The False Reward
by Joseph Monte
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a huge weather geek. Growing up, I would study how storms behave and was fascinated by the raw power and beauty of our planet’s systems. Today, I’m an amateur meteorologist, who frequently tracks global weather patterns and pays close attention when severe weather strikes. Tropical cyclones are perhaps one of my favorite things to watch, and since I’m from a part of the US which is accustomed to receiving hurricanes and storms (having gone through many myself), I’ve been closely following the events of this year’s record breaking Atlantic Hurricane Season. During storms like Laura, Sally, and Delta, among others, I tuned in to the Weather Channel, an American TV station devoted to weather news, to follow these hurricanes as they made Landfall on the US Gulf Coast.
Now, I’ve been largely removed from America for quite some time, and I don’t really watch TV except for when these types of major events occur, aside from the occasional football game or golf tournament. So when I do watch American television, wow, what an obscurely fascinating cultural experience, especially when you get to the commercials. Yes, I would sometimes indulge in staying tuned during commercial breaks just to take a pulse on how America is fairing in their cultural behaviors. If you watch a lot of TV in America, it probably won’t phase you what I’m about to discuss because you’re accustomed to it, but for me, the contrast is nothing short mind blowing. So recently, I had quite the epiphany on American culture, but it’s revealing of a problem that I’ve known about for a very long time.
No, today’s sermon isn’t on the weather. Today, I will be discussing the great and terrible problem that I see, and our Lord sees, in American culture, which is conspicuously displayed in US media advertising.
Today, I will discuss the topic of drugs.
First, what does the Lord say about the subject?
When we talk about Pharmaceuticals, or the word “Pharmaceutical”, The word is derived from “PHARMAKEIA”. In the bible, Pharmakeia means a few things synonymously, including the administering of drugs, but also means sorcery, magic, witchcraft, idolatry, deception, and seduction. All things that, of course, we know are forbidden fruits. Those of you who have followed Lord RayEl long enough know that he left America, never to return, and declared his chastisement against it, and cited America’s poisoning of the rest of the world as one of the primary reasons for why his judgment against the US is so strong. Goes to show you just how serious this topic is.
Throughout our history in service to the Lord, we’ve found that most of the people we run into problems with are heavily medicated, whether that be on street drugs, prescription pharmaceuticals, alcohol, etc. When tested to see truly where their intentions lie, these people can often times become quite delusional, combative, evil, and overall they are visibly intoxicated by sorcery. Almost at times seeming as though they are inhabited or possessed by demons.
In Revelation 18:23, you read about the Lord’s chastisement against America.
And the light of a lamp will not appear to you again, and the voice of a groom and the voice of a bride will not be heard in you again, because your merchants had been great ones of The Earth, for by your sorceries you deceived all the nations!
Now that you understand the context, you can understand that the “sorceries” mentioned in the verse, is speaking of drugs.
Universally speaking, across the board, drugs have a neurological and physiological effect that can alter brain chemistry. As Lord RayEl eluded to in a previous sermon where he talks about frequency and vibration, as well as the nature of the soul and how it interacts with the body, you will know that the brain acts as a filter to process things that you take in from your environment. In reality, the brain is a very carefully concocted blend of chemicals and neurons which play somewhat of a role in shaping your reality. The metaphor the bible uses for your body likens it to that of a “temple”. Temples are very carefully designed buildings using intricate geometric patterns, specific for worship, as designed by an architect. Drugs alter the design of the temple, and when you alter the design of the temple, as in the case of drugs, by altering the chemical and neuron balance in your brain and body, you alter the function of the temple. You alter the very thing your soul attaches to, so you then can become someone else; susceptible to influence from other spirits, and no longer does your temple serve its original purpose and function.
There are universal attributes that drugs share:
– They act on chemical pathways in the brain
– They often alter brain and body chemistry
– They can become addictive
– The most effective drugs often times act heavily on your brain’s reward center, mainly, dopamine.
Dopamine is an interesting chemical. It’s actually a hormone and neurotransmitter that plays a major role in the reward and motivational components of a person’s behavior.
When dopamine is released, it helps create your sense of feel-good, usually triggered when an individual accomplishes something satisfying through their labors. In a natural sense, this can come because you did something great at work and earned a promotion, or had a positive interaction with a loved one or member of the opposite sex, or was part of a winning sports team. In any normal case, with the right chemical and hormonal balance, you would feel a sense of joy or elation from these types of accomplishments. This response is what keeps you motivated to continue striving for goals, achieve them, and feel rewarded over the sense of accomplishment. It’s part of what helps drive us as humans to live happy, healthy, productive lives. Obviously, this is a very important cornerstone of our temples.
Drugs, especially psychotropic substances, play on your dopamine balance, which gives you that warm and loving sense of achievement. You took a drug, you felt good, but you did nothing useful to earn your reward. You instead cheated the system. By taking a drug, you skipped past the natural work/reward flow of events by biohacking yourself to get what you want in the end, faster. This goes against our creator’s design. This is a deception!
This deception can come from street drugs, those are obvious. It can come in the form of legalized or newly legalized drugs (I think you know what I’m talking about here). The deception can also come in the form of pharmaceuticals. Especially on those last two categories, the lines get fairly blurred because of how they are regulated and taxed by public officials, and marketed by companies.
When Lord RayEl made his first public address in 2011, he ridiculed the United States for addicting people to drugs through the enchantment of pharmakeia.
Now, what was so interesting in my television watching experience, I saw a very incredible cycle between food and drug advertisements. I grew up watching these ads, I thought nothing of them at the time. Just business as usual where I’m from. Remove myself for years from that, and suddenly, the flaws stick out clearly and concisely. First of all, I want to ask… Isn’t it a bit nefarious that both food and drugs in the United States are regulated by the same government body, the Food and Drug Administration? Interesting, huh? Well, it’s about to get really interesting.
Consider this… With pharmaceuticals, alcohol, tobacco, and things of this nature, the government enforces warning labels on these products to help consumers understand the adverse health effects of these substances, and this is a fairly standard practice in most countries. Even without the warning labels, we all know the potentially devastating effects of these substances due to the amount of research and routine observation we’ve conducted and encountered. Can’t the same be said about food? How many times have you been told to watch your sugar and saturated fat intake due to their potential to cause harm in the body? Well now, some countries are even going so far as to place warning labels on processed food items, in much the same way you would see a warning label on a pack of cigarettes. Why? Because food, especially processed foods, can be considered a drug!
This is not simply speculation. In recent studies conducted by the University of Michigan, they’ve concluded that certain food items have a psychotropic effects by hyperactively stimulating dopamine receptors, which is the same exact chemistry occurring when you take a drug. It’s no wonder many people exhibit the same symptoms of drug addiction when it comes to food. Some foods literally have the same psychoactive effect as a drug, and therefore, can be categorically labeled as drugs!
In one commercial, an intoxicatingly mouthwatering ad for chips, soda, and fast food. In the very next commercial, an ad promising glorious relief in the form of a little white pill for things like constipation, high blood pressure, and inflammation in the body; all of the things caused by regularly consuming chips, soda, and fast food. The food items; delicious, but not nutritious, do little more than stimulating the brain’s reward center. Habitual consumption of these foods leads to health problems, which leads to the feeling that one must consume one form of drug to cure the problem that another form of drug caused. And we’re being bombarded by these types of enchanting advertisements all the time!
It’s no wonder we have so many cases of depression, lethargy, apathy, even suicide, because people can’t find basic enjoyment in life. Many people are overall completely desensitized because they have highly interrupted brain chemistry due to food and drug consumption.
Now, a couple matters to clarify:
The bible does permit the consumption of delectable treats and alcohol, but in moderation. Sure, go ahead and chow down on pizza once in a while and have that glass of wine. Everything in balance. Overall, if you eat what nourishes the body and stay active, you won’t need drugs or medications to heal you or make you feel good. You will already have what your body needs, and then the occasional indulgence while enjoying time out with friends and family won’t so much harm you. But, be mindful that the bible also forbids drunkenness and gluttony, as these things can lead to a person committing multiple additional sins as a result.
According to Mark 7:14-22,
Our Lord once called upon a crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” 17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” 20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come… It is these evils which come from inside that defile a person.”
Seems on the surface like a contradiction. Eat all the food and take all the drugs you want, right? For these things don’t go into the heart, but in the stomach and out the body. So why is our Lord so against drugs? And those who know him well know that he is very adamant about the principle of “let food be thy medicine”, so again, if all food is deemed “clean” by him, then why say this? It’s because drugs can distort a person’s reality and allow for evil and sinister thoughts and actions to originate, and it is poor consumption of food that can lead to drug use. Furthermore, it is the evil within… Enviousness, greed, gluttony, drunkenness, addiction, that spark these destructive consumptive behaviors and further allow these sins to fester and defile a person.
So, there is a simple solution to these problems. Consider your body a temple. Keep your temple strong and healthy. Do what is right and stay strong in the face of temptation. Very basic stuff, recommended by any sensible person, doctor or not, universally known by all: consume the right portions of food, stay active through regular exercise, and get the right amount of sleep. Most importantly, keep yourself as just that; a temple, a house of worship. Do this by keeping the commandments of our God on the forefront of your hearts, and do not allow cravings and addiction of substances to defile your heart.
Trust me, from personal experience, if you do all of these things which I have recommended, you will keep yourself happy, healthy, and free of the burdens that depress, defile, deceive, and delude.