Feb 16th, 2020
Hello and welcome to season 2 episode 65 of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House. This is Pastor Bill, and over the next 10 minutes, or so, we are going to be wrapping up our two-part series looking at the heart. In part one we focused on three areas where the world today, and indeed believers as well, have a heart problem.
The first that we covered was our focus, when our focus is on the spirit and the things of God then we’re in tune to be able to receive revelation from, and please God. But, we’re never more like Satan, the father of lies, when we focus on and follow our heart.
The second was this unbiblical fantasy of premarital crushes, dating, and romance that distracts us from seeking and serving The Lord. There’s nothing wrong with getting married, but biblically, it’s better to stay single unless you absolutely can’t control your lustful desires. And with the divorce rates of believers being roughly the same as unbelievers we should honestly consider a better way.
Lastly, we talked about the false belief that if you don’t physically do something, then you’ve done nothing wrong. Whereas, Jesus teaches that if you even entertain the thought of the sinful action instead of taking it captive, then it’s the same as if you had physically done it.
In part two here we’re going to pivot a bit. You know, the heart is this amazing organ that not only starts beating before you even have a brain, delivers oxygen to every part of your body, but Proverbs 4:23 CSB tells us that the heart, “ …is the source of life.” For a long time, the common scientific belief was that the heart was just an organ and that the brain was the seat of all thought and identity. This belief has evolved over the last three or four decades to one that more closely resembles what the Bible teaches.
In the late 1980s in Vienna, Austria scientists conducted interviews of those who had received heart transplants over the course of two years. Six percent of those interviewed found themselves with preference and behavior changes that matched the donor of their heart versus what they found natural before their procedure. Fifteen percent of participants indicated they had changed but attributed the change to the near-death circumstances of having the heart transplant and a new zest for life. The remaining seventy-nine percent, when asked if they had noticed changes consistent with the preference and behavior of their donor (and now I’m quoting from the study) “showed massive defense and denial reactions, mainly by changing the subject or making the question ridiculous.” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1299456) In my personal experience, this last seventy-nine percent responded in a way that confirms they had indeed noticed these changes in themselves but were in denial due to it being in direct confrontation with what their reticular activation system was telling them was the truth.
This phenomenon is more common than you may think.
Claire Sylvia, after having a heart and lung transplant, started having strange cravings for things she had never liked; green peppers, Snickers bars, McNuggets... In addition to this, after her transplant, she started having dreams about a thin young man who in her dreams she knew was named Tim. She felt like this was more than mere coincidence and went searching obituaries only to learn that a young man named Tim had died in a motorcycle wreck on the day of her transplant on his way home from McDonald's with a bag of McNuggets inside his jacket. She met his family who confirmed she had received his organs and that her new cravings were all the things that Tim loved.
Jamie Sherman awoke from her heart transplant with a craving for cheese enchiladas and overwhelming anger that made her want to fight someone. Six months later she learned that her donor’s favorite food was cheese enchiladas and that he had died in a bar fight.
What we’re dealing with here is the reality that your DNA records the experiences of your life. Those details, that data, is then referenced for the rest of your life in cell replenishment, fat storage, influencing your thought processes in one way or another, ect… If you have children, then all the data stored before that birth is passed on as the initial building blocks of their biology. Every cigarette smoked, movie watched, car wreck, fight, and meal eaten, all stored in your cells and either passed on to the next generation or left to decay in death.
Amazingly, researchers have discovered that DNA can store not just biological data but can be utilized to store digital data. The kind of data that makes up the pictures you post on social media or that make up the zeros and ones of this podcast. The concept was dreamed of in 1959 by physicist Richard P. Feynman, with the first successful storage of data by researches at Harvard in 1988. In 2017 it was discovered that one gram of DNA can store up to two hundred and fifteen petabytes of digital data. For a frame of reference, that’s two hundred and fifteen thousand terabytes. Like the terabyte external hard drives they sell at Walmart. In fact, to purchase the equivalent storage space from Walmart that one gram of DNA can store would cost you eleven million, three hundred and ninety-five thousand dollars ($11,395,000). In 2019 a team from The University of Washington and Microsoft announced they had created an automated system for storing and retrieving data from DNA, much like the system your phone, tablet, and laptops use to store and retrieve data. Also in 2019, another group of researchers announced they had used synthetic DNA to create structures similar to the operating system of a computer that they then could perform query operations on. Those query operations are what run your technology behind the scenes. They’ve built a computer out of DNA, rudimentary at best now. What about in ten years, fifteen years, twenty years.
While DNA storage doesn’t just happen in the heart, I believe that’s where it starts, Proverbs 27:19 CSB tells us, “ As water reflects the face, so the heart reflects the person.” The data, or experience, that makes up you. Your mind, will, and emotions; your soul as it were, would seem to be stored in the heart and then transferred to the cells of your body using your blood cells as a transfer system.
Jeremiah 17:9 CSB says, “ The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable – who can understand it?” Such a blanket statement, but when we consider the DNA research we just talked about, it makes sense. The heart is the first organ to form in the womb, and it isn’t created from a blank slate. It’s formed from the genetic data passed down from the parent’s DNA, including data from their parents, and their parents, and so on back for countless generations as far back as Adam.
We have a heart problem, but we also serve a good God. Psalm 119:10-11 CSB says, “ I have sought you with all my heart; don't let me wander from your commands.  I have treasured your word in my heart so that I may not sin against you.” At some point the Christian decides enough is enough and takes control of their heart, forcing it towards God. Then a hunger for the things of God draws them to learn more about God and hope becomes a reality instead of a wish. Romans 5:5 CSB says, “ This hope will not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
When we talked in the last episode about Peter being in tune with God and then later following his heart and being compared to Satan. Peter was at a disadvantage that we don’t suffer from. We live in a time where The Holy Spirit has been poured out, and all believers have The Holy Spirit. You may have never relinquished control to Him in what we call the baptism of The Holy Spirit, but every believer has The Holy Spirit, but every believer has that access. Has that possession of the Holy Spirit.
In closing, when Paul says in Romans 12:2 CSB, “ Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” he isn’t talking about your brain, the word he’s used means thought, feeling, or will. Paul is talking about renewing the deepest part of your being, your soul, your heart.
This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”