The Bodily Temple
The earthly tabernacle, its priesthood and the sacrificial ceremonies were types and shadows pointing to the true tabernacle in heaven and to our Sin-Bearer and Great High Priest - Jesus Christ. The Son of God said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up...But he spake of the temple of his body." (John 2:19, 21). The apostle Paul teaches us that our 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 Corinthians 6:19, 20).
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31). Can we live according to God's Holy Law by disregarding the items of food and drink that we place in our bodily temples?
By the inspiration of the Spirit of God, Paul the apostle writes that "whatsoever ye do", even the natural act of eating and drinking, should be done, not to gratify a perverted appetite, but under a sense of responsibility, - "do all to the glory of God." Every part of the man is to be guarded; we are to beware lest that which is taken into the stomach shall banish from the mind high and holy thoughts. Our very bodies are not our own, to treat as we please, to cripple by habits that lead to decay, making it impossible to render to God perfect service. The words "Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price" should be hung in memory's hall, that we may ever recognise God's rights to our talents, our property, our influence, our individual selves. We are to learn how to treat this gift of God, in mind, in soul, in body, that as Christ's purchased possession, we may do him healthful, savoury service.
God's Original Diet To Man
God, who created man and understands our needs, gave us a diet that best supplies the elements needed for the building of the body.
"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." (Genesis 1:29). The word "meat" originates from the hebrew, oklah, which means food.
The following explanation of the above scripture is given according to foods as we know them today:-
|"Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed...||Grains - wheat, corn, rye, barley, rice, millet, oats, buckwheat etc.|
|Seeds - sunflower, sesame, flax, pumpkin seeds etc.|
|Legumes - soybeans, lentils, peas, peanuts, other beans etc.|
|Succulent Foods Containing Seed - eggplant, okra, bell pepper, green beans, pumpkins, cucumbers, tomatoes, melons etc.|
|...and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed..." (Genesis 1:29)||Fruits - citrus fruits (oranges, lemons), sub-acid fruits (apples, peaches),|
|Sub-acid fruits (apples, peaches), sweet fruits (dates, raisins),|
|Palm fruits (bananas, pineapple), neutral fruits (avocados, olives).|
|Nuts - almonds, pecans, cashews, brazil, walnuts, chestnuts etc.|
After man sinned, he was driven out of the Garden of Eden, and no longer had access to the wonderful tree of life. Man had to gain his livelihood by tilling the earth, and the "herb of the field", which was originally food for the animals(Genesis 1:30), was added to his diet.
"And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife...cursed is the ground for thy sake... and thou shalt eat the herb of the field." (Genesis 3:17, 18).
Although vegetables (the green herb of the field) were not part of the Original Diet given to man, they were added to man's diet after he had sinned and are a part of his diet today.
Health Reform And The Three Angels Messages
The impact of God's final message to the world presented in Revelation 14:6-12 will result in a group of believers who will heed the call of warning, and by the faith of Jesus, will be living in harmony with all of God's revealed will.
Health is a major determining factor in the capacity to understand and respond to the everlasting gospel in the Three Angels Messages. Thus physical health is involved in fearing God and giving Him glory.
"Fear God, and give glory to Him..." (Revelation 14:7).
Before focusing on the components of health reform and its significance to the Three Angels Messages, we may observe practical illustrations of health and temperance within the Scriptures. We may study a few of these examples.
The Manna From Heaven And The Fleshpots Of Egypt (Exodus 15:26; Exodus chapter 16 & Numbers chapter 11).
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. He brought the Israelites out of Egypt and undertook their training, that they might be a people for His own possession. Through them he desired to bless and teach the world. He provided them with the food best adapted for this purpose, not flesh, but manna, "the bread of heaven". It was only because of their discontent and their murmuring for the fleshpots of Egypt that animal food was granted them, and this only for a short time. Its use brought disease and death to thousands. Yet the restrictions to a nonflesh diet was never heartily accepted. It continued to be the cause of discontent and murmuring, open or secret, and it was not made permanent.
Upon their settlement in Canaan, the Israelites were permitted the use of animal food, but under careful restrictions which tended to lesson the evil results. The use of swine's flesh was prohibited, as also of other animals and of birds and fish whose flesh was pronounced unclean. Of the meats permitted, the eating of the fat and the blood was strictly forbidden. (Leviticus 3:17; 17:11-14).
By departing from the plan divinely appointed for their diet, the Israelites suffered great loss. They desired a flesh diet, and they reaped its results. They did not reach God's ideal of character or fulfill His purpose. The Lord "gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul." (Psalm 106:15). They valued the earthly above the spiritual, and the sacred pre-eminence which was His purpose for them they did not attain.
The history of the wilderness life of Israel was chronicled for the benefit of the Israel of God to the close of time. Their exposure to hunger, thirst and weariness, and in the striking manifestations of His power for their relief, is fraught with warning and instruction for His people in all ages.
Every week during their long sojourn in the wilderness the Israelites witnessed a threefold miracle, designed to impress their minds with the sacredness of the Sabbath: a double quantity of manna fell on the sixth day, none on the seventh, and the portion needed for the Sabbath was preserved sweet and pure, when if any were kept over at any other time it would become unfit for use.
The manna, falling from heaven for the sustenance of Israel, was a type of Him who came from God to give life to the world.
"I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven..." (John 6:48-51).
Daniel 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 (Daniel 1:5-16)
When Daniel was in Babylon, he was beset with temptations of which we have never dreamed, and he realised that he must keep his body under. He purposed in his heart that he would not drink of the king's wine or of his dainties. He knew that in order to come off a victor, he must have clear mental perceptions, that he might discern between right and wrong. Four of the Hebrew captives decided that as flesh meat had not composed their diet in the past, it would not come into their diet in the future, and as wine had been prohibited to all who should engage in the service of God, they determined that they would not partake of it. The fate of the sons of Aaron had been presented before them:-
"And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord...And the Lord spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: And that ye may put the difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean." (Leviticus 10:1, 2, 8-10).
The four young Hebrew captives knew that the use of wine would confuse their senses, and that the indulgence of appetite would becloud their powers of discernment. They knew not that their decision would cost them their lives; but they determined to keep the straight path of strict temperance even when in the courts of licentious Babylon. Daniel knew that by the time he was called to appear before the king, the advantage of healthful living would be apparent. He knew that ten days would be time enough to prove the benefit of abstemiousness.
In personal appearance the Hebrew youth showed a marked superiority over their companions. As a result, Daniel and his associates were permitted to continue their simple diet during their entire course of training. The Lord regarded with approval the firmness and self-denial of the Hebrew youth, and their purity of motive; and His blessing attended them:-
"As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams." (Daniel 1:17).
God Himself was their teacher. Constantly praying, conscientiously studying, keeping in touch with the Unseen, they walked with God as did Enoch. The same mighty truths that were revealed through these men, God desires to reveal through the youth and children today. The life of Daniel and his fellows is a demonstration of what He will do for those who yield themselves to Him and with the whole heart seek to accomplish His purpose.
Man Shall Not Eat By Bread Alone, But By Every Word Of God
"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:1-4).
Christ is our example in all things. As we see His humiliation in the long trial and fast in the wilderness to overcome the temptations of appetite in our behalf, we are to take this lesson home to ourselves when we are tempted. If the power of appetite is so strong upon the human family, and its indulgence so fearful that the Son of God subjected Himself to such a test, how important that we feel the necessity of having appetite under the control of reason. Our Saviour fasted nearly six weeks, that he might gain for man the victory on the point of appetite. It is a painful fact that habits of self-gratification at the expense of health, and the weakening of moral power, are holding in the bonds of slavery at the present time a large share of the Christian world. Christ knew that appetite would be man's idol, and would lead him to forget God, and would stand directly in the way of his salvation.
A "N.E.W. S.T.A.R.T." Through Healthful Living:-
Trust In Divine Power
Sin, the transgression of divine law, is the primary cause of disease, sickness and death. Obedience to moral law can be rendered only through the acceptance and union with Christ, the Redeemer of man ruined through transgression.
God wants us to first prevent disease by healthful living. If we do become ill, He wants us to do for ourselves what we can through simple, natural remedies. If we need professional assistance, the health professional is to improve the use of the eight natural remedies as described above. However, if improvement is not made, it is not a denial of faith in God's miracle-working power to utilise methods of diagnosis and treatment to save life and prevent disability if they are based upon a knowledge, and obedience to God's Natural Laws.
Therefore, our first duty, one to 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.
Our bodies are built up from the food we eat. It is a wonderful process that transforms the food into blood, and uses this blood to build up the varied parts of the body; but this process is going on continually, supplying with life and strength each nerve, muscle, and tissue. Those foods should be chosen that best supply the elements needed for building up the body. We can not safely be guided by the customs of society. The disease and suffering that everywhere prevail are largely due to unpopular errors in regard to diet.
Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigour of intellect, that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.
Care should be taken in the selection of food. Our diet should be suited to the season, to the climate in which we live, and to the occupation that we follow. For example, food that can be used with benefit by those engaged in hard physical labour is unsuitable for persons of sedentary pursuits or intense mental application. God has given us an ample variety of healthful foods, and each person should choose from it the things that experience and sound judgment prove to be best suited to his own necessities.
Nuts and nut foods are coming largely in to use to take the place of flesh meats. With nuts may be combined grains, fruits and some root vegetables, to make foods that are healthful and nourishing. Care should be taken, however, not to use too large a proportion of nuts.
When properly prepared, olives, like nuts, supply the place of butter and flesh meats. The oil, as eaten in the olive, is far preferable to animal oil or fat. It serves as a laxative. Its use will be found beneficial to consumptives, and it is healing to an inflamed, irritated stomach.
There should not be a great variety at any one meal, for this encourages overeating, and causes indigestion.
It is not well to eat fruit and vegetables at the same meal. If the digestion is feeble, the use of both will often cause distress, and inability to put forth mental effort. It is better to have the fruit at one meal, and the vegetables at another.
The meals should be varied. The same dishes, prepared in the same way, should not appear on the table meal after meal and day after day. The meals are eaten with greater relish, and the system is better nourished, when food is varied.
Preparation Of Food
It is wrong to eat merely to gratify the appetite, but no indifference should be manifested regarding the quality of the food, or the manner of its preparation.
In the preparing of bread, the following points may prove useful:-
Far too much sugar is ordinarily used in food. Cakes, sweets puddings, pastries, jellies, jams, are active causes of indigestion. Especially harmful are the custards and puddings in which milk, eggs, and sugar are chief ingredients. The free use of milk and sugar taken should be avoided.
Cheese may be regarded as wholly unfit for food. The objectionable features of hard or ripened cheeses are that the putrefactive process which cheese undergoes, result in the production of waste products (amines, ammonia and irritating fatty acids), which cause irritation to the nerves and the gastrointestinal tract; one of the toxic amines produced in cheese called tyramine, can cause migraine headaches and the rennet used in cheese making, comes from the stomach of calves, lambs or pigs.
Regularity In Eating
Regularity in eating is of vital importance. There should be a specified time for each meal. At this time, let every one eat what the system requires, and then take nothing more until the next meal. There are many who eat when the system needs no food, at irregular intervals, and between meals, because they have not sufficient strength of will to resist inclination. When travelling, some are constantly nibbling if anything eatable is in their reach. This is very injurious. If travellers would eat regularly of food that is simple and nutritious, they would not feel so great weariness, nor suffer so much from sickness.
Another pernicious habit is that of eating just before bedtime. The regular meals may have been taken; but because there is a sense of faintness, more food is eaten. As a result of eating late suppers, the digestive process is continued through the sleeping hours. But though the stomach works constantly, its work is not properly accomplished. The sleep is often disturbed with unpleasant dreams, and in the morning the person awakes unrefreshed, and with little relish for breakfast.
In many cases the faintness that leads to a desire for food is felt because the digestive organs have been too severely taxed during the day. After disposing of one meal, the digestive organs needs rest. At least five or six hours should intervene between the meals; and most persons who give the plan a trial, will find that two meals a day are better than three.
Wrong Conditions Of Eating
Food should not be eaten very hot or very cold. If food is cold, the vital force of the stomach is drawn upon in order to warm it before digestion can take place. Cold drinks are injurious for the same reason; while the free use of hot drinks are debilitating. In fact, the more liquid there is taken with the meals, the more difficult for the food to digest; for the liquid must be absorbed before digestion can begin. Do not eat largely of salt, avoid the use of pickles and spiced foods, eat an abundance of fruit, and the irritation that calls for so much drink at meal time will largely disappear.
Food should be eaten slowly, and should be thoroughly masticated. This is necessary, in order that the saliva may be properly mixed with the food and the digestive fluids be called into action.
Another serious evil is eating at improper times, as after violent or excessive exercise, when one is much exhausted or heated. Digestion is hindered. When one is excited, anxious, or hurried, it is better not to eat until rest or relief is found.
At meal time cast off care and anxious thought; do not feel hurried, but eat slowly and with cheerfulness, with your heart filled with gratitude to God for all His blessings.
Many who discard flesh-meats and other gross and injurious articles think that because their food is simple and wholesome they may indulge their appetite without restraint, and they eat to excess, sometimes to gluttony.
"For they are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." (Romans 16:18).
Sometimes the result of overeating is felt at once. In other cases there is no sensation of pain; but the digestive organs lose their vital force, and the foundation of physical strength is undermined.
"(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame , who mind earthly things.)" (Philippians 3:18, 19).
The surplus food burdens the system, and produces morbid, feverish conditions. It calls an undue amount of blood to the stomach, causing the limbs and the extremities to chill quickly. It lays a heavy tax on the digestive organs, and when these organs have accomplished their task, their is a feeling of faintness or languor. Some who are continually overeating call this all-gone feeling hunger; but it is caused by the overworked condition of the digestive organs. At times there is a numbness of the brain, with disinclination to mental or physical effort.
Diet On The Sabbath
We should not provide for the Sabbath a more liberal supply or a greater variety of food than for other days. Instead of this, the food should be more simple, and less should be eaten, in order that the mind may be clear and vigorous to comprehend spiritual things. A clogged stomach means a clogged brain.
Cooking on the Sabbath should be avoided; but it is not therefore necessary to eat cold food. In cold weather the food prepared the day before should be heated. And let the meals, however simple, be palatable and attractive.
Reform In Diet
Every day men in positions of trust have decisions to make upon which depend results of great importance. Often they have to think rapidly, and this can be done successfully by those only who practise strict temperance. A disordered stomach produces a disordered, uncertain state of mind. Often it causes irritability, harshness, or injustice. Many a plan that would have been a blessing to the world has been set aside, many unjust, oppressive, even cruel measures have been carried, as the result of diseased conditions due to wrong habits of eating.
Here is a suggestion for all whose work is sedentary or chiefly mental; let those who have sufficient moral courage and self-control try it: At each meal take only two or three kinds of simple food, and eat no more than is required to satisfy hunger. Take active exercise every day, and see if you do not receive benefit.
Strong men who are engaged in active physical labour are not compelled to be as careful as to the quantity or quality of their food as are persons of sedentary habits; but even these would have better health if they would practise self-control in eating and drinking.
One person can not lay down an exact rule for another. Every one should exercise reason and self-control and should act from principle.
Persons who have indulged their appetite to eat freely of meat, highly seasoned gravies, and various kinds of rich cakes and preserves, cannot immediately relish a plain, wholesome, nutritious diet. Their taste is so perverted they have no appetite for a wholesome diet of fruits, plain bread and vegetables. They need not expect to relish at first food so different from that in which they have been indulging. If they cannot at first enjoy plain food, they should fast until they can. That fast will prove to them of greater benefit than medicine, for the abused stomach will find rest which it has long needed, and real hunger can be satisfied with a plain diet. It will take time for the taste to recover from the abuse it has received, and to gain its natural tone. But perseverance in a self-denying course of eating and drinking will soon make plain, wholesome food palatable, and it will be eaten with greater satisfaction than the epicure enjoys over his rich dainties.
Our bodies are Christ's purchased possession, and we are not at liberty to do with them as we please. Therefore the question with us is not, "What is the world's practise?" but, "How shall I as an individual treat the habitation that God has given me?"