The Battle
For Our Minds


An Open Letter To God's Church


Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Faith

It is in a spirit of humility and prayer, and with a heart that lays heavy with concern, that I have followed my conviction to pen this open letter to God’s church. There is no doubt in my mind that this is one of the most important documents that I have ever prepared. It could also be one of the most important documents that you have ever read.

At this time God’s church is facing a most serious crisis – a crisis of our own making - and yet so few of us seem to be sensing the danger. After reading just the next few paragraphs you will know why I say this.

Please read this document carefully and prayerfully; and please share it with others of our faith, for the wellbeing of God’s church, and that of every one of us, is at stake.

Inspired Counsel Regarding Spiritualism:

“Many are investigating Spiritualism simply from curiosity. They have no real faith in it, and would start back horrified at the idea of becoming mediums; but they are venturing on forbidden and dangerous ground.”  {TDG 247.3}

Conclusion: If we read books or visit websites that deal with spiritualism, the illuminati, the occult, rock ‘n roll etcetera, or if we listen to DVD’s on these subjects, or if we attend seminars that in any way deal with these subjects, we are venturing on “forbidden and dangerous ground” – and this will be the case even if we do so with good intentions.

Inspired Counsel Regarding the Writings of Skeptics:

“He [the skeptic] has studied the Bible with the sole object of finding passages which he can use to trouble and perplex other minds. Some Christians feel it their duty to defend the word of God [please note], and they enter into controversy with the skeptic – [or] rather, with Satan and his angels, who speak through him [the skeptic]. This is just what the prince of darkness and his agents desire.” {ST, June 8, 1882 par. 19}

Conclusion: If we study the works of the skeptic, even if only to defend the truth, we are doing just what the evil one wants us to do. If we take this a step further, and we present the sentiments of the skeptic to anyone else - even if we do this with the intention of defending the truth - we are again doing just what the devil wants us to do.

Serious Concerns:

For some time now God’s children have been subjected to seminars and DVD’s that deal with spiritualism, satanism, the occult, the illuminati, rock ‘n roll, skepticism, etcetera. As a direct result, many in the church have become interested in these “forbidden and dangerous” subjects. Tragically, many are even unwittingly handing out DVD’s that deal with these evil subjects – and this they are doing sincerely believing that they are furthering the causes of evANGELism and truth?

Clearly, somebody has to cry out that our strange infatuation with the works and the ways of darkness is both perilous and prohibited. As a people, we have been called to disseminate light, not the deeds of darkness; our mandate is to share with the world the good news, not the bad news.

“Who among us can live with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning? [that is, who of us can live in the presence of God?] He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity, he who rejects unjust gain and shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe; he who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking upon evil.” (Isaiah 33:14-15 NASB)

While I do not for one minute doubt the sincerity of those who have been engaging in these hazardous exercises, anyone who understands the principles that govern the workings of the human mind, will appreciate that not one of us can afford to be in any way associated with these “forbidden and dangerous” subjects.

The Battle Of All Battles

Regardless of whatever else the battle of Armageddon may include, it most certainly includes a battle for the mind for, after all, . . .

  • “The mind is the capital of the body.” (CH176.1)

  • “Every organ of the body was made to be servant to the mind.” (1MCP72.1)

  • The character “is the fruit” of the mind." (2MCP545.3)

  • The mind is “the best possession we have.” (GW92-385.2)

In short, the mind is the control centre and the spiritual centre of our lives. As such, we may rest assured that the highest goal of the evil one is to corrupt and to capture our minds – for he surely knows that when the mind is won, the battle is won.

It must be our highest priority, therefore, to protect our minds (a) by avoiding all negative and polluting influences, and (b) by allowing ourselves to see and to hear only the true, the noble, the right, the pure, the lovely, and the admirable. (Philippians 4:8)

Scripture confirms that this is in fact our highest priority:

 “Above all else, guard your heart [your mind], for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)

And this is why Paul urges us to have absolutely nothing to do with these evil influences and activities:

“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible." (Eph 5:11-14 NIV)

Paul is here saying that it is shameful to even speak about satanism, the occult, the Illuminati, rock ‘n roll, skepticism and the like, let alone research these subjects and hold seminars and distribute DVD’s on these subjects.

When Paul urges us to “expose” the deeds of darkness, he is not inviting us to share all the gory details of evil with others. Rather, he is urging us to “turn on the light” and the light will reveal the darkness for what it is – evil must be "exposed by the light" - and this is precisely the advice that Ellen White has given us:

“The best way to expose the fallacy of error is to present the evidences of truth. This is the greatest rebuke that can be given to error.” {Ev 576.2}

“Make no reference to what opponents say, but let the truth alone be advanced.” (6T400.2)

 “When the truth is preached in its simplicity and power, as it is in Jesus, it will condemn the world.” {PH155-11.1}

The Fast Way Down

Inspiration assures us that . . .

“The tendencies of the natural heart are downward.” (CH414.3)

This means that our hearts will always gravitate towards the bad rather than towards the good, towards the polluted rather than towards the pure, and this is the primary reason why we cannot entertain even a scholarly interest in the ways of darkness - for we have been warned that . . .

"He who associates with [is made familiar with, taught about] the skeptic will soon become skeptical;

"He who chooses the companionship of the vile [whether in person, in books, or in teachings] will most assuredly become vile.

" To walk in [to hear, to teach, or read] the counsel of the ungodly is the first step toward standing in the way of sinners and sitting in the seat of the scornful.” (CH414.3)

This being the case, if God is to live in us, and if God is to do His work through us, we have a sacred obligation to guard “the avenues of the soul,” for God simply cannot dwell in a polluted temple. This is why . . .

`Everything that can be done should be done to place ourselves and our children where we shall not see the iniquity that is practiced in the world. We should carefully guard the sight of our eyes and the hearing of our ears so that these awful things shall not enter our minds.” {AH 403.4; 404.1}

“The study of works that in any way express infidel sentiments is like handling black coals; for a man cannot be undefiled in mind who thinks along the line of skepticism.” {CE 99.2}

This situation is so serious that we cannot afford to expose ourselves to these evil influences – not even for a moment. Hence the wise counsel:

“Be cautious in regard to what you read and how you hear. Take not a particle of interest in spiritualistic theories. Satan is waiting to steal a march upon everyone who allows himself to be deceived by his hypnotism. He begins to exert his power over them just as soon as they begin to investigate his theories.” {MM 101.5}

 `Those who would have that wisdom which is from God must become fools in the sinful knowledge of this age, in order to be wise. They should shut their eyes, that they may see and learn no evil.’ {AH404.1}

This is of utmost importance, for “the mind in which error has once taken possession can never expand freely to truth, even after investigation. The old theories will claim recognition. The understanding of things that are true and elevated and sanctifying will be confused. Superstitious ideas will enter the mind, to mingle with the true, and these ideas are always debasing in their influence.” {MM 89.3}.

May the Lord help us, therefore, to “resolve never, never to repeat error, but always to teach the truth. Fill hearts and minds with the solemn, sacred truth for this time.” {Ev 623.4}

Realizing the seriousness of this matter, we need to recognize that:

“There are two classes of educators in the world. One class contemplates the character of God, and increases in the knowledge of Jesus, whom God hath sent into the world. This class becomes wholly given up to those things which bring heavenly enlightenment, heavenly wisdom, to the uplifting of the soul. Every capability of their nature is submitted to God, and their thoughts are brought into captivity to Christ. The other class is in league with the prince of darkness, who is ever on the alert that he may find an opportunity to teach others the knowledge of evil. If place is made for him, he will not be slow to press his way into heart and mind.” {CE70.2}

For your further study, I have grouped together a number of inspired counsels in support of what is stated above. In appendix 3, 4 and 5, I have also included counsels that warn us against (a) condemning governments and their leaders, (b) condemning the Catholic Church and (c) inviting those recently recovered from evil to relate their gory experiences to God’s children. We simply have no mandate from God to engage in any such work.

It is my prayer that the Lord will be with you as you carefully consider this information. Again I urge you to share this document with our brothers and sisters in the faith. It could save them from serious deception. Remember:

“We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world.” {1SM 122.3}

Take care and may God bless you

Neville Mandy

Appendix 1

Are We Wise Studying About And Teaching Our Members About
Satanism, The Occult, Rock ‘n Roll, and the Illuminati, Etcetera?

“The Lord has a message for our ministers to bear, but He does not call them to speak on the subjects upon which the minds of some have been dwelling. Those who do this place in minds seeds that will germinate and spring up to bear fruit. Thus people are educated to catch up the sentiments of Satan, and give them publicity.” {CW 93.2}

 “Satan is pleased when we magnify his power. Why not talk of Jesus? Why not magnify His power and His love?” {DA 493.1}

 “No teacher in our schools should suggest the idea that, in order to have the right discipline, it is essential to study text-books expressing pagan and infidel sentiments. Students who are thus educated, are not competent to become educators in their turn; for they are filled with the subtle sophistries of the enemy. The study of works that in any way express infidel sentiments is like handling black coals; for a man cannot be undefiled in mind who thinks along the line of skepticism. In going to such sources for knowledge, are we not turning away from the snow of Lebanon to drink from the turbid water of the valley?”  {CE 99.2}

“The young should not be suffered to learn good and evil indiscriminately, with the idea that at some future time the good will predominate and the evil lose its influence. The evil will increase faster than the good. It is possible that after many years the evil they have learned may be eradicated; but who will venture this? Time is short. It is easier and much safer to sow clean, good seed in the hearts of your children than to pluck up the weeds afterward. Impressions made upon the minds of the young are hard to efface. How important, then, that these impressions be of the right sort, that the elastic faculties of youth be bent in the right direction.”  {AH 201.2}

“When the daily newspaper comes into the house, I feel as if I want to hide it, that the ridiculous, sensational things in it may not be seen. It seems as if the enemy is at the foundation of the publishing of many things that appear in newspapers. Every sinful thing that can be found is uncovered and laid bare before the world.” {AH 403.4; 404.1}

“In your connection with worldly societies, are you keeping your covenant with God? Do these associations tend to direct your own mind or that of others to God, or are they diverting the interest and attention from Him? Do they strengthen your connection with the divine agencies, or turn your mind to the human in place of the divine?”  {Ev 618.3}

 Appendix 2

Should We Study The Teachings of Skeptics, and Then
Present These Teachings to our Churches?

“Shall the sentiments of unbelievers, the expressions of dissolute men, be advocated as worthy of the student's attention, because they are the productions of men whom the world admires as great thinkers? Shall men professing to believe in God, gather from these unsanctified authors their expressions and sentiments, and treasure them up as precious jewels to be stored away among the riches of the mind? - God forbid.”  {CE 71.1}

“Have the disciples of Christ burned the magical books? Have they made a decided change in their principles and habits of life? Have they separated themselves from the enchantments of the world? Those who, knowing their danger, will yet venture into places of worldly, demoralizing amusement, or who will poison the mind with the literary productions of the skeptic, or the sensualist, are guilty of presumption. God does not give his angels charge to keep those who choose to walk in forbidden paths.” {ST, May 18, 1882 par. 30}

“I am warned that the less our ministers handle the subject of pantheism [or any other error], the less they will help Satan to present his theories to the people. Let the truth for this time be kept before them. Never, never repeat the spiritualistic sentiments, the strange, misleading theories, which have for years been coming in.” {CW 93.1}

“Keep your eyes fixed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and by beholding Him you will be changed into His likeness. Talk not of these spiritualistic theories. Let them find no place in your mind. Let our papers be kept free from everything of the kind. Publish the truth; do not publish error [not in books or in DVD’s]. Do not try to explain in regard to the personality of God. You cannot give any further explanation than the Bible has given. Human theories regarding Him are good for nothing. Do not soil your minds by studying the misleading theories of the enemy. Labor to draw minds away from everything of this character. It will be better to keep these subjects out of our papers. Let the doctrines of present truth be put into our papers, but give no room to a repeating of erroneous theories”. {CW 93.4}

Appendix 3

Should We Make Public Attacks On
Governments & Worldly Authorities?

“Our work is not to make a raid on the Government but to prepare a people to stand in the great day of the Lord. The fewer attacks we make on authorities and powers, the more work will we do for God. . . .”  {Ev 173.1}

“We should not work in a manner that will mark us out as seeming to advocate treason. We should weed out from our writings and utterances every expression, that, taken by itself, could be so misrepresented as to make it appear antagonistic to law and order. Everything should be carefully considered, lest we place ourselves on record as encouraging disloyalty to our country and its laws. We are not required to defy authorities. There will come a time when, because of our advocacy of Bible truth, we shall be treated as traitors; but let not this time be hastened by unadvised movements that stir up animosity and strife.”  {CW 68.2}

“The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive; on every hand were crying abuses, extortion, intolerance, and grinding cruelty. Yet the Saviour attempted no civil reforms. He attacked no national abuses, nor condemned the national enemies. He did not interfere with the authority or administration of those in power. He who was our example kept aloof from earthly governments. Not because He was indifferent to the woes of men, but because the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart.”  {DA 509.3}

“By some of our brethren many things have been spoken and written that are interpreted as expressing antagonism to government and law. It is a mistake thus to lay ourselves open to misunderstanding. It is not wise to find fault continually with what is done by the rulers of government. It is not our work to attack individuals or institutions. We should exercise great care lest we be understood as putting ourselves in opposition to the civil authorities. It is true that our warfare is aggressive, but our weapons are to be those found in a plain "Thus saith the Lord." Our work is to prepare a people to stand in the great day of God. We should not be turned aside to lines that will encourage controversy or arouse antagonism in those not of our faith.” {2MCP 504.2}

“We should remember that the world will judge us by what we appear to be. Let those who are seeking to represent Christ be careful not to exhibit inconsistent features of character. Before we come fully to the front, let us see to it that the Holy Spirit is poured upon us from on high. When this is the case, we shall give a decided message, but it will be of a far less condemnatory character than that which some have been giving; and all who believe will be far more earnest for the salvation of our opponents. Let God have the matter of condemning authorities and governments wholly in His own keeping. In meekness and love, let us as faithful sentinels defend the principles of truth as it is in Jesus. . . .”  {CW 72.1}


“The time will come when unguarded expressions of a denunciatory character, that have been carelessly spoken or written by our brethren, will be used by our enemies to condemn us. These will not be used merely to condemn those who made the statements, but will be charged upon the whole body of Adventists. Our accusers will say that on such and such a day one of our responsible men said thus and so against the administration of the laws of this government. Many will be astonished to see how many things have been cherished and remembered that will give point to the arguments of our adversaries. Many will be surprised to hear their own words strained into a meaning that they did not intend them to have. Then let our workers be careful to speak guardedly at all times and under all circumstances. Let all beware lest by reckless expressions they bring on a time of trouble before the great crisis which is to try men's souls.”  {CW 69.1}

Appendix 4

Have We Been Given License To Make Open Attacks
On The Catholic Church?

“Be guarded. In bearing the message, make no personal thrusts at other churches, not even the Roman Catholic Church. Angels of God see in the different denominations many who can be reached only by the greatest caution. Therefore let us be careful of our words. Let not our Ministers follow their own impulses in denouncing and exposing the "mysteries of iniquity." Upon these themes silence is eloquence. Many are deceived. Speak the truth in tones and words of love. Let Christ Jesus be exalted. Keep to the affirmative of truth. Never leave the straight path God has marked out, for the purpose of giving someone a thrust. That thrust may do much harm and no good. It may quench conviction in many minds. Let the Word of God which is the truth, tell the story of the inconsistency of those in error.” (Ev 576.1)

“It is true that we are commanded to "cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." Isa. 58:1. This message must be given, but while it must be given, we should be careful not to thrust and crowd and condemn those who have not the light that we have. We should not go out of our way to make hard thrusts at the Catholics. Among the Catholics there are many who are most conscientious Christians, and who walk in all the light that shines upon them, and God will work in their behalf. Those who have had great privileges and opportunities, and who have failed to improve their physical, mental, and moral powers, but who have lived to please themselves, and have refused to bear their responsibility, are in greater danger and in greater condemnation before God than those who are in error upon doctrinal points, yet who seek to live to do good to others. Do not censure others; do not condemn them.” {CW 63.2}

Appendix 5

Is it wise to invite those who have been recovered from a life
of sin to speak about their pre-conversion experiences?

 “The practice of inviting men and women to relate in public the experience of their life of sin, is full of danger to both speaker and hearers. To dwell upon scenes of evil is corrupting to mind and soul. And the prominence given to the rescued ones is harmful to them. Many are led to feel that their sinful life has given them a certain distinction. A love of notoriety and a spirit of self-trust are encouraged that prove fatal to the soul. Only in distrust of self and dependence on the mercy of Christ can they stand.” (Te 116.1)


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