power in the nature of man - the power of decision or of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will. The power of your - the power of choice God has given to man. It is theirs to exercise. You cannot change your heart.

You cannot give yourself to God its affections, but you can choose to serve him. You can give him your will. He, then, will work in you to will and to do according to his good pleasure. Thus, your whole nature will be brought under the control of the Spirit of Christ. Your affections will be centered upon him.

Your thoughts will be in harmony with him." So twice it's telling us it's your thoughts. That's how we surrender to God. It's a choice of the will. It's in the mind. Water is a powerful thing when it is controlled.

It can illuminate a city, like hoover dam. Water left to itself gone rampaging in a flood is very destructive. Most of us, in our thoughts, they just run everywhere. Most of us, in our thoughts, are like a ship without an anchor. And it's just like - going everywhere.

How do you control your thoughts? Well, it doesn't come easy but you can choose to think about things. For one thing, when you're reading - and you're reading good things, that's guiding your thoughts while you're reading. Reading is very different from watching television. You know, when you're reading, you can choose good material and you can read and you create pictures in your mind. If I were to say to you right now, 'I don't want you to think about a bright yellow monkey climbing a barber pole.

Now, whatever you do, don't think about that. Did any of you see it in your mind when I said it? And what color was the barber pole? White, red, blue, yep. Do you know I never said those colors? But you all filled in the same color, didn't you? We all have these screens in our mind. And when you're reading you're filling out images and pictures in your mind. And when you're watching tv you don't use that part of your brain.

It's doing it all for you and it puts you almost in a vegetative state - almost a hypnotic invitation - and the images and the words and the moral messages that are coming through television - it often doesn't even go through your higher powers, it just goes right into your carnal nature and is programming us. Music can do that. Music can also put you - especially certain kinds of more syncopated carnal music that applies to the rhythms in the body - it can put you in that state and then the messages and the words just they go right by the guardian of the conscious - conscience - and they become part of your thinking. That's why the devil uses music so much to shape and to guide the thinking of the youth. And, oh boy, I don't have time to go into that.

There's other good presentations on that that you can look at. Someone once said - alright, it was plato - 'thinking is the talking of the soul with itself.' Horace, who lived in 65 bc, he said 'rule your mind or it will rule you.' Lord byron said, 'thinking is the magic of the mind.' Thomas traherne said, 'nothing is more easy to think and nothing is more difficult than to think well.' You can't stop thinking, can you? Even when you're asleep your brain is dreaming and defragmenting - or whatever it does when you're asleep. But your mind is, typically, always doing something. You know how they often decide when they're going to unplug someone from life support? It's not when the heart stops. It's when there's no brain activity.

And so, this is constantly alive. So we're always thinking and we can sin in our thoughts. Someone read for me Matthew chapter 15, verses 7 and 8. We gave that to somebody. Hold up your hand.

Right up front here? Go ahead. Matthew 15:7 and 8, "hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you saying, 'these people draw near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me." What does God want? It's not just the words because, you know, what he really wants is the heart. And if our hearts - what's he talking about when he says 'the heart'? The mind. He says, 'your heart is far from me. He wants our minds to be with him.

In the beginning, what was the problem that made God destroy the world with the flood? Let me read it to you. Genesis 6:5, "then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." It was their thoughts that were only evil that played itself out in their deeds. If you want to change the output, you need to change the input. It's that way with a computer. They say, 'garbage in, garbage out.

' If you want to change the output, you've got to change the input. And so we need to make a conscious decision to be absorbing those things that are good. Let me read something to you in the book 'Great Controversy' page - oh wait - by the way, psalm 119, verse 97 - who has that? We gave out one more verse. I don't know if it made it. Over here? Psalm 119, verses through 99 - we'll get to that in just a second.

Let me read 'Great Controversy' page - this is easy - 555, okay? "It is a law both of intellectual and the Spiritual nature that by beholding we become changed. The mind gradually adapts itself to the subject upon which it is allowed to dwell" - notice: 'allowed to dwell' - "it becomes assimilated to that which it is accustomed to love and reverence. Man will never rise higher than the standard of purity or goodness or truth. If self is his loftiest ideal, he'll never attain to anything more exalted. Rather, he will constantly sink lower and lower.

The grace of God alone has the power to exalt man. Left to himself, his course must inevitably be downward." We need to resist the trend of just flowing with the current of our thoughts and we need to choose to swim towards good thoughts. Okay, you're going to read for us psalm 119 I think. Okay, let's read that. "Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.

You, through your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation." Now, when I was into eastern religions and we talked about meditation, meditation was emptying your mind of any thoughts. That ought to tell you where that comes from. The idea was you'd just, you know, you'd say some word like 'om' or your guru would give you some mantra that you would say over and over again and you'd say this thought until it was absolutely senseless and you'd empty your mind of any real practical cognition so that you just became open to whatever spiritual suggestions came and you thought this was coming from God. It was usually coming from the other spirit.

But biblical meditation is the opposite of that. It is taking the Word of God and focusing on it and processing it and looking at a verse and setting it down and walking around it from all the different angles and viewing the way the light hits it and the shadows and applying it differently and dismantling it and putting it together again. And you get so much out of the Word of God when you study it that way. You know, when I first began to read some of the sermons of some of the great preachers, you know, they called - spurgeon was like a prince of preachers - and others. And they'd take a little verse and they'd go on and they'd preach - they'd just wax eloquent about this one verse.

I'd say, 'how do you preach a whole sermon on, you know, a five-word verse? 'Rejoice evermore' - they'd preach 45 minutes on 'rejoice evermore' - one verse. And it was just amazing to me how the Spirit of God - they'd walk around, they'd extract and wring it out every way they could. It's like spurgeon could take the word 'the' and preach on 'the', you know? And - but sometimes I don't think we take the Bible - and, of course, I was giving you exaggerations - take the Bible, take the Word of God - not just read it, but meditate on it - what it's saying. There's power in the Word of God where if you take it in and you masticate it and you digest it, you assimilate it and it comes alive. And you do that with your mind.

You think about the Word of God and it has a transforming power on you. You know, God knows our thoughts and if Christ is in you and you become a new creature Paul says, 'it's not I who live but it's Christ who lives in me.' And so I used to pray, 'lord, let me see with your eyes. Let me hear with your ears. Let me speak with your lips.' And really, what we're praying for when we're Christians is 'lord, let me think with your mind.' We want to think the thoughts that Christ thinks. The only way that can happen is when we have the Spirit of God, amen? Well, we're about to run out of time.

We want to tell our friends that, before we wind it up here, we have a special, special offer that we normally don't give. It's a book and it's called 'who do you think you are?' By yours truly. It was a sharing book - pacific press in, I think, 2011 - and we'll send it to you for asking. Call the number on your screen and that's 866-study-more. Ask for offer #603 and read it please and share it with others.

God bless you and, God willing, we'll study together again next Sabbath. In six days God created the heavens and the earth. For thousands of years man has worshiped God on the seventh day of the week. Now, each week, millions of people worship on the first day. What happened? Why did God create a day of rest? Does it really matter what day we worship? Who was behind this great shift? Discover the truth behind God's law and how it was changed.

Visit Impact your world. The Amazing Facts center of evangelism is the first and original Bible training school operating for over ten years. You'll receive practical training in personal and public evangelism. Learn how to give dynamic public presentations.

Give compelling Christ-centered Bible studies and all while gaining a personal, deeper understanding of God. Learn from Doug Batchelor and other world-class evangelists. To enroll today, visit '' or call -209-7249.

Share a Prayer Request
Ask a Bible Question



Prayer Request:

Share a Prayer Request


Bible Question:

Ask a Bible Question