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Sometimes we are really confused about diet. What's the answer?
Poem: From His Tail to His Snout Go to article number two: Death in the Kitchen
Article One: Hogs and Other Hazards
During my 46 years of ministry,
largely in public evangelism, I have observed some interesting methods of
Bible study. For example, many people diligently search the Scriptures,
not to find truth, but simply to gather support for their preconceived
religious ideas. Their minds are not open to be taught by God's Holy
Spirit, and therefore they can manipulate the sacred texts to mean exactly
what they want to believe.
One of the great, basic principles of Bible
study is to search out the truth on any given subject from all the texts
in the Bible. It is literally true that you can prove almost anything you
want to prove by using a single, isolated text of Scripture. That is why
it is so important to bring together the consensus of what Moses, David,
Jesus, Paul and all other inspired authors have to say on the subject.
That may involve a hundred or more verses! And even then, there still
might be some confusion, because five or six of those hundred texts can
always seem to contradict the rest.
So should those half-dozen aberrant verses be
discarded since they don't harmonize with the others? No indeed. They
should be given special study in the context of surrounding verses, and
also in comparison with the 95 which are in agreement. Very quickly it
will be discovered that the ambiguity exists only in the mind, and the
total Bible picture is in perfect focus and unity.
Someone has said that a text without its
context is a pretext, and I believe it. This is particularly true of
several strange verses which have been a stumbling block to thousands of
earnest Bible students. Under careful scrutiny, however, these
"problem texts" are found to be in harmony with each other and
also with the rest of the inspired record. Because these texts relate to
diet-one of the most popular subjects on the public mind today-we shall
seek to untangle some of the confusing questions which have been raised
about forbidden foods and biblical health laws.
The four scriptures we shall examine are in
apparent conflict with scores of other clear declarations scattered
throughout the Old and New Testaments on the subject of proper diet. But
before we begin, it is important to note some of the landmark points which
God has made through the writings of His servants.
Entire chapters, such as Leviticus 11 and
Deuteronomy 14, have laid down detailed listings of the clean and unclean
categories of animals. And since the original diet prescribed by God
included no meat whatsoever ( Genesis 1:29), we can be absolutely certain
that no forbidden, "unclean" meat was included in the diets of
those who lived before the flood and followed God's law.
After the flood, even though clean animals
were introduced to the diets of the eight survivors due to the universal
destruction of all vegetation, no unclean animals were permitted for food.
God commanded the preservation of clean animals in the ark by sevens and
the unclean animals by twos (Genesis 7:1-3). Obviously, this allowed only
for the clean category to be eaten, while the male and female of the
unclean animals were preserved for perpetuating the species.
Incidentally, this post-diluvian permission
to eat even the clean animals produced an interesting phenomenon. Almost
immediately, the life span of the human race fell from around 800 years to
about 150 years.
The flood experience also demolishes a
popular argument used by those who insist on eating both clean and unclean
animals. They claim that the law of unclean foods only applied to the
Jewish people. This cannot be correct, since there were no Jews in Noah's
day when the restriction was laid, by God Himself, upon all the human
race. Furthermore, the Bible declares that the forbidden-meat law will
still be in effect at the second coming of Jesus. (Isaiah 66:15-17.)
Not What Goes In ...
But now, let's look at the four most popular
arguments used to support the eating of unclean meats. In Matthew 15:11,
we find such a text which, at first sight, seems to support those
arguments. Jesus said, "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth
a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man."
Without consideration of the context, this
verse seems to be saying that we may eat anything without being condemned
or contaminated. But when we examine the entire chapter, we find that it
has nothing to do with diet. From verse 2, we learn that Jesus was dealing
with a controversy by the Pharisees, who insisted that the disciples give
their hands a ceremonial washing before they ate food. The purpose of this
bath was to cleanse away the defilement of touching any Gentile person or
object. Christ condemned their hypocritical tradition in verses 3-10,
declaring that they were worshipping Him in vain by teaching manmade laws.
Then in verse 11, He made the statement about defilement coming out of
man, not going in.
Afterward, Peter asked Jesus, "De-clare
unto us this parable." Matthew 15:15. This statement proves that
Christ's words were not to be taken literally, because a parable is merely
a story or statement to illustrate a point. Notice how Jesus explained the
meaning of His figurative statement: "Do not ye yet understand, that
whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out
into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come
forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart
proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false
witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat
with unwashen hands defileth not a man." Verses 17-20.
Now the whole story begins to clear up. Jesus
knew that these religious leaders had murder in their hearts against Him,
and yet their greatest concern was not over those evil dispositions, but
only for a foolish tradition based on prejudice. Christ called those
inward sins by name and then declared: "These are the things that
defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man."
That was the meaning of His parable. It did not refer to eating food, but
rather to ceremonial washing.
Some have been puzzled by the addition of
three words in Mark's account of the same incident. There Jesus is quoted
as saying, "It cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his
heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all
meats." Mark 7:18, 19, emphasis added.
Does the expression "purging all
meats" indicate that anything put into the body is somehow sanctified
as wholesome and healthful? Of course not! Again, Jesus is highlighting
the fact that true defilement comes from harboring spiritual uncleanness
in the mind. Physical food passes through the purging processes of
digestion and is separated from the body, while sin remains as a
Now we turn to another text which has been
fearfully misinterpreted by certain Bible readers. Paul wrote to young
Timothy: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times
some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and
doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience
seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain
from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of
them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good,
and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving. For it is
sanctified by the word of God and prayer." 1 Timothy 4:1-5.
By carefully considering the context of these
words, we find nothing out of harmony with the rest of the Scriptures.
Apparently some specific end-time group is described that forbids
marriage, is full of hypocrisy, and is demon-controlled. In addition, this
group commands its followers to abstain from obviously clean foods,
"which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them
which believe and know the truth."
Our purpose here is not to dwell on the
identity of these evil perverters of the gospel, but to dispel the idea
that merely praying over food can make it good to eat. Paul affirms that
any created thing in the food line is acceptable as long as it meets two
tests-it must be approved (or sanctified) by the Bible, and it should be
prayed over with thanksgiving. Please take note that both of these
requirements must be met in order for the food to be suitable for the
Christian diet. Incidentally, the word "meats" in the original
language is not limited to flesh foods. The Greek word "broma"
simply means "food."
Do these verses suggest that moles, bats, and
rattlesnakes may be sanctified for food by simply praying over them? Quite
the opposite! Nothing is made suitable unless it has passed the first test
of being approved by the Word of God. If the Bible says it is clean, then
and only then can prayers of thanksgiving be assured the seal of God's
Perhaps the most common basis for the
supposed cleansing of unclean meats is the story of Peter and his vision
of the sheet let down from heaven. With a bit of background, however, we
can clearly understand the true meaning of Peter's strange vision.
As a Jewish convert, Peter held the opinion
that all Gentiles were unclean, and therefore unworthy of salvation. He
would not preach to them or have any type of social interaction with them.
Peter received the vision just before
messengers arrived at his Joppa home from Cornelius, a Gentile centurion.
God had instructed Cornelius to send for Peter, and his servants were
practically at Peter's door when the faithful apostle fell into a trance
on the rooftop.
In that vision, Peter saw a great sheet
descending from heaven, filled to overflowing with all kinds of beasts,
birds, and creepy-crawly animals. Three times Peter was invited to eat the
disgusting collection of creatures, and three times he refused. Each time
a voice declared, "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou
common." Acts 10:15. Finally, the sheet was lifted back into heaven
with its cargo of wriggling varmints.
At this point, we should make some crucial
observations. Peter's response to the invitation to eat establishes a very
important point. He said, "Not so, Lord, for I have never eaten
anything that is common or unclean." Acts 10:14. This proves that
during his entire three and one-half years with Jesus, Peter had never
seen or heard anything that made him accepting of unclean meats. In other
words, Jesus had not changed the prohibition against eating the forbidden
animals, because if He had, Peter would have known about it and would not
have responded as he did.
In fact, the context of Acts chapter 10
reveals that Peter at first did not understand the meaning of the
perplexing vision. Verse 17 says that "Peter doubted in himself"
what it meant. And again, verse 19 says that "Peter thought on the
While he was trying to figure it out, the
three servants sent by Cornelius knocked on Peter's door. He listened to
their account of Cornelius' vision, then lodged the men. The next day
Peter returned with them to Caesarea, where Cornelius had his family and
friends gathered to welcome the apostle.
The crux of the entire narrative is found in
verse 28, where the previously blinded fisherman-disciple tells how the
vision had been explained to him. He addressed the Gentile assembly with
these words: "Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that
is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath
shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean." Acts
10:28, emphasis added.
Here we plainly see that God had used the
vision of the sheet to teach the prejudiced Peter that he should no longer
shun the Gentiles. The vision had nothing to do with eating and drinking.
It was addressing Peter's attitude toward people, not toward food.
What a dramatic lesson for that early church!
And it's a lesson that all of us should learn, also. From this moment on,
be quick to correct those who try to apply this vision to any cleansing of
unclean animals. It actually proves the opposite, and then presses home
one of the greatest lessons for Christians everywhere-count every
individual of equal worth before God, and make every effort to win that
one to Christ.
Block to the Weak
The final set of verses which need to be
studied in their context is found in Romans 14. Because many readers have
lifted words and phrases out of their logical setting in this chapter,
some strained interpretations have been created.
There is a very important common theme
running through the chapter. Almost every verse relates to the subject of
judging, a problem which was most malignant in the early Christian church,
even as it is in the modern church today. In order to understand the
counsel given by Paul in Romans 14, we must first recognize the parties
involved in the judging and the issues over which the judging was taking
There were two main groups in the early
church-the Jewish Christians who had been converted from Judaism, and the
Gentile Christians who had been won from heathenism. These two groups did
not get along very well. They were constantly judging each other. Now
let's notice what the division was all about. The Gentile Christians
judged the Jewish Christians because they were eating meat which had been
offered in sacrifice to idols. To the Gentile convert, such food was unfit
to be eaten. Even though he was now a Christian, he could not forget how
he once offered food to idols, and in his mind the eating of such food was
con-nected to idol worship. The Jewish con-vert, on the other hand, had no
such compunctions because he had always ac-knowledged only one God, and
naturally felt no guilt about eating the meat which had been sacrificed to
idols. It was sold in the market place at a cheaper price, and the Jewish
Christians considered it a desirable bargain.
Now let's read the first few verses of Romans
14 concerning the brother who was weak in the faith. "Him that is
weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one
believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him that
eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Who art thou
that judgest another man's servant?" Romans 14:1-4.
Can we, by comparing other Scrip-tures,
locate the weak brother? Can we also locate the problem which created the
"judging" situation? Yes, we can. Paul had to deal with it at
considerable length in 1 Corinthians 10 and 1 Corinthians 8. Notice his
description: "As concerning therefore the eating of those things that
are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in
the world, and that there is none other God but one. ... Howbeit there is
not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto
this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience
being weak is defiled. ... But take heed lest by any means this liberty of
yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak." 1 Corinthians
8:4-9, emphasis added.
Here we locate the weak brother of Romans
14:1-3. He was the Gentile Christian who felt that it was sinful to eat
the meat which had been offered to idols. Paul agreed with the Jewish
converts that there was nothing wrong with the food, since there is only
one God after all. But he advised that the food not be eaten in front of
the Gentile believers lest it be a stumbling block to them. Compare this
language with Paul's counsel in Romans 14:13: "Judge this rather,
that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's
In 1 Corinthians 8:11, 12, Paul asks this
question: "And through thy know-ledge shall the weak brother perish,
for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound
their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ." Compare that statement
with this one in Romans 14:15: "Destroy not him with thy meat, for
whom Christ died." Also read Romans 14:21: "It is good neither
to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother
stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak."
Obviously the accounts in Romans 14 and 1
Corinthians 8 are referring to the same problem. Identical language is
used in describing them, and the same judging was taking place in
reference to the problem.
One more point needs to be clarified. The
meat in question was not "unclean meat" in the biblical sense.
The question only revolved around food that was "esteemed"
unclean by the Gentile Christians because it had been offered to idols.
Actually, the heathen did not offer swine or other unclean animals in
their sacrifices, as Acts 14:13 establishes. So when the Jewish Christians
bought the food which had been offered to idols, it was not wrong in
itself, as Paul pointed out. It became wrong only when it offended the
"weak brother," or the Gentile Christian, who esteemed it to be
unclean through association with the idol. Some of the Gentile believers
were so strong against it that they abstained from meat altogether and ate
only herbs for fear they might eat some meat that had been offered to
idols. In Romans 14:1-3, Paul urges the Roman church to receive such
people and honor their conscience. It was not a moral issue and should not
be permitted to divide the church.
By examining these apparent contra-dictions
in the Bible relating to diet, we have also discovered the root of much
theological confusion in today's religious world. A simple understanding
of the circumstances behind the writing enables us to grasp the words and
phrases in their original format and to recognize the beautiful harmony
and unity of Scripture.
Unfit for Human Consumption
Ponder this significant fact carefully. If
certain animals were identified as unclean before the flood; if they were
still counted as unclean when Peter rejected them in his vision; if they
are still called unclean in Revelation 18:2, where it speaks of
"unclean" birds; and if Isaiah declares that all who are eating
swine and the abomination at the time of the second advent will be
consumed (Isaiah 66:15-17), how can we feel that they are now fit to eat?
When did they become clean?
Did God have a reason for forbidding the use
of certain animals for food? He never acts in an arbitrary way. We have no
indication that the proscription was based on ceremonial, or shadowy,
issues. As far as we can determine, all of the forbidden categories are so
classified because God wanted His people to be healthy and happy. They
simply were not suitable for human consumption, and God told His people
not to use them as such.
This conclusion is verified by the findings
of modern nutritionists, who have identified many of the
"unclean" meats as heavy with deleterious fat or disease
elements. In ancient times, God accused His people of destroying
themselves for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6), and promised freedom from
disease if they followed His laws (Exodus 15:26). Why should we continue
the destructive rebellion which marked the course of Israel's past?
The One who made our bodies has also supplied
an operating manual for the proper maintenance of these delicate
organisms. Just as Israel's frequent apostasies often involved
"eating and drinking" (Exodus 31:5), so God's modern Israel goes
astray in the same indulgent fashion. There are strong reasons to believe
that God considered those health laws to preserve the body temple equally
as important as the moral principles of the written law.
Thousand Swine Wasted
We have already established that Jesus never
communicated any change in the dietary laws to Peter and the disciples.
Now we need to examine an incident in the life of the Master which will
show clearly whether or not He regarded the unclean animals as appropriate
But first, let's review a principle which
appeared often in the ministry of our Lord. He was never wasteful. In
fact, we can agree with the writer who described Jesus as a "God of
Economy." We recall how He commanded the gathering of all the scraps
of food following the feeding of the multitudes. On two occasions, Christ
specifically ordered that nothing be thrown away. The Scriptures even
detail the exact number of baskets of food which were salvaged from the
two mountain-side miracle feedings-12 and seven. (Luke 9:17, Mark 8:20).
With this firm principle in mind concerning
our Lord's disposition to conserve every tiny bit of edible food, please
consider His experience with the inhabitants of Gadara. With His
disciples, Jesus had embarked on a rather harrowing voyage across a wild,
tumultuous sea. In their extremity of fear and despair the disciples had
awakened Jesus from His peaceful sleep in the bottom of the storm-tossed
boat. Standing in their midst, Christ commanded the elements to cease
their raging, and there was an immediate calm.
When the ship reached the opposite shore, the
little company was confronted with an even greater threat. A naked,
demon-possessed madman came rushing out of the tombs as though to attack
them. What followed is one of the most unusual encounters in the record of
the gospels. For the only time in the Scriptures, Jesus briefly dialogued
with the demons who controlled the frenzied victim. When the legion of
evil spirits requested to be cast out into a nearby herd of swine, Jesus
granted their request. While the nameless man sat at Jesus feet, now fully
restored and fully clothed, the herd of 2,000 swine rushed headlong into
the sea and drowned.
Many have marveled at this extra-ordinary
turn of events. Why did Jesus precipitate the wholesale destruction of
that valuable herd of animals? Was He aware of circumstances which related
to the owners and their very un-Jewish occupation as hog-tenders? It seems
so. But one thing appears beyond all question; Jesus did not consider the
swine to be suitable for food. Would the One who commanded leftovers to be
gathered from the feast destroy enough pigs to feed a small army? It is
impossible to believe that our compassionate Saviour would needlessly
allow such a waste of resource when the hungry and needy were on every
side. We can only conclude that Jesus did not view the animals, which His
Father had declared an abomination, as acceptable items of diet.
As recent nutritional research has been
publicized along with recommendations from government health agencies,
more and more people are turning away from eating animal products. The
very latest releases assure us that Americans consume too much fat and too
little fruits and vegetables. It is most encouraging to see a gradual
change in the eating habits of millions who have been influenced by either
the Bible counsel on proper diet or the directives of government
committees on health.
Is it wise to carefully scrutinize the labels
of all food items before putting the contents into our bodies? Indeed, we
would be almost foolhardy not to examine the list of ingredients in the
products which find their way into our stomachs. Often we discover that
some of the biblically forbidden animals have been utilized in the
manufacture of some very common household staples. Let me share with you
what I learned about the chief component of one very popular product.
Pig Grease and Pride
Quite some time ago I read a gripping story
of mission adventures among the fierce Stone Age tribes of New Guinea.
One recurring reference throughout the
narrative made a deep impression on my mind, and that was the aboriginal
practice of smearing pig grease and soot on the face for beautification
The proud South Pacific tribesmen called
themselves "Lords of the Earth," and the use of the cosmetic
mixture was a settled tradition of their pagan culture.
But now I must tell you why that particular
custom made such an impact on my mind. Just before reading the book, I had
conducted an evangelistic crusade in New Orleans, Louisiana. One of the
young men who was baptized in that series had been employed for several
years at a local rendering plant.
He shared some very interesting facts with me
concerning his particular duties at the plant and how its product was
After I explain the process involved, you
will probably appreciate the relief this man felt upon finding other
employ-ment just before my crusade began.
In my conversations with him I discovered for
the first time what a rendering plant really is. It is a collection center
for all kinds of dead animal bodies. Carcasses of every variety are hauled
to the plant daily. Some are wild creatures that have been killed on the
highway, such as skunks, opossums, etc. Huge supplies of the decaying
bodies come from farms where disease has decimated herds of swine, cattle,
and other domesticated animals.
At the plant, the bodies were all dumped
together into a huge cooking pot which generated intense heat. After a
certain period of cooking, the bodies were subjected to a process of
extreme pressure in order to extract the fat from bones, skins, etc. It is
the rendered fat which constitutes the final product of the plant.
According to my friend's account, no one can
imagine the horrible stench of the diseased and decaying conglomeration of
cooking carcasses. But the thing which interested me the most was the way
in which the extracted grease is utilized. The great majority of the stuff
was sold to the manufacturers of lipstick and eye makeup. He named two of
the most prestigious cosmetic companies in the country as the chief
customers of the rendering plant. Anyone looking at the elegant ads
portraying glamorous women wearing the colorful "grease" on
their faces would never suspect the true origin of their cover-up.
Is there really a lot of difference between
the beauty program of those South Pacific and modern "civilized"
people? Are not the practices of both based upon the same principle of
human pride? In one case the pig grease has been refined, colored, and
properly perfumed; the other has stayed closer to nature and is used
But the main point I want to emphasize is how
so many millions of fine Christian ladies are ingesting that abominable
blend without realizing what it contains. This is only one example of
similar concoctions which have found their way into the homes and bodies
of untold millions.
Yet, in the final analysis, we must reject
the indulgence of forbidden foods not because they are distasteful or
unhealthy, but because God says they are not to be taken into the body
temple. May the Bible principles unfolded in this book form the basis of
our Christian lifestyle: "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or
whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31.
By John T. Reagan
you think, brother, that in God’s great plan
When He was prescribing the best food for man
He made a mistake in leaving the swine out.
For he was not good from his tail to his snout!
the carcass of an old dead horse or a cow
Don’t get too rotten for a dirty old sow;
we holler a lot about boils and gout,
We eat Miss Piggy from her tail to her snout.
couldn’t eat the buzzard, we’d think it a crime,
But how much more filthy is he than the swine;
we make into pie, or we cook him with kraut,
And eat him or die, from his tail to his snout!
cook him with cabbage or boil him with greens,
With his mangy old hide we season our beans;
his scabs and his boils within and without
Sweet Piggy we eat from his tail to his snout.
filth they feast, while in stink-holes they lay
And still for their carcass our money we pay;
preacher, professor, or the judge on his bench,
Eat the carrion-eater, his filth and his stench.
the filth you can see him clear up to his eyes
His slimy old carcass all covered with flies;
dead with cholera (due to butcher, no doubt).
We still think him good from tail to snout.
eat the old grunter, we eat the young shoat,
The fat that we fancied may be pus or bloat;
would smell as good, and as healthy, no doubt,
As the hoofs and the hide, the tail and the snout.
may like him lean, or we may like him best fat
Just as well eat the dog, or else eat a cat;
as well eat the buzzard, the owl or the bat
The lizard or the snake, the mouse or the rat.
most sensitive natures would almost run wild,
If we handled the corpse of a man or a child,
we sit at our table and cram down our throat
With greatest relish—the corpse of a shoat.
made him a scavenger, He says he’s unclean
What other creature is as filthy and mean?
we eat his flesh, or touch his dead carcass,
With sin and disease it surely will mark us.
sad, brother, although God’s word is just,
We eat the slop-eater, for eat him we must;
dirtiest of beasts we will not do without.
But eat him we will, from his tail to his snout!
we sing and we talk of God’s love so divine,
Like vultures, then feast on the dirty old swine.
might shun many ills, and diseases, no doubt,
By not eating him—from his tail to his snout.
we worship the Lord, and pray and shout.
But that old hog flavor we can’t do without;
ham, bacon, and sausage; we go the whole route.
And eat the whole hog from his tail to his snout.
God’s word we find he is classed with the dog
No matter how highbred he still is a hog
you wash him, or teach him if you will,
He still will go back to his mire and his swill.
be better off if we obeyed God’s command,
And ate vegetables, grain and fruit of the land
it wouldn’t take half of the tonic and pills
To relieve all mankind of their swine-fed ills.
may think of fresh pork as a very rare treat,
But our bodies are made of just what we eat,
the food he has eaten, the filth of the land
Goes into our body as food second-hand.
wonder we are weak and heart beats are slow,
Sanitariums full, hospitals o’erflow,
we eat such unclean, abominable things,
That are creeping, crawling, or flying with wings.
forbade us to eat these dirty old creatures,
No matter what is the theory of preachers;
left to man’s opinion—we’d not know the right,
But thank the Lord, in His Word there is light.
now, my brother, you may no doubt recall—
Indulgence of appetite caused Adam’s fall.
Savior was tempted on this point, no doubt,
Then why do we eat from his tail to his snout?
I’ve told you my story, recited my piece;
If you can eat pork with your conscience at ease,
sin, filth, or disease, you care little about—
Keep on eating the brute,
his tail to his snout!
returned Missionary Baptist Minister with ten letters after his name, writes
upon receiving the poem, “From His Tail to His Snout,” as follows:
received, glad to get it. Forty-five
years ago when in inland China, I saw hogs eating dead children.
At once I ceased eating hog, my stomach trouble, dyspepsia and
indigestion disappeared, so that was proof positive what caused it.
So I say to people, “If you want cancer for breakfast, rheumatism for
dinner and tuberculosis for supper, eat hog.
I don’t want any, for God classes it with rats and mice.”
Article Number Two: Death in the Kitchen
Some years ago a survey was taken in a
certain American city, and every inhabitant responded to 156 questions
included in the survey.It was discovered that the prime interest of adults
was that of health - not politics, history, or even the weather - but
health, their health and the health of their families. What a paradoxical
age is this one in which we live! A time when we have more doctors,
hospitals, medicines; more medical knowledge of the care, treatment, and
cure of disease; more pills, capsules, vitamins, etc.; yet seldom has
there been a time when more sickness and general ill health has plagued
the human family.
Millions are suffering the side effects of
wrong living habits and harmful eating and drinking. We live in a world
which is shattered by pain. The cries of the sick and diseased are the
trademarks of modern society. In spite of incredible programs in medical
research, the problems of health and longevity are still the most serious
our society faces.
The Bible gives a simple, concise answer to
the question of premature disability and death. Millions would still be
alive today had they but heeded the warning of God in Exodus 15:26:
"If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God,
and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his
commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases
upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that
These words make it abundantly clear that
anyone can actually postpone his own funeral. By obeying the laws of God
concerning health and diet, disease may be mitigated or avoided
altogether. It is apparent from this verse in the Bible that it is not the
will of God for great, epidemic scourges to sweep millions into their
graves. He wants us to prosper and be in health - body, mind and soul.
Why then do we see so much suffering and
disease in the world today? The answer is that the majority are violating
the laws of their being. Just as surely as the laws of nature operate, so
there are laws of our body which are also predictable and certain.
"Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians
6:7. If a person falls from the roof, the law of gravity immediately takes
over. Regardless of age, sex, or financial status, that falling body will
hurtle downward to be injured or killed. In the same way, if we violate
the laws of our body, we may expect the inevitable consequences of
sickness or death.
Effect is always preceded by a cause. To
those who have seriously studied the counsels of God and the current world
health trends, there is no deep mystery. Experts are puzzled that cancer
has continued its spiraling increase. While many diseases have been
greatly reduced, and some eliminated altogether, cancer has mushroomed.
Even with unprecedented funding and research there have been few
significant breakthroughs in curbing the growth of this deadly malignancy.
We can easily understand the steady increase
of lung cancer in the light of America's smoking practices. This trend
will doubtless continue until more people muster the simple, moral courage
to say "No" to imbibing a deadly poison. But few people
understand that fully one-third of all cancers of the human body occur
within the stomach. And one-half of all cancers are found in the organs of
digestion, including the liver, pancreas, small intestine and colon.
The reason for this cancer concentration must
be obvious to all of us. Except for the lungs, which are bombarded with
hot tobacco tars, the stomach is the most abused organ of the body. Dr.
James Ewing, one of the founders of the American Cancer Society, made this
statement in a tract entitled The Prevention of Cancer: "The
perpetual abuse of a normal stomach frequently gives rise to cancer, and
an abnormally weak stomach may suffer the same fate from less abuse. In
both instances abuse and overfunction must be regarded as the exciting
cause. The stomach is not lined with copper but by a single row of rather
delicate epithelial cells. The sole safe conclusion to be drawn from these
data is that all forms of abuse of the stomach must be avoided if the high
mortality from this very common disease is to be reduced."
It is simply hair-raising and blood-curdling
to see what goes into the stomachs of American men, women and children.
The great test seems to be whether it tastes good, or else whether it
gives a pleasant after-effect. No wonder 50 percent of the population is
suffering from obesity and that more than three million dollars are spent
each year on diet formulas and exercise gadgets.
The amazing fact is that the average American
consumes 1,488 pounds of food every year. This is undoubtedly a large
factor in the one and a half million patients who fill American hospitals
every day of the year. Have you ever noticed that three-fifths of the word
DEATH is EAT?
Paul Bragg, in his famous cookbook, stated:
"The average person is poisoning himself day by day with the food he
eats. Most people eat with their eyes. If the food looks good, they do not
question whether it is healthful or death-dealing. Few people know the
right kind of food to put into their bodies to keep them well and strong
or take the time to select this food if they do know. From birth to old
age the average individual never experiences the taste of real natural
food. Our tiny sensitive taste buds have been for generations so polluted
by unnatural, artificially seasoned and stimulating foods that most of us
are unable to appreciate the fine, delicate flavor of the natural foods.
Foods must be fixed, hashed, mashed, smashed, boiled, broiled, stewed,
baked, pickled, preserved, flavored, salted, creamed, dried, roasted,
fried, greased, peppered, vinegar-laden, smoked, toasted, crushed, rolled,
mealed, oiled, fermented, beaten, sweetened, spiced, soured, peeled,
shredded, steamed, braised, colored and otherwise seasoned in order to
offer an appeal to the civilized man." Then, he adds, "Civilized
man is not satisfied with the food the Maker has supplied him and must do
something with it before he feels it is fit for him to eat."
Small wonder, then, that 25 tons of aspirin
are swallowed every day in the United States. According to the National
Observer, this is 2 1/4 tablets for every man, woman and child in the
nation; and that is every day of the week. If you didn't get your 2 1/4
tablets today, somebody else got a double supply, you can be sure of that!
One of the strangest paradoxes of American
life is found in this area of health. Though people fear sickness above
every other enemy, yet they do almost nothing about taking care of their
health until after the disease has already struck. In a year's time, out
of every medical dollar spent by the American people, 95 cents was spent
to get well and 5 cents was spent on preventive medicine. Now this doesn't
make a lot of sense. But in this field most people don't seem to excel in
reason or good sense anyway.
It reminds me of a group of tourists in Spain
who had gone there to visit one of the historic sites. Up on the side of a
cliff, there was an ancient monastery which they wanted to visit. The only
way to get up there was in a basket which was pulled up over a pulley by
some of the monks. After they had toured the monastery, they were being
lowered back down the side of the cliff. As they were getting into the
basket to be lowered back down, they noticed that the rope was rather
frayed. So they asked the monk in charge, "How often do you change
the rope?" And the monk said, "Well, we change it every time it
breaks, of course." That wasn't much comfort to those who were being
lowered down in the basket.
More and more, the medical researchers are
finding out that our diet has very much to do with our state of health.
The body machine is actually made up of the fuel we feed into it. The
quality of nerve, bone, blood and cell is dependent upon good nutrition
and proper diet. The old adage is almost literally true: Millions are
digging their graves with their teeth.
Right at this point someone may be wondering
what all this has to do with religion. Why would God be concerned about my
eating habits? Isn't it a man's personal business as to how he cares for
his body? These are relevant questions and cannot be ignored.
Fortunately, the Creator of our bodies did
not leave us without answers to these questions. "Whether therefore
ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1
Corinthians 10:31. Isn't that amazing? God is concerned about such small
matters as what and how and when we feed our body system. The Bible
reveals that God did not fabricate the delicate human machine and then
leave it to operate alone. He has never released His ownership of the
creative process or of the product itself.
The apostle Paul wrote: "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. These words reveal that the proper
care of our body is not only a spiritual obligation but a moral
requirement. Even though we have control of our bodies, they do not really
belong to us. We are only stewards of someone else's property.
No man has a right to say, "I'll do as I
please with my own body, and it is my business alone." We can rob God
by violating the divine purpose of the body temple to be the dwelling
place of the Holy Spirit.
Paul refers to both the church and the
individual member when he says: "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. This forever settles that a
person can be lost for defiling the property of God.
But how much does the average individual know
about his own body and how to take care of it? Doesn't it seem strange to
you that the average parent knows more about the physical needs of the
chickens in the pen, or a dog in the house, than he does about the needs
of his own children? The average man knows more about the needs of his
automobile than he does about the physical needs of his own family! Why is
there such an incredible amount of ignorance concerning the way to take
care of this sacred body temple? The Bible assures us that the human body
is to be cared for, preserved and maintained according to the rules laid
down in the Bible. The trouble is that most Americans simply follow their
appetite in matters of eating and drinking.
What are the guidelines laid down in the
Bible about caring for and feeding the body? God asks the question,
"Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your
labour for that which satisfieth not? ... eat ye that which is good."
Isaiah 55:2. And how can we tell what is good? Surely not by the taste or
the advertising or by colorful labels. Most Americans, following the law
of appetite, hastily fill their grocery baskets with the products which
have been most loudly touted by the TV hawkers. With no regard to content,
they collect everything that appeals to the taste and sight. As little
baby birds open their mouths to whatever mama will put in, so the gullible
consumers blindly accept the choices of the media marketers.
There is only one way to know what is good
for this very complex body system, and that is to consult the One who made
it. Only the manufacturer has the best operating manual for its products.
Automobile makers always provide such instructions for keeping their
vehicles in top running condition.
When God made the body, He also gave specific
operating instructions, including fuel and maintenance. Notice this
counsel in Genesis 1:29, "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." No one has been able to improve on it. Nuts, fruits, grains
and vegetables are still recognized by the best nutritionists as the
finest possible diet.
No one need be reluctant to espouse the ideal
vegetarian diet commanded by a perfect God for the perfect bodies He
created in the beginning. Today, under the increasing curse of sin, those
bodies have degenerated in both size and stamina, but no argument or
scientific data has been able to challenge the wisdom of God's original
But notice how the American people have
departed from the simplicity of that original recipe. Today the average
eater's plate is loaded with heavy meat protein, carbohydrates and
pastries. In the beginning, God did not even allow for the use of meat.
Apparently flesh was permitted in man's diet for the first time only after
the flood waters had annihilated all vegetable matter - but only certain
meats. God gave this instruction to Noah: "Of every clean beast thou
shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of the beasts
that are not clean by two, the male and his female." Genesis 7:2.
Don't miss the significant fact that the law
of clean and unclean animals extends all the way back to the beginning of
human history. Many have assumed that only the Jewish people were
forbidden to eat the unclean animals. Not so. There were no Jews in Noah's
day, yet the distinction is clearly made. Why were extra clean animals
taken into the ark? Because all vegetation would be wiped out in the
flood, and for the first time, God would allow man to eat meat.
But only the clean meat! If Noah and his
family had eaten any of the unclean animals, that species would have
ceased to exist because only a male and female had been preserved to
perpetuate the species. There were seven pairs of the clean animals in the
ark. Only they could be spared for food without endangering the continuity
of their kind.
Since it is evident that even some
Genesis-kind animals were unclean, how do we determine where the line is
drawn between the clean and unclean? God has not left us to wonder about
this important issue.
In Leviticus 11:3-11 the requirements are
clearly laid out: "Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted,
and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. Nevertheless
these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide
the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the
hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the coney, because he cheweth the cud,
but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the hare, because
he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And
the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth
not the cud; he is unclean to you. ... These shall ye eat of all that are
in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas,
and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. And all that have not fins and
scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and
of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination
unto you ... ye shall not eat of their flesh."
How fortunate we are that the One who made us
also prescribed the kind of food that should and should not be eaten. We
may not be able to explain why some are unclean and others clean, but we
can trust the Creator to know the difference, and in His great love for us
He has revealed it for our good. All animals which do not have a split
hoof and chew the cud are not to be eaten.
Is it any surprise to us that Satan has
created an appetite for the very foods God forbade? And should it be any
surprise that epidemic disease has followed the violation of God's dietary
principles? The forbidden swine is a perfect example of how presumptuous
appetite has overruled God's sensible restrictions. Unlike some of the
other unclean categories, we can show abundant scientific evidence why
pork is totally unfit for food.
Pork contains a microscopic worm called
trichina, and if it gets into the system, the disease trichinosis results.
Governments warn that there is no inspection for the parasite, and a Readers'
Digest article stresses that there is no cure for the disease.
Under the title "Must Our Pork Remain
Unsafe?" these statements are made about trichinosis: "A single
serving of defective pork, even a single mouthful, can kill or cripple or
condemn the victim to a lifetime of aches and pains. For this unique
disease, trichinosis, there is no cure. With no drugs to stop them the
worms may spread through the entire muscular tissues of the human system.
"One of two things then happens,
depending on the intensity of the infection. Either death ensues or a
successful effort is made by nature to throw an enclosure, or cyst, around
each of the teeming parasites, which then become dormant, although they
remain alive for years. Don't blame your doctor. All that the best doctor
can do as yet is to conserve the patient's strength and try to relieve the
painful, local symptoms as they appear." Reader's Digest,
March, 1950. What these symptoms are, the layman had much better not worry
about. Trichinosis can simulate to some degree almost any other malady.
That pain in your arm or leg may be arthritis or rheumatism or it may be
trichinosis. That pain in your back may mean a gall bladder involvement,
but it may mean trichinosis.
Dr. Samuel C. Gould, a Washington health
official, who has made an extensive study of trichinosis, states that the
average American consumer eats at least 200 infested pork meals during his
lifetime. Just because the meat may be stamped "U.S. Government
Inspected and Passed" does not mean it has been tested for trichina
infestation. Every bit of the pork would have to go under a microscope to
make that determination.
The Public Health Service advises consumers
to cook the pork thoroughly in order to kill the trichina worms. Someone
has observed that eating dead worms is not very highly appealing to the
palate either. The fact is that God calls it unclean and an abomination.
Why is it so hard for Christians to accept the judgment of God over the
perverted craving of appetite?
Some have asked why God created the pig if it
should not be eaten. The answer to that is self-evident. The pigs, along
with buzzards, snakes and hyenas, are great scavengers of the earth's
filth and refuse. All creatures serve a purpose, but all are not suitable
for assimilation into the human system as food. We might not be able to
figure that out in our own wisdom, but the counsels of God have revealed
it beyond all doubt or question.
Arguments have been advanced that there is
better sanitation since God made those Old Testament laws, and the pig is
now quite fit to be eaten. One is hard put to believe that land or sea
animals have become less polluted by the passing of time. Today there are
chemical poisons infecting land, sea, and atmosphere to such an alarming
degree that constant government directives are being issued.
Environmentalists keep us posted hour by hour on the massive accumulation
of deadly pesticides, insecticides, and other contaminants in every order
And if reason doesn't convince us that the
unclean animals are still unclean, we have the revelation of God's Word on
the matter. Isaiah writes: "For, behold, the Lord will come with
fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with
fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by 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, and purify themselves in the gardens
behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination,
and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord." Isaiah
This text is talking about the second coming
of Jesus and proves that the nature of those animals will not experience
any change that will make them fit to eat - not even down to the very last
day of this earth when Jesus comes. The swine is placed in the same
category as the abomination and mouse, and God plainly declares that the
eaters thereof "shall be consumed together." None can say that
the warning has not been given in language that everyone can understand.
It should be noted that only the marine
animals that have fins and scales are counted as "clean" in
Leviticus 11. All others are an abomination to God. This eliminates
oysters, shrimp, crabs, clams, eels, catfish, lobsters and crayfish.
Again, the scavengers have been forbidden as articles of diet.
Are there sound, scientific reasons for
accepting God's appraisal of these shellfish and other seafood? It is
quite common knowledge that these creatures feed largely on the raw sewage
and pollutants in the water.
magazine of September, 1972, carried an interesting article entitled
"Shellfish Are Dirty and Dangerous." The author appeared
reluctant to take a stand, but he was committed to telling the truth on
this sensitive subject. He wrote: "They're succulent; they're
delicious; they're even nutritious. But, because of the nature of the
mollusk and the sewage-like pollution of its habitat, we must in good
conscience advise you to avoid shellfish, no matter how they tempt you,
and even though those around you seem to be swallowing them with delight.
The day of reckoning cometh.
"Why are shellfish so dangerous? Because
they are many times more polluted than the filthy waters they inhabit.
"Unfortunately they choose to live and
love and multiply in estuaries along coastal regions. These estuaries are
particularly subject to discharge of sewage, sewage effluent, and other
water-borne pollution from municipal discharges, from suburban home
drainage and agricultural runoff.
"The polluted aspect of their habitat is
one danger. The fact that they are filter feeders compounds the danger.
"Oysters, for instance, because of their
way of obtaining and absorbing food, have been found to concentrate polio
virus up to 20 to 60 times the level of the surrounding seawater.
"No other animal food offered on the
menu of your favorite eating place would be served to you along with its
feces. Yet this is the case with seafood. It is served whole; complete
with its intestinal tract."
Can you imagine anyone finding such fare to
be a culinary delicacy? Over and over again outbreaks of hepatitis have
been traced to the eating of seafood. After feeding on raw sewage, the
creature is harvested and sold. The disease is simply cycled from man to
mollusk and then back to man.
Again we must confess the loving concern of
an all-knowing God for the health and happiness of His creation. And those
who deliberately flaunt the divine laws will finally suffer the tragic
consequence that disobedience always produces.
Now let us consider how to glorify God in
what we drink or inhale into the body. The Bible says, "Whether
therefore ye eat, or drink, ... do all to the glory of God." 1
Corinthians 10:31. Among all the popular poisons which are imbibed by
modern man, one that is particularly pernicious and destructive is
alcohol. Glorified as a symbol of gracious living, it has, in fact, been
the most malignant social disease known to civilization. No wonder the
Bible declares that no drunkard will be in heaven.
In these days of compromise, most of the
great religious bodies have changed their attitude toward social drinking.
From total abstinence they now take a stance of moderation. In essence
this is exactly the same position the brewers take - no drunkenness. But
is that a safe posture to take toward alcoholic beverages? Statistics
reveal that one out of every ten that start drinking become either
alcoholics or problem drinkers.
The claim is made by many Christians that the
Bible endorses moderate drinking of alcohol. This is based largely on the
use of the term "wine" in the Scriptures. But the recommended
wine of the Bible is not alcoholic. The word wine is used for either
fermented or unfermented drink. God declared, "As the new wine is
found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in
it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy
them." Isaiah 65:8.
This wine in the cluster has to be the fresh
juice of the vine. This is the only kind God ever declared to have a
blessing in it. There is no blessing in the intoxicating, befuddling
bottle of fermented poison. Inspiration declares, "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.
Did Jesus go contrary to the Old Testament
and turn the water into alcoholic wine? It is unthinkable that He should
do so. He obeyed the Word of God. The wine He created was the unfermented
kind. We now know the actual physiological effect of alcohol on the body.
Research has proven that intoxication is caused by a process which
deprives the brain of oxygen. This deprivation destroys brain cells,
affecting, ultimately, the reasoning powers of conscious thought. Would
Jesus, the Creator of the body, condone something that would weaken moral
inhibitions, reduce the power of effective decision, and finally destroy
the sacred body temple of the Holy Spirit? Never. And what can we say
about the use of tobacco?
Books could be written about the massive
research into the noxious effect of nicotine on the body. Since the
Surgeon General's first release on the subject, every new study has
documented more supporting information. Nicotine is possibly the most
deadly poison known to man. Millions have died as a result of its
malignant influence. By constricting the arteries of the body, nicotine
forces the heart to over-exert. Lungs have become riddled with carcinoma.
Fetuses have been fatally affected. Hardly an organ of the body escapes
the insidious effect of the fatal nicotine poison.
Is it a sin to use tobacco? There is no sense
in denying a patent truth. Anything that defiles the holy body sanctuary
is a sin. God says He will destroy those who do it. We dare not call it
less than it is. It is a sin, and no Christian should presumptuously
shorten his life by introducing it into his body.
Few church members would consider taking even
small, microscopic doses of arsenic or strychnine into their body, yet
they take something just as lethal. Slowly the cigarette tars coat the
delicate membranes of the lungs until death results. It is exactly the
same when men and women deliberately inhale the toxic fumes of tobacco
until the accumulative effect causes death. It is suicide on the
installment plan. It is morally wrong to take God's property, violate our
stewardship, and rob Him of His possessions.
And what can we say about the waste of money
on tobacco? Most smokers spend $50 or more every month for their
indulgence. By retirement time this would amount to $25,000. Enough to
guarantee a late-life nest egg, even if Social Security fails. Yet many of
those who waste that money on tobacco come to the end of life penniless
and dependent on welfare or relatives. What an unspeakable tragedy! No
wonder God said, "My people are destroyed for lack of
knowledge." Hosea 4:6. How much better it would be to simply place
the $25,000 in a neat pile and strike a match to it. At least it would not
be serving as a destroyer of life.
We can surely see by now what a serious
matter it is to desecrate the physical body and mind which were created
for a specific, spiritual purpose. This principle of being accountable to
God for the way we take care of our bodies is rooted deeply in the Bible,
but millions are becoming health conscious today just to avoid the painful
effects of neglecting their bodies. And it is so true that reason and good
judgment alone should provide enough motivation for a balanced
But sometimes logic, and even scientific
evidence, has a tremendous conflict with appetite, social custom and
addiction. Caffeine is a dramatic example. There is a growing catalog of
research which points to caffeine as a pernicious enemy of good health. It
is a powerful, habit-forming drug which has fastened millions in a vise of
addiction. Many find it just as hard to give up caffeinated drinks as to
stop smoking or drinking. It has been indicted for its adverse effect upon
heart, stomach, nerves and even the fetuses of expectant mothers.
Merck Index of Drugs lists quite a variety of
caffeine symptoms and indicates that seven grains of the drug is a medical
dose. Most cola drinks, tea and coffee contain from one and a half to
three grains. Many people take far more than a medical dose at every meal.
The effect is to stimulate the cells of the body to operate on a higher
level of activity than God ever intended. One physician described it this
way: "We in America have become a nation of tea and coffee
Incredible as it seems, this country consumes
275 billion pounds of coffee every year. That averages 17 pounds for every
man, woman and child. Doctors warn heart patients and those with stomach
ulcers to leave off caffeine, along with smoking. Another coffee factor
has recently been established as cancer-causing. This is, by far, the most
serious charge which has grown out of the coffee research. Although the
carcinogen has not been identified as caffeine, it is definitely
associated with coffee drinking.
Tea, in addition to its content of caffeine,
has another harmful constituent, tannic acid. This powerful chemical is
used for dyeing leather. The detrimental effect of sugar concentration in
the caffeinated drinks provides still another reason for eliminating it
from the diet. The murderous effect of refined sugar threatens the
well-being of every habitual user of soft drinks.
It is not uncommon to see secretaries or
bosses sitting at their desks with a cigarette in one hand, a cup of
coffee nearby, and a Coca-Cola on the credenza. Who hasn't heard their
common rationale: "If I don't get my coffee (or coke) I get a
headache"? They are telling the truth. The caffeine does take away
the headache, but so would a tenth of a grain of morphine. The temporary,
sedative effect is to deaden the pain, but the daily dosing of delicate
nerve-endings wears off, leaving them more jangled, and demanding more and
The most pathetic proof of this drug-slavery
is to be found in expectant mothers. With all the accumulation of medical
data proving the damaging effect of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine on the
fetuses, pregnant women still pour the poison into the bodies of their
unborn babies. It might be possible to understand a woman willing to risk
her own life and health by a perverse indulgence in chemical poisons, but
how could she so deliberately endanger the life of her child? The answer
to that question reveals the depth of the drug problem in American
The big question, of course, is how to quit.
After the will has been weakened by years of indulgence, how does one find
the power to resist the powerful craving for these narcotic-type drugs?
Most will only find deliverance from outside themselves. First, there must
be a decision to stop - a willingness to give up the physical pleasure
associated with the habit. All available effort should be mustered for the
conflict. Then pray. Claim the mighty promises of the Bible for total
Don't try to taper off on the use of
something that is morally and physically wrong to indulge. It just doesn't
work. It is much like cutting off the dog's tail a little at a time to
make it easier on the dog! It is actually more painful that way. A habit
is a habit. If you cut off the "h" you still have "abit"
left. Take off the "a" and "bit" remains. Remove the
"b" and "it" is still with you. Even after taking away
the "i" you are left with "t." And if your problem is
tea-drinking, you still don't have the full victory.
Someone may object that we are trying to take
away too much. After all, you can overdo anything. Too many potatoes or
beans can also be very harmful to some people. Indeed they can, and a true
definition of temperance should read like this: A total abstinence from
things that are harmful, and a moderate, judicious use of the things which
are good. Doesn't that make a lot of sense? It also contains a lot of
good, sound religion.
Impressive evidence that a person can
postpone his own funeral was presented by Paul Harvey in his news column.
Under the title Eat Right, Live Longer, Harvey described the
results of a western survey on longevity. The study focused on the death
certificates of California Seventh-day Adventists in comparison to non-SDAs.
Comparing the records of the Adventist (who teach against drinking,
smoking, or using caffeine) with others, the survey revealed that
Seventh-day Adventists have a life expectancy almost six years greater
than other Californians.
Seventy percent fewer Adventists die from all
types of cancer, 68 percent fewer from respiratory disease, 88 percent
fewer from TB and 85 percent fewer from pulmonary emphysema. Adventists
have 46 percent less strokes, 60 percent less heart disease. Perhaps as a
by-product of abstinence from alcohol, they have only about one-third as
Again we are faced with the reassuring truth
that all of us can add years to our lives by simply obeying the practical,
ageless principles laid down by our Creator in the Bible. Rather than
feeling cheated or short-changed, we ought to rejoice that God loves us
enough to share with us His secrets of long life and happiness. The
apostle John wrote, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth
not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear,
we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every man that
hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." 1 John
Do you have the faith and courage to accept
the inspired prescription that can lengthen your life and tranquility?
Seize it right now as the course which can prepare you well for both time