Basic Truths I Wish I Knew 50 Years Ago!
Since the fourth century A.D., theologians have argued over whether man is composed of body, soul and spirit (trichotomy), or whether he is only body and soul (dichotomy). In the process, they have totally overlooked a more basic factor: the three brains in man.
God designed man to think with the transmission of electro-chemical neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters have been discovered by research scientists to be in our head brain, our heart brain and in our gut brain. The interaction of these three brains explains how the Christian life really works and gives deeper meaning to the foundational messages of Scripture.
For example, Jesus declared that the first and greatest commandment is, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). This command involves all three brains, and in the right order: 1) Our head brain is the home of our soul (mind will and emotions), and it is the weakest brain because it is so easily influenced; 2) Our heart brain is a stronger brain and controls our head brain; 3) Our gut brain is the strongest and instructs our heart brain. [The Greek word for the mind of our head brain is nous. The Greek word for the mind of our gut brain is dianoia.] God requires us to love Him with all three brains, beginning with our heart brain!
An even more critical example is the levels of our faith. Jesus identified three levels of faith. They correspond to our three brains: The first level is “no faith.” It is based on an intellectual acceptance of ideas: “You believe that there is one God [with your head brain]; you do well: the devils also believe and tremble” (James 2:19). The second level of faith is “little faith.” It is the faith of our heart brain and is needed for salvation, but it has no depth and can be damaged with competing affections (James 4:1-5). The third and most important level is “great faith” in our gut brain. This is a faith for which we will die. It is the level of faith that is necessary for salvation.
This fact is confirmed by the symbolism of baptism following our belief in Christ. We identify with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. It is a tragedy that many have “prayed to receive Christ” with their head brain and nothing happened! They are not really saved! When we are ready to die for Jesus, we are ready to receive Him as our Savior!
A third example is experiencing genuine love. There are also three levels of love that correspond to our three brains: Head love is sensual or selfish love; heart love is based on mutual benefits (Phileo love). Deep-rooted gut brain love (agape love) is a love for which we will lay down our lives. It has no expectations and only desires to give. This is the only love that will hold a marriage together (Ephesians 5:25).
An understanding of our three brains and how they relate to each other in loving God, having faith for salvation, getting genuine love, and in many other areas of life, is just one of the many basic truths that I wish I would have known 50 years ago. However, now that I know them, I want to share them with every member of the Body of Christ.
Seven Universal Principles Taught in the Basic Seminar
Just as there are laws that govern our universe, there are laws that govern our human relationships. These laws are universal and non-optional. They transcend all cultures, nationalities, religions and political systems. If we live in harmony with them, we will have peace, health and prosperity. If we violate them, we will have broken relationships, and the seven deadly and destructive stresses of anger, guilt, lust, bitterness, greed, fear and envy.
1. The Principle of Design – Produces Self-Acceptance
God created us to glorify Him. He gave us ten “unchangeables” to fulfill His purposes in us and to demonstrate His power through our “weaknesses.” Physical “defects” are His “marks of ownership” to remind us every day that we belong to Him.
2. The Principle of Authority – Produces Personal Greatness
All authority comes from God. He delegates some to parents, government leaders, church officials and employers. By respecting their authority and serving them, we accomplish great works. “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:11).
3. The Principle of Responsibility – Produces a Clear Conscience
When we take responsibility for every one of our thoughts, words, attitudes and actions, we are able to go to each one whom we have offended and ask for forgiveness. This humbling action cause others to respect us and builds strong relationships. It removes all guilt.
4. The Principle of Forgiveness – Produces Freedom from Bitterness
If we get bitter toward those who offend us, we will damage our health and our enemies will control our thoughts and emotions. If we do good to them, we free God to punish them and bless us. “Vengeance is mine; I will repay says the Lord . . . overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:20).
5. The Principle of Ownership – Produces Genuine Love
We have rights and expectations. When people violate them, we get angry. But if we give God the ownership of all our money, time, possessions and expectations, and also give freely to others, we turn anger into love: “For where your treasure is there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).
6. The Principle of Freedom – Produces Moral Purity
Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but the power to do what we ought. By engrafting God’s Word in us, “sin shall not have dominion over [us]” (Romans 6:14). “If you continue in My word . . . you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).
7. The Principle of Life Purpose – Produces True Success
True success is fulfilling the purposes for which God created us! He called us out of Satan’s kingdom of darkness into His kingdom of light. We are called to advance His kingdom to cities and nations. The power of our message is the living Word of God in us.
Why So Many Teens Join a Cult
When a teenager openly or secretly pulls away from the authority of his parents and chooses to obey his peers, a false philosophy, a false teacher, a sensual rock star or an iconic celebrity he or she is in a cult. When a teen leaves his family to live with a cult, parents are desperate and try to “rescue” a trapped son or daughter with reasoning, promises or professional “deprograming,” but all of these efforts are futile because people do not understand how a cult member is made.
1. Cults thrive on a passive mind.
A passive mind is open and responsive to every thought that comes to it. It does not check the source of the thought or discern its truth or error. Eve had a passive mind when Satan began talking with her. Secular education trains students to have passive minds. Educators reject absolute moral standards and teaches students to question what they have been taught by their authorities: “Has God said?” God commands us to “take every thought captive” for God’s evaluation (II Corinthians 10:5).
2. Cults appeal to the lusts of the flesh.
The strong desires of our sin nature are “re-examined” by cult leaders and promoted as “normal, not to be rejected by us but are beneficial.” Cult members are urged to “enjoy the pleasures of sin [which only last] for a [short] season” (Hebrews 11:25). The immediate and long-lasting consequences of immoral acts are not considered. Potential cult members are urged to “Eat, drink and enjoy sex now and to live for today.”
3. Cults activate the fear of rejection.
One of the strongest drives of a person is the inborn desire to be accepted and the fear of being rejected. It is used as a weapon by cults to gain followers and to keep them loyal to the cult. Teens who feel rejected by their parents or family or who no longer desire family approval, are totally vulnerable to the open acceptance of a cult.
4. Cults instill lies in the gut brain of followers.
This is the key to the power of a cult. They do not just instruct the head brain or the heart brain, they plant their false teachings in the gut brains of all their followers. It is in the gut brain that we have deep-rooted love and deep-rooted faith for which we will lay down our lives. Ideas that are taught to our head brain can be changed with new information, but ideas that are firmly rooted in our gut brain will not be changed regardless of the wisdom and logic of new information. It is useless to argue with cult members because they are firmly committed to their false philosophies and are willing to die for them.
5. Cults use guilt to deaden the consciences of their followers.
God has written His moral law in the heart of every person. When we violate His law, our conscience will condemn us (Romans 2:15). Guilt is a powerful force and must be dealt with. We can either repent or we can justify our sinful actions which will separate us from God. God will then “give [us] over to a reprobate mind [head brain] to do [all kinds of evil things]” (Romans 1:28). The only way to freedom is for a cult member to get daily Rhemas from reading the Bible, memorize them, and quote them to God every night while going to sleep. During the night they will go down to his gut brain and cleanse it from false teachings. Then the verses will instruct his heart brain with wisdom (Psalms 16:7). His heart brain will control his head brain.