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Part II - The Way We View It

Man The Machine

CHAPTER 5

Man is a machine with the power to program himself.

Thought: Man of himself is a dead machine programmed for survival.

Word: Rom. 7:24: "0 wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death."

Conclusion: Since the law of self-survival is the law of self-destruction, man, without the divine mind, is programmed to self-destruct.

The human body is undoubtedly the most wonderful machine that anyone will ever have the privilege of studying. Here, we are concerned with only one of the several thousand systems in the body. The body, as marvelous a machine as it is, is also the most advanced recording device that we have ever known. We have computers that can store hundreds of billions of "bits" of information. We have videotape and video disk systems that can store even more. No system, however, can store even a fraction of what your brain can store. Your brain has stored in it, not only millions of facts about past generations, encoded into the nucleic acids of the genes, but many trillions of memories; EVERYTHING that has ever passed your senses is stored: every picture, every sound, smell, feeling and thought.

About this amazing recording system, the prophet Jeremiah said: "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may you also do good that are accustomed to do evil." Jer. 13:23. This prophet is aware that the human recorder can only function on the basis of already received information. One who is accustomed to doing evil will continue to do so.

Our recording systems are designed to give a basis for performance. A scientist can stimulate an area of brain cells on the cerebral cortex, and the patient will be living a memory, perhaps one almost forgotten. These memories are stored in the brain for one's entire life. Other information is responsible for your body looking and functioning the way in which it does. Every part of your body, from how much your toenail grows each day, to the myriad of sensory and control systems in the brain, is all a result of recorded information.

Man has a great capacity for recording and programming; herein lies the problem with righteousness. Man, the machine, like other machines, perceives his programming to be correct. We have nearly five billion people on our planet, each with a different set of recordings, each perceiving their own programming to be correct. Each person sees their own outlook on life as the true and correct one.

If a man were to take a large computer and program it to answer a set of questions a certain way, that computer will always answer those questions in that exact certain way, right or wrong. For the computer knew that those answers were right. In the same way, we, as children, are programmed by our parents, and as we get older, by the culture and society around us. We believe these values and ethics to be right, and believe that other value systems, cultures and religions are wrong.

Morality and immorality are also programmed. Our characters are, for the most part, formed by the time we are eight years old. This programming, in turn, affects our attitudes and outlooks until our deaths. Our programming makes us resistant to change. When a sudden change occurs, we will, generally speaking, go through a process trying to avoid this change. This process includes the input of the change required, then resistance to that change. The system then goes over the program to see how he may include the information without the change required. If this is not possible, he will then go into upset about the change and, finally, will either reject it, or accept the change into the program.

This process is evident in anyone who is undergoing a sudden change of nearly any kind. If the person is healthy, he will finally end up in acceptance of the new situation. This resistance to change is a result, as we have pointed out, of our programming. The great difference between us and a machine is that we CAN change. In order to do this, we must be re-programmed, but at least, we have the choice to be thus.

In the book of Romans, chapter seven, the apostle Paul gives us a personal example of this resistance to change: "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh), dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." He sees himself as a pre-programmed machine, not able to break free of the bondage of heredity and environment. In verse 24, he says, "0 wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" In chapter eight, Paul goes on to say that it is the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit, who can bring about the change within him and us. The Spirit is the master re-programmer. We can re-program ourselves, but only with the power of God's Spirit. As the Spirit deals with us, we go through a process which will include change and transformation. For the change to take place, the Holy Spirit must empower the being.

A better understanding of the place of the Spirit can be seen in this passage from the prophet Ezekiel. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments and do them. Eze. 36:26,27. God has given us power to change. The natural state of man, regardless of how he perceives himself, is not one of righteousness. Isaiah, to this matter, says: "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Left alone, we see our ways as true and right, but when contrasted to the truth of the Spirit, we see that our truth is a lie. You can see that the natural man needs re-programming, which means that he needs the Spirit of God.

The most basic instinct of the human machine is survival. This was designed with a good purpose, to keep us from violating laws that would injure or destroy us. However, it has been perverted to an instinct of survival at the expense of another. Men, as well as the institutions of men, do all they can to survive. The institution, for example, that starts out to serve the community and help its members, proceeds through several stages with it finally existing strictly to serve its own survival. Anything that it views as antagonistic to its survival, it fights. People are considered expendable in the interest of the institution's survival. Churches and movements come to this state as well. The Middle Ages saw the slaughter of millions of Christians because they were considered antagonistic to the survival of the institution the Roman church. Most Communist countries in past times considered the person expendable for the survival of the state; their motto has been, "The end justifies the means." On a personal level, a person, not motivated by the Spirit, will live to a state of survival. In other words, a perceived threat to his survival takes priority over all else. Men fight and kill to ensure their own survival. This survival is also functioning with family relationships. When the truth requires us to separate from friends or relatives, survival will cause one to let the truth go in favor of his personal relationships. The natural man sees this as love when in reality it is only survival. Regarding this, Jesus said, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26. In Matthew 10:39 Jesus said again, "He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it." It is a universal law that if a man tries to survive by finding his own life, he will lose it. If a man is willing to give his life for the truth's sake, he will find it.

Jesus once encountered a rich, young ruler who wanted to know about the way to eternal life; after a brief discussion, Jesus said to him, "Sell what you have and give to the poor." The Bible says that he went away very distressed because he was very wealthy. He was entering into survival. It is very popular nowadays for people to enter into a survival mentality. There are even stores who cater to "survivalists," people who are stocking up on everything (including weapons to protect the other stock), from water and food to candles. It is an observable truth that the universe will act toward a person in the way they act towards the universe. A person in survival who is centered upon himself will experience selfishness from the universe. The Golden Rule was not a suggestion, it was a statement of universal law. The person generous with the universe will receive like treatment. "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, How have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse for you have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house, and prove me now herewith, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before her time in the field, says the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for you shall be a delightful land, says the Lord of hosts." Mal. 3:8-10. Those human machines who are programmed for survival, will eventually destroy themselves, just as those who are re-programmed for beneficence and benevolence will have life.

Look around you and notice that the universe is geared for survival. The difference between it and man is that each thing in nature gives in order to insure its survival. Observe a tree: the tree survives and perpetuates its species by giving its leaves as food, its branches for nests and oxygen into the air. The universe is designed for you to survive; you needn't take artificial means to insure it. The majority of human existence, on the other hand, is dedicated towards a self-centered survival. From the competition we engaged in to stay near the top of our class in school, to the hoarding we engaged in thinking of our retirement, we are in a survival mode. Nature and the universe are designed for your survival. You will survive, with all you really need, if you believe in these principles. And if you resist these principles, you will end up destroying yourself.

Re-programming of our machine is available to us at any time. We may choose to stay in a mode that will destroy us, or we may choose to yield to the Spirit of God and allow the universe to support us. We've seen Psalm 91 before; it shows the experience of the man who will be re-programmed by the Spirit. He will "...dwell in the secret place of the Most High...not fear for the arrow that flies by day or the terror by night," no plague shall come near his dwelling. These promises are available to the Spirit-filled person to the person whose will has chosen the programming of harmony and benevolence. The re-programming is actually the act of receiving of the divine mind. With the divine mind doing the "being", we react in life-giving ways. When we react from our machine, we simply come from self-centered survival.

What are some of the survival methods used by this machine of ours? What is it that has been designed to make us "look good to others"? How do we create our kingdom so others might worship us? There are different things that different machines do, all of which seem to bring rewards to the one doing it. We can call all these things we do for this reward, "ACTS." There is a "humble act" that some play. This act is designed to create the impression in others that we are humble. We might even believe we are. The rewards we might expect to receive are those associated with being a "nice" or "sweet" guy or gal. Humility is used at times to draw others into our little trap. "No one would suspect a humble person such as I."

There is the "righteous act" that is not used only by religious people. It is perceived by others as "you are righteous or right, and you exclude me." True righteousness is perceived by others as love and service in their behalf. The "righteous act" starts wars and is basically a stingy self-centered experience. The "righteous act" is the worship of one's self.

The "divine mind act" takes a multitude into its trick. This one might reveal itself by being "divine mind" and sitting on a stack of flowers saying beautiful "spiritual" things. These see themselves as "enlightened" having reached a certain level of attainment. It may be compared to a pile of dog manure left on your lawn and you need to clean it up, but there are flowers and pretty things all around which fools you into thinking it might be a pretty thing. Not only that, but it has a sign in it that says, "divine mind do not touch." Such is the nature of every "act."

The "macho act" is one men use to convince themselves they are men. They seem to need convincing. They do "man" things and drink "man" things and smoke "man" things. This machine thinks by doing this he will be a man. He would be beside himself if any of those pretty little ladies thought for a minute he might not be.

The "feminine act" is one that plays the game of sweet, submissive, gentle and patient. Then let something cross her path and you experience the atom bomb all over again. If she did atom bomb, then it would not be an act, since that is what she was. An act is something you think you ought to be, but are not. If you are not acting, you are invisible. Your acts are things you can see yourself doing. She may be able to look back and see that she just did atom bomb, but she is not fooled in the least to think that wasn't her.

Then, there is the "got it together" and the "intelligent act" which is used by people who have it neither together nor are intelligent. You see, intelligence doesn't know it. The minute you think you are, you are not. The moment you think you have it together, you don't. Sorry folks, the universe gives no credit, you are just here to keep the rules and enjoy it.

The last act I will speak of is the "nice act." The people with this act are the ones who are the nicest people you will ever want to meet. They speak gently and never lose their temper. Their families are beautiful. Church people love them. The problem with these is that they see it and use it to promote their own kingdom at the expense of others. These are probably the ones who fool the most people, especially themselves.

There are other methods used for the machine to survive. It has learned that certain kinds of behavior have increased its security from time to time. Our machine records tapes beginning at an early age that seemed to pay off. These tapes of security are useless, unless activated, so the machine sets about to activate them. Let's suppose we find that by losing our temper we can set people back and get their admiration. We learned this at five years of age. We were programmed to lose our temper if a certain set of circumstances came up. It might include the look on someone's face, the way dinner was served, the upset of another or any of a multitude of causative factors. As we grow up, we tend to gravitate to the causative factors that energize our need of survival and, therefore, setting off the survival tape of anger in this case. We will often marry someone who is energized within our weakness. If we have a problem with negative thinking we will find agreement with a negative thinker, therefore, bringing the two negatives together. The two of them against the "bad world". However, as time goes on, the two negatives only have themselves, so they see the other as the causative factor of their negative program. The other becomes the enemy now and the survival tapes against the mate begin to play. They love it. It proves that the whole world is just as they thought and their mate helped them prove it. The machine cannot recognize that it set up the whole thing. His program virtually guaranteed the conflict and the final outcome. Others push our button and we stick the button out for them to push. We also go looking for those who like to push our button. We have a hook space and they have the hook. Wonderful, that's just how we like it. Soon everyone will be dead, but at least they will think they are right.

All this is the reason we must have a new mind which is the divine mind. Without this, we will ultimately blow ourselves right off the planet. The Holy Spirit of God brings insights to us that give us power to re-program the computer. We might call this character development. We must be brought over all the old stuff and run it through a divine mode. All there is in us must become invisible and only then can we become what we truly are. The only way to be yourself is to be invisible. The only way to be yourself is to have God as your own life. The only way to be invisible is for the machine to be dead. When the machine is dead, we become partakers of the divine and the world then transforms into the place we desire because our desires are His.

While we are in the machine, others are others, but as we come into the divine mind, others are you. Whatever you do to another, you do to yourself, but it remains that only the divine mind can see this. The machine sees that by doing it to others, he causes himself to survive. Christ gave us the answer to this problem. "He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it." We need to be ready to deny the senses and the observable facts to look at what God says is so. He must be allowed to program us. "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature...." 2 Peter 1:4. God's promises are actually what is so. Everything else is just what it looks like. As we program what is so, then that is what will be so for us. So, let's re-program. Let us receive the gift of Christ's life. With this all old things will pass away and all things will become new.

Re-Programming - Bible Study

1. There are ways to program your machine for good things. One way is to claim promises.

2 Peter 1:4: "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

2. Another way to program in positive ways is to dwell on those ways.

Phil. 4:8: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

3. Another program is through the knowledge of God.

Eph. 4:13: "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

Re-Programming - E.G. White

"A noble character is earned by individual effort through the merits and grace of Christ. God gives the talents, the powers of the mind; we form the character." COL 331.

"Christ came to make us 'partakers of the divine nature,' and His life declares that humanity, combined with divinity, does not commit sin." MH 180.

"Unless your face is set Christward (His word), firm as steel, you will be drawn into Satan's net (the machine)." AH 333.

Self-Knowledge Resumé

  1. What are my acts?
  2. Do I ever feel I must impress someone to be accepted?
  3. Do I ever feel I need a "position" in the church or community to feel fulfilled?
  4. Do I ever do anything in order to manipulate another person to get my way?
  5. Do I ever hide certain character traits around others so they will not know the truth about me?
  6. Am I phony?
  7. Do I act exactly the same way around my spouse or family members as I would act around some person I esteem highly in the church or government?
  8. Do I always treat people exactly the same to their faces as I treat them behind their backs?
  9. Do I recognize any other deceitful traits in my character?
  10. Do I recognize how I survive?
  11. Do I ever gossip about someone to help shift opinion on the side of something I want?
  12. When people come over to my house to visit, do I ever hide anything I do not want them to see?

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