Sabbath, November 12, 2005
“My heart is made sad as I look at our churches, which ought to be connected
in heart and soul and practice with the medical missionary work. . . . I wish to tell you that soon there will be no work done in ministerial lines but medical missionary work. The work of a minister is to minister. Our ministers are to work on the gospel plan of ministering.” –Welfare Ministry, p. 139.
• To help understand the principles behind medical missionary work.
• To involve more of God’s people in caring for and treating the sick.
• To realize that the health message often opens doors to the gospel.
SUFFERING AND SICKNESS
1. What particular word does Jesus use to describe the tragic ill-health conditions that will prevail in the end times?
Luke 21:11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
“Famines will increase. Pestilences will sweep away thousands. Dangers are all around us from the powers without and satanic workings within, but the restraining power of God is now being exercised.” –Last Day Events, p. 27.
“God has not restrained the powers of darkness from carrying forward their deadly work of vitiating the air, one of the sources of life and nutrition, with a deadly miasma. Not only is vegetable life affected, but man suffers from pestilences. Cholera and unexplainable diseases have broken out. . . . These things are the result of drops from the vials of God’s wrath being sprinkled on the earth, and are but faint representations of what will be in the near future.” –Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, p. 304.
2. Is it God’s desire for mankind to be sick and unhealthy?
3 John 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
“The light God has given on health reform is for our salvation and the salvation of the world. Men and women should be informed in regard to the human habitation, fitted up by our Creator as His dwelling place, and over which He desires us to be faithful stewards. . . . Our bodies are wonderfully made, and the Lord requires us to keep them in order. All are under obligation to Him to keep the human structure in a healthful, wholesome condition, that every muscle, every organ, may be used in the service of God. . . . God, who formed the wonderful structure of the body, will take special care to keep it in order, if men cooperate, instead of working at cross-purposes, with Him.” –Our High Calling, p. 267.
3. How did Matthew summarize Christ’s three-fold ministry?
Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every
“Thus the Saviour has bound together the work of preaching the truth and healing the sick, and we are never to divorce them. Christ blended ministry and healing, and there is to be no more separation in our work than there was in His. There is to be no division between the medical missionary work and the gospel ministry. Medical missionary work is to be to the third angel’s message as the right arm to the body. Both are to work in harmony.” –Sermons and Talks, vol. 2, pp. 141, 142.
“In every sense of the word Christ was a medical missionary. He came to this world to preach the gospel and to heal the sick. He came as a healer of the bodies as well as the souls of human beings. His message was that obedience to the laws of the kingdom of God would bring men and women health and prosperity…” –Counsel on Health, p. 317.
4. What constituted the largest part of Christ’s ministry?
Matthew 4:24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
“The Saviour of the world devoted more time and labor to healing the sick than to preaching.” –The Review and Herald, February 1, 1898.
5. What will help open many doors to the truth?
Luke 10:33, 34 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
“Nothing will open doors for the truth like evangelistic medical missionary work. This will find access to hearts and minds, and will be a means of converting many to the truth. The evangelist who is prepared to minister to a diseased body is given the grandest opportunity of ministering to the sinsick soul. Such an evangelist should be empowered to administer baptism to those who are converted and desire baptism. . . . Medical missionary work is the right, helping hand of the gospel, to open doors for the proclamation of the message. . . . Doors that have been closed to him who merely preaches the gospel will be opened to the intelligent medical missionary. God reaches hearts through the relief of physical suffering.” –Evangelism, p. 513.
OUR RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS THE SICK
6. As we see the misery and suffering caused by numerous diseases in our world, what counsel is given us to help the sick?
Luke 9:2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
“Every church member should be engaged in some line of service for the Master. Some cannot do so much as others, but everyone should do his utmost to roll back the tide of disease and distress that is sweeping over our world.” –The Ministry of Healing, p. 149.
“In new fields no work is so successful as medical missionary work. It is the pioneer work. It is the gospel practiced, the compassion of Christ revealed. God grant that the importance of this work shall be understood, and that new fields may immediately be entered. Then will the work of the ministry be after the Lord’s order. The sick will be healed, and poor, suffering humanity will be blessed.” –Pacific Union Recorder, August 29, 1901.
7. What practical principles of healthful living can be taught to the sick?
“Good service can be done by teaching the people how to prepare healthful food. This line of work is as essential as any that can be taken up. More cooking schools should be established, and some should labor from house to house, giving instruction in the art of cooking wholesome foods. Many, many will be rescued from physical, mental, and moral degeneracy through the influence of health reform. These principles will commend themselves to those who are seeking for light, and such will advance from this to receive the full truth for this time.” –Welfare Ministry, p. 128.
“We need a genuine education in the art of cooking. . . . Form classes, where you may teach the people how to make good bread and how to put together ingredients to make healthful food combinations from the grains and the vegetables.” –Welfare Ministry, p. 128.
THE GREAT PHYSICIAN
8. Although there are many types of treatments used in restoring health, who is the restorer in the recovery of the sick?
Exodus 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
Exodus 23:25 And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and He shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.
“And we should teach others how to preserve and to recover health. For the sick we should use the remedies which God has provided in nature, and we should point them to Him who alone can restore. It is our work to present the sick and suffering to Christ in the arms of our faith. We should teach them to believe in the Great Healer. We should lay hold on His promise, and pray for the manifestation of His power. The very essence of the gospel is restoration, and the Saviour would have us bid the sick, the hopeless, and the afflicted take hold upon His strength.” –Lift Him Up, p. 260.
9. For what will Christ finally commend the righteous?
Matthew 25:21, 34, 36 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord…. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world… Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
• What wonderful results have you personally experienced in the treatment of the sick?
• What methods of treatment of the sick have been successful and have opened
the doors to minister to their spiritual needs?