What is Normal?

Audio: mp3

I have a question I want to ask. Are you normal? We think we’re normal and everyone else is a bit weird. Although intelligently we are all a little weird we act as if we are the only normal people in the world and everyone else is a bit strange. To be normal is something we strive for. The fact is, if something happened to us physically we would worry about what is going on until the Doctor says oh that is just normal. Then we sigh in relief thinking we’re normal and not weird after all. We find a great comfort in knowing we are not alone or odd and being with a crowd.

There are some people that like to think themselves as a nonconformist. Even non-conformists have certain conformity to be able to be non-conformist. If you don’t meet that non-conforming conformity you are not a non-conformist you are really conforming to everyone else. Whatever the dynamics are in society, we always want to be normal with some people we can associate with and that is why Jesus says broad is the way and wide is that road that leads to destruction. We think if everyone is doing wrong and we will just be one in the crowd, who will pick me out to be punished more than anyone else? I remember when I was at school whenever I was in trouble I felt so much comfort in being in trouble with someone else. If I was there by myself it was never as fun as when I was there with someone else. I would take comfort with someone else being with me in trouble and we do this in society. We generally call normal whatever the populace is or does but if that is the case then fidelity in marriage is abnormal and it is not normal for a Christian to really follow Jesus if we go by the populace. We go by the majority saying what everyone does that is the norm.

What is Normal?

But the question is what is normal? Do you know what normal is? Normal is the manufacturer’s settings. That is normal. As a mechanic, we were always taught that whatever the situation was being repaired you always base it upon what it was originally and if anything was different it was abnormal and needed repairing. Normal is manufacturer’s settings. It doesn’t matter if every car in the whole world had an oil leak, it doesn’t make it normal. It still needs repair. All the cars couldn’t get comfort from other cars just because they all had oil leaks. The oil leak needs fixing. When we reflect upon the ‘manufacturing’ of human beings when man was made what he was made and how he was made and what he was when he was created, it is normal even if no one ever is like that again. It doesn’t change the fact of what normal is.

Ecclesiastes 7:29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

That is normal. The manufacturer’s setting is to be upright. The word upright simply means to be perfect, to be wholesome and pure. That is how God made man. Then there is this big little word – BUT. But this conjunction is used to contrast two things. But there is a contrast to consider, but the contrast is that man has sought out many inventions. We say it is good to be an inventor. What is wrong with that? The Hebrew word invention is only used twice in scripture. It doesn’t mean inventions as we think of them today. Let us see how it is used in 2 Chronicles 26:15 and we will see what man has done.

2 Chronicles 26:15 And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal.

The word ‘engines’ is the same word translated in the Ecclesiastes text as inventions. An engine was a war device to shoot arrows to destroy people. God made man upright but man has made things to destroy, destructive elements. We can say it refers to war machines but it even includes our own tongue which has the power to slice up people. When God made man it was normal for him never to hurt anyone. It was abnormal to have any form of fighting whether it be self defense or aggression, it is abnormality. But if you went on the populace it is actually abnormal not to defend yourself or fight in someway or another whether it be words or sentiments or physical.

What happened that caused man to fight? It was shared that Adam and Eve were into self-defense straight after they had sinned. Stress, being afraid causes two reactions to fight or to flight. Both whether aggression or defense mechanism they are inventions employed for war. We either run away to give ourselves some space or we attack. Either one is an invention that man has come up with. Stress causes us to have aggression and then it turns into guilt and guilt turns into sickness.

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

3:12 They are all gone out of the way…

The way man was made was normal but everyone has become abnormal and so it is normal to be abnormal. We have become accustom to that. Let us align ourselves back to this way.

Romans 3:12 …they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

3:13 Their throat [is] an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps [is] under their lips:

Even to misrepresent is a form of self-defense. Many don’t want to be honest because they want to dodge the situation that is coming so they talk sweetly to get themselves out of trouble. It is an invention man has come up with in his abnormality.

Romans 3:14 Whose mouth [is] full of cursing and bitterness:

3:15 Their feet [are] swift to shed blood:

3:16 Destruction and misery [are] in their ways:

3:17 And the way of peace have they not known:

3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Whether we want to acknowledge these things or not they have a huge impact upon our mental health how we think and function. Mental health is so important we are what our brain is. We are a brain. Fighting or defense, guilt and the lack of peace is the source of all mental illness today. Now we have a stage of mental illness and there are some minds that are worse than others due to the results that have taken place but it doesn’t make anyone better than the other. Death and killing is a result of sin.

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

What does sin bring? It brings death, what is death? Death is the breaking down of the life forces. Jesus said to Adam and Eve, in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die. In the Hebrew it translates, dying you shall die. They didn’t die the day they ate it, but they started dying the day they ate of it. The process of dying is manifest in disease. Disease is the outworking of death. Whether it is bodily disease or mental disease it is all the same because mental disease is the breaking down of the organ called the brain. When it breaks down it can’t think and we as individuals break down with it? Any other organ of our body, which gets diseased, is a result from sin. In other words all disease and all sickness comes from sin.

But through sin the whole human organism is deranged, the mind is perverted, the imagination corrupted. Temptations from without find an answering chord within the heart, and the feet slide imperceptibly into sin. CT 424.3

Do you agree with that statement? Our imaginations and thoughts are perverted and we fall into sin which causes us bodily damage through chronic disease such as diabetes or heat disease even thought they might come from our parents it is still because of sin from the mind. Sin is the result of disobeying God’s word. If we disobey God’s word the result will follow that there will be bodily and mental sickness and these will manifest themselves in discomfort and irritation and the lack of peace and joy in the life. We need to study the principle from cause to effect. These things don’t happen for nothing. There is a reason why they take place.

Proverbs 4:20- 23 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

4:21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

4:22 For they [are] life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.

Are we sick? Then this has come from the human mind in letting go of God’s word. Letting go of God’s word is sin and the Bible says sin brings death and death is manifest in disease and the breaking down of human life. The Bible says if we want to become normal, to be restored back to the manufacturer’s settings to be reset, we want to take heed of God’s work. They are life. Can we have life and then disease? We can’t as disease is the breaking down of life. If we have the life coming up we cannot have disease. They are life to those who find it and health to all their flesh. As a man thinks in his heart so is he. When our bodies get ailments do we endeavor to fix them up? Yes we spend a lot of money repairing our bodies. I want to share with you the best way to recover the whole lot and that is to first recover the thing that causes the body to fail and that is the mind.

Satan is the originator of disease, and the physician is warring against his work and power. Sickness of the mind prevails everywhere. Nine tenths of the diseases from which men suffer have their foundation here. CH 324. 2

Ninety percent of diseases come from the brain. The other ten percent probably comes from someone else’s brain. Someone may attack me or hurt me physically or it is outside of my control and my body gets damaged from an external source. Every disease is traced back to sin and ninety percent of my own ailments come from my own brain. It would pay greatly to sort out our mental health so then our bodies can recover and even if someone sorts their mind out but their body doesn’t get time to recover and death takes place the soul is saved. It is better to go to heaven lame than to hell whole. It is better to sort out the mind now even if there isn’t enough time to recover the body and even if we are unable to do this because of the curse when Jesus comes he will give a new body. That is the crowning act of salvation of the rebirth. When our mind is renewed we will get a new body because the curse has devoured the earth. My friends the thing we need to worry about is the health of our mind above all things. If we have a sore foot or back far enough but let’s sort our minds out as a priority. Salvation is simply the work of making someone whole. Is salvation some nice mental sentiment that we have that helps us be a little more cheerful in this world? Or is it the source of every bodily disease including every mental disease? Salvation results in a perfect situation of body soul and spirit. Isaiah shows us the connection between sin and sickness.

Isaiah 1:2 – Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

1:3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: [but] Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.

Is it a hard thing for cattle to know the one who feeds them? It’s quite simple and it says a lot about man not being able to know God. In other words we have less mental capacity than a cow when it comes to recognizing who our maker is. The cow knows and we don’t. It sounds like we have a mental problem.

1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

1:5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.

1:6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head [there is] no soundness in it; [but] wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

This is our situation before receiving Jesus Christ and the gospel. The gospel work is to restore us wholly. The gospel is a holistic approach to health; because of sin the whole body is deranged. Look what David has to say in Psalms 38.

Psalms 38:1 A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance. O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

38:2 For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.

38:3 [There is] no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither [is there any] rest in my bones because of my sin.

38:4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

38:5 My wounds stink [and] are corrupt because of my foolishness.

38:6 I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.

38:7 For my loins are filled with a loathsome [disease]: and [there is] no soundness in my flesh.

38:8 I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.

38:9Lord, all my desire [is] before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.

38:10 My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.

Can you relate to that? This is the result of sin. Jesus came to heal the people and the design in releasing their bodies from certain sufferings was to awake in their minds to seek mental health because healing the mind was Jesus primary objective. When He healed He often said thy faith has saved thee, it has made thee whole. So if thy faith has saved thee and made thee whole then salvation is making one whole. That is what it is. This is what Jesus has come to offer us.

Proverbs 14:30 A sound heart [is] the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

Are you carrying a burden that is too heavy to carry, are you laden with iniquity? Jesus said come unto me all ye that are laden and are heavy burdened and I will give thee rest. The heart is the life of the flesh. When I come to Jesus with all my physical ailments and every discouraging experience I have ever made, what is He going to do for me? He is going to heal my heart because the heart is the life of the flesh. Our great physician isn’t up for just covering up the symptoms. He is not up for just giving something that sweeps my condition under the carpet and says that looks pretty good now and yet the disease gets driven deeper into the body only to manifest itself in some other problem later like the medicine of today. The medicine of today is like the preaching of today. It heals God’s people slightly by saying peace, peace when there is no peace outside of a full commitment to Jesus Christ. Jesus wants to heal our minds. Can He do it? He made the mind. He is the manufacturer and He knows what the original settings are. None of us know because there is none righteous, no not one. A sound heart is life to the flesh.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Fear and stress is the whole problem. Stress is the whole world’s problem. People are stressed and they fight then fighting causes stress and stress causes fighting and it is just one big domino affect that is crushing the world just from one simple thing and that is fear. Why? Because we have left God. He is the only one who can give us love, His love and not humanism, not sentimentalism but His principled love. It says He has come to give us power, love and a sound mind. So how do we get mental health? Enough talk about it. How does a person get mental health?

As in the physical so in the spiritual; how does one get bodily health? If we ate junk food all our lives what would our bodies be like? They would be junk because we are what we eat. So what does our brain eat?

John 6: 54 – 56 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

This is the hope for all bodily ailments. There will be a resurrection. Praise God for that, but how do I get a new body? I have to eat His flesh and drink His blood because it is real food. The flesh and blood of Jesus Christ is real food it is not fairy floss it is the real nutritious thing for our brains.

John 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

The Jews were offended when they heard this because their mind was not normal they didn’t understand what Jesus was saying. So in verse 63 he explains.

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.

Jesus wasn’t talking about physically eating His flesh or saying the bread in the communion service has really turned into His flesh. It is the spirit and life that is being communicated. Jesus says the life is in the flesh. The life of the flesh is in the blood in other words Jesus Christ and his teachings are the food that is nutritious. It is mental food.

Pure healthful reading will be to the mind what healthful food is to the body. You will thus become stronger to resist temptation, to form right habits, and to act upon right principles. SD 178.6

There is a book company called Readers Digest which illustrates the point that what we read we digest. What we read we literally digest into our mental fabric. It becomes part of us. If we had no eyes and ears or any avenues to the soul when we were born we would become nothing because we would not be able to store anything inside the brain to become an intelligent person. What is the type of food you are mentally eating?

If as newborn babes you desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, you will have no appetite to partake of a dish of evil speaking, but all such food will be at once rejected, because those who have tasted that the Lord is gracious cannot partake of the dish of nonsense, and folly, and backbiting. They will say decidedly, “Take this dish away. I do not want to eat such food. It is not the bread from heaven. It is eating and drinking the very spirit of the devil; for it is his business to be an accuser of the brethren.” {FE 457.3}

This passage is talking about gossip, getting loaded up on others’ doing. How many of us feed upon other people’s doings? We feel mentally hungry so we go to the news feed and we feed away on what other people are doing but is that going to give us health. No it will not give us health. If we want to know how to get mental health we need to consider what the mental food is that comes into our minds. It’s up to the individual if we want to be healed.

It is best for every soul to closely investigate what mental food is served up for him to eat. When those come to you who live to talk, and who are all armed and equipped to say, “Report, and we will report it,” stop and think if the conversation will give spiritual help, spiritual efficiency, that in spiritual communication you may eat of the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. FE 457.4

These words express much.

1 Peter 2:4 “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious.”

So many people have opportunity to feast on Jesus and all that He is and they say no thank you we do not want that. He is rejected of men and despised. They say what sort exercise is it to be so religious and to think of Jesus all the time. That is what people say. Jesus is still rejected today even by Christians who go to church. They don’t mind having a little bit but not too much. They don’t mind a few greens but prefer to eat fast food. That is what we do spiritually.

These words express much. We are not to be tattlers, or gossipers, or talebearers; we are not to bear false witness. We are forbidden by God to engage in trifling, foolish conversation, in jesting, joking, or speaking any idle words. FE 458.1

Jesus said we must give an account for any idol word in the judgment. What is an idol word? What does the word idle mean? Idle means to do nothing. When your car is idling it is not going anywhere. It is sitting there. It is not serving its purpose. Therefore any words that don’t go anywhere are idle. They don’t serve any purpose whatsoever. We include a lot of these words in our conversation. There are many words we speak that don’t mean anything. Listen to a conversation and count how many words don’t belong in the sentence and don’t actually help the sentence communicate what is really being meant. Examine ourselves and see if this is what we are feeding upon and we will realise we could save a lot of energy by getting rid of all the idol words. Maybe that is the answer to the greenhouse problem. If every one stopped their idol words there would be less hot air going up and we could get down to being ready for Jesus to come and have the new earth rebuilt.

We must give an account of what we say to God. We will be brought into judgment for our hasty words, that do no good to the speaker or to the hearer. Then let us all speak words that will tend to edification. Remember that you are of value with God. Allow no cheap, foolish talk or wrong principles to compose your Christian experience. {FE 458.1}

This message is not to condemn anyone but to awaken the mind to the causes of mental problems. When people feed on media and on the television and the children grow up on the cartoons and rubbish it’s not long till they are mentally unstable then we wonder why this has happened to them. It is because of what we feed them. We need to make a decision for our own children’s sake to feed them with good mental food to put a stop to all worldly media and say no I will not eat of these dishes. I will only eat healthful food.

A Merry Heart

Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good [like] a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Do you know what stress does? It makes your system very acidic and the body compensates for the acid by drawing calcium, which is alkaline, out of your bones to neutralize your acidic system consequently your bones get dry. Is a merry heart frivolity or true happiness? It is talking about being cheerful not frivolous. Generally comedians are the most depressed people in the world. The fun guy at the party who is always laughing and joking is often suffering and sad at home. Some people become manic depressants they are on a huge high and acts so happy and everyone things they are really cool but then they get so low and crash at the bottom. The verse is not talking about frivolity but genuine happiness to be able to rejoice.

Sunshine

Do you think you can have a good health without sunshine? We can’t have bodily health without sunshine. Do you think we can have mental health without the sunshine? We can’t we need to have sunshine. It affects our bodies and creates happiness. On a sunny day people are generally happier than on a cloudy cold dark and rainy day. The sunshine makes us happy and when we talk about mental sunshine we are talking about happiness. To be happy requires light entering our eyeballs. The light coming into our eyes will have an affect. What we look at must be light and happy. We can’t look at the darkness and expect to get the result we get from the sun. If we will concentrate our minds eye upon negativities how can we expect to be happy? We have to turn our eyes to the light.

Malachi 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings;

This verse is talking about a dawning of true happiness. It is not a quick fix happiness lasting momentarily. It is a slow progress of rays of light that start to brighten the life. We have to employ our minds to look at that and our minds eye is the avenue in which the light will penetrate the mind. Now we are in control of our own eyes. It’s up to each one of us where we look. Jesus says in Matthew.

Matthew 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great [is] that darkness!

6:24 No man can serve two masters:

We can’t look at the darkness and the light at the same time. So we have to choose. Who is the light of the world? Jesus Christ is that light. We need to rejoice in the Lord and that requires our minds to see Him and to dwell upon him.

Phillipians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.

4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand.

4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

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.

Do we expect to be happy when we contemplate all the disasters going on in the world, then don’t look at them? We can’t expect to be happy while looking at it we have to stop, either that or be sad and keep looking. This connects so tightly to the food we mentally eat.

Nothing tends more to promote health of body and of soul than does a spirit of gratitude and praise. It is a positive duty to resist melancholy, discontented thoughts and feelings–as much a duty as it is to pray. If we are heaven-bound, how can we go as a band of mourners, groaning and complaining all along the way to our Father’s house? {MH 251.1}

If we actually knew what God has in store for us we wouldn’t drag our feet. As we look at what God has prepared for us, a heaven to dwell in, we will be happy. When we were in Papua New Guinea, Brother Ben shared a study on what heaven was like, hearing that made me so happy. It lifts the heart but we have to look. If we don’t look, what can we expect if we don’t take it and look at it long enough? Let the sun arise, keep watching and the colours will start to come in and all the full details will come until it is full noon day in your eyes and then you will be happy.

Ecclesiastes 12:12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books [there is] no end; and much study [is] a weariness of the flesh.

Too much study wearies the mind.

In the school-room the foundation has been too surely laid for diseases of various kinds. But, more especially, the most delicate of all organs, the brain, has often been permanently injured by too great exercise. This has often caused inflammation, then dropsy of the head, and convulsions with their dreaded results. And the lives of many have been thus sacrificed by ambitious mothers. Of those children who have apparently had sufficient force of constitution to survive this treatment, there are very many who carry the effects of it through life. The nervous energy of the brain becomes so weakened, that after they come to maturity, it is impossible for them to endure much mental exercise. The force of some of the delicate organs of the brain seems to be expended. {2SM 436.2}

This is saying when little children are pushed and pushed it causes disease and behavioural problems in the children and we think they have ADHD and some other problem when what has actually happened is their brain has been way over taxed whether it be through stress in the home or in the school room from too many books. There is too much learning, push, push as we have to get our kids learning fast. Early learning sets the foundations for problem after problem after problem. When they become adults they can’t trace it back to the modern day schooling therefore so many students have depression. The same goes for university. There is another statement that talks about people putting two lots of subjects or courses together just to accomplish their goal. Ellen White writes it will wreck the life if its done.

So the brain gets strained and it causes mental instability. The Lord wants us to rest not to over study. We must study the bible but even in studying the Bible we can study too much. Too much study wearies the flesh. Jesus words to his disciples are; come rest a while and come have a break. There must be time given in nature just to not think too hard and let the mind be at rest for a little bit. My friend who is experienced in body building said you don’t do body building every day you have to give your muscles time to heal because when you pump your muscles they tear so you must give them time to repair and as they repair they actually get bigger. If you don’t rest you will damage your self. It is the same with the brain. If there is too much mind exercise there will be difficulties later on depending on the constitution of the person. We can say my granddad did this and this and he lived to 120 and is perfectly fine but that doesn’t give license for anyone else to do it. He may have had a really good constitution but others are not so strong and they do the same thing and they come out with all sorts of results. The gospel of Christ is balanced and does not require us to study day and night. We learn by practice. Read something and put it into practice.

Matthew 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

But he that heareth and does not do it is like a foolish man. If he is not doing it what is he doing? He is only hearing only learning, learning, with no action or practice. The best education system is apprenticeships because you learn a little and you do a little. Then you go back and learn a little more until you become a master tradesman and you can cope. We will conclude this study at prayer meeting, as I’m only half way through and too much study wearies the flesh.

Amen.


 

Posted on November 16, 2011, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons For Sabbath. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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