Purpose of Exodus
The purpose of the Exodus of ancient Israel was to bring them back to the faith and practice of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. While in Egypt they had learned to eat the abominations of the heathen and had forgotten the diet restrictions and regulations practiced by their fathers. Health reform was an important part of the movement out of Egypt. The use of the flesh foods that the Lord had pronounced unclean and an “abomination”. (See Leviticus 11; Deut.14). This was not a new restriction as the division had been made before the flood and these divine regulations were carefully observed by the faithful after the flood.
The Original Diet
In the beginning the Creator gave to all His creatures the food that was for their best good. The diet of man was restricted to the highest types of all foods, -grains, nuts and fruits. Genesis1:29, 30; 2:16. After the entrance of sin which cursed the ground and made it necessary for man to live by the sweat of his face, the Lord added the herbs or vegetables to his diet. Genesis 3:17-19. This amended diet is therefore God’s ideal for His people during the reign of sin. Toward this ideal the Lord endeavored to lead Israel and is also attempting to lead modern Israel. In the Paradise restored the original diet will be fully restored. Those who are prepared for translation will be all the way back to the amended diet and therefore but one step from the original plan.
As man’s rebellion against God increased, all restrictions were broken down and the human family began to imitate the savage beasts in devouring their fellow-creatures. Sinful men were not satisfied to get their food directly from the vegetable kingdom; they turned cannibals and began to eat the flesh of the lower animals. Then in an effort to check the apostasy, the Lord made a division between the animals. He selected the most healthful and designated them as “clean” with permission to eat them, and all others as “unclean” and positively unfit for food and even an “abomination”. But this second barrier was soon broken down by the rebels and the apostasy continued until every living creature in the animal kingdom is used for food. Men even began to eat their fellow men.
The purpose of the gospel is to restore what was lost through sin; to bring man back to his original state. The steps in rebellion and apostasy must all be retraced by those who enter the Paradise restored. When the gospel reaches the most degraded human beings, cannibalism ceases. Then they eliminate from their diet the unclean abominations forbidden in the Scriptures. When the reformation is completed under the Advent Movement which prepares a people to enter the Heavenly Canaan, the steps in diet reform will have all been taken except the last which is for the perfect sinless state.
In an attempt to lead Israel back toward the original diet, the Lord gave them manna. Exodus 16:2-4, 25. In Psalm 78:23-25, the manna is called “angel’s food” and the “corn of heaven.” “The bread of the mighty”-Margin. It was the food used by the angels and unfallen beings, the best food in the universe. There was nothing on earth to equal it. It contained more of the vital food elements than any food known to man. The nature of the manna is described in Exodus 16:31, and Numbers 11:7,8. Coriander seed is the seed of a plant that grows wild in Palestine and neighboring countries and is cultivated and sold in the United States. It is pleasant to the taste and smell and is white “as the color of bdellium”.
Israel Not Satisfied
But the Israelites had such perverted appetites as the result of their sojourn in Egypt that they were not satisfied even with the food of angels. Numbers 11:4-6. They were tired of the manna and lusted for the flesh-pots of Egypt which included even the unclean meats. This rebellion against the health principles of the Exodus Movement was started by the “mixed multitude”. The Lord did not give them what they lusted and cried for but sent them the cleanest of all clean flesh, — wild quails. Numbers 11:10-14, 31-33. While three quarts of manna was sufficient for each person per day, they were so gluttonous for flesh that the least number of quails gathered by one person was ten homers or from 80 to 100 bushels. It was their gluttony that made the Lord so angry. They were so ravenous for flesh that they hardly took time to cook it. Psalm 78:17, 18, 26-31; 106:14, 15. The Lord gave them their request only to teach them a lesson. Their lust, gluttony and disobedience brought leaness to their souls.
Spirit of Prophecy
“God gave the people that which was not for their highest good because they persisted in desiring it; they would not be satisfied with those thing that would prove a benefit to them. Their rebellious desires were gratified, but they were left to suffer the result. They feasted without restraint, and their excesses were speedily punished. “The Lord smote the people with a very great plague.” Large numbers were cut down by burning fevers, while the most guilty among them were smitten as soon as they tasted the food for which they had lusted.”—P.P.382. “They loathed the food given them and wished themselves back in Egypt, where they could sit by the flesh-pots. They preferred to endure slavery, and even death, rather than to be deprived of flesh. God granted their desire, giving them flesh, and leaving them to eat till their gluttony produced a plague, from which many of them died.”—C.H. 111.
Sin of Gluttony. Deuteronomy 21:18-21
The Lord places the sin of gluttony in the same catalogue with drunkenness. So offensive was this sin in the sight of God that He gave directions to Moses that a child who would not be restrained on the point of appetite, but would gorge himself with anything his taste might crave, should be brought by his parents before the rulers of Israel, and should be stoned to death. The condition of the glutton was considered hopeless. He would be of no use to others, and was a curse to himself. No dependence could be placed upon him in anything. His influence would be ever contaminating others, and the world would be better without such a character; for his terrible defects would be perpetuated.”—C.H. 71. This sin is very prevalent today and is no less serious than in the days of ancient Israel. Modern parents make bit little or no effort to keep their children from gorging themselves. over-eating or surfeiting is one of the sins of the last days. Luke 21:34.
True Basis of Health. Exodus 15:26; Deuteronomy 7:5-15
Health depends upon obedience to the laws of God both moral and physical. Obedience to the laws of nature alone is not sufficient. The greatest factor in healthful living is a spiritual experience. It is just as impossible to have perfect health by obedience to natural laws or by biologic living, as it is to gain salvation by human obedience to moral law. Faith and works must be combined in obtaining health as well as in obtaining salvation. A good Christian experience is of first importance in health reform. Combined with our obedience to health principles there must be a divine miracle working power within. This was the secret of the health of the Israelites. “There was not one feeble person among their tribes.” Psalm 105:37; Deuteronomy 8:4.
The Advent Movement. 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11
The apostolic church observed the rules of health and diet restrictions. When the church went into Babylon they learned to eat all of the abominations of the heathen or Babylonians. The purpose of the Advent Movement is to call God’s people out of Babylon and bring them back to the faith and practice of Christ and the apostles. The remnant will not eat unclean meats. Isaiah 66:15-17; Ezekiel 22:26. As we near the end of the journey and prepare to enter the heavenly Canaan, the Lord will endeavor to lead his people back to the original diet which they will have in Eden restored. His ideal for His people now is the diet as amended to meet the condition of sin.
Antitype of Manna
“The light that God has given and will continue to give on the food question is to be His people today what the manna was to the children of Israel. The manna fell from heaven, and the people were told to gather it, and prepare it to be eaten. So in the different countries of the world, light will be given to the Lord’s people, and health foods suited to these countries will be prepared. … In grains, fruits vegetables, and nuts are to be found all the food elements that we need.”—M.M. 267. “If we will come to the Lord in simplicity of mind, He will teach us how to prepare wholesome food free from the taint of flesh meat.”—Ibid.
A Broad Subject
Health reform is a big subject covering far more than our diet. 1 Corinthians 10:31. “Whatsoever” is all-inclusive. It includes exercise, recreation, work, rest, sleep and dress. While health reform is closely related to our spiritual life it is not the gospel. Romans 14:17, 18. “The health reform is closely connected with the work of the third message, yet it is not the message. Our preachers should teach the health reform, yet they should not make this the leading theme in the place of the message.”—Vol. 1:559. We cannot eat our way into heaven for that would be salvation by works. However, the way we eat may keep us out of the kingdom. Those who enter the family of God will eat, drink, dress and act as do the other members of His family. These things do not make them citizens of the heavenly kingdom, but they are evidences that they are citizens. Citizenship is a gift from God while conduct is an evidence of that relationship.
Will Produce Health
True health reform will produce health. Good health or better health is the evidence that the reform is genuine, and ill health that it is unbalanced. The good health of the Israelites testified that their health principles were sound and scientific. The good health of those who are ready for translation will demonstrate that the health principles of the Advent Movement are based upon the soundest reason. 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Adventists are to be “preserved” in spirit and soul and body.” There is a close relation between a strong body and a strong mind and spirit. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Philippians 3:18-20. We can not have a clear mind without a healthy body. In an army every effort is made to keep the soldiers in the best health possible. It is one of the most important elements in the morale of fighting men. Athletes know that success depends upon temperance of the strictest type. They abstain from everything that injures them physically.
Dangers of Extreme
“We would caution those who are extremists not to raise a false standard, and then endeavor to bring everybody to it.”—Vol. 2:375. “Men go to an extreme in one direction and if not corrected, go to an extreme in the opposite direction.”—T.M. 314. There are people who are extreme by nature and are never balanced on any subject. A great deal of counsel has been given us on this subject, especially along the lines of health reform. “But we should be very cautious not to advance too fast, lest we be obliged to retrace our steps. In reforms, we would better come one step short of the mark than to go one step beyond it. And if there is error at all, let it be on the side next to the people.”—Vol. 3:21. See also M.H. pp. 318, 319. Here we are instructed to be guided by principle and the “shun the extremes.” We are told that those who are the least informed are often the most rigid and that the effect of their mistakes reforms” is seen in their own ill-health.”
Dangers of Laxness
On the other hand, we are warned against laxness which is the other extreme of fanaticism. “We need now the sword of the Lord to cut to the very soul and marrow of fleshly lusts, appetites and passions.”—Vol. 8:315. “The question of how to preserve the health is one of primary importance. … God demands that the appetites be cleansed and that self denial be practiced in regard to those things which are not good. This is a work that will have to be done before His people can stand before Him a perfected people.”—Vol. 9:153, 154.
“It is impossible for those who indulge the appetite to attain to Christian perfection.”—Vol. 2:400. “True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with everything hurtful, and to use judiciously that which is healthful. There are few who realize as they should how much their habits of diet have to do with their health, their character, their usefulness in this world, and their eternal destiny. The appetite should ever be in subjection to the moral and intellectual powers. The body should be servant to the mind, and not mind to the body.”—P.P. 262.
Relation to Spiritual Health. 2 John 2
The health of the body depends upon the health of the soul. Spiritual healing must come first because it is as much more important than physical healing as eternal life is more important than temporal life. Psalm 103:3. We are told that when we fully do God’s will, “then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily.” See Isaiah 58:1-11; Malachi 4:2. “When the gospel is received in its purity and power, it is a cure for the maladies that originated in sin. … The love which Christ diffuses through the whole being is a vitalizing power. Every vital part—the brain, the heart, the nerves—it touches with healing. … It frees the soul from the guilt and sorrow, the anxiety and care, that crush the life forces. With it come serenity and composure. It implants in the soul joy that nothing earthly can destroy,—joy in the Holy Spirit—health-giving, life-giving joy. … If human beings would open the windows of the soul heavenward, in appreciation of the divine gifts, a flood of healing virtue would flow in.”—M.H. 115, 116.
Under Latter Rain
The call for a spiritual revival and a spiritual reformation is the most important of all roads to health reform. This is the message that will bring the latter rain of spiritual and physical healing. Then there will not be a feeble one among God’s true people. Divine miracle-working power will cooperate with obedience to the laws of health, producing a people “to be wondered at” in health and wisdom, even as were Daniel and his companions in ancient Babylon. “In physical strength and beauty, in mental vigor and literary attainment, they stood unrivaled. The erect form, the firm, elastic step, the fair countenance, the undimmed senses, the untainted breath—all were so many certificates of good habits, insignia of the nobility with which nature honors those who are obedient to her laws.”—P.K. 485.
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