Sabbath, December 20, 2008
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31.
• To understand that health reform is the right arm of the third angel’s message.
• To appreciate and implement the Biblical message concerning physical health.
• To take good care of our bodies, as they belong to God.
“In order to preserve health, temperance in all things is necessary…. Our heavenly Father sent the light of health reform to guard against the evils resulting from a debased appetite, that those who love purity and holiness may know how to use with discretion the good things He has provided for them, and that by exercising temperance in daily life, they may be sanctified through the truth.” –Child Guidance, p. 396.
Health and the third angel’s message
1. How many visions about health reform did the Lord give His servant? What does God say regarding the third angel’s message and health?
Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
“It was in the 1860’s–the decade of two basic health-reform visions (June 6, 1863, and December 25, 1865).…
“December 10, 1871, I was again shown that the health reform is one branch of the great work which is to fit a people for the coming of the Lord. It is as closely connected with the third angel’s message as the hand is with the body. The law of ten commandments has been lightly regarded by man; but the Lord would not come to punish the transgressors of that law without first sending them a message of warning. The third angel proclaims that message. Had men ever been obedient to the law of ten commandments, carrying out in their lives the principles of those precepts, the curse of disease now flooding the world would not be.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 69.
2. What happens when such an important issue is neglected?
1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
“God has shown that health reform is as closely connected with the third angel’s message as the hand is united to the body. And there is nowhere to be found so great a cause of physical and moral degeneracy as a neglect of this important subject…. Whoever violates moral obligations in the matter of eating and dressing prepares the way to violate the claims of God in regard to eternal interests. Our bodies are not our own. God has claims upon us to take care of the habitation He has given us, that we may present our bodies to Him a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable. Our bodies belong to Him who made them, and we are in duty bound to become intelligent in regard to the best means of preserving from decay the habitation He has given us. If we enfeeble the body by self-gratification, by indulging the appetite, and by dressing in accordance with health-destroying fashions, in order to be in harmony with the world, we become enemies of God….” –That I May Know Him, p. 317.
3. Why are we called to practice health reform?
1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
“In order to preserve health, temperance in all things is necessary–temperance in labor, temperance in eating and drinking. Our heavenly Father sent the light of health reform to guard against the evils resulting from a debased appetite, that those who love purity and holiness may know how to use with discretion the good things He has provided for them, and that by exercising temperance in daily life, they may be sanctified through the truth.” – Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 23.
4. What preparation does every minister and every believer need to receive in relation to the health message?
Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
“Ministers and people must act in concert. God’s people are not prepared for the loud cry of the third angel. They have a work to do for themselves which they should not leave for God to do for them. He has left this work for them to do. It is an individual work; one cannot do it for another. ‘Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.’ Gluttony is the prevailing sin of this age. Lustful appetite makes slaves of men and women, and beclouds their intellects and stupefies their moral sensibilities to such a degree that the sacred, elevated truths of God’s word are not appreciated. The lower propensities have ruled men and women.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 32.
The reformthat God approves
5. What was God’s original plan for man’s diet?
Genesis 1:29; 2:9 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat… And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Psalm 104:14 He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth.
“In order to know what are the best foods, we must study God’s original plan for man’s diet. He who created man and who understands his needs appointed Adam his food….
“Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator.” –The Ministry of Healing, pp. 296, 297.
“Vegetables, fruits, and grains should compose our diet. Not an ounce of flesh meat should enter our stomachs. The eating of flesh is unnatural. We are to return to God’s original purpose in the creation of man.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 380.
6. What drink did God design for man? Why do people sometimes crave wine and intoxicating beverages?
Isaiah 48:21 And they thirsted not when he led them through the deserts: he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them: he clave the rock also, and the waters gushed out.
Daniel 1:12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
Proverbs 20:1; 23:31, 32 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise… Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
“The demand for stimulants becomes more frequent and more difficult to resist. The system becomes more or less filled with poison, and the more debilitated it becomes, the greater is the desire for these things. One step in the wrong direction prepares the way for another. Many who would not be guilty of placing on their table wine or liquor of any kind will load their table with food which creates such a thirst for strong drink that to resist the temptation is almost impossible. Wrong habits of eating and drinking destroy the health and prepare the way for drunkenness….
“Under the head of stimulants and narcotics is classed a great variety of articles that, altogether, used as food or drink irritate the stomach, poison the blood, and excite the nerves. Their use is a positive evil.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, pp. 123, 339.
7. How can proper nutrition prevent the so-called diseases of civilization?
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.
Proverbs 4:20-22 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
“Let the diet reform be progressive. Let the people be taught how to prepare food without the use of milk or butter. Tell them that the time will soon come when there will be no safety in using eggs, milk, cream, or butter, because disease in animals is increasing in proportion to the increase of wickedness among men. The time is near when, because of the iniquity of the fallen race, the whole animal creation will groan under the diseases that curse our earth.
God will give His people ability and tact to prepare wholesome food without these things. Let our people discard all unwholesome recipes.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 349.
Note: Prominent diseases in the modern world are hypertension, obesity, certain types of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, eating disorders, and some types of cancer.
8. How does the way we dress affect our physical health? In what way is this related to the third angel’s message?
1 Timothy 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
“Temperance in all things is to be connected with the message, to turn the people of God from their idolatry, their gluttony, and their extravagance in dress and other things.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 71.
“Do not, my sisters, trifle longer with your own souls and with God. I have been shown that the main cause of your backsliding is your love of dress. This leads to the neglect of grave responsibilities, and you find yourselves with scarcely a spark of the love of God in your hearts. Without delay renounce the cause of your backsliding, because it is sin against your own soul and against God.” – Counsels on Health, p. 603.
“There is a terrible sin upon us as a people, that we have permitted our church members to dress in a manner inconsistent with their faith. We must arise at once and close the door against the allurements of fashion. Unless we do this, our churches will become demoralized.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 648.
Temperance and regularity
9. Where and when is it appropriate to provide education in habits of temperance?
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Psalm 144:12 That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.
“The Christian life is one of constant self-denial and self-control. These are the lessons to be taught the children from their infancy. Teach them that they must practice temperance, purity in thought and heart and act, that they belong to God because they have been bought with a price, even the precious blood of His dear Son.” –Child Guidance, p. 116.
10. Are regularity in eating, working, and resting important?
Ecclesiastes 10:17 Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!
Exodus 20:8, 9 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
“The stomach must have its regular periods for labor and rest; hence eating irregularly and between meals, is a most pernicious violation of the laws of health. With regular habits, and proper food, the stomach will gradually recover….
“Those who perform only manual labor, frequently work to excess without giving themselves periods of rest; while the intellectual class overwork the brain and suffer for want of the healthful vigor that physical labor gives. If the intellectual would to some extent share the burden of the laboring class and thus strengthen the muscles, the laboring class might do less and devote a portion of their time to mental and moral culture…. Health should be a sufficient inducement to lead them to unite physical with mental labor.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods,, pp. 175, 181.
11. How should we use recreational time with the family?
Mark 6:31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
“In order for children and youth to have health, cheerfulness, vivacity, and well-developed muscles and brains, they should be much in the open air and have well-regulated employment and amusement.” –Child Guidance, p. 339.
“There are modes of recreation which are highly beneficial to both mind and body. An enlightened, discriminating mind will find abundant means for entertainment and diversion, from sources not only innocent, but instructive. Recreation in the open air, the contemplation of the works of God in nature, will be of the highest benefit.” –The Adventist Home, p. 496.
12. What is God’s purpose for every individual? Isaiah 48:17. What are the results of practicing temperance? 2 Timothy 1:7; 2 Peter 1:5, 6.
Isaiah 48:17 Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Peter 1:5, 6 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
“The observance of temperance and regularity in all things has a wonderful power. It will do more than circumstances or natural endowments in promoting that sweetness and serenity of disposition which count so much in smoothing life’s pathway.” –Education, p. 206.
“Those who, like Daniel, refuse to defile themselves, will reap the reward of their temperate habits. With their greater physical stamina and increased power of endurance, they have a bank of deposit upon which to draw in case of emergency.” –Temperance, p. 101.