FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
June 6, 2014
Are We Preparing for the Latter Rain?– Part XXXIII
A Temperate People (last part)
The Mind a Treasure. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2: 5. It is only as we have the mind of Christ can we practice Bible temperance. God in the flesh doesn’t force us into becoming temperate in all things. He appeals to our reasoning powers. When He says, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed” (Amos 3:3), He bids, “Come now, and let us reason together.” Isaiah 1: 18.
Solomon knew this, and wrote: “I applied my heart to know, to search and seek out wisdom and the reason of things.” Eccl. 7: 25. Paul appeals to all Christians: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, thatyou present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Rom.12: 1, 2.
Mind in the Bible is translated from three Greek words: (1) Phroneo, meaning, “entertain, to have sentiment, opinion, to interest oneself, set affection, to be the same.” (2) Nous, “intellect (divine or human) in thought, feeling, will, understanding.” (3) Dianoia, “deep thought, the faculty, or disposition, its exercise through imagination, understanding.” And the Hebrew metalepsis, “participate, accept, partake, receive.” (Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries). The apostle says: “Therefore, to him that knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4: 17, N.K.J.V.
“We are God’s workmanship [Eph. 2:10], and His Word declares that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ [Ps. 139:14]. He has prepared this living habitation [Eph. 2: 22] for the mind; it is ‘skillfully wrought’ [Ps. 139: 15], a temple which the Lord Himself has fitted up for the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. The mind controls the whole man. All our actions, good or bad, have their source in the mind. It is the mind that worships God and allies us to heavenly beings. Yet many spend all their lives without becoming intelligent in regard to the human body that contains this treasure.” – Ellen G. White, Reflecting Christ (Devotional), p. 149.
“All the physical organs are the servants of the mind, and the nerves are the messengers that transmit its orders to every part of the body, guiding the motions of the living machinery . . . .The appetites and passions must be controlled, that through them we shall not weaken or defile God’s human temple. Anything that lessens the physical power enfeebles the mind, and makes it less clear to discriminate between good and evil, between right and wrong.” – Ibid.
The Body and Obituary Notices in the Book of Genesis. – While the Bible records many examples of people afflicted with debilitating and fatal diseases such as Mephibosheth, crippled son of Jonathan (2 Sam 4: 4-6), the woman suffering bleeding problems for 12 years (Matt. 9:20-22), the lepers, blind, deaf, and maimed, etc., whom Jesus healed, Ellen G. White points out in Our Father Cares (devotional), pp. 169, 170, that:
“The book of Genesis gives quite a definite account of social and individual life, and yet we have no record of an infant’s being born blind, deaf, crippled, deformed, or imbecile. There is not an instance upon record of a natural death in infancy, childhood, or early manhood. There is no record of men and women dying of disease. Obituary notices in the book of Genesis runs thus: ‘And all the days of that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.’ ‘And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died . . .God endowed man with so great vital force that he has withstood the accumulation of disease brought upon the race as a consequence of perverted habits, and has continued for six thousand years. . . If Adam, at his creation, had not been endowed with twenty times as much vital force as men now have, the race, with their present habits living in violation of natural law, would have become extinct.
“God did not create the race in its present feeble condition. This state of things is not the work of Providence , but the work of man: it has been brought about by wrong habits and abuses, by violating the laws that God has made to govern man’s existence. God created man for His own glory, that after test and trial the human family might become one with the heavenly family, if they would show themselves obedient to His every word. To Eve it seemed a small thing to disobey God by tasting the fruit of the forbidden tree, and to tempt her husband also to transgress; but their sin opened the floodgates of woe upon the world. [Gen.3; Rom 5: 12-21; 6:23]. Who can know, in the moment of temptation, the terrible consequences that will result from one wrong step?”
Julius Gilbert White [unrelated to James and E. G. White], author of Abundant Living and The Alpha and Omega of Apostasy, in Fundamentals of Medical Evangelism, which was taken from a series of articles appearing in theMedical Evangelist magazine, November, 1920 through July 1921 on the Bible Basis of medical evangelism, wrote:
“The fundamental lesson in the study of the human body is to learn that God created the body, and instituted all its laws and functions; that God gave it life which was to be full, perfect, without pain, without disease, and without end; that the interference with this plan which came in through disobedience to the laws which God instituted; and that our diseases are the result of disobedience by ourselves or those who have gone before. This is taught by such Scriptures as these: ‘Sin no more lest a worse thing come upon thee.’ John 5: 14. “For whether is easier to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee, or to say, Arise, and walk?’ Matthew 9: 5. “Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.’ James 1: 15. Death, which we usually consider to be to the result of our diseases, God says is the result of sin. Had there been no sin, there would have been no disease, and no medical work. ‘Jesus came that we might have life, and that we might have it more abundantly.’ John 10:10.
“Jesus came to forgive all our iniquities, to heal all our diseases, and to redeem our lives from destruction. Psalm 103: 3, 4. Therefore, to take away sins, and to take away sickness, and to redeem the life, are all His work, and are all one work, and cannot be separated. This means that our violations of the spiritual and physical laws of God must be treated and healed together as one work, which cannot be separated. And when His work offorgiving and healing is finished, no one will then say, ‘I am sick; the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.’ Isiaih 33: 24. In taking away all their iniquity, their sicknesses are also taken away. Then there shall be no more pain. Revelation 21: 4; and ‘the last enemy that shall be destroyed, is death.’ 1 Corinthians 15: 26. Then the Savior’s work is finished, and the work of the [Christian] physician is also finished. The work of the true physician is a calling from God to co-operate with Him in His great work of restoring mankind; and the true way to work is to seek for the causes of our condition, and labor to remove them. And the causes are found in the violations of the laws of God, both spiritual and physical.
“The study of the human body should always be a search after the will of God, with obedience as the purpose, which makes the restoration of character the goal. This is why ‘teaching and healing should never be separated.’ E. G. White, Ministry of Healing, p. 41.
‘To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.’ 1 Samuel 15: 22. It is better that we learn not to sin, than that we sin and then have to make a sacrifice for it and be forgiven. And it is likewise better that we learn to live without violating nature’s laws than we ignore them, become sick, and have to be forgiven (healed), (bring a sacrifice).
“Therefore, the very best and highest form of practicing the healing art is teaching people to obey both the spiritual and physical laws, as the laws of God. This is the highest and best form of the healing art for two reasons. (a) To prevent sin and sickness so that forgiveness and healing are not needed is better than to forgive and heal. (b) Recovery by teaching brings forth character through obedience to the law of God. Reason (a) is good, but reason (b) is far more important but much less understood.
‘Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Their soul abhorreth allmanner of food; and they draw near unto the gates of death. Then they cry unto Jehovah in their trouble, and He sendeth His Word and healeth them.” Psalm 107: 17-20, R.V. The ‘word’ which He ‘sendeth’ and by which He ‘healeth’ them must contain as its chief element instruction to cure them of their foolishness and transgressions, by calling for repentance and future obedience. The ‘word’ by which He ‘healeth’ them says,—[1 Cor. 3: 16, 17; 6: 19, 20 quoted] and [1 Corinthians 10:31 and Ecclesiastes 10: 17 quoted], and, [Gen. 1: 29, R.V. quoted]. This kind of ‘words’ is better than treatment of medicine. To obey this kind of words is better than to plead for forgiveness and healing which follows disobedience, and to bring a ‘sacrifice.’”
The last part of the second commandment forbidding the making and worshipping of images, says, “Visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me.” Exo. 20: 5. – “It is inevitable that children should suffer from the consequences of parental wrong-doing, but they are not punished for the parents’ guilt, except as they participate in their sins. It is usually the case, however, that children walk in the steps of their parents. By inheritance and example the sons become partakers of the father’s sins. Wrong tendencies, perverted appetites, and debased morals, as well as physical disease and degeneracy, are transmitted as a legacy from father to son, to the third and fourth generation. This fearful truth should have a solemn power to restrain men from following a course of sin.” Ellen G. White, Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 306, Pacific Press Publishing Asso, 1890.
(Continued next week, A Sabbath Keeping People)