“As in the study of physiology they see that they are indeed ‘fearfully and wonderfully made,’ they will be inspired with reverence. Instead of marring God’s handiwork, they will have an ambition to make all that is possible of themselves, in order to fulfill the Creator’s glorious plan. Thus they will come to regard obedience to the laws of health, not as a matter of sacrifice or self-denial, but as it really is, an inestimable privilege and blessing.” – Education, p. 201.
This should help disabuse the minds of those who think that when they strive to live in conformity to the eight laws of health that they are performing a “very great sacrifice of self-denial.” When thus narrowly viewed, making others aware of their efforts makes them somehow feel and act superior to those who are not into it, yet. But true health reform is not self-sacrifice per se even if it does require self-denial as much as it is a wonderful privilege, honor, and blessing of cooperating with God in His work and plan of restoration! A change of mind and heart is the very first things that must take place before one starts changing his habits and lifestyle else he does it merely to impress others with his “great body.” Such is self-centeredness and is foreign to the work of genuine sanctification, which is “the will of God.” 1 Thess. 4:3, 4. What we must be deeply impressed with, is this:
“It is as truly a sin to violate the laws of our being as it is to break the Ten Commandments. To do either is to break God’s laws. Those who transgress the law of God in their physical organism, will be inclined to break the law of God spoken in Sinai.”- Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 17.
“The living organism is God’s property. It belongs to Him by creation and redemption; and by misuse of any of our powers we rob God of the honor due Him.”- Ibid.
“A failure to care for the living machinery is an insult to the Creator. There are divinely appointed rules which if observed will keep the human beings from disease and premature death.” – Ibid.
The following is rendered clear:
- If we claim to believe that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, and is our Creator, Redeemer, Lord, and Master, then all that we are—every nerve, muscle, and faculty belongs to Him by creation and redemption. All that we are and all that we have are not our own for all have already been “bought” or purchased with a price”—even the blood of God. If this is what is meant by “we are already saved,” then that is true. But if not, it is a great deception. No true Christian with a rational mind who is studying to know the will of God will ever claim that he has the right or authority to say, “this is my body, I can do anything with it as I please,”—including committing suicide; or, “this is my money: I worked for it, I will spend it any way I want to,” or “this is my moment, I will do what I want with it,” etc.
- The eighth commandment, “Thou shalt not steal or rob,” is as exceedingly broad as every single precept of the Decalogue is. We may be faithful in giving our tithes and offerings, not be guilty of stealing money, things, property, both literal and intellectual, or identities of others so rampant today, but we may still be guilty of theft by the books of heaven and the balances of the sanctuary in many other areas of our lives. This surely is one of them—robbing God of the honor due Him by misusing any of the powers given us in our physical organism. By doing so, we, in fact, insult our Creator and Redeemer!
- We must understand that true nature and work of the third angel is not merely warning people of who the “beast and his image” are, and against receiving its “mark, name, and number” but includes true health reform it “being an arm” of this last message to be given to the world. Failing to realize this often leads to fanaticism.
Temperance is both abstinence and moderation: abstinence from all that defiles the mind and body and moderation in all that is only good—not “a little of everything.” Temperance (self-control) is one of the “fruits of the Spirit,” an evidence or manifestation that the Holy Spirit is being allowed to do its work in the life. Now this applies not alone to food, drink, or clothing as they very well must be but to everything. It applies to the “laws of our being,” to “every nerve, muscle, and faculty entrusted to men.” Intemperance of course in eating is one of the leading worldwide causes of slow but sure suicide. Countless gourmands are “food networking” themselves to death, pleasing their senses and taste buds to what is deceptively called “comfort food” which, regardless of region or culture from which they may be unique to and proudly claimed, are invariably not the type of food that would enhance health and prolong lives.
“The law of temperance must control the life of every Christian. God is to be in all our thoughts; His glory is to be ever kept in view. We must break away from every influence that would captivate our thoughts and lead us from God. We are under sacred obligations to God to so govern our bodies and rule our appetites and passions that they may not lead us away from purity and holiness, or take our minds from the work God requires us to do.” My Life Today, p. 125
“Those who serve God in sincerity and truth will be a peculiar people, unlike the world, separate from the world. Their food will be prepared, not to encourage gluttony or gratify a perverted taste, but to secure to themselves the greatest physical strength, and consequently the best mental conditions.” Ibid.
“Ignorance of the laws of nature in regard to our bodies is sin.” How many Christians realize this? This is one certain reason, among many others, why no one should, in fatal self-confidence, deceive himself and others by loosely saying, “I am already saved to eternal life” or “once-saved-always-saved.” However, if those who say this actually mean “we have already been bought with a price,” even the blood of the life of Christ, then that statement is correct. But having been purchased according to the plan of salvation includes the divine guarantee that man’s free will, which is the deciding power in the nature of man, as God so created into him, is not eliminated or even ignored. If the one who acknowledges that his whole being, meaning his “soul,” has been purchased by God in Christ, but is not striving to study and the physical and natural laws regarding the physiology of his own body and how to take care of it, he is committing sin a particular sin by this willful ignorance. Many may not have been aware of this truth till now. But “the times of ignorance God winked at but He now calls all men to repentance.” Acts 17: 30.
Life and Health. – Both need to be carefully joined together in teaching and practice when promoting health reform in the light of the third angel’s message.
“God has given you a habitation to care for and preserve in the best condition for His service and glory. Your bodies are not your own. . . . Health is a blessing of which few appreciate the value [until they lose it].. . . . Life is a holy trust, which God alone can enable us to keep, and to use for His glory. But He who formed the wonderful structure of the body will take special care to keep it in order IF men do not work at cross-purposes with Him. Every talent entrusted to us He will help us to improve and use in accordance to the will of the Giver. – Counsels on Health, p. 622.
“Youth is the time to establish good habits, to correct wrong ones already contracted, to gain and to hold the power of self-control, and to lay the plan, and accustom one’s self to the practice of ordering all the acts of life with reference to the will of God.” –Pacific Health Journal, Aug., 1890.
The painful reality is that it is during youth that the vast majority of professed Christian homes fail to teach by precept and example of the parents that all their acts of life be ordered according to the expressed will of God. The terrible state of society and the churches can be traced to the homes of its members. Thus revival and reformation must start and take place in the homes if it is to do its work in the churches.
Once more: “Accustoming one’s self to the practice of ordering all the acts of life with reference to the will of God.” What an awesome thought and responsibility that few of us Christians ever gave serious consideration to! And yet this was how Enoch “walked with God” for three centuries so that at the end of this daily activity he was translated to heaven without tasting death. This was what Paul meant by “pressing toward the mark of prize of the high calling in Jesus;” what he meant by “knowing the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.” This is the secret of how sanctification by the convicting, enlightening, empowering, and comforting work of Holy Spirit takes place over a lifetime—when one, in cooperation with the Godhead and the angels, orders all the acts of his life with reference to the will of God!
“The sacred temple of the body must be kept pure and uncontaminated, that God’s Holy Spirit may dwell therein. We need to guard faithfully the Lord’s property, for any abuse of our powers shortens the time that can be used for the glory of God. Bear in mind that we must consecrate all—soul, body, and spirit—to God. All is His purchased possession, and must be used intelligently, to the end that we may preserve the talents of life. By properly using our powers to their fullest extent in the most useful employment, by keeping every organ in health, by so preserving every organ that mind, sinew, and muscle shall work harmoniously, we may do the most precious service for God.”- Youth’s Instructor, Apr. 2, 1898.
Many good and zealous Christians venerate their church buildings and dedicated worship places, taking great care that nothing physical defiles its floors, walls, furniture, pews, and most specially, its sanctuary during their worship hour services. They practice or some even enforce silence, reverence, including dress codes. In and of themselves all these are to be encouraged early in the child’s life (especially in these last days when the loose form of contemporary worship includes a bedlam of noise called “worship music” and swaying and clapping to it, etc.). But such will never compensate, much less “atone” for careless or reckless treatment of their body temple by intemperance in any respect. They are defiling the most important and sacred temple of all—the dwelling place of God and the Holy Spirit—for the omnipresent God does not dwell exclusively or can be confined within walls of any building. He dwells in every heart that invites Him and diligently keeps it for Him, anywhere, anytime, till the end of the world.
Additionally, the most precious service that can be done for God, as many yet do not realize, is not just “to faithfully serve in the church board,” or in any of the church ministries,” but in “keeping every organ in health, preserving every organ of the mind, sinew, and muscle” so that all will work harmoniously.” Indeed, “true religion and the laws of health go hand in hand” (RH, Nov. 12, 1901).
May God bless the reading, study, and application of His Word!