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Far Better than Placebo Power

The placebo is hope in a fraud. The believerís hope is founded upon the truth that never changes and that is backed by the entire supernatural Kingdom of God. The results of the hope effect are 100% positive. Todayís science is knock-knock-knocking on heavenís door.
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Far Better than Placebo Power

9/18/2014 (Topic#: 1482)

One often hears, “It’s the natural thing to do,” but be advised that this is not a defense when one stands before God.  The entire premise of the faith calls the redeemed out of the natural and into the supernatural.  II Corinthians 4:18:

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

The day one experiences the supernatural born-again experience, one enters the supernatural and it’s called the invisible Kingdom of God. Natural is repugnant to the supernatural God, and His sons and daughters are expected to emulate their supernatural Father as demonstrated in our Saviour, His supernatural Son, Jesus Christ, the Champion of Golgotha and the Lord of Glory. 

The child of faith’s supernatural journey begins with born-again and develops with the baptism of the Holy Ghost: casting out devils, laying hands on the sick, casting mountains into the sea, participating in the nine gifts of the Spirit, functioning in the supernatural ministry of reconciliation, and so much, much more.  What a glorious and eternally fulfilling place to be, this supernatural but invisible Kingdom of God. 

Have you been born again?  Are you ready to be forgiven and to surrender your life to Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son and the world’s only way of escape?  Are you ready to have your sin and shame expunged from your record and to begin a brand-new and everlasting life?  Today, step out into the supernatural.  Click onto “Further With Jesus” for childlike instructions and immediate entry into the Kingdom of God.  NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, Psalm 119:49-52:

49 Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.

50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

51 The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.

52 I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself.

GOD SAID, Hebrews 11:1:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

GOD SAID, Proverbs 17:22:

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

MAN SAID:  Man’s science is the solution to all of man’s problems.  The Bible has no place in this enlightened world. 

Now THE RECORD.  Welcome to GodSaidManSaid feature article 708 that will once again prove the full inerrancy of your Majority-Text Authorized King James Version of the Holy Bible.  All of these features are archived here in text and streaming audio for the edification of the blood-bought and as ammunition in the battle for the souls of men. Every Thursday eve, God willing, they grow by one.  Thank you for coming.  May God’s face shine upon you and yours with Light and Truth. 

Science knows it as the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Bible knows it as the Law of Sin and Death (Romans 8:2).  Both laws basically state that all things in the natural world go from order to disorder until finally a particular item or person ends its natural existence.  A good example of this law in action is the human IQ.  Scientists have measured the steady degradation of human IQ and have calculated the timeline wherein mankind will be fully, functionally illiterate and no longer able to continue as a society. 

The world is full of sinful disobedience and consequently, evil and disease—and sooner or later despair and death—but God offers a better way. 

David Kupelian, in the April 2013 issue of Whistle Blower, under the heading of “Americans Snapping by the Millions,” listed very stark data regarding the mental health of the United States:

    • One-third of U.S. employees suffer chronic, debilitating stress
    • One-half of all 18- to 33-year-olds experience levels of stress that keep them awake at night. 
    • 75-90% of visits to the doctor [General Practitioner] are stress-related. 
    • Stress is now known to play a major role in the progression of cancer. 
    • The CDC reports 23% of U.S. women take antidepressants.
    • 11% of Americans 12 and up take SSRI antidepressants that are mood-altering drugs with suicide warnings; statistics show an alarming correlation between antidepressant-medicated students and school shootings. 
    • Suicide surpasses car crashes as a leading cause of injury and death. 
    • 20% of New York City children 6-12 have been diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, depression, or bi-polar disorder.  [End of quote]
    • April 2013, Psychology Today reports 14 million U.S. adults suffer from BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder).
    • 5.7 million U.S. adults have bi-polar disorder.
    • In a given year, 2.4 American adults are diagnosed with schizophrenia. 
    • Approximately 6 million U.S. adults experience panic disorders.

The following paragraph, published in October 2011 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, reads:

Antidepressants were the third most common prescription drug taken by Americans of all ages in 2005-2008 and the most frequently used by persons aged 18-44 years.  From 1988-1994 through 2005-2008, the rate of antidepressant use in the United States among all ages increased nearly 400%.  [End of quote]

Several months ago, GodSaidManSaid published the latest mental health statistics of Europe, which diagnosed its people as 38% mentally ill and the U.S. can’t be far behind.  Does anyone doubt that the wheels are coming off?  [End of quotes]

The situation is dire and becoming progressively worse, but to those who embrace Christ, the hopelessness is replaced with hope and the darkness is replaced with ‘Son’shine. 

Multiple features on GodSaidManSaid deal with what science calls the placebo and nocebo effects, and this feature will highlight new information that once again has carnal academia knock-knock-knocking on heaven’s door. 

The placebo and nocebo effects are primarily a product of words

There are over 50 subjects on GodSaidManSaid that deal with the deep foundational secrets of words, and our knowledge in this marvel of God literally grows daily.  It is surely true that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue:” (Proverbs 18:21).  Harnessing the power of the tongue is the believer’s quest for godliness—God-likeness.   To be absent from this challenge is to be absent from it all. 

It is truly amazing to behold the literalness of God’s inerrant truth.  God’s Word is literal spiritually or literal physically, and the switch to flip is readily apparent. 

Everything is literally constructed, directly or indirectly, out of words.  Students of the Bible have some understanding of this principle.  A couple of short paragraphs of review are needed here to set the stage:

Years ago, I was talking to a man about Jesus Christ.  He told me that what I had to offer was “just words,” as though words were of no consequence. I asked him, “What if I can prove to you that all things are created from words?” 

He answered me in a challenging tone, “Try it!”  The following explanation ensued:

I asked him how he arrived at the event we were attending.  He answered that he had driven up in his car.  I told him that I would prove that his auto was a simple compilation of words. 

I explained:  “Long before the first car was ever created, a man rode down the road in a horse-drawn buckboard, taking all day to do what takes just minutes in our modern vehicles.  He thought, ‘Boy, I’d love to have a horseless carriage.’  Those were silent words within his head.  The man went home and grabbed a tablet and a pencil and wrote down his plan to create a horseless carriage—written words.”

I asked the man with whom I was speaking what we had so far, and he rightly responded, “Words.”  I continued: “Next the excited inventor went out into the field and dug up some iron ore and other materials—that God had spoken into existence out of that which is invisible—processed it into steel and drove away in the first car—his horseless carriage.” 

I asked my friend, “What is a car made of?” 

He responded, “Words.”  Everything is made of words—God’s words. 

Learning to speak the language of unfeigned faith is such a marvelous thing.  When we become born-again, we enter the invisible Kingdom of God.  Jesus said in Luke 17:20-21:

20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

This new life in the invisible Kingdom has a totally new language.  Speaking this new language is imperative. 

Because everything is made out of words, the words we speak actually create things.  Jesus commands the Christian the following in Matthew 5:44:

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Loving everybody is a requirement of godliness.  Is there somebody in your life’s history that you do not love?  Do you want to correct this issue?  In this early demonstration of the power of words, we can transform this circumstance.  Take an honest moment and make a mental list of those you do not love.  Think of each one for a few seconds.  Now we will apply Godly words.  While thinking of the people in your mental list, repeat with me out loud.  Are you ready? 

I LOVE EVERYBODY!

I LOVE EVERBODY!

I LOVE EVERYBODY!”

Now maintain this confession regardless of the situations that arise and you’ll be free from bitterness, no matter how carnally justifiable it is.  Bitterness is a fruit of evil and it kills.

Psalm 33:6:

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

Hebrews 11:3:

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

If everything is made out of God’s words as the Scriptures clearly declare, then there should be proof everywhere—and there is.  The following excerpts are from the GodSaidManSaid feature, “Words are Like Seeds: When Planted, They Will Bear Fruit (Part 1):”

Author and researcher Lee Strobel, in his book, The Case for a Creator, interviews Stephen C. Meyer, Ph.D., who is presently Director and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture as well as professor of the Conceptual Foundations of Science at Palm Beach Atlantic University.  He holds a doctorate from Cambridge University.  There, he analyzed scientific and methodological issues in origins-of-life biology.  His credentials are substantial. 

Strobel questions Dr. Meyer:

“Let’s talk about DNA, then,” I said.  “You’ve written that there’s a ‘DNA-to-design argument.’ What do you mean by that?”  Meyer removed a pair of gold-rimmed glasses from his shirt pocket and put them on as he began to give his answer.  “Very simply,” he said, “I mean that the origin of information in DNA—which is necessary for life to begin—is best explained by an intelligent cause rather than any of the types of naturalistic causes that scientists typically use to explain biological phenomena.” 

“When you talk about ‘information’ in DNA, what exactly do you mean,” I asked. 

“We know from our experience that we can convey information with a twenty-six letter alphabet, or twenty-two, or thirty—or even just two characters, like the zeros and ones used in binary code in computers.  One of the most extraordinary discoveries of the twentieth century was that DNA actually stores information—the detailed instructions for assembling proteins—in the form of a four-character digital code.  The characters happen to be chemicals called adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine.  Scientists represent them with the letters A, G, C, and T, and that’s appropriate because they function as alphabetic characters in the genetic text.  Properly arranging those four ‘bases,’ as they’re called, will instruct the cell to build different sequences of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins.  Different arrangements of characters yield different sequences of amino acids.”

Meyer concluded:

“DNA is more like a library,” he said.  “The organism accesses the information it needs from DNA so it can build some of its critical components.  And the library analogy is better because of its alphabetic nature.  [End of quote]

In a multi-page feature in the publication Science, the headline reads, “Finally, the Book of Life and Instructions for Navigating It.”  The DNA molecule is a 3.3 billion-letter book.  DNA has not only been constructed by words, but all of its information is just words. 

Consider the following excerpt from the October 2013 issue of Discover magazine.  The paragraph was found in the feature titled, “Life As We Grow It:”

In many ways, writing DNA code is becoming like writing computer code, but instead of ones and zeros, it’s written in As, Cs, Ts, and Gs—abbreviations for the four interconnecting nucleotides that form DNA’s ladder-like structure.  This four-letter language of life allows scientists to see inside biological systems and attempt to reprogram them.  [End of quote]

Words.  Everything is words—God’s Words. [End of quotes]

How can it be that science’s latest discoveries at the foundational level of all life declare the supernatural nature of God’s Word, even if inadvertently?  Three thousand years before science coined the phrase whose acronym is DNA, God describes it in Psalm 139:16:

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

This is inside knowledge that only our Creator could know. 

The placebo is a product of words, as are all things. 

From the GodSaidManSaid feature, “Secrets and Demonstrations of Power-Speaking:”

Dr. Howard Brody, M.D., Ph.D., titled and article in a 2000 issue of Psychology Today, “Mind over Medicine.”  Part of the subhead reads, “Diseases and disorders are hardly ever ‘all in your head,’ but often the power to heal is.”  The power of words is immeasurable. 

You’re aware of the placebo effect.  In clinical measurements, for instance, a proposed medical remedy is measured by taking a group of people and distributing the correct medical product to part of the group and a harmless sugar pill—or placebo—to the other part.  Results are then tabulated.  According to the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, the placebo (sugar pill) clocks in with a cure rate of 33%, which is sometimes higher than the proposed remedy that was administered.  They also discovered that the benefits of the fake placebo spikes measurably upward if the doctor talks the benefits of the fake placebo up.  It’s a matter of words.  Converse to the placebo effect is an effect now known as the nocebo effect, which is the simple, measurable result of negative words.  [End of quote]

Positive, uplifting silent and spoken words release the power of the placebo effect.  What medical science calls the placebo, the Word of God calls hope.  The placebo is spawned in hope—or rather, it is hope itself. 

Hope is dramatically different than wishing.  The basic definition of the Biblical hope is looking forward to something you are certain will come to pass.  The certainty in the equation is called faithHebrews 11:1:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

Example:  The blessed hope, which is eternal life in Christ Jesus, speaks of a city that Christ is preparing for those who love Him, called the New Jerusalem which comes down out of God’s new heaven to His newly created earth.  Our faith in God’s Word gives substance to this city of hope.  Faith gives it its foundations, walls, gates, and dimensions. 

What science calls placebo, the Bible calls hope.  Medical researchers are shocked at what they’re finding.  Discover magazine’s July/August 2014 publication, in an eight-page spread, addresses the subject of the placebo effect.  The subhead of the feature reads, “Once dismissed as a psychological curiosity, the placebo effect is now recognized as the key to the brain’s ‘inner pharmacy.’ If only doctors knew how to open the medicine cabinet.”  Excerpts from the article follow:

The new evidence has established that placebos trigger the brain’s “inner pharmacy”—in essence, a warehouse perpetually stocked to deliver active drugs to itself.  In addition to improving Parkinson’s symptoms, that same inner pharmacy can affect conditions like pain, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, schizophrenia, and more.  As the placebo effect emerges from a long history in the shadows, the new question is:  How can we use this age-old brain trick to our advantage?

When Wager analyzed subjects’ brain activity, he found that people who reported the greatest relief after receiving a placebo also showed the strongest reduction in activity in the ACC, the thalamus, and the insula, all evolutionarily primitive brain structures that respond to physical pain. 

Suddenly, it was clear that when a patient improved on placebo, it wasn’t just some delusion or an effort to please a person in a lab coat.  It was a measurable brain event and reflected an actual reduction in the experience of pain. 

Today, placebos are widely recognized not as a psychological mirage, but as a potent inner pharmacy that we might someday even harness. 

But the real placebo revolution may be in reshaping clinical practice.  Jensen says many doctors cripple their chances of leveraging the placebo effect by acting disinterested or lacking confidence with patients.  She would know:  When she started out, she had trouble eliciting a placebo effect.  It was the doctor, not the patient, who had to change in order to boost the placebo.  She learned to exude confidence and crafted a warmer manner, and her patients began to respond.  [End of quotes]

Joseph Hallinan, former writer for the Wall Street Journal and Neiman Fellow at Harvard University, is a Pulitzer Prize winner and the author of a new book titled Kidding Ourselves.  The subhead of his book reads, “The Hidden Power of Self-Deception,” and among other oddities, he addresses the placebo and nocebo.  Several paragraphs follow:

Consider a common condition like asthma.  It’s a long-term disease that inflames and narrows the airways in the lungs, making it difficult, and even impossible, to breathe.  Asthma afflicts an estimated 300 million people worldwide, about 25 million of them in the United States, and it is often fatal.  In 2009, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 3,300 Americans died from asthma attacks, or about nine every day. 

Asthma attacks are typically treated by having patients inhale albuterol, a drugs that relaxes muscles in the airways.  But research has shown that asthma patients who take albuterol don’t feel much better than those who are treated with a placebo inhaler.  In one recent test, asthma patients who got albuterol reported a 50 percent improvement in their symptoms.  But those who got fake albuterol said their symptoms improved by almost as much—45 percent.  Only when the researchers measured the patients’ ability to force air from their lungs was the benefit of albuterol clear.  The volume of expelled air improved by 20 percent with the drug, versus a 7 percent increase in patients getting the fake drug. 

And the more we believe, the better they work.  In 2009, for instance, the American Lung Association conducted the largest and most comprehensive study to evaluate the effectiveness of placebos in the treatment of asthma.  Its study found, as did the asthma study mentioned previously, that placebos do indeed work.  But they also found something else:  a placebo worked better if doctors bolstered the patient’s belief in its effectiveness.  Patients in the study reported that their asthma control and asthma symptoms “were generally improved by the optimistic message that encouraged expectation of benefit in the placebo group.”  In fact, researchers reported, the effect of the optimistic placebo presentation was so large that it “had the same magnitude of effect on asthma control as did the active drug.” 

In the United States alone, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, 254 million prescriptions a year are written for antidepressants, making them the second most commonly prescribed type of drug, right after medications to lower cholesterol.  Yet much of the power of these drugs has been attributed to the placebo effect.  This has been documented by Irvin Kirsch, a well-known psychologist at Harvard Medical School and at the University of Hull in the U.K., and a leading researcher of antidepressants.  Several years ago, Kirsch and his colleagues obtained, from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the reviews of all placebo-controlled clinical trials initially submitted for the six most widely used antidepressant drugs approved between 1987 and 1999—Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Serzone, and Effexor.  Altogether, there were forty-two trials of the six drugs.  Overall, Kirsch calculated, placebos were 82 percent as effective as the drugs, as measured by the Hamilton Depression Scale, a widely used score of depression symptoms. 

Surgery, for instance, has long been known to exert a powerful placebo effect on the people who undergo it.  Yet doctors are often unaware that what produced the healing wasn’t the scalpel of the surgeon, but the imagination of the patient. 

This was vividly demonstrated more than a decade ago by a well-known surgeon from Houston, Bruce Moseley.  At the time, Dr. Moseley was a surgeon at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston, and was also a team physician for the Houston Rockets professional basketball team.  Like many orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Moseley routinely performed a type of arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee, a procedure that usually involved scraping the joint and rinsing it clean.  This procedure was new but popular; it was performed more than 650,000 times a year in the United States alone.  Yet, for all its popularity, there was little evidence that the surgery actually worked. 

So Dr. Moseley and his colleagues proposed to find out.  Doing this, however, required a bit of deception.  With the consent of hospital administrators, Dr. Moseley recruited 180 veterans with bad knees and divided them into groups.  Some received the real operation, but others got a sham surgery.  These patients were draped and prepped for surgery as usual.  Dr. Moseley even made tiny cuts on their knees so they would have souvenir scars afterward.  But then he did absolutely nothing to fix their knees; he simply closed them up and sent them home. 

The results of the experiment, which were later published in the New England Journal of Medicine, are a testament to the power of imagination.  Dr. Moseley and his colleagues found that the fake surgery worked just as well as the real one.  Even two years after the surgery, there were no significant differences between the two groups:  those who had received the fake surgery walked and climbed stairs just as well as those who had received actual arthroscopic surgery.  [End of quotes]

Finally, from the GodSaidManSaid feature, “Unlock Holy Ghost Pharmacy -- It''s Real!:”

Genesis 1:26:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:

Releasing the power of the God-like brain between our ears is a Biblical directive.  We know this concept as putting on the mind of Christ, and it yields life-changing benefits—whether it is the opening of your pharmacy’s doors 24/7 and the healing of the flesh or a myriad of other marvelous blessings.  The human brain was created by God to flourish when faith and hope are lifted high.  What science calls placebo, God’s Word calls hope.  [End of quote]

The difference, though, of the placebo effect versus God’s hope could not be more stark.  The placebo is hope in a fraud.  The believer’s hope is founded upon the truth that never changes and that is backed by the entire supernatural Kingdom of God.  The results of the hope effect are 100% positive.  Today’s science is knock-knock-knocking on heaven’s door.  

GOD SAID, Psalm 119:49-52:

49 Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.

50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

51 The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.

52 I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself.

GOD SAID, Hebrews 11:1:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

GOD SAID, Proverbs 17:22:

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

MAN SAID:  Man’s science is the solution to all of man’s problems.  The Bible has no place in this enlightened world. 

Now you have THE RECORD. 

 

 

 

References

Authorized King James Version

GodSaidManSaid, “Unlock Holy Ghost Pharmacy -- It''s Real!

GodSaidManSaid, “Words are Like Seeds:  When Planted, They Will Bear Fruit (Part 1)

GodSaidManSaid, “Words and Neuropeptides

Hallinan, J., Kidding Ourselves, Crown Publishers, 2014

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