Please note that this Introduction of the book, Bringing Every Thought Captive, has been redesigned for the use on the web and copyrighted by Basil Frasure, 1996.
Bringing Every Thought Captive gives the reader the basic principles of Whole Person Counseling. Whole Person Counseling is a revelational form of true Biblical counseling. Although all the details of the concepts could not be included in this book, enough are given to be of tremendous help to both counselors and counselees. This book may serve as a basic textbook for teachers, a manual for counselors, and a self-help guide for those who are facing difficulties in their lives. The principles that are given will be effective when applied to minor difficulties or the most severe problems. Every reader should be able to see himself characterized somewhere in the book and find lasting answers for his personal problems.
Where does Whole Person Counseling get its name? The Bible speaks of the whole person as being spirit, soul, and body (I Thessalonians 5:23). Whole Person Counseling is based upon the concept that these three parts of man (spirit, soul, and body) have a profound influence, one upon the other. More specifically, what we believe and what we think have an enormous effect upon our mental and emotional stability, our physical health, our relationships with others, and our overall degree of success in life. Therefore, this book explains the relationship between each of the parts of man. It also proclaims that, by God's grace, one may set each in its proper order and achieve victory over many of life's problems.
The central theme, as the title of the book indicates, is "bringing every thought captive." The Scripture says, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7). The book will illustrate this truth in each area of discussion. The following introductory study should prove to be both convicting to those who are religious and helpful to those who will apply the principles. As a counselor, I recognize that I can't fix anyone, but I know someone who can if one will allow Him to do so.
By way of background, we can find in chapter seventeen of I Samuel that David, the young shepherd boy, had taken his sling shot and killed the nine foot tall giant, named Goliath. David was an Israelite who had a covenant relationship with his God. Goliath was a Philistine, and although he was a giant and a man trained in warfare, he had no covenant with the LORD God. Saul was the king of Israel. After David killed the giant, Saul brought David, the peasant boy, into the King's Palace.
The New Testament encourages us to look at such stories of the Old Testament for examples in living our lives. We may often find spiritual types in the Old Testament stories. Furthermore, we can find such types in this story of Jonathan and David. Goliath, the giant, was an enemy to Israel and also to God. He may be pictured as a type of Satan (the enemy of God and man). David overcame Goliath by his faith in God. In a like fashion, the New Testament Believer overcomes Satan by his faith in God through Jesus Christ. We call this the salvation experience. Saul is the King. Therefore, by analogy, he is a picture of God the Father who is the King. Saul invited David to live with him in the King's Palace. God, the Father, also invites us to come out of the world and live with Him in His kingdom. Jonathan is King Saul's son. He, therefore, is a picture of Jesus, the Son of God.
Next, we may notice that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David. This a beautiful parallel to the fact that when we give our life to Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, that the Spirit of Christ is joined unto our spirit. Then the Scripture says that Jonathan loved David as his own soul. Jesus also has demonstrated that he loves us in that he gave his life for us. Jonathan made a covenant with David. The word "covenant" literally means to cut an agreement. Jesus has made a covenant with man by the shedding of His blood on the cross for the sins of man. We see several things about this covenant. First, Jonathan initiated the covenant. In like fashion, Jesus initiates the covenant with us. Second, Jonathan gave that which was his to David. Jesus also gives that which is His to us. Third, Jonathan gives David five gifts that we will look at in detail. Grace is numerically pictured as the number five. Jesus gives us His grace to live the Christian life. Grace is a gift. It is both the will and the power to do the will of God.
Jesus offers to us a new identity. We are to become "Christians" to the world. We can take on a new outward appearance. However, to take on this new robe we must be willing, even as Believers, to lay aside our old robe. We must lay aside our identity as being "sinners." A Believer is no longer to be referred to as a sinner! Believers are to begin to see themselves as "saints." We should take note of the truth: how we see ourselves is how we act and also may be how the world sees us. If we see ourselves as sinners, then we will act that way. After all, what does a sinner do? He sins! In contrast, what does a saint do? He lives a life set apart unto God.
We must also yield up our self-esteem. Modern-day psychologists emphasize that we must find self-esteem. Jesus in contrast said, "And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Mark 8:34). If we don't seek after self-esteem, then where do we find our identity? We find it in Jesus. We must take off our robe and give it to Jesus in exchange. We must lay aside our prestige, our pride, our positions.
Jesus gives us His royal robe of righteousness. "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels" (Isaiah 61:10). We are to take off our shabby robe and put on the royal robe. We are to take off our dirty robe and put on the robe of pure white. "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands" (Revelation 7:9).
The real question is, "Are we willing to give up our robe?" Are we happy declaring ourselves sinners? Are we happy trying to live a righteous life by our self-will power? Are we happy with the way that the world sees us? The Paul in the New Testament encourages us by stating, "And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24). This book will go into detail as to how we may take off the old man and put on the new man in Christ. Yes, by God's grace, you can do it! The outer robe of His identity is the first gift that Jesus wants to give us, but there are four more.
Again, the question is, "Are we willing to lay down our personal interests to put on the will of Jesus?" Our personal interests may be defined as those interests where we spend the most of our time. It may be a hobby. It may be our work. It may be some recreation in which we are involved. It may be that we spend most of our time with some type of entertainment. We may spend our time reading or studying. It may even be a ministry for the Lord. It is whatever turns us on in the flesh. Paul wrote to the Church, "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof" (Romans 13:14). Are we willing to say to Jesus, "Not my will, but thy will be done this day"? Are we willing to lay down our garments of personal interest and put on His will and direction? Which is better, our selfish will or God's perfect will?
For us to receive the gift of Jesus, we must be willing to take off or lay down our personal defense system. First, we may use denial. Denial says, "I didn't do that." One may also say, "That didn't happen to me." Second, we, by a conscious effort, try to push down into our subconscious portion of our mind things that we are not willing to face. We may say, "I just can't think about that now!" We just try to forget about the decision or the event. Third, we may automatically blot out hurtful or terrifying experiences. There may be a block of time of which we have no conscious recall. Fourth, we may transfer of our feelings upon someone else. We may declare, "I don't feel that way, but Jane does."
Fifth, we may react to a particular failure in our own lives by publicly going on a campaign against that problem in the lives of others. We may, ourselves, have personal problem with alcohol and go on an anti-drunk driving campaign. Sixth, we may knowingly have a weak area in our life, but rather than working on it, we ignore it and focus on our strengths.
Seventh, we may displace our emotions. An example of this is when the boss chews out the employee and the employee comes home and gripes out his wife. The wife in turn gets on to the son, and the son kicks the dog. The dog then goes and bites the cat. One day I was playing with our tom cat, Tiger, on the floor near where my wife was sitting. All of a sudden, Tiger got tired of my roughing his tummy. Tiger knew better than to bite me, so he got up and ran by my wife and bit her on the leg as he left the room. The cat displaced his anger upon my wife.
Eighth, we may resort to fantasies. Rather than facing the true facts of life, we may simply move into a world of make believe. Ninth, we may distort the truth by simply changing the facts, a bit, to fit the need of the situation. We may say, "Well, it wasn't exactly that way."
The tenth defense may occur when we transform our negative feelings into illness. For example, a young lady may be upset over losing a boyfriend, and she develops a stomachache. A man may get a headache every time he is around someone at work. The real problem may be that he is angry at the man for lying to the boss about him. When we take a closer look at these various defenses that one may use, we discover that all of these are "lies." Whenever we use one of these we are living a lie. However, Jesus wants to give us the TRUTH. In Ephesians 6:11 we are exhorted to, "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." When the Believer puts on the armour of God, he is putting on what the Word of God says about him and his relationship with God. Jesus said that when we come to know and apply the truth, we will be set free. Repeatedly in counseling, I must, in love, confront people with the truth of the Word of God. They must, in turn, be willing to take off their garments of self defense in order to receive the truth and be set free.
We must be willing to lay down our natural talents and our learned talents. If we have a natural talent to play the piano, we must be willing to lay it before the Lord. We must also be willing to lay down our mental abilities and our physical strengths. Even as a counselor, I must lay down my ability to communicate and persuade others.
When I surrendered my life to go into ministry, I was counseled to build myself up mentally and physically. I was to get the proper education and that would qualify me for ministry. Therefore, I changed my major to Bible, my minor to Sociology, and got a B.A. Then I went on to seminary to get a Master of Divinity degree. However, I soon discovered that these did not qualify me for ministry. I had to lay aside these and receive that which the Lord would give me.
Paul puts it very clearly when he states, "Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more" (Philippians 3:4). Paul was a well-educated man, fluent in at least three languages. He had studied both the Hebrew Law of the Old Testament and Greek Philosophy. Yet, he declared that all of that was a pile of manure compared to what he discovered in Jesus. Paul also declared, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might" (Ephesians 6:10).
It is not enough just to lay aside our strengths. We must also lay aside our weaknesses. If we don't, we will worry over them and make ourselves sick. Paul gives his testimony, "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong" (II Corinthians 12:10).
The bottom line is that we, as Christians, are to see ourselves as who we are in Jesus. Paul declares in Colossians 3:10, "And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." As a new man, we are created in the image of God. We have God's divine nature dwelling in us. We can hear and obey the voice of Jesus. We can do anything that He asks us to do.
Our support system may be our family or some friends. This is not to say that God cannot speak to us through them, because He can. However, for us to depend upon them is not good. Our support system may include a "support group" such as AA. It may include a bridge club or fishing or hunting club. It is those with whom we share the intimate needs of our life.
Another area is that of addictions. People often rely upon addictions for support. The addictions may include drugs, alcohol, tobacco, food, sex, and athletics. Whatever we have in the world for support, we need to lay aside.
Jesus wants to give us a real support group. It is the most obvious, but often the least recognized. The support that Jesus gives to us comes through His body, the Church. In Ephesians 4:11-13 we read, "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." It should be mentioned again. The local body of Believers is designed by God to be our support group.
We are to relate to the body of Christ. "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful" (Colossians 3:12-15). Did you catch it? We are called to be a part of the body of Christ. We are to put on the body of Christ.
In summary, we are to take off the old man and everything that pertains to it and put on the new man. The new man pertains to everything that we find by grace in Jesus Christ. Paul explicitly states, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). If we can live the Christian life by ourselves, we do not need God. However, the reality is that we can not! We must declare the old man crucified and incapable of living the life of faith. Then, we are to live by the faith of Jesus Christ.
There is one thing that we should remember! As David proved himself faithful unto Jonathan, Jonathan said to David that he would do anything that David requested. "Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee" (I Samuel 20:4). This reminds us of the words of Jesus when he said, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you" (John 15: 7). We need to see that Jesus not only gives us His grace, He also gives us of Himself.
Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Matthew 9:4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?
Matthew 22:42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.
John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Acts 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
II Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.
Galatians 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
James 1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
I Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.
Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.
I Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
I Corinthians 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.
Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
I Chronicles 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
Psalms 94:11 The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.
Psalms 94:19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.
Psalms 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.
Proverbs 12:5 The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.
Proverbs 15:26 The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.
Proverbs 16:3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
Proverbs 21:5 The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.
Isaiah 55:7-9 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Mark 7:21-23 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Theifs, covetousness, wickedness, deciet, lasciviousness, and evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and define a man.
Romans 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.
I Corinthians 3:20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Job 42:2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.
Psalms 73:16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me.
Psalms 119:59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.
Proverbs 24:9 The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.
Ecclesiastes 10:20 Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.
Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Acts 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
II Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Matthew 16:8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
Proverbs 29:11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Lamentations 3:21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
Ezekiel 11:5 And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the LORD; Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them.
Mark 5:15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Luke 12:29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.
Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Romans 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Romans 12:2-3 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Ephesians 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.
Philippians 2:2-3 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.
Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.
II Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
Hebrews 8:10 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: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.
I Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to
be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For more information on receiving a copies of this book, please email Basil Frasure, Ph.D.