Sabbath, December 19, 2015
“Our bodies are Christ’s purchased property, and we are not at liberty to do with them as we please. Man has done this. He has treated his body as if its laws had no penalty…. Because man has sinned against his body, and has corrupted his ways, God is dishonored.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 18.
“When men take any course which needlessly expends their vitality or beclouds their intellect, they sin against God; they do not glorify Him in their body and spirit, which are His.” –Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, p. 8.
The body–temple of the Holy Spirit
1. As what does the word of the Lord describe the body? On that basis, what should we do with our body, soul, and spirit?
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? 20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Romans 14:7, 8 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
“We are not our own. We have been purchased with a dear price, even the sufferings and death of the Son of God. If we could understand this, and fully realize it, we would feel a great responsibility resting upon us to keep ourselves in the very best condition of health, that we might render to God perfect service. But when we take any course which expends our vitality, decreases our strength, or beclouds the intellect we sin against God. In pursuing this course we are not glorifying Him in our bodies and spirits which are His, but are committing a great wrong in His sight.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 354.
The food of Eden and in the wilderness
2. What food did the Lord provide for Adam and Eve in Eden? What did He give His people to eat on the way to Canaan?
Genesis 1:29 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.
Exodus 16:4, 35 Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day…. 35And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.
“In choosing man’s food in Eden, the Lord showed what was the best diet; in the choice made for Israel, He taught the same lesson….
“When God led the children of Israel out of Egypt, it was His purpose to establish them in the land of Canaan a pure, happy, healthy people. Let us look at the means by which He would accomplish this. He subjected them to a course of discipline, which, had it been cheerfully followed, would have resulted in good, both to themselves and to their posterity. He removed flesh food from them in a great measure. He had granted them flesh in answer to their clamors, just before reaching Sinai, but it was furnished for only one day. God might have provided flesh as easily as manna, but a restriction was placed upon the people for their good. It was His purpose to supply them with food better suited to their wants than the feverish diet to which many of them had been accustomed in Egypt. The perverted appetite was to be brought into a more healthy state, that they might enjoy the food originally provided for man–the fruits of the earth, which God gave to Adam and Eve in Eden.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, pp. 374, 377, 378.
Food in the new earth
3. What will grow in the new earth to provide food and health for the children of the King? Keeping both the past and the future in mind, what should God’s people do today to preserve their health in the best possible way?
Isaiah 65:21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
Ezekiel 47:12 And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.
“There the Eden life will be lived, the life in garden and field.
“Will the people who are preparing to become holy, pure, and refined, that they may be introduced into the society of heavenly angels, continue to take the life of God’s creatures and subsist on their flesh and enjoy it as a luxury? From what the Lord has shown me, this order of things will be changed, and God’s peculiar people will exercise temperance in all things.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 63.
“Those who have received instruction regarding the evils of the use of flesh foods, tea and coffee, and rich and unhealthful food preparations, and who are determined to make a covenant with God by sacrifice, will not continue to indulge their appetite for food that they know to be unhealthful. God demands that the appetites be cleansed, and that self-denial be practiced in regard to those things which are not good. This is a work that will have to be done before His people can stand before Him a perfected people.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 36.
Modesty and decency in apparel
4. Since our bodies are the temples of God, what should characterize our outward appearance and our lives for the honor of the divine Creator?
1 Timothy 2:9, 10 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; 10But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
1 Peter 3:2-4 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. 3Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
“Dress as Christians should dress–simply, plainly adorn yourselves as becometh women professing godliness, with good works.” –Child Guidance, p. 421.
“The lesson applies to believers in every age. ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’ Matthew 7:20. The inward adorning of a meek and quiet spirit is priceless. In the life of the true Christian the outward adorning is always in harmony with the inward peace and holiness. ‘If any man will come after Me,’ Christ said, ‘let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.’ Matthew 16:24. Self-denial and sacrifice will mark the Christian’s life. Evidence that the taste is converted will be seen in the dress of all who walk in the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 523.
The importance of temperance
5. What balance should we maintain, regardless of society’s ideas and practices? What should be our goal in eating, drinking, dressing, speaking, and everything that we do?
2 Peter 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness.
Galatians 5:22, 23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
1 Corinthians 10:31-33 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 32Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: 33Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
“The strength of the temptation to indulge appetite can be measured only by the inexpressible anguish of our Redeemer in that long fast in the wilderness. He knew that the indulgence of perverted appetite would so deaden man’s perceptions that sacred things could not be discerned. Adam fell by the indulgence of appetite; Christ overcame by the denial of appetite. And our only hope of regaining Eden is through firm self-control. If the power of indulged appetite was so strong upon the race, that, in order to break its hold the divine Son of God, in man’s behalf, had to endure a fast of nearly six weeks, what a work is before the Christian! Yet, however great the struggle, he may overcome. By the help of that divine power which withstood the fiercest temptations that Satan could invent, he, too, may be entirely successful in his warfare with evil, and at last may wear the victor’s crown in the kingdom of God.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 167.
Keeping body and mind holy
6. During His ministry, Jesus cleansed the temple twice, even though it would soon be destroyed. Now the temple of God on the earth is one’s body. What should we do to keep our bodies clean?
2 Corinthians 7:1 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.
1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24 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. 24Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
“This is true sanctification. It is not merely a theory, an emotion, or a form of words, but a living, active principle, entering into the everyday life. It requires that our habits of eating, drinking, and dressing, be such as to secure the preservation of physical, mental, and moral health, that we may present to the Lord our bodies–not an offering corrupted by wrong habits but–‘a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.’ ” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 165.
Health and blessing
7. If we wish the Lord’s blessing, what will be our purpose in life? What will be the result now if we joyfully follow the heavenly light and obey the Master’s voice?
2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
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 4:18, 22 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day…. 22For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
“God desired to make of His people Israel a praise and a glory. Every spiritual advantage was given them. God withheld from them nothing favorable to the formation of character that would make them representatives of Himself.
“Their obedience to the law of God would make them marvels of prosperity before the nations of the world. He who could give them wisdom and skill in all cunning work would continue to be their teacher, and would ennoble and elevate them through obedience to His laws. If obedient, they would be preserved from the diseases that afflicted other nations, and would be blessed with vigor of intellect. The glory of God, His majesty and power, were to be revealed in all their prosperity. They were to be a kingdom of priests and princes. God furnished them with every facility for becoming the greatest nation on the earth.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 288.
For additional study
Revelation 22:2; 1 Peter 4:2; Romans 14:7, 8.
“Let our sisters dress plainly, as many do, having the dress of good, dura-ble material, appropriate for this age, and let not the dress question fill the mind…. They should clothe themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety. Give to the world a living illustration of the inward adorning of the grace of God.” –Child Guidance, p. 414.
“Adam and Eve fell through intemperate appetite. Christ came and withstood the fiercest temptation of Satan, and, in behalf of the race, overcame appetite, showing that man may overcome. As Adam fell through appetite, and lost blissful Eden, the children of Adam may, through Christ, overcome appetite, and through temperance in all things regain Eden.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 70.