Avoid Sicknesses of Mind and Heart
“Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way.”—Ps. 44:18, AS.
1. In the earth today what is the situation as to spiritual sickness, and who is responsible for it?
THERE are killers stalking the earth far more deadly than the plagues of cancer and heart disease. Those killers produce spiritual death from which there is no restoration in the present time nor in the system of things to come. Satan and his brood of demons are those killers. They have been cast down to the earth to bring woes of spiritual troubles upon mankind. Satan as a fiendish physician keeps most of earth’s inhabitants spiritually sick to bring them to eventual death out of God’s favor. By every means at his disposal he seeks to blind the minds and corrupt the hearts of mankind. He seeks to turn their hearts back from Jehovah that their steps will not lead them toward the new world of righteousness. Satan especially does this by promoting public and private false religious formulas that produce spiritual sleeping sickness and other dire spiritual diseases. From such sicknesses it is difficult for their victims to be aroused to seek the services of the true doctors who administer the right medicine that brings genuine spiritual cures.—Matt. 12:32; Rev. 12:12, NW.
2. Who have proved to be the true physicians?
2 Who are those true physicians? None other than Jehovah God himself and his loyal assistant, Christ Jesus. Both of these know all the secrets in connection with man’s wonderful mind and heart because they were the creators of the first man and woman. To the Israelites it was declared of Jehovah: “I am Jehovah who is healing you.” Of Jesus’ reputation for healing it is written: “And he went through the land doing good and healing all those oppressed by the Devil.” “And Jehovah’s power was there for him to do healing.”—Ex. 15:26; Acts 10:38; Luke 5:17, NW.
3, 4. (a) How and to what extent have Jehovah’s people been spiritually healed? (b) What foolish course should be avoided, and why?
3 By Jehovah’s undeserved kindness his witnesses have succeeded in becoming free from Satan’s paralyzing religious control. They have gone to the right doctors for help. Have the doctors made them spiritually whole overnight as by miracle? No! Rather it has taken them years to make their minds over and to fortify their hearts with truth. Such has been necessary to overcome the poison of false religion that had saturated their minds and hearts. Years of spiritual healing have been involved, necessitating years of study and spiritual refreshment under the guiding direction of these master physicians. They have been submitting themselves to a continuous healing program, which has been leading them from one progressive spiritual position to another still higher. They are seeking spiritual perfection in the new world after Armageddon. How are you keeping up with this great spiritual rejuvenation program now under way?
4 In our keeping up, let us not be foolish as some are who, after a short period of spiritual healing, deceive themselves by thinking they are fully restored and thereby cut loose from Jehovah’s healing organization. In no time such have a serious relapse of still worse spiritual sickness. Soon the death doctors of Satan get hold of them and they make sure that they will spiritually die as an enemy of God. Thus it may be that in faltering today by not advancing in Jehovah’s healing program one may reach fatal disaster tomorrow as concerns his everlasting welfare in the new world.
5. What is the right healing medicine, and how does it work?
5 The right healing medicine used by the great physicians, Jehovah God and Christ Jesus, is that provided by means of the holy spirit, the active force emanating from God. This revealed Word of God is likened to “eyesalve” that is rubbed into one’s eyes of understanding to bring about the healing of one’s spiritual eyesight. This balm of God’s applied Word is far greater than any “wonder drug” or “miracle vaccine” that man has been able to discover. (Rev. 3:18) Such divine medicine is not available for administration through Satan, the false physician, nor through any of his religious agencies of so-called “divine healing.” This effective healing balm of God’s unfolded Word is also known as “the truth,” which brings about right thinking by the right “knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” Jesus demonstrated by his healing works and his sayings that he was one of the true physicians through whom this right spiritual medicine is administered. He said: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. . . . I am the way and the truth and the life.” When leaving the earth Jesus gave assurance that this healing balm of truth would continue with his followers. He said that he would send them “the spirit of the truth” as a helper “which the world cannot receive, because it neither beholds it nor knows it. You know it, because it remains with you and is in you.”—John 17:3; 8:32; 14:6, 16, 17, NW.
6. How did the true physicians originally create man, making it possible to respond to spiritual healing?
6 The true physicians, fully understanding the make-up of man, know how to administer the spiritual healing balm of truth. They created man wonderfully in the image of God. This imageship not only applies to man’s natural endowment to a limited degree of the attributes of love, wisdom, power and justice, but also to man’s faculties of intelligence to appreciate and use those attributes for his good. The Bible describes these faculties of intelligence by the use of the words mind and conscience. Our entire nervous system comprising the brain, the spinal cord and the vast network of nerves picking up the perceptions of sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste actually is the physical instrument used by our faculties of intelligence to receive and convey thoughts and communications and control actions.
7. Show from the Bible one meaning of the word “mind.”
7 The Bible uses the word mind in different ways in connection with man’s faculties of intelligence. The first meaning refers to the ability that man has of gathering informative facts, to reason on those facts and to come to certain conclusions as to those facts or supposed facts. For example, when studying we might say, ‘I am going to keep my mind on that Watchtower lesson.’ By such statement we mean to keep our minds attentive to absorb all the information contained therein. Of those Paul found in Beroea he noted that they were ready with open minds to receive and to reason upon the true Biblical facts. “For they received the word with the greatest readiness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.” Observe, too, how Mary used her mind to “reason out” concerning the angel’s message to her. “But she was deeply disturbed at the saying and began to reason out what kind of greeting this might be.”—Acts 17:11 and Luke 1:29, NW.
8. Show from the Bible a second meaning of “mind.”
8 Another way in which the word mind is commonly used is with reference to the ability to hold in memory the facts we have previously collected and reasoned upon. Often we say, ‘I will keep those points in mind,’ meaning to put them into our memory for future recollection. Occasionally it is good to stir up those memories to adjust our actions, which may have become lax. To Titus Paul wrote: “Continue reminding them to be in subjection.” Jehovah, the Great Master Intelligence, likewise has memory. “Did not Jehovah remember them, and came it not into his mind?”—Titus 3:1, NW; Jer. 44:21, AS.
9. How does the mind aid in making decisions?
9 In the mind is where reasoning on the acquired information takes place, to come to certain definite conclusions. When these conclusions are reached we are enabled to make intelligent decisions. Paul called upon all the Corinthian brothers to come to the same knowledge of the truth. This would lead them all to united right thinking, thus avoiding divisions. “There should not be divisions among you, but that you may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought.” (1 Cor. 1:10, NW) Then if one thinks wrongly on things of the fallen flesh, wrong desires are aroused that influence one’s course in a downward way. “For those who are in accord with the flesh set their minds [mental attention] on the things of the flesh.” (Rom. 8:5, NW) Following wrong desires and faulty determinations over a period of time we are found to form a set design of decisions or a pattern of determinations. This entire pattern of conclusions governing our personal conduct may be so far off the beam of right conduct that a radical about-face of conduct is required. This is the situation in which one finds himself when he becomes a true Christian. An entire new pattern of thinking is required to make one over into a new personality. Concerning this Paul wrote: “Quit being fashioned after this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and complete will of God.”—Rom. 12:2 and Col. 3:9, 10, NW.
10. Which of various attitudes of mind should we imitate?
10 So we can have various attitudes of mind. For example, we might describe a person as being ‘a high-minded person,’ meaning one who thinks high things of himself. On the other hand, we might say such a person is ‘a humble-minded man,’ meaning one who thinks lowlily things of himself. Such was the mental attitude of Christ Jesus. Paul counsels that all Christians should endeavor to maintain the same attitude of mind and disposition as was exemplified by Jesus. “Keep this mental attitude in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Peter confirms this advice. “Therefore since Christ suffered in the flesh, you, too, arm yourselves with the same mental disposition.” (Phil. 2:5 and; 1 Pet. 4:1, NW) The word spirit is sometimes used to refer to one’s impulsive disposition or inclination, which is largely influenced by the mind. “He whose spirit [disposition, temper] is without restraint is like a city that is broken down and without walls.”—Prov. 25:28, AS.
11. Show from the Bible what “conscience” is and what should be done about it.
11 Jehovah, the all-wise Creator, has thoughtfully equipped man with another faculty of mind that the Bible calls conscience. Conscience is an inward realization or sense of right and wrong that excuses or accuses one. A Christian’s perception of right and wrong must be constantly developed or educated from God’s Word of truth so that he will be sure he is constantly making the right decisions. By making decisions in harmony with Jehovah’s Word such a servant will at all times have a clear and good conscience. He will not be accusing himself of wrongdoing. Paul shows that a weak conscience is due to lack of knowledge. “There is not this knowledge in all persons; but some, being accustomed until now to the idol, eat food as something sacrificed to an idol, and their conscience, as it is weak, becomes vile.” “All things are clean to clean persons [persons guided by a Bible-trained conscience]. But to persons defiled and faithless nothing is clean, but both their minds [mental ability] and their consciences are defiled.”—1 Cor. 8:7 and Titus 1:15, NW.
KEEPING THE HEART
12. What is the common Biblical use of the word “heart,” and how can it be developed?
12 A related item to consider here is that which the Bible calls the heart. Heart in this most common Biblical sense is the seat of love and affection, hence of motive, and the center of direction and drive. By meditation, study and reflection on the part of the mind or by constant outside influence and association the “heart” can be reached and affected. It is the long-term development of this state of one’s affections that is described as one’s “heart condition.” For this reason a person can develop a “good heart condition” or a “bad heart condition,” depending on whether it is kindly toward Jehovah or whether it is hardened against Jehovah.
13. How is Proverbs 4:23 to be explained?
13 Solomon wrote: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Literally, the heart as an organ is located about in the center of our organism. As an inner central pump it continually receives blood through the large vena cava, then sends the blood through the pulmonary circuit and finally sends out the blood through the aorta. Similarly our seat of affection keeps receiving thoughts and impressions from the mind and the nervous system. In reverse direction almost constantly feelings and expressions of love or hate flow outward from this inner depth to reflect the real personality of the creature on the inside. Truly, then, out from this figurative heart the “issues of life” flow, because the very outcome of one’s existence results from the expressions of this heart; hence the eternal destiny of the creature can be affected by the heart condition that is built up. (Prov. 4:23, AS) If he wants life, he has to watch his seat of affection and keep it spiritually healthy.
14, 15. (a) Who can truly read man’s heart, and why? (b) How does one strengthen his heart condition?
14 Many so-called “psychiatrists” claim to be able to read the mind of individuals, but only Jehovah God and Christ Jesus can thoroughly read the hearts of men. Said David: “Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a complete heart and with a delightful soul, for all hearts Jehovah is searching and every inclination of the thoughts he is discerning.” (1 Chron. 28:9, NW) Jesus, too, has this discerning power over the heart or seat of affection that induces a creature to think or reason a certain way in his mind. “But Jesus, discerning their reasonings, said in answer to them: ‘What are you reasoning out in your hearts?’”—Luke 5:22, NW.
15 Since Jehovah is searching only for those men of good will who are of good heart condition, it is vitally necessary that we become stronghearted for Jehovah in our motives, love, intentions, drive and affection. It is only by allowing the seeds of truth that enter our minds as we study Jehovah’s Word of truth to be absorbed down deep into the “right kind of soil” of our affections or hearts that the strengthening takes place. Indeed, let them take firm root there that an abundance of righteous fruitage of the spirit may be produced. Upon that righteous foundation of collected spiritual treasures let us develop also a heart acceptance of right principles. Not only words of truth but experiences in Jehovah’s ministerial service and also trials of integrity create lasting impressions upon the mind. The effect of this strengthens one’s heart condition immeasurably. “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all ye that hope in Jehovah.” (Ps. 31:24, AS) The longer one serves as a faithful, dedicated servant and keeps up with the truth, the more stouthearted he becomes as a valiant fighter for Jehovah’s name.—Matt. 13:23, NW; Gal. 5:22.
16, 17. (a) To what may it be likened and of what advantage is it to have a strong heart condition? (b) How does Satan take advantage of the weakhearted ones, and what is the result?
16 A strong, well-fortified heart condition can be likened to a flywheel of a motor which, when in rotation, is difficult to stop but keeps rolling on, overcoming any momentary interference or inertia. If the person should momentarily be thrown off balance or deviated due to temptations by Satan or other evil ones to follow an unwise course, the heart condition of the well-entrenched, long-time servant of Jehovah is strong enough to right him immediately to resist such temptations. A strong heart condition also keeps one balanced against all storms of opposition and assures one of a proper, steady course of righteousness.
17 Where Satan succeeds in planting doubt and wrong thinking in the minds of weakhearted ones, he keeps them deflected or off balance for a period of time, which results in serious spiritual sickness. Such spiritually sick ones need the services quickly of the true physicians, Jehovah and Christ Jesus, that they may be returned to healthy spiritual balance. Note the following scriptures that reveal Satan’s agelong tactics of keeping the minds of most men blinded to the truth and, instead, occupied with fleshly, earthly thoughts that do not lead to a righteous heart condition. “The god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through.” (2 Cor. 4:4, NW) “Their god is their belly, and their glory consists in their shame, and they have their minds upon things on the earth.” (Phil. 3:19, NW) “You who were once alienated and enemies because your minds were on the works that were wicked, he now has again reconciled.” (Col. 1:21, NW) Satan has ever sought to steal the minds of men that he might corrupt their hearts, leading them to certain spiritual death. “I am afraid that somehow, as the serpent seduced Eve by its craftiness, your minds might be corrupted away from the sincerity and the chastity that are due the Christ.”—2 Cor. 11:3, NW.
18. What should we do as to our mind and heart?
18 Surely in this time of the world’s end we are not ignorant of Satan’s designs. Nor are we unaware of the great importance of keeping up with the truth. Now we see how necessary it is to keep our minds protected by the ‘’helmet of salvation” and our hearts covered with the “breastplate of righteousness” by a love of righteousness. (Eph. 6:14, 17, NW) All this enables us to carry out Jesus’ commandment: “You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart [seat of love and motive] and with your whole soul [all physical powers] and with your whole mind [mental powers to gather information and to reason].” (Matt. 22:37, NW) Said the psalmist: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Ps. 139:23, 24, AS) In the following article an examination will be made of Jehovah’s progressive supply of truth and how to acquire a greater grasp of the Word of life.—2 Cor. 2:11, NW.
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THE TRUE GOD