Probably the most marvelous of all modern inventions is the computer: In some ways it is designed and operates on the same principles as the human brain. But, of course, a computer is much simpler than any brain.. Nevertheless there are enough similarities to make it profitable to apply some analogies to the spiritual — the Christian life. The computer is basically a matter of the on or off condition, the zero or one, the positive or the negative, the north pole or the south pole of many individual bits. All information is stored that way, and all those calculations of the trajectories of our space shots, or computer models of society or of the world or whatever, are made up of an orderly array of these simple on or off, zero or one, conditions. The advantage of the computer is the speed with which its calculations can be accomplished and the speed with which it can store and retrieve information. The access time of our computer at the college is about a half of a millionth of a second, to go in, get information, bring it back and use it. And I think I've heard that the individual zero or one, on-off condition is now approaching the order of 15 to 20 nanoseconds (or billionths of a second) in some of our more sophisticated computers. You might understand how fast a billionth of a second is if you multiply upward, the other way. One billion seconds takes approximately 31 years. But all of a computer's speedy "thinking" has to be thought out carefully in advance. It has to be set up to do this slowly and painstakingly by programing. In other words, it takes time to communicate with the machine. To make this easier and faster, programing languages have been developed so you can talk to the machine in English, and it can interpret your language into its language. The newer machines are developed with more efficient languages, and if the operator hasn't learned the newer, more efficient language yet, it can take the older language, convert it into the newer language, and do that until you have time to learn it. Computers can now also learn by doing. They can be programed so that if you ask them to solve a problem, they can learn how not to solve it, and if you ask them to solve it the second time, they'll do it more quickly than they did the first time. The computer has one outstanding feature in which it is superior to the human mind. The mind of God has this capability, and we as human beings need to develop it if we are to become like God. It is the ability to remember with crystal clarity stored data, past experience that has been fed into it and to use it in solving a problem.
You've heard many times that it is typical of Israel that Israel forgot God. On the other hand, we find in Exodus 2:24, "And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob." So it is typical of God to remember and typical of human beings to forget. In the song of Moses, Deuteronomy 32, Israel was told: "Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy father that hath bought thee? Hath he not made thee, and established thee? Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will show thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee" (verses 6-7). "Jacob is the lot of his [God's] inheritance. He found him in a desert land... he kept him the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young... beareth them on her wings: So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him" (verses 9-12). He brought them out, He gave them the honey out of the rock, He brought them into the promised land. He gave them an of the good things. "But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation" (verse 15). So that is the human inability, to properly esteem what has happened to them in the past, the great blessings God has given. Verse 18: "Of the Rock that begat thee, thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee." If we, the called-out ones, can change this natural human proclivity with the power of God, then we can be spared, and we can be different. God formed us for a purpose: He wanted a process to occur in our minds. He wants us to program our minds to this goal.
God formed us for a purpose: He wanted a process to occur in our minds. He wants us to program our minds to this goal.
Verses 46-47: "And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day... For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it." If they would set their heart to remember, to indelibly print in their minds what he was telling them, it would be their life. It would be the source of decision making in their lives, of problem solving, of direction for the activities of their lives. They would still have individual choice, but be able to choose within the parameters of the law, which God gave them for blessing and not cursing. If they could have looked as vividly into their memories as a computer does and applied it, they would not have gone astray. But they were not able.
While you're in the input mode
In Ecclesiastes 12:1 we are commanded to keep in mind the knowledge of God while we're young, while we have the opportunity to benefit from it: "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth..." So while you're young, while your life is in front of you, while you still have the opportunity for decision making, problem solving, choices, if you will remember your Creator, you're going to make decisions properly. And your life is going to be happy; it's going to be abundant. Apply the inputs of knowledge, and you won't have to apply as many inputs of experience. You won't have to experience the evil if you will apply the inputs of knowledge that are given to you. Now originally there were two young human beings whose minds were basically blank. But God was able to communicate with them for a short time. And you would have thought, since they had fresh blank minds, not cluttered with other numbers, experiences or times, and they weren't dulled by age or anything, that they could have remembered everything God told them quite vividly a few moments, hours or days later. Wouldn't you? But it seems it didn't stick. Because in Genesis 3:6: "... when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof..." She failed to use all the knowledge in her mind and made her decision without it. The same thing occurred in Joshua 7:1, where "... Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against the children of Israel." He had been told not to touch the spoils. It should have been in his mind. His mind should have gone into the search mode or the recall mode: What was I told about this? I was told to leave it alone, therefore it is a firm, steady, steadfast; clear-cut decision, I'm going to leave it alone. The decision is, no. (And if you go through the problem a thousand times with the same information, you'll come up with the same decision.) He should have recalled the fact that he was told that he should not covet and told specifically here not to take of the spoil. But he took. And many people lost their lives because of it. James 1:14 tells us that basically the same problem occurs today if we're not careful: "... every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust; and enticed." When lust becomes all-consuming, it blots out and prevents the recall of knowledge, commands, instructions, even of past experiences where the same mistake was made and the penalty incurred. "When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (verse 15). So because we forget and don't keep the knowledge in mind, we pay the penalty. "Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above..." (verses 16-17). Certainly God maintains the program He has in mind, "with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
With human beings, the writing of the program does not occur all at once or immediately. Perhaps we are also like the computer in that it takes a lot of time to translate to a language the computer understands. But it does occur, it must occur, if we're going to be like God. Hebrews 8 recounts the remedy, showing how the new covenant is made. Verses 6-7: "... He [Christ] is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second." If the information that was given by that first covenant had been stored in human minds, so that it would have been used on down through their lifetimes, there would have been no need for a second covenant — because the fault was with them, with their incapacity to remember and to apply. "For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah... For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts..." The writing indelibly in our human minds to the point that we will recall it and use it is -the essence of the new covenant. The law hasn't •changed; that's part of the basic program of the universe.
Remember the future
If you have II Peter, chapters two and three, programed into your minds, you will be able to reject false ideas about the new covenant. If you program this, if you remember it vividly and with clarity, it will give you the capability to know there will be people telling you something different about the new covenant and about many other things. So let's activate our minds, put them in the, learn mode and make sure we have this printed in our minds.
We need to develop and revitalize our search and application ability to make efficient use of the knowledge that is in our mind and conscience.
II Peter 2:1: "... there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." Verse 3, "And through covetousness [itself a violation of the commandment of God, itself a rejection of what should have been programed into their mind by the basic Tenth Commandment] shall they with feigned words [deceit, falsehood] make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." Verse 18: "For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh... " When you hear these false teachings, you will know they are false. Remember, they were prophesied to come. And let that be a flag, a signal to you to search further and examine and find out. "While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage." Promised liberty, but really brought into bondage, "again entangled [in]... the pollutions of the world" (paraphrased). Peter continues in chapter 3: "This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance." That is the purpose of his writing, to stir up minds to remember, that they would apply it to the situations of false teachers. "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming?... " They'll say things have always continued on, and they'll try to get. you to forget what is prophesied for the future, and that God is really going to intervene in world affairs. If you keep in mind that Jesus Christ is going to return, that the "day of the Lord will come as a, thief in the night," and that the elements are going to "melt with fervent heat," it will direct you away from folly and error. You will see "what manner of persons ought ye to be... Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." And verse 17: "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness." In other words, Remember! In addition to that, you should "... grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ... " You should grow in the understanding, the development of character, having the program of God's law written more firmly in your mind to affect every decision, so the access time — the recall time — is instantaneous. Consider that the Holy Spirit is the means by which your mind can be softened, whereby the law of God can be written there — indelibly printed, — so that it remains. There's one other key ingredient of the future: uncertainty. Because you don't know certain things, you must all the more keep in mind what you do know to decide what to do and to plan.
Computer models might tell the world how to avoid mass starvation and famine. Your spiritual computer can tell you what to do. But they can make neither you nor society do it. You can take what your memory tells you and reject it. That's what we usually do. Rejecting what is in your memory is called going against your conscience, and Paul talks about the conscience becoming seared because you constantly reject the knowledge that is there. It's bad business to reject your conscience. Because it may not give you a clear message the next time. It begins to say, over a period of time, "If you don't like what I tell you, I won't tell you anymore." Instead, we need to develop and revitalize our search and application ability to make efficient use of the knowledge that is in our mind and conscience. Maybe it scares you to think that God is programing your mind. But it's not a rigid type of programing, not the limitation of the program of a man-made computer. It is merely setting in your mind the basic pattern of law, of the way choices should be made. Within that pattern is great flexibility, great opportunity for individuality, for choice, for you to be an individual in the family of God, different in some respects than either God the Father or the Son, but programed like them in basic purpose. You can look around, you at the design in nature, at each other and see the individuality God has created. So there is no need to fear that you're going to be put in some kind of a straitjacket where you can't be free. The only way you can be free and have the opportunities of all eternity to express yourself is to let that law be written, programed, in your hearts and minds. If we can, as individuals, do in our minds what we've been able to build a stupid little machine to do, to remember what we have learned and apply it vividly and clearly to the present and to the decisions that we make in the future, then we can have the mind of God, and we can qualify for great rewards in His Kingdom, and He will place us there.