With every new model of motor vehicle, or other piece of equipment, brought onto the market, comes a maintenance manual issued by the manufacturer containing instructions on how to keep the vehicle in its best working condition. It tells the purchaser when to grease and oil the vehicle, what grade of oil to use, coolant checks, how to carry out repairs, etc.. The manufacturer who designed, built and extensively tested the vehicle knows how best to maintain it. Therefore, the wise purchaser takes care to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Each one of us has been entrusted with the care of a living machine, infinitely more complex and intricate than any motorized vehicle. This living mechanism is the human body. When we consider and analyze the wonders of the eyes, ears, brain, heart, or any other part of our bodies, we are filled with awe and reverence at the infinite wisdom of the Creator. With David we exclaim: “I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from Thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” Psalm 139:14-17.
Has the all-wise God left man without a manual to maintain this marvelous “machine” – the body – in the best of health? No, we have a manual and it is largely due to ignorance of the instructions contained in this book that there is so much sickness, suffering and untimely death. Our Maker is interested in our whole welfare, body, soul and spirit!
“eloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” 3 John 2.
There are many who say: “My body is mine and I can do with it as I please.” Yes, we may do as we please, but like the engine, when we abuse it, it will not be long before something goes wrong. Then we find we’re seeking out the manufacturer for repairs. But do we really own our bodies?
“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 Corinthians 6:19,20.
We belong to Christ for two reasons. First, He created us and secondly, He paid the price of redemption for us with His own precious blood on the cross of Calvary. We are therefore counseled by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1.
We are responsible to our Creator for the way we treat our bodies, and one day He will call each one of us to account: “For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10.
Our bodies were designed to be temples for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
“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.
Let us therefore carefully study the “œmaintenance manual”, the Bible, and obey every instruction, that our bodies may be temples of God, and filled with His Spirit.
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31.
The foremost principle of health is that in all we do, whether it be eating, drinking, working, recreation or sleeping, all should be done to the glory of our Creator. Never should a selfish desire to satisfy unnatural appetite, the lower passions or unnatural desires become the motive of our actions. Such a course, if unchecked, will certainly end in disease and death.
“Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.” 1 Corinthians 6:13.
“Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” Philippians 3:19.
Jesus is our example in all things. He too was tempted on appetite and under the most difficult circumstances possible, nevertheless He was victorious. See Matthew 4:1-11. He promises us His power to obtain the same victory over our own appetites and desires.
“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 4:4.
The first test and the first victory Jesus faced concerned eating, just as Adam and Eve were first tested but failed. Jesus met temptation with the written Word of God. We too are admonished to “walk, even as He walked.” 1 John 2:6.
What Is The Best Food?
“…eat ye that which is good…” Isaiah 55:2.
When supplying them food in Eden, the Lord gave Adam and Eve the best diet: “And God said, 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.
Fruits, grains and nuts were the diet appointed at the beginning. After sin entered the world, man was to till the ground. At that time vegetables were added as a supplement to their diet.
“…and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;” Genesis 3:18.
Although not for the best, it was after the flood that permission was given to eat flesh. Before the flood the average age of men was over nine hundred years (Genesis 5). After the flood men quickly degenerated in size and age. Only a few generations after Noah, the average life span was reduced to seventy years (Psalm 90:10). The consequences of flesh eating were soon evident.
Although permitted to eat meat, there were definite restrictions in its use.
“But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.” Genesis 9:4.
A distinction was also made between “clean” and ‘unclean” animals. Only the “clean” were fit for food. See Leviticus 11. Basically a clean animal is one that has divided hoofs and chews the cud.
Although it was permitted by God after the flood, it is now evident that flesh food should be abandoned today, because of inherent diseases and some of the methods used in slaughtering the animals. God’s purpose is for us to return, as far as possible, to the original diet. The Bible advises us: “Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:” Proverbs 23:20.
“It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine…” Romans 14:21.
The experience of Daniel illustrates the benefits of non-flesh diet. Notice that God blessed him and his friends for obeying the principles of correct diet.
“But 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: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king communed with them; and among them all was 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 enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.â€ Daniel 1: 8,11,12,18-20.
What Shall We Drink?
Alcoholic beverages are condemned in the Bible. Beer, wine, whisky, liqueurs or related drinks should never pass the lips of a Christian.
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” Proverbs 20:1.
“Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!” Isaiah 5:11.
A curse is pronounced on those who provide intoxicating drink for others: “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!” Habakkuk 2:15.
There is no place in the kingdom of heaven for the drunkard.
“Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:10.
Tea and coffee are stimulants which weaken the nerves. The nerves of the stomach are excited and convey irritation to the brain, and this in turn is aroused to give increased action to the heart, and short-lived energy to the entire system. Fatigue is forgotten; the strength seems to be increased. The intellect is aroused and the imagination activated.
Because of these results, many feel that tea or coffee is doing them great good. But this is a mistake. When the influence of the stimulant is gone, the unnatural force abates, and the result is a sense of languor or fatigue. The continued use of these nerve irritants may cause headache, sleeplessness, palpitation of the heart, indigestion, trembling or other ailments.
Water: In health and in sickness, pure water is one of heaven’s greatest blessings. It is the beverage which God provided to quench the thirst of animals and man. Taken freely, it helps to supply the necessities of the body system and assists nature to resist disease.
Herbal teas and fruit juices are also excellent beverages to promote health.
Tobacco And Drugs
An addiction to weaker drugs leads to the use of stronger ones.
Drug addiction and the use of narcotics have been spreading at an alarming rate in recent years. Many young people are snared into forming the drug habit, which unless broken at an early stage, too often leads to the sad results so prevalent in our society.
In the past the use of tobacco was regarded as a harmless habit. Medical research has since proved it to often be a slow, insidious, but most malignant poison. It is especially dangerous because its effects are slow and at first hardly perceptible. It excites and then paralyses the nerves. It weakens the brain. Its use excites a thirst for alcoholic drinks. The use of tobacco is expensive, unclean, harms the user, and is offensive to others. The victims of this habit are found in hospitals and operating theaters. Tobacco smoke causes the majority of cases of lung cancer, and throat cancer, and it also causes heart disease, and other serious diseases.
No smoker, unless he forsakes the habit, will ever have a right to enter the Holy City on the earth made new.
“And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 21:27.
The Lord makes it clear to us as to what is good and what is harmful. Many say: “there is no harm in using only a small amount of these things, as long as we practice temperance.”
What is the real meaning of temperance? Abstinence from all that is harmful and moderation in all that is good.
“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. I therefore run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest by any means when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.
We may be tempted to believe that we can cheat nature a bit and “get away with it”, but what does the Bible say?
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7.