Conditioning :: By Paul Simon

Have you ever sat, and watched in amazement at how someone can be so good at something? Did you ever find yourself saying, “They make that look easy”? Have you ever watched a marathon, and found that you were out of breath just watching them run? I know I have, and have been envious of some of them for these amazing accomplishments. What about our Military personnel? We remember their demeanor when they went in, and a few months later we see them again, after Boot Camp, and they are this whole new person But, you have to consider that all of these people are just like you and me, except for the fact that they’ve trained hard and conditioned themselves to perform in this manner. So, what is conditioning?

CONDITIONING: present participle of con-di-tion (verb)

Verb: Have a significant influence on or determine (the manner or outcome of something)

Train or accustom (someone or something) to behave in a certain way or to accept certain circumstances.

Con-di-tion-ing: A process of behavior modification by which a subject comes to associate a desired behavior with a previously unrelated stimulus.

Do you realize that YOU are being conditioned right now, in your own lives? You wouldn’t really think about it, because it’s not on a structured basis like in a gym or classroom environment. It’s all the things that are going on around you that you take for granted on a daily basis. It’s what makes us who we are. There is a distinct difference between an individual that grows up on a farm and another individual that grows up in the city. Our environment conditions us to relate to and thrive in the surroundings that we live. The media plays a huge role in what we think, and how we act.

So much so, that it seems as though the whole world is pivoting on what the Hollywood Hypes have to say about everything. Look at the types of movies that are coming out about 2012, Armageddon, the end of the world, cyborgs, the Harry Potter series, just to mention a few since my space is limited. The History Channel runs multiple series on Mayan calendars, Nostradamus. The Weather Channel has the ‘It Could Happen Tomorrow’ series. All of this plays into the end times scenario that is spoken about in the Bible. This ALL falls under conditioning whether or not you want to accept or acknowledge that fact.

This isn’t just a recent thing. Let’s take the phenomenon of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO’s) for example. We tend to think of UFO’s as something that is now accepted by our societies. There are numerous organizations out there that study this. But, back on June 14th 1947, Kenneth Arnold saw 9 objects in the sky while he was piloting his private plane near Mt. Rainier in Washington. The community’s initial reaction to the reported sightings was probably one of “Oh, he’s just crazy”…. “He was just lacking oxygen up there and was hallucinating..” But today it would be more likely that a whole team of ‘experts’ would be flying to the sight to capture and record valuable data that can used to determine the level of intelligence that might be in one of those objects. Especially after the whole “Roswell” thing, we have been conditioned over the years to accept the existence of UFO’s whether they truly exist or not. But, a very important factor to be considered.

Not only are we conditioned to believe, or accept things that are unknown, we are also trained and conditioned to accept those things that are real. These things, however, are contrary to Bible teachings. “But, I don’t believe in that book of make-believe”, you say. What I say is that you don’t have to believe it. But, you will have to endure the consequences of that decision. God has given you the power to choose, just as he had given Adam and Eve the gift to choose. Unfortunately (or, fortunately however you look at it), Eve chose to disobey the direct orders of God Himself. To this, we must pay the penance of that choice. But, you too, have that same option to choose between God and Satan. It’s one or the other. There is no in-between.

Even though the Bible clearly states that Homosexuality is an abomination, we have been conditioned over the years to accept this. Homosexuality has been occurring since mankind was introduced to the planet. It’s a known fact and mentioned throughout the Bible. It’s also a fact that God had destroyed mankind because of it, and not just once! (do you see the pattern?) It was in 1924 that the Society for Human Rights in Chicago was established. It became the country’s earliest known gay rights organization. But, it was in 1948 that Alfred Kinsey, the noted zoologist/sexologist at Indiana University, published the infamous Kinsey Report on Sexuality. Since that time the LGBT community has been proactive in making strides in public awareness and acceptance. This was extreme conditioning, over a short period of time, to get to where they are now. It’s still not right in the eyes of God, but, it is clearly right in the eyes of society. Our own government fully recognizes and accepts this as ‘normal behavior’.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (Isaiah 5:20 NIV)

Remember that God loves the sinner, but hates the sin. They have a choice to make.

The world is lost, but it continues to thrive, in its own way. People are continually looking for answers and will turn to Religion most of the time to try and answer some of those daunting questions. Even though most of these choices are cults, they continue to look for answers. The latest that comes to mind is the Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes divorce. How so, you ask? It’s because Scientology is the latest focus. Scientology is another cult. Unlike religions with Judeo-Christian origins, the Church of Scientology has no set dogma concerning God. It’s encapsulated in the mysticism of New Age Theology. This is just another name for Hell. The same holds true for the Ecumenical crowd. It’s all for the “feel good” theology of today like Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life” portrays. It’s false. It’s Satan driven, right to Hell.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 NIV) emphasis mine.

So, what does any of this conditioning really have to do with us? Most of us have seen the Conspiracy Theory program with Jesse Ventura, right? He’s investigated a plethora of topics from The New World Order down to drinking water being stolen by China. Most people just blow it all off to “entertainment”. But, what if it’s NOT just entertainment? What if there’s more to it that meets the eye? In the Old Testament, there is a story contained in the book of Daniel in chapter 2 where King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that he needed interpreted. Daniel was able to interpret the dream. He described the succession of Kingdoms from his time to future.

Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. (Daniel 2:41-42 NIV)

These 2 verses represent Europe from 476 AD to the end. The ten toes are the ten European nations that formed the ten divisions of the Western Roman Empire. Likewise in the end, the divided kingdom will again have ten distinct sections which are divided internally. This is currently what the European Union is doing. They are moving to become The United States of Europe. It is from within this ‘kingdom’, more like the revised Roman Empire, that the Antichrist will emerge. It is through him that the great deception will take place. Let’s define Deception.

DECEPTION: The act of being deceived.

The fact or condition of being deceived.

Something that deceives – trick, fraud

DECEIVE: To cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid. To give false impression.

This Antichrist, will establish for himself, a one world government, a one world religion and an identification method that will only allow those that accept the mark to conduct financial business. Sounds like a fun guy, doesn’t he? If you think the world is chaotic right now….. as the BTO song says, “You aint seen nothing yet”. But how will things become more chaotic? When the Bride of Christ is removed, that’s how.

For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. (2 Thessalonians 2:7 NIV) emphasis mine.

The “one that holds it back” and the “he” that is taken out of the way is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within us. This is commonly referred to as the Rapture. It’s going to be hard to imagine what it will be like when millions of people just simply vanish from the face of the earth. How do you explain something like that? Oh, wait a minute…… I know. Remember that we were talking about conditioning earlier? Well maybe, the media will just chalk it up to UFO’s removing all of those pesky Christians. They only made life miserable for those that didn’t believe in their message.

Well, we Christians have our own conditioning, too. We have the word of God.

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NIV)

A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:40 NIV)

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.( 1 Corinthians 9:25 NIV)

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV)

Remembering back to the book of Daniel, chapter 2, he continued on in verse 44:

“In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. (Daniel 2:44 NIV)

This is the Kingdom that we Christians are preparing for. It is open to everyone, but few will acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Savior, and take the free gift of salvation to get there.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)

The bottom line is this. Are you prepared to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, or do you plan to live life according to man? The first option is eternal. The second option is, well, just plain Hell.