For the Glory of God
[C.T.B.H. 41, 42] (1890) C.H. 107, 108
I. Only one lease of life is granted us; and the inquiry with every one should be, "How can I invest my powers so that they may yield the greatest profit? How can I do most for the glory of God and the benefit of my fellow men?" For life is valuable only as it is used for the attainment of these ends.
Our first duty toward God and our fellow beings is that of self-development. Every faculty with which the Creator has endowed us should be cultivated to the highest degree of perfection, that we may be able to do the greatest amount of good of which we are capable. Hence that time is spent to good account which is used in the establishment and preservation of physical and mental health. We cannot afford to dwarf or cripple any function of body or mind. As surely as we do this, we must suffer the consequences.
Choice of Life or Death
Every man has the opportunity, to a great extent, of making himself whatever he chooses to be. The blessings of this life, and also of the immortal state, are within his reach. He may build up a character of solid worth, gaining new strength at every step. He may advance daily in knowledge and wisdom, conscious of new delights as he progresses, adding virtue to virtue, grace to grace. His faculties will improve by use; the more wisdom he gains, the greater will be his capacity for acquiring. His intelligence, knowledge, and virtue will thus develop into greater strength and more perfect symmetry.
On the other hand, he may allow his powers to rust out for want of use, or to be perverted through evil habits, lack of self-control, or moral and religious stamina. His course then tends downward; he is disobedient to the law of God and
to the laws of health. Appetite conquers him; inclination carries him away. It is easier for him to allow the powers of evil, which are always active, to drag him backward, than to struggle against them, and go forward. Dissipation, disease, and death follow. This is the history of many lives that might have been useful in the cause of God and humanity.
Seek for Perfection
(1905) M.H. 114, 115
2. God desires us to reach the standard of perfection made possible for us by the gift of Christ. He calls upon us to make our choice on the right side, to connect with heavenly agencies, to adopt principles that will restore in us the divine image. In His written word and in the great book of nature He has revealed the principles of life. It is our work to obtain a knowledge of these principles, and by obedience to cooperate with Him in restoring health to the body as well as to the soul.
Letter 73a, 1896
3. The living organism is God's property. It belongs to Him by creation and by redemption; and by a misuse of any of our powers we rob God of the honour due to Him.
A Question of Obedience
MS 49, 1897
4. The obligations we owe to God in presenting to Him clean, pure, healthy bodies are not comprehended.
Letter 120, 1901
5. A failure to care for the living machinery is an insult to the Creator. There are divinely appointed rules which if observed will keep human beings from disease and premature death.
R. & H., May 8, 1883
6. One reason why we do not enjoy more of the blessing of the Lord is, we do not heed the light which He has been pleased to give us in regard to the laws of life and health. 17
(1900) C.O.L. 347, 348 7. God is as truly the author of physical laws as He is author of the moral law. His law is written with His own finger upon every nerve, every muscle, every faculty, which has been entrusted to man.
MS 3, 1897
8. The Creator of man has arranged the living machinery of our bodies. Every function is wonderfully and wisely made. And God pledged Himself to keep this human machinery in healthful action if the human agent will obey His laws and cooperate with God. Every law governing the human machinery is to be considered just as truly divine in origin, in character, and in importance as the word of God. Every careless, inattentive action, any abuse put upon the Lord's wonderful mechanism, by disregarding His specified laws in the human habitation, is a violation of God's law. We may behold and admire the work of God in the natural world, but the human habitation is the most wonderful. [SIN OF TAKING A COURSE WHICH NEEDLESSLY EXPENDS VITALITY OR BECLOUDS THE BRAIN--194]
(1890) C.T.B.H. 53
9. 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 violate the law of God spoken from Sinai. [SEE ALSO 63]
Our Saviour warned His disciples that just prior to His second coming a state of things would exist very similar to that which preceded the flood. Eating and drinking would be carried to excess, and the world would be given up to pleasure. This state of things does exist at the present time. The world is largely given up to the indulgence of appetite; and the disposition to follow worldly customs will bring us into bondage to perverted habits,--habits that will make us more and more like the doomed inhabitants of Sodom. I have wondered that the inhabitants of the earth were not
destroyed, like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. I see reason enough for the present state of degeneracy and mortality in the world. Blind passion controls reason, and every high consideration is, with many, sacrificed to lust.
To keep the body in a healthy condition, in order that all parts of the living machinery may act harmoniously, should be a study of our life. The children of God cannot glorify Him with sickly bodies or dwarfed minds. Those who indulge in any species of intemperance, either in eating or drinking, waste their physical energies and weaken moral power.
(1900) 6T 369, 370
10. Since the laws of nature are the laws of God, it is plainly our duty to give these laws careful study. We should study their requirements in regard to our own bodies, and conform to them. Ignorance in these things is sin. [WILLFUL IGNORANCE INCREASES SIN--53]
"Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?" "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." 1 Cor. 6:15, 19, 20. 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. Through perverted appetite its organs and powers have become enfeebled, diseased, and crippled. And these results which Satan has brought about by his own specious temptations, he uses to taunt God with. He presents before God the human body that Christ has purchased as His property; and what an unsightly representation of his Maker man is! Because man has sinned against his body, and has corrupted his ways, God is dishonoured.
When men and women are truly converted, they will conscientiously regard the laws of life that God has established in their being, thus seeking to avoid physical, mental, and moral feebleness. Obedience to these laws must be made a matter of personal duty. We ourselves must suffer the ills of
violated law. We must answer to God for our habits and practices. Therefore, the question for us is not, "What will the world say?" but, "How shall I, claiming to be a Christian, treat the habitation God has given me? Shall I work for my highest temporal and spiritual good by keeping my body as a temple for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, or shall I sacrifice myself to the world's ideas and practices?"
Penalty for Ignorance
Health Reformer, October, 1866 II. God has formed laws which govern our constitutions, and these laws which He has placed in our being are divine, and for every transgression there is affixed a penalty, which must sooner or later be realized. The majority of diseases which the human family have been and still are suffering under, they have created by ignorance of their own organic laws. They seem indifferent in regard to the matter of health, and work perseveringly to tear themselves to pieces, and when broken down and debilitated in body and mind, send for the doctor and drug themselves to death.
Not Always Ignorant
(1900) 6T 372 12.
When persons are spoken to on the subject of health, they often say, "We know a great deal better than we do." They do not realise that they are accountable for every ray of light in regard to their physical well-being, and that their every habit is open to the inspection of God. Physical life is not to be treated in a haphazard manner. Every organ, every fibre of the being, is to be sacredly guarded from harmful practices.
Responsibility for Light
Good Health, November, 1880 13. At the time the light of health reform dawned upon us, and since that time, the questions have come home every day, "Am I practising true temperance in all things?" "Is my diet such as will bring me in a position where I can accomplish the greatest amount of good?" If we cannot
answer these questions in the affirmative, we stand condemned before God, for He will hold us all responsible for the light which has shone upon our path. The time of ignorance God winked at, but as fast as light shines upon us, He requires us to change our health-destroying habits, and place ourselves in a right relation to physical laws.
(1890) C.T.B.H. 150
14. Health is a treasure. Of all temporal possessions it is the most precious. Wealth, learning, and honour are dearly purchased at the loss of the vigour of health. None of these can secure happiness, if health is lacking. It is a terrible sin to abuse the health that God has given us; such abuses enfeeble us for life, and make us losers, even if we gain by such means any amount of education. [EXAMPLES OF SUFFERING DUE TO DISREGARDING LIGHT--119, 204]
(1890) C.T.B.H. 151
15. God has bountifully provided for the sustenance and happiness of all His creatures; if His laws were never violated, if all acted in harmony with the divine will, health, peace, and happiness, instead of misery and continual evil, would be the result.
Health Reformer, August, 1866
16. A careful conformity to the laws God has implanted in our being, will ensure health, and there will not be a breaking down of the constitution. [HEALTH REFORM THE LORD'S MEANS OF LESSENING SUFFERING--788]
An Offering Without Blemish
(1890) C.T.B.H. 15
17. In the ancient Jewish service it was required that every sacrifice should be without blemish. In the text we are told to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service. We are God's workmanship. The psalmist, meditating upon the marvellous work of God in the human frame, exclaimed,"I am fearfully and wonderfully made." There are many who are educated in the sciences and are familiar with the theory of the truth, who do not understand the laws that govern their 21 own being. God has given us faculties and talents; and it is our duty, as His sons and daughters, to make the best use of them. If we weaken these powers of mind or body by wrong habits or indulgence of perverted appetite, it will be impossible for us to honour God as we should.
[C.T.B.H. 52, 53] (1890) C.H. 121
18. God requires the body to be rendered a living sacrifice to Him, not a dead or a dying sacrifice. The offerings of the ancient Hebrews were to be without blemish, and will it be pleasing to God to accept a human offering that is filled with disease and corruption? He tells us that our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost; and He requires us to take care of this temple, that it may be a fit habitation for His Spirit. The apostle Paul gives us this admonition: "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." All should be very careful to preserve the body in the best condition of health, that they may render to God perfect service, and do their duty in the family and in society.
A Pitiful Offering
(1872) 3T 164, 165
19. Knowledge must be gained in regard to how to eat, and drink, and dress so as to preserve health. Sickness is caused by violating the laws of health; it is the result of violating nature's law. Our first duty, one which we owe to God, to ourselves, and to our fellow men, is to obey the laws of God, which include the laws of health. If we are sick, we impose a weary tax upon our friends, and unfit ourselves for discharging our duties to our families and to our neighbours. And when premature death is the result of our violation of nature's law, we bring sorrow and suffering to others; we deprive our neighbours of the help we ought to render them in living; we rob our families of the comfort and help we might render them, and rob God of the service He claims of us to advance His glory. Then, are we not, in the worst sense, transgressors of God's law?
But God is all-pitiful, gracious, and tender, and when light comes to those who have injured their health by sinful indulgences, and they are convinced of sin, and repent and seek pardon, He accepts the poor offering rendered to Him, and receives them. Oh, what tender mercy that He does not refuse the remnant of the abused life of the suffering, repenting sinner! In His gracious mercy, He saves these souls as by fire. But what an inferior, pitiful sacrifice at best, to offer to a pure and holy God! Noble faculties have been paralysed by wrong habits of sinful indulgence. The aspirations are perverted, and the soul and body defaced.
Why the Light on Health Reform
(1870) 2T 399, 400
20. The Lord has let His light shine upon us in these last days, that the gloom and darkness which have been gathering in past generations because of sinful indulgence, might in some degree be dispelled, and that the train of evils which have resulted because of intemperate eating and drinking, might be lessened.
The Lord in wisdom designed to bring His people into a position where they would be separate from the world in spirit and practice, that their children might not so readily be led into idolatry, and become tainted with the prevailing corruptions of this age. It is God's design that believing parents and their children should stand forth as living representatives of Christ, candidates for everlasting life. All who are partakers of the divine nature will escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. It is impossible for those who indulge the appetite to attain to Christian perfection.
(1890) C.T.B.H. 75
21. God has permitted the light of health reform to shine upon us in these last days, that by walking in the light we may escape many of the dangers to which we shall be exposed. Satan is working with great power to lead men to indulge appetite, gratify inclination, and spend their days in heedless folly. He presents attractions in a life of selfish enjoyment and of sensual indulgence. Intemperance saps
the energies of both mind and body. He who is thus overcome, has placed himself upon Satan's ground, where he will be tempted and annoyed, and finally controlled at pleasure by the enemy of all righteousness.
[C.T.B.H. 52] (1890) C.H. 120, 121
22. In order to preserve health, temperance in all things is necessary,--temperance in labour, 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.
(1890) C.T.B.H. 120
23. Let it ever be kept before the mind that the great object of hygienic reform is to secure the highest possible development of mind and soul and body. All the laws of nature--which are the laws of God--are designed for our good. Obedience to them will promote our happiness in this life, and will aid us in a preparation for the life to come.
Importance of Health Principles
(1909) 9T 158-160
24. I have been shown that the principles that were given us in the early days of the message are as important and should be regarded just as conscientiously today as they were then. There are some who have never followed the light given on the question of diet. It is now time to take the light from under the bushel, and let it shine forth in clear, bright rays.
The principles of healthful living mean a great deal to us individually and as a people. . . .
All are now being tested and proved. We have been baptized into Christ, and if we will act our part by separating from everything that would drag us down and make us what we ought not to be, there will be given us strength to grow up into Christ, who is our living head, and we shall see the salvation of God.
Only when we are intelligent in regard to the principles of healthful living, can we be fully aroused to see the evils resulting from improper diet. Those who, after seeing their mistakes, have courage to change their habits will find that the reformatory process requires a struggle and much perseverance; but when correct tastes are once formed, they will realise that the use of the food which they formerly regarded as harmless, was slowly but surely laying the foundation for dyspepsia and other diseases.
In the Front Ranks of Reformers
(1909) 9T 158 25.
Seventh-day Adventists are handling momentous truths. More than forty years ago the Lord gave us special light on health reform, but how are we walking in that light? How many have refused to live in harmony with the counsels of God! As a people, we should make advancement proportionate to the light received. It is our duty to understand and respect the principles of health reform. On the subject of temperance we should be in advance of all other people; and yet there are among us well-instructed members of the church, and even ministers of the gospel, who have little respect for the light that God has given upon this subject. They eat as they please, and work as they please.
Let those who are teachers and leaders in our cause take their stand firmly on Bible ground in regard to health reform and give a straight testimony to those who believe we are living in the last days of this earth's history. A line of distinction must be drawn between those who serve God, and those who serve themselves.
(1867) 1T 487
26. Shall those who are "looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works," be behind the religionists of the day who have no faith in the soon appearing of our Saviour? The peculiar people whom He is purifying unto Himself,
to be translated to heaven without seeing death, should not be behind others in good works. In their efforts to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, they should be as far ahead of any other class of people on the earth, as their profession is more exalted than that of others.
Health Reform and Prayer for the Sick
(1909) 9T 164, 165
27. In order to be purified and to remain pure, Seventh-day Adventists must have the Holy Spirit in their hearts and in their homes. The Lord has given me light that when the Israel of today humble themselves before Him, and cleanse the soul temple from all defilement, He will hear their prayers in behalf of the sick, and will bless in the use of His remedies for disease. When in faith the human agent does all he can to combat disease, using the simple methods of treatment that God has provided, his efforts will be blessed of God.
If, after so much light has been given, God's people will cherish wrong habits, indulging self and refusing to reform, they will suffer the sure consequences of transgression. If they are determined to gratify perverted appetite at any cost, God will not miraculously save them from the consequences of their indulgence. They "shall lie down in sorrow." Isa. 50:11.
Those who choose to be presumptuous, saying, "The Lord has healed me, and I need not restrict my diet; I can eat and drink as I please," will erelong need, in body and soul, the restoring power of God. Because the Lord has graciously healed you, you must not think you can link yourselves up with the self-indulgent practices of the world. Do as Christ commanded after His work of healing,--"go, and sin no more." John 8:11. Appetite must not be your God.
(1867) 1T 560, 561
28. The health reform is a branch of the special work of God for the benefit of His people. . . .
I saw that the reason why God did not hear the prayers of His servants for the sick among us more fully was, that
He could not be glorified in so doing while they were violating the laws of health. And I also saw that He designed the health reform and Health Institute to prepare the way for the prayer of faith to be fully answered. Faith and good works should go hand in hand in relieving the afflicted among us, and in fitting them to glorify God here, and to be saved at the coming of Christ.
(1864) Sp. Gifts IV, 144, 145
29. Many have expected that God would keep them from sickness merely because they have asked Him to do so. But God did not regard their prayers, because their faith was not made perfect by works. God will not work a miracle to keep those from sickness who have no care for themselves, but are continually violating the laws of health, and make no efforts to prevent disease. When we do all we can on our part to have health, then may we expect that the blessed results will follow, and we can ask God in faith to bless our efforts for the preservation of health. He will then answer our prayer, if His name can be glorified thereby. But let all understand that they have a work to do. God will not work in a miraculous manner to preserve the health of persons who are taking a sure course to make themselves sick, by their careless inattention to the laws of health.
Those who will gratify their appetite, and then suffer because of their intemperance, and take drugs to relieve them, may be assured that God will not interpose to save health and life which is so recklessly periled. The cause has produced the effect. Many, as their last resort, follow the directions in the word of God, and request the prayers of the elders of the church for their restoration to health. God does not see fit to answer prayers offered in behalf of such, for He knows that if they should be restored to health, they would again sacrifice it upon the altar of unhealthy appetite. [SEE ALSO 713]
A Lesson From Israel's Failure
(1909) 9T 165
30. The Lord gave His word to ancient Israel, that if they would cleave strictly to Him, and do all His requirements,
He would keep them from all the diseases such as He had brought upon the Egyptians; but this promise was given on the condition of obedience. Had the Israelites obeyed the instruction they received, and profited by their advantages, they would have been the world's object lesson of health and prosperity. The Israelites failed of fulfilling God's purpose, and thus failed of receiving the blessings that might have been theirs. But in Joseph and Daniel, in Moses and Elijah, and many others, we have noble examples of the results of the true plan of living. Like faithfulness today will produce like results. To us it is written, "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light." I Peter 2:9.
(1905) M.H. 283
31. Had the Israelites obeyed the instruction they received, and profited by their advantages, they would have been the world's object lesson of health and prosperity. If as a people they had lived according to God's plan, they would have been preserved from the diseases that afflicted other nations. Above any other people they would have possessed physical strength and vigour of intellect. [SEE ALSO 641-644]
The Christian Race
(1890) C.T.B.H. 25
32. "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible."
Here the good results of self-control and temperate habits are set forth. The various games instituted among the ancient Greeks in honour of their gods, are presented before us by the apostle Paul to illustrate the spiritual warfare and its reward. Those who were to participate in these games were trained by the most severe discipline. Every indulgence that would tend to weaken the physical powers was forbidden.
Luxurious food and wine were prohibited, in order to promote physical vigour, fortitude, and firmness.
To win the prize for which they strove,--a chaplet of perishable flowers, bestowed amid the applause of the multitude,--was considered the highest honour. If so much could be endured, so much self-denial practised, in the hope of gaining so worthless a prize, which only one at best could obtain, how much greater should be the sacrifice, how much more willing the self-denial, for an incorruptible crown, and for everlasting life!
There is work for us to do--stern, earnest work. All our habits, tastes, and inclinations must be educated in harmony with the laws of life and health. By this means we may secure the very best physical conditions, and have mental clearness to discern between the evil and the good.
(1890) C.T.B.H. 25-28
33. In order rightly to understand the subject of temperance, we must consider it from a Bible standpoint; and nowhere can we find a more comprehensive and forcible illustration of true temperance and its attendant blessings, than is afforded by the history of the prophet Daniel and his Hebrew associates in the court of Babylon. . . .
God always honours the right. The most promising youth from all the lands subdued by the great conqueror had been gathered at Babylon, yet amid them all, the Hebrew captives were without a rival. The erect form, the firm, elastic step, the fair countenance, the undimmed senses, the untainted breath,--all were so many certificates of good habits,--insignia of the nobility with which nature honours those who are obedient to her laws.
The history of Daniel and his companions has been recorded on the pages of the Inspired Word for the benefit of the youth of all succeeding ages. What men have done, men may do. Did those youthful Hebrews stand firm amid great temptations, and bear a noble testimony in favour of true temperance? The youth of today may bear a similar testimony.
The lesson here presented is one which we would do well to ponder. Our danger is not from scarcity, but from abundance. We are constantly tempted to excess. Those who would preserve their powers unimpaired for the service of God, must observe strict temperance in the use of His bounties, as well as total abstinence from every injurious or debasing indulgence.
The rising generation are surrounded with allurements calculated to tempt the appetite. Especially in our large cities, every form of indulgence is made easy and inviting. 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.
Right physical habits promote mental superiority. Intellectual power, physical strength, and longevity depend upon immutable laws. There is no happen-so, no chance, about this matter. Nature's God will not interfere to preserve men from the consequences of violating nature's laws. There is much sterling truth in the adage, "Every man is the architect of his own fortune." While parents are responsible for the stamp of character, as well as for the education and training, of their sons and daughters, it is still true that our position and usefulness in the world depend, to a great degree, upon our own course of action. Daniel and his companions enjoyed the benefits of correct training and education in early life, but these advantages alone would not have made them what they were. The time came when they must act for themselves--when their future depended upon their own course. Then they decided to be true to the lessons given them in childhood. The fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom, was the foundation of their greatness. His Spirit strengthened every true purpose, every noble resolution.
R. & H., Jan. 25, 1881
34. The youth [DANIEL, HANANIAH, MISHAEL, AND AZARIAH] in this school of training were not only to be admitted to the royal palace, but it was provided that they should eat of the meat, and drink of the wine, which came from the king's
table. In all this the king considered that he was not only bestowing great honour upon them, but securing for them the best physical and mental development that could be attained.
Among the viands placed before the king were swine's flesh and other meats which were declared unclean by the law of Moses, and which the Hebrews had been expressly forbidden to eat. Here Daniel was brought to a severe test. Should he adhere to the teachings of his fathers concerning meats and drinks, and offend the king, probably losing not only his position but his life, or should he disregard the commandment of the Lord, and retain the favour of the king, thus securing great intellectual advantages and the most flattering worldly long prospects?
Daniel did not hesitate. He decided to stand firmly for his integrity, let the result be what it might. He "purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank."
There are many among professed Christians today who would decide that Daniel was too particular, and would pronounce him narrow and bigoted. They consider the matter of eating and drinking of too little consequence to require such a decided stand,--one involving the probable sacrifice of every earthly advantage. But those who reason thus will find in the day of judgement that they turned from God's express requirements, and set up their own opinion as a standard of right and wrong. They will find that what seemed to them unimportant was not so regarded of God. His requirements should be sacredly obeyed. Those who accept and obey one of His precepts because it is convenient to do so, while they reject another because its observance would require a sacrifice, lower the standard of right, and by their example lead others to lightly regard the holy law of God. "Thus saith the Lord" is to be our rule in all things. . . .
The character of Daniel is presented to the world as a striking example of what God's grace can make of men fallen by nature and corrupted by sin. The record of his noble, self-denying life is an encouragement to our common humanity. From it we may gather strength to nobly resist
temptation, and firmly, and in the grace of meekness, stand for the right under the severest trial.
Daniel might have found a plausible excuse to depart from his strictly temperate habits; but the approbation of God was dearer to him than the favour of the most powerful earthly potentate,--dearer even than life itself. Having by his courteous conduct obtained favour with Melzar, the officer in charge of the Hebrew youth, Daniel made a request that they might not eat of the king's meat, or drink of his wine Melzar feared that should he comply with this request, he might incur the displeasure of the king, and thus endanger his own life. Like many at the present day, he thought that an abstemious diet would render these youth pale and sickly in appearance and deficient in muscular strength, while the luxurious food from the king's table would make them ruddy and beautiful, and would impart superior physical activity.
Daniel requested that the matter be decided by a ten day's trial,--the Hebrew youth during this brief period being permitted to eat of simple food, while their companions partook of the king's dainties. The request was finally granted, and then Daniel felt assured that he had gained his case. Although but a youth, he had seen the injurious effects of wine and luxurious living upon physical and mental health.
At the end of the ten days the result was found to be quite the opposite of Melzar's expectations. Not only in personal appearance, but in physical activity and mental vigour, those who had been temperate in their habits exhibited a marked superiority over their companions who had indulged appetite. As a result of this trial, Daniel and his associates were permitted to continue their simple diet during the whole course of their training for the duties of the kingdom.
God's Approval Won
The Lord regarded with approval the firmness and self-denial of these Hebrew youth, and His blessing attended them. He "gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams." At the expiration of the three years of training,
when their ability and acquirements were tested by the king, he "found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore stood they before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding that the king required of them he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm."
Here is a lesson for all, but especially for the young. A strict compliance with the requirements of God is beneficial to the health of body and mind. In order to reach the highest standard of moral and intellectual attainments, it is necessary to seek wisdom and strength from God, and to observe strict temperance in all the habits of life. In the experience of Daniel and his companions we have an instance of the triumph of principle over temptation to indulge the appetite. It shows us that through religious principle young men may triumph over the lusts of the flesh, and remain true to God's requirements, even though it cost them a great sacrifice. [DANIEL'S DIET--117, 241, 242]
Unready for the Loud Cry
(1867) 1T 486, 487
35. The health reform, I was shown, is a part of the third angel's message, and is just as closely connected with it as are the arm and hand with the human body. I saw that we as a people must make an advance move in this great work. 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.
In order to be fitted for translation, the people of God must know themselves. They must understand in regard to their own physical frames, that they may be able with the psalmist to exclaim, "I will praise Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." They should ever have the appetite in subjection to the moral and intellectual organs. The body should be servant to the mind, and not the mind to the body.
Preparation for the Refreshing
(1867) 1T 619 36. God requires His people to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. All those who are indifferent and excuse themselves from this work, waiting for the Lord to do for them that which He requires them to do for themselves, will be found wanting when the meek of the earth, who have wrought His judgments, are hid in the day of the Lord's anger.
I was shown that if God's people make no efforts on their part, but wait for the refreshing to come upon them and remove their wrongs and correct their errors; if they depend upon that to cleanse them from filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and fit them to engage in the loud cry of the third angel, they will be found wanting. The refreshing or power of God comes only on those who have prepared themselves for it by doing the work which God bids them, namely, cleansing themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Appeals to the Hesitant
(R. & H., May 27, 1902) C. H. 578, 579
37. The failure to follow sound principles has marred the history of God's people. There has been a continual backsliding in health reform, and as a result God is dishonoured by a great lack of spirituality. Barriers have been erected which would never have been seen had God's people walked in the light
Shall we who have had such great opportunities allow the people of the world to go in advance of us in health
reform? Shall we cheapen our minds and abuse our talents by wrong eating? Shall we transgress God's holy law by following selfish practices? Shall our inconsistency become a byword? Shall we live such unchristianlike lives that the Saviour will be ashamed to call us brethren?
Shall we not rather do that medical missionary work which is the gospel in practice, living in such a way that the peace of God can rule in our hearts? Shall we not remove every stumbling block from the feet of unbelievers, ever remembering what is due to a profession of Christianity? Far better give up the name of Christian than make a profession and at the same time indulge appetites which strengthen unholy passions.
God calls upon every church member to dedicate his life unreservedly to the Lord's service. He calls for decided reformation. All creation is groaning under the curse. God's people should place themselves where they will grow in grace, being sanctified, body, soul, and spirit, by the truth. When they break away from all health-destroying indulgences, they will have a clearer perception of what constitutes true godliness. A wonderful change will be seen in the religious experience.
All Being Proved
R. & H., Feb. 10, 1910
38. It is of great importance that individually we act well our part, and have an intelligent understanding of what we should eat and drink, and how we should live to preserve health. All are being proved to see whether they will accept the principles of health reform or follow a course of self-indulgence.
Let no one think that he can do as he pleases in the matter of diet. But before all who sit at the table with you, let it appear that you follow principle in the matter of eating, as in all other matters, that the glory of God may be revealed. You cannot afford to do otherwise; for you have a character to form for the future immortal life. Great responsibilities rest upon every human soul. Let us comprehend these responsibilities, and bear them nobly in the name of the Lord.
To every one who is tempted to indulge appetite I would say, Yield not to temptation, but confine yourself to the use of wholesome foods. You can train yourself to enjoy a healthful diet. The Lord helps those who seek to help themselves; but when men will not take special pains to follow out the mind and will of God, how can He work with them? Let us act our part, working out our salvation with fear and trembling,--with fear and trembling lest we make mistakes in the treatment of our bodies, which, before God, we are under obligation to keep in the most healthy condition possible.
True Reform Is Heart Reform
(1896) Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 9, p. 54
39. Those who would work in God's service must not be seeking worldly gratification and selfish indulgence. The physicians in our institutions must be imbued with the living principles of health reform. Men will never be truly temperate until the grace of Christ is an abiding principle in the heart. All the pledges in the world will not make you or your wife health reformers. No mere restriction of your diet will cure your diseased appetite. Brother and Sister ----- will not practice temperance in all things until their hearts are transformed by the grace of God.
Circumstances cannot work reforms. Christianity proposes a reformation in the heart. What Christ works within, will be worked out under the dictation of a converted intellect. The plan of beginning outside and trying to work inward has always failed, and always will fail. God's plan with you is to begin at the very seat of all difficulties, the heart, and then from out of the heart will issue the principles of righteousness; the reformation will be outward as well as inward.
Letter 3, 1884
40. Those who elevate the standard as nearly as they can to the order of God, according to the light God has given them through His word and the testimonies of His Spirit, will not change their course of action to meet the wishes of their friends or relatives, be they one or two or a host, who
are living contrary to God's wise arrangement. If we move from principle in these things, if we observe strict rules of diet, if as Christians we educate our tastes after God's plan, we shall exert an influence which will meet the mind of God. The question is, "Are we willing to be true health reformers?" [FOR CONTEXT SEE 720]
A Question of Primary Importance
(1909) 9T 153-156
41. I am instructed to bear a message to all our people on the subject of health reform; for many have backslidden from their former loyalty to health reform principles.
God's purpose for His children is that they shall grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ. In order to do this, they must use aright every power of mind, soul, and body. They cannot afford to waste any mental or physical strength.
The question of how to preserve the health is one of primary importance. When we study this question in the fear of God, we shall learn that it is best, for both our physical and our spiritual advancement, to observe simplicity in diet. Let us patiently study this question. We need knowledge and judgement in order to move wisely in this matter. Nature's laws are not to be resisted, but obeyed.
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 practised 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.
The remnant people of God must be a converted people. The presentation of this message is to result in the conversion and sanctification of souls. We are to feel the power of the Spirit of God in this movement. This is a wonderful, definite message; it means everything to the receiver, and
it is to be proclaimed with a loud cry. We must have a true, abiding faith that this message will go forth with increasing importance till the close of time.
There are some professed believers who accept certain portions of the Testimonies as the message of God, while they reject those portions that condemn their favourite indulgences. Such persons are working contrary to their own welfare, and the welfare of the church. It is essential that we walk in the light while we have the light. Those who claim to believe in health reform, and yet work counter to its principles in the daily life practice, are hurting their own souls and are leaving wrong impressions upon the minds of believers and unbelievers.
A solemn responsibility rests upon those who know the truth that all their works shall correspond with their faith, and that their lives shall be refined and sanctified, and they be prepared for the work that must rapidly be done in these closing days of the message. They have no time or strength to spend in the indulgence of appetite. The words should come to us now with impelling earnestness, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." Acts 3:19. There are many among us who are deficient in spirituality, and who, unless they are wholly converted, will certainly be lost. Can you afford to run the risk? . . .
The power of Christ alone can work the transformation in heart and mind that all must experience who would partake with Him of the new life in the kingdom of heaven. "Except a man be born again," the Saviour has said, "he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3. The religion that comes from God is the only religion that can lead to God. In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the Divine Spirit. This will lead to watchfulness. It will purify the heart and renew the mind, and give us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship.
A United Front
Letter 48, 1902
42. We have been given the work of advancing health reform. The Lord desires His people to be in harmony with one another. As you must know, we shall not leave the position in which, for the last thirty-five years,[* WRITTEN IN 1902.] the Lord has been bidding us stand. Beware how you place yourself in opposition to the work of health reform. It will go forward; for it is the Lord's means of lessening the suffering in our world, and of purifying His people.
Be careful what attitude you assume, lest you be found causing division. My brother, even while you fail to bring into your life and into your family the blessing that comes from following the principles of health reform, do not harm others by opposing the light God has given on this subject.
[SPECIAL TESTIMONIES, SERIES A, NO. 7, P. 40] C.H. 561, 562
43. The Lord has given His people a message in regard to health reform. This light has been shining upon their pathway for thirty years; and the Lord cannot sustain His servants in a course which will counteract it. He is displeased when His servants act in opposition to the message upon this point, which He has given them to give to others. Can He be pleased when half the workers labouring in a place, teach that the principles of health reform are as closely allied with the third angel's message as the arm is to the body, while their co-workers, by their practice, teach principles that are entirely opposite? This is regarded as a sin in the sight of God. . . .
Nothing brings such discouragement upon the Lord's watchmen as to be connected with those who have mental capacity, and who understand the reasons of our faith, but by precept and example manifest indifference to moral obligations.
The light which God has given upon health reform cannot be trifled with without injury to those who attempt it; and no man can hope to succeed in the work of God while, by precept and example, he acts in opposition to the light which God has sent.
(1867) IT 618
44. It is important that instructions should be given by ministers in regard to living temperately. They should show the relation which eating, working, resting, and dressing, sustain to health. All who believe the truth for these last days, have something to do in this matter. It concerns them, and God requires them to arouse and interest themselves in this reform. He will not be pleased with their course if they regard this question with indifference.
Stumbling Over the Blessing
(1867) 1T 546
45. Said the angel, "Abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul." You have stumbled at the health reform. It appears to you to be a needless appendix to the truth. It is not so; it is a part of the truth. Here is a work before you which will come closer and be more trying than anything which has yet been brought to bear upon you. While you hesitate and stand back, failing to lay hold upon the blessing which it is your privilege to receive, you suffer loss. You are stumbling over the very blessing which heaven has placed in your path to make progress less difficult. Satan presents this before you in the most objectionable light, that you may combat that which would prove the greatest benefit to you, which would be for your physical and spiritual health. [EXCUSES FOR WRONGDOING FRAMED UNDER SATANIC INFLUENCES--710]
Consider the Judgement
Letter 135, 1902
46. The Lord calls for volunteers to enter His army. Sickly men and women need to become health reformers. God will cooperate with His children in preserving their health, if they eat with care, refusing to put unnecessary burdens on the stomach. He has graciously made the path of nature sure and safe, wide enough for all who walk in it. He has given for our sustenance the wholesome and health-giving productions of the earth.
He who does not heed the instruction God has given in His word and in His works, he who does not obey the divine
commands, has a defective experience. He is a sickly Christian. His spiritual life is feeble. He lives, but his life is devoid of fragrance. He fritters away precious moments of grace.
Many have done the body much injury by a disregard of the laws of life, and they may never recover from the effects of their neglect; but even now they may repent and be converted. Man has tried to be wiser than God. He has become a law unto himself. God calls upon us to give attention to His requirements, no longer to dishonour Him by dwarfing the physical, mental, and spiritual capabilities. Premature decay and death are the result of walking away from God to follow the ways of the world. He who indulges self must bear the penalty. In the judgement we shall see how seriously God regards the violation of the laws of health. Then, as we take a retrospective view of our course of action, we shall see what knowledge of God we might have gained, what noble characters we might have formed, if we had taken the Bible as our counsellor.
The Lord is waiting for His people to become wise in understanding. As we see the wretchedness, deformity, and disease that have come into the world as the result of ignorance in regard to the proper care of the body, how can we refrain from giving the warning? Christ has declared that as it was in the days of Noah, when the earth was filled with violence and corrupted by crime, so shall it be when the Son of man is revealed. God has given us great light, and if we walk in this light, we shall see His salvation.
There is need of decided changes. It is time for us to humble our proud, self-willed hearts, and seek the Lord while He may be found. As a people we need to humble our hearts before God; for the scars of inconsistency are on our practice.
The Lord is calling upon us to come into line. The day is far spent. The night is at hand. The judgments of God are already seen, both on land and on sea. No second probation will be granted us. This is no time for making false moves. Let every one thank God that we still have an opportunity to form characters for the future eternal life.