|Are health principles really a part of true Bible religion?|
|Why did God give health rules to His people?|
|Do God's health rules have anything to do with eating and drinking?|
|What did God give people to eat when He created them and provided a perfect diet?|
|What items are specifically mentioned by God as being unclean and forbidden?|
|Will God destroy me if I eat it?|
|Didn't this law of clean and unclean animals for the Jews only?|
|Does the Bible forbid the use of alcoholic beverages?|
|Does the Bible condemn the use of tobacco?|
|What are some of the health laws found in the Bible?|
|What solemn reminder is given to those who ignore God's rules?|
|What fearful, shocking truth about health involves our children and grandchildren?|
|What more fearful, sobering fact does God's Word reveal?|
|What should every sincere Christian endeaver to do at once?|
|My evil habits have bound me tightly. What can I do?|
|What thrilling promises are given about God's new kingdom?|
No, of course you wouldn't pour water into the gas tank of such a lovely, expensive automobile. That would be ridiculous, crazy. But what about that priceless machine called the human body? It will take only so much punishment, you know. Scientists have been sounding ominous warnings about cholesterol levels, the use of tobacco, nervous tension, obesity, etc. Why press your luck? The hospitals and mental institutions are already packed with people who have ignored the rules of the human body. Why insist upon joining them? Somebody cares how you treat your body machine (somebody bigger than you and I), and this time you'd better listen. More may be involved here than you have dared to imagine. For amazing facts that will astound you, look this Study Guide over carefully. Be fair, now. Read it all before jumping to conclusions.
1. Are health principles really
a part of true Bible religion?
"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." 3 John 2.
Answer: Yes. In fact, the Bible rates health right near the top
of the list in importance. Man's mind, spiritual nature, and body
are all interrelated and interdependent. What affects one affects
the other. If our bodies are misused, our minds and spiritual
natures cannot become what God ordained they should.
2. Why did God give health
rules to His people?
"And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes ... for our good always, that he might preserve us alive." Deuteronomy 6:24. "And ye shall serve the Lord you God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee." Exodus 23:25.
Answer: God gave health rules because He knows what is best for the human body. Automobile manufacturers place an "operations manual" in the glove compartment of each new car because they know what is best for their product. God, who made our bodies, also has an "operations manual". It is called the Holy Bible. Ignoring God's "operations manual" results in disease, twisted thinking, and burned-out lives, just as abusing a car (against the manufacturer's counsel) results in serious car trouble. Following God's rules results in "saving health" (Psalm 67:2) and more abundant life (John 10:10). These great health laws are like a wall or fence to keep out the diseases of Satan. God tells us what these rules are so we can avoid the devil's traps.
3. Do God's health
rules have anything to do with eating and drinking?
"Eat ye that which is good." Isaiah 55:2. "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31
Yes, a Christian will even eat and drink differently - all to the glory of God - using only "that which is good." If God says a thing is not fit to eat, He must have a good reason. He is not a harsh dictator, but a loving Father. All His counsel is for our good always. The Bible promises: "No good thing will be withhold from them that walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11. So if God withholds a thing from us, it is because it is not good.
Note: No person can eat his way into heaven. Eating even the food of angels will not entitle people to paradise. Only acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour can do that. Ignoring God's health laws, however, may cause a person to be lost, because it will ruin his judgment and cause him to sin.
4. What did God give people to
eat when He created them and provided a perfect diet?
"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed ... and every tree ... yielding seed." "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat." Genesis 1:29, 2:16
Answer: The diet God gave people in the beginning was fruit,
grains, and nuts. Vegetables were added a bit later (Genesis
5. What items are specifically mentioned by God as being unclean and forbidden?
Answer: In Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, God very clearly points out the following groups as being unclean. Read both chapters in full.
All animals which do not have a split hoof
and chew the cud (Dueteronomy 14:6).
All fish and water creatures that do not
have both fins and scales. Nearly all fish are clean
All birds of prey, carrion eaters, and fish
eaters (Leviticus 11:13-20).
Most "creeping things" (or
invertebrates) are also unclean (Leviticus 11:21-47).
Note: These chapters make it clear that
most animals, birds, and water creatures people ordinarily eat
are clean. There are, however, some very notable exceptions.
According to God's rules, the following animals are unclean and
are not to be eaten: hogs, squirrels, rabbits, catfish, eels,
lobsters, clams, crabs, shrimp, oysters, frogs, and many others.
6. But I like pork. Will God
destroy me if I eat it?
"For, behold, the Lord will come with fire ... and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many. They that sanctify themselves ... eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord." Isaiah 66:15-17.
Answer: This may be shocking, but it is true and must be told.
The Bible positively states that all who eat "swine's
flesh," the "mouse", and other unclean things that
are an "abomination" will be destroyed with fire at the
coming of the Lord. When God says to leave something alone and
not eat it, we should by all means obey Him. After all, the mere
eating of a piece of forbidden fruit by Adam and Eve, a sinless
couple, brought sin and death to this world in the first place.
Can anyone say it doesn't matter, when God so clearly shows it
does? God says men will be destroyed because they "chose
that in which I delighted not." Isaiah 66:4
7. But didn't this
law of clean and unclean animals originate at Sinai? Wasn't it
for the Jews only, and didn't it end at the cross?
"And the Lord said unto Noah, ... Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens ... and of beasts that are not clean by two." Genesis 7:1,2.
Answer: No indeed! The Bible has ample evidence that there were
clean and unclean animals from the very dawn of Creation. Noah
lived long before any Jews existed, but he knew of the clean and
unclean, because he took into the ark the clean animals by
"sevens" and the unclean by "twos".
Revelation 18:2 refers to some birds as being unclean just before
the second coming of Christ. The death of Christ had no altering
effect whatever on these health laws, since the Bible says that
all who break them will be destroyed when Jesus returns. (Isaiah
66:15-17). The Jew's stomach and digestive system in no way
differs from that of a Gentile. These health laws are for all
people for all time.
8. Does the Bible forbid the
use of alcoholic beverages?
"Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." Proverbs 20:1 "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder." Proverbs 23:31,32. "Neither fornicators ... nor drunkards ... shall inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Corinthians 6:9,10.
Answer: Yes, the Bible clearly forbids the use of alcholic beverages.
9. Does the Bible condemn the use of tobacco?
Answer: Yes, the Bible gives six reasons why the use of tobacco is displeasing to God:
A. The use of tobacco injures health and defiles the body. "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." 1 Corinthians 3:16-17.
B. Nicotine is a narcotic that enslaves people. Romans 6:16 says that we become servants to whomever (or whatever) we yield ourselves. Tobacco users are servants of nicotine. Jesus says, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt you serve." Matthew 4:10.
C. The tobacco habit is unclean. "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean things; and I will receive you." 2 Corinthians 6:17. It is really preposterous to think of Christ using tobacco in any form, isn't it?
D. The use of tobacco wastes money. "Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?" Isaiah 55:2. We are God's stewards of the money given us, and "it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." 1 Corinthians 4:2.
E. The use of tobacco never draws anyone closer to Christ. "Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." 1 Peter 2:11. Tobacco use is a fleshly lust.
F. The Use of tobacco shortens life.
Recent scientific findings confirm the fact that the use of
tobacco often shortens the life span by as much as one-third.
This breaks God's command against killing (Exodus 20:13). Even
though it is slow murder, it is still murder. One of the best
ways to postpone your funeral is to quit using tobacco.
10. What are some of the
simple, yet very important, health laws found in the Bible?
Here are 11 Bible health rules:
A. Eat your meals at regular intervals, and do not use animal fat or blood. "Eat in due season." Ecclesiates 10:17. "It shall be a perpetual statute ... that ye eat neither fat nor blood." Leviticus 3:17. Note:Recent scientific studies have confirmed the fact that most heart attacts result from a high cholesterol level in the blood - and that the use of "fats" is largely responsible for this high level. It looks like the Lord knows what He is talking about hafter all, doesn't it?
B. Don't overeat. "Put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite." Proverbs 23:2. In Luke 21:34, Christ specifically warns against "surfeiting" (overeating) in the last days. Overeating is responsible for may degenerative diseases.
C. Don't harbor envy or hold grudges. These evils disrupt body processes. The Bible says that envy brings "rottennes of the bones" Proverbs 14:30. Christ even commands us to clear up grudges that others may hold against us (Matthew 5:23,24).
D. Maintain a cheerful, happy disposition. "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." Proverbs 17:22 "As he thinketh in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7. Many diseases from which people suffer are a result of mental depression. A cheerful, happy disposition imparts health and prolongs life.
E. Put full trust in the Lord. "The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied." Proverbs 19:23. Trust in the Lord strengthens health and life. "My son, attend to my words. ... For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh." Proverbs 4:20-22. So health comes from obedience to God's commands and from putting full trust in Him.
F. Balance work and exercise with
sleep and rest. "Six days shalt thou labour, and do all
thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God:
in it thou shalt not do any work." Exodus 20:9,10. "The
sleep of a labouring man is sweet." Ecclesiates 5:12.
"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat breat."
Genesis 3:19. "It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit
up late." Psalm 127:2. "For what hath man of all his
labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath
laboured under the sun? ... his heart taketh not rest in the
night. This is also vanity." Ecclesiastes 2:22,23.
G. Keep your body clean. "Be ye clean." Isaiah 52:11.
H. Be temperate in all things. "Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things." 1 Corinthians 9:25. "Let your moderation be known unto all men." Philippians 4:5. A Christian will completely avoid all things that are harmful and will be moderate in the use of things that are good. Habits that injure health break the command "Thou shalt not kill." They kill by degrees. They are suicide on the installment plan.
I. Avoid all harmful stimulants. Here is a surprise for some. Medical science has confirmed the fact that tea, coffee, and soft drinks that contain the addictive drug caffeine and other harmful ingredients are all positively damaging to the human body. None of these contain food value except through the sugar or cream added, and most of us already use too much sugar. Stimulants give a dangerous, artificial boost to the body and are like trying to carry a ton in a wheelbarrow. The popularity of these drinks is due not to flavor or advertising, but to the dose of caffeine they contain. Many Americans are sickly because of their addiction to coffee, tea, and caffeinated soft drinks. But the real tragedy is that men and women seeking peace and strength are using tea and coffee as cheap substitutes for prayer and Bible study. This delights the devil and wrecks human lives.
J. Make mealtime a happy time. "Every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God." Ecclesiastes 3:13. Unhappy scenes at mealtime hinder digestion. Avoid them
K. Help those who are in need. "Loose the bands of wickedness, ... undo the heavy burdens, ... deal thy bread to the hungry, and ... bring the poor that are cast out to thy house ... when thou seest the naked, ... cover him ... and thine health shall spring forth speedily." Isaiah 58:6-8. This is too plain to misunderstand: when we help the poor and needy, we improve our own health.
11. What solemn reminder is
given to those who ignore God's rules?
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galations 6:7
Answer: The answer is too plain to miss. Those who break God's rules regarding the care of the body machine will reap broken bodies and burned-out lives, just as one who abuses his automobile will have serious car trouble. And those who continue to break God's laws of health will ultimately be destroyed by the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:16,17). God's health laws are not arbitrary. They are natural, established laws of the universe, like the law of gravity. Ignoring these laws always brings certain disastrous results. The Bible says, "The curse causeless shall not come." Proverbs 26:2. Trouble comes when we ignore the laws of health. God, in mercy, tells us what these laws are so we may avoid the tragedies that reult from breaking them.
12. What fearful,
shocking truth about health involves our children and
"Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee." Deuteronomy 12:25. "I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me." Exodus 20:5
Answer: God makes it very plain that children and grandchildren (to the fourth generation) pay for the folly of parents who ignore God's health rules. The children and grandchildren inherit weakened, sickly bodies when mother and father defy God's rules for their lives. Is this what you want for your dear children and grandchildren?
13. What more fearful, sobering
fact does God's Word reveal?
There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth." Revelation 21:27. "But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord God." Ezekiel 11:21
Answer: Nothing defiling or unclean will be permitted in God's
kingdom. All filthy habits defile a person. Use of improper food
defiles a person (Daniel 1:8). It is sobering, but true. Choosing
their "own ways" and that in which God "delighted
not" will cost people their eternal salvation (Isaiah
14. What should every sincere Christian endeavor to do at once?
"Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit." 2 Corinthians 7:1. "Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he [Christ] is pure." 1 John 3:3. "If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15.
Answer: Sincere Christians will bring their lives into harmony
with God's rules at once, because they love Him. They know that
His rules greatly add to their happiness and protect them from
the devil's diseases (Acts 10:38). God's counsel and rules are
always for our good, just as good parents' rules and counsel are
best for their children. ANd one weknow better, God holds us
accountable. "To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it
not, to him it is sin." James 4:17.
15. But I'm worried because
some of my evil havits have bound me so tightly. What can I do?
"As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God." John 1:12. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13.
Answer: Take all of these habits to Christ and lay them at His
feet. He will joyfully give you a new heart and the power you
need to break any evil havit and become a son or daughter of God
(Ezekiel 11:18,19). How thrilling and heartwarming it is to know
that "with God all things are possible." Mark 10:27.
And Jesus says, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise
cast out." John 6:37. Jesus is ready to break the shackles
that bind us. He longs to set us free, and will, if only we will
permit it. Our worries, evil habits, nervous tensions, and fears
will be gone when we do His bidding. He says, "These things
have I spoken unto you ... that your joy might be full."
John 15:11 The devil argues that freedom is found in
disobedience, but this is a falsehood (John 8:44).
16. What thrilling promises are
given about God's new kingdom?
"And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick." Isaiah 33:24. "And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain." Revelation 21:4. "They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31.
Answer: The citizens of God's new kingdom will obey His health
laws, and there will be no sickness or disease. They will be
blessed with eternal vigor and youth and will live with God in
supreme joy and happiness throughout all eternity.
17. Since healthful living
truly is a part of Bible religion, are you willing to follow
God's health rules?
YOUR THOUGHT QUESTIONS ANSWERED
1. 1 Timothy 4:4 says,
"Every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be
refused." Can you explain this?
Answer: This Scripture passage (verse 3) refers to meats "which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving" by His people. "For it is sanctified by the word of God..." To sanctify something means to set it aside for a clean use. The word of God is the Bible. Then the meats referred to here are those that the Bible designates as clean. These meats as we have already discovered, are the clean meats listed in Leviticus chapter 11 and Deuteronomy chapter 14. Verse 4 makes it clear that all creatures of God are good and not to be refused, provided that they are among those created to "be received with thanksgiving" (the clean animals). Verse 5 tells why these animals (or foods) are acceptable: they are "sanctified" by God's Word, which says they are clean, and by a "prayer" of blessing, which is offered before the meal. Please note, however, that God will destroy people who try to "sanctify themselves" while eating unclean foods (Isaiah 66:17).
2. Matthew 15:11 says,
"Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but
that which cometh out." How do you explain this?
Answer: The subject in Matthew 15:1-20 is eating without first washing the hands (verse 2). The focus is not eating, but washing. The scribes taught that eating any food without a special ceremonial washing defiled the eater. Jesus said the ceremonial washings were meaningless. In verse 19, He listed certian evils - murders, adulteries, thefts, etc. Then He concluded, "These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man." Verse 20.
3. But didn't Jesus cleanse all
animals in Peter's vision, as recorded in Acts 10?
Answer: No! In fact, the subject of this vision is not animals, but people. God gave Peter this vision to show him that the Gentiles were not unclean, as the Jews believed. God had instructed Cornelius, a Gentile, to send men to visit peter. But Peter would have refused to see them if God had not given him this vision, because Jewish law forbade entertaining Gentiles (verse 28). But when the men finally did arrive, Peter welcomed them, explaining that ordinarily he would not have done so, but "God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean." Verse 28. In the next chapter (Acts 11), the church members criticized Peter for speaking with these Gentiles. So Peter told them the whole story of his vision and its meaning. And Acts 11:18 says, "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life."
4. What did God make the hog
for, if not to eat?
Answer: He made it for the same purpose that He made the buzzard - as a scavenger to clean up garbage. And the hog serves this purpose admirably.
5. Romans 14:3,14,20 says:
"Let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth."
"There is nothing unclean of itself." "All things
indeed are pure." Can you explain this?
Answer: Verses 3 through 6 are a discussion of those who eat certain things versus those who do not. The passage does not say either is right, but rather counsels that neither pass judgment on the other. Instead, let God be the Judge (verses 4,10-12). Verses 14 and 20 refer to foods that were first offered to idols (and were thus ceremonially unclean) - not to the clean and unclean meats of Leviticus chapter 11. (Read 1 Corinthians 8:1,4,10,13). The point of the discussion is that no food is "unclean" or "impure" just because it has first been offered to idols, because an idol is "nothing in the world." 1 Corinthians 8:4. But if a person's conscience bothers him for eating such food, he should leave it alone. Or even if it merely offends a brother, he should likewise abstain.
6. Are health
laws and eating and drinking really important to me personally?
If I love the Lord, isn't that enough?
Answer: They are a matter of life verses death, because these laws involve obedience. "He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him." Hebrews 5:9. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 7:21. Love to Christ is involved here because He says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15. When we truly love the Lord, we will gladly obey Him without dodging or making excuses. This is the supreme test.
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