picture of a wooded area with two tire ruts leading through it. Light is coming through the trees in the background.

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.

picture of a wooded area with two tire ruts leading through it. Light is coming through the trees in the background.

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.