Bible Study – Christian Temperance

August 21 – 27, 2022

Key Text

“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.” 1 Corinthians 9:25

Study Help: Child Guidance, 394–400


“True temperance teaches us to abstain entirely from that which is injurious, and to use healthful and nutritious articles judiciously.” The Review and Herald, September 23, 1884



1.a.        What is one attribute of the fruit of the Holy Spirit? Galatians 5:22, 23; 2 Peter 1:5, 6. What was one of the points that Paul presented to Felix? Acts 24:25. Is temperance important for us today?

Note: “Temperance in all things of this life is to be taught and practiced. Temperance in eating, drinking, sleeping, and dressing is one of the grand principles of the religious life.” Child Guidance, 394

“We are to practice temperance in all things. If we honor the Lord by acting our part, He will on His part preserve our health. We should have a sensible control of all our organs. By practicing temperance in eating, in drinking, in dressing, in labor, and in all things, we can do for ourselves what no physician can do for us.” Ibid., 397

1.b.        What is the will of God regarding our physical bodies? 3 John 2; Jeremiah 33:6. What was Daniel’s decision regarding eating and drinking, and with what result? Daniel 1:8, 11, 12, 15, 18–20

Note: “The case of Daniel shows us, that, through religious principle, young men may triumph over the lust of the flesh and remain true to God’s requirements, even though it cost them a great sacrifice.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 570



2.a. What was the original diet given to Adam and Eve and to all animals? Genesis 1:29, 30; 2:9. After the Fall, what was added to the diet of humans? Genesis 3:18

Note: “Not all foods wholesome in themselves are equally suited to our needs under all circumstances. Care should be taken in the selection of food. Our diet should be suited to the season, to the climate in which we live, and to the occupation we follow. Some foods that are adapted for use at one season or in one climate are not suited to another. So there are different foods best suited for persons in different occupations. Often food that can be used with benefit by those engaged in hard physical labor is unsuitable for persons of sedentary pursuits or intense mental application. God has given us an ample variety of healthful foods, and each person should choose from it the things that experience and sound judgment prove to be best suited to his own necessities.” Child Guidance, 386

2.b. What is the appropriate diet for human beings today, and what should be avoided? Psalm 104:14

Note: “Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.” The Ministry of Healing, 296

“Reason, instead of being the ruler, has come to be the slave of appetite to an alarming extent. An increasing desire for rich food has been indulged, until it has become the fashion to crowd all the delicacies possible into the stomach. Especially at parties of pleasure is the appetite indulged with but little restraint. Rich dinners and late suppers are served, consisting of highly seasoned meats, with rich sauces, cakes, pies, ices, tea, coffee, etc. No wonder that, with such a diet, people have sallow complexions, and suffer untold agonies from dyspepsia.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 149

“[A]lmonds are preferable to peanuts, but peanuts in limited quantities may be used in connection with grains to make nourishing food which can be cared for by the digestive organs. But every soul must experiment for himself.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 21, 285



3.a.        After the Flood there was a temporary change in the diet of humans. What was added to their diet, and with what restrictions? Genesis 9:3, 4; 7:2; Leviticus 3:17

Note: “God gave man no permission to eat animal food until after the Flood. Everything had been destroyed upon which man could subsist, and therefore the Lord in their necessity gave Noah permission to eat of the clean animals which he had taken with him into the ark. But animal food was not the most healthful article of food for man. …

“After the Flood the people ate largely of animal food. God saw that the ways of man were corrupt, and that he was disposed to exalt himself proudly against his Creator and to follow the inclinations of his own heart. And He permitted that long-lived race to eat animal food to shorten their sinful lives. Soon after the Flood the race began to rapidly decrease in size, and in length of years.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 373

3.b.        When God wished to withdraw flesh food from ancient Israel, how did the people react? Numbers 11:4–6; 21:5. Why did the Lord comply with their desire, and what was the result? Ezekiel 14:4; Numbers 11:31–33; 1 Corinthians 10:6

Note: “The Lord intends to bring His people back to live upon simple fruits, vegetables, and grains. He led the children of Israel into the wilderness, where they could not get a flesh diet; and He gave them the bread of heaven. ‘Man did eat angels’ food.’ But they craved the fleshpots of Egypt, and mourned and cried for flesh, notwithstanding that the Lord had promised them that if they would submit to His will He would carry them into the land of Canaan and establish them there, a pure, holy, happy people, and there should not be a feeble one in all their tribes; for He would take away all sickness from among them.” Medical Ministry, 277

“[G]od is trying to lead us back, step by step, to His original design—that man should subsist upon the natural products of the earth. Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat eating will eventually be done away; flesh will cease to form a part of their diet. We should ever keep this end in view, and endeavor to work steadily toward it.” Counsels on Health, 450



4.a.        What does the Bible say about alcoholic beverages? Proverbs 20:1; 23:29–32; Isaiah 5:22

Note: “With the awful results of indulgence in intoxicating drink before us, how is it that any man or woman who claims to believe in the word of God, can venture to touch, taste, or handle wine or strong drink? Such a practice is certainly out of harmony with their professed faith.” Temperance, 42

“Governors, senators, representatives, judges, men who enact and administer a nation’s laws, men who hold in their hands the lives, the fair fame, the possessions of their fellows, should be men of strict temperance. Only thus can their minds be clear to discriminate between right and wrong. Only thus can they possess firmness of principle, and wisdom to administer justice and to show mercy. But how does the record stand? How many of these men have their minds beclouded, their sense of right and wrong confused, by strong drink! How many are the oppressive laws enacted, how many the innocent persons condemned to death, through the injustice of drinking lawmakers, witnesses, jurors, lawyers, and even judges!” The Ministry of Healing, 345, 346

“Look at the breweries planted all over the land, to supply to the public that which is a deadly evil. … [W]hat a curse is the liquor to the man who enters [the drinking house] and drinks! The traveler enters the public house with his reason, walking uprightly; but look at him as he leaves; the luster is gone from his eye, his reason is paralyzed, and he reels to and fro like a ship at sea.” The Bible Echo, January 22, 1894

4.b. What express command was given to Aaron and his sons, to Manoah and his wife, and to Zechariah? Leviticus 10:8–10; Judges 13:3, 4, 13, 14; Luke 1:12–15

Note: “The use of spirituous liquors has the effect to weaken the body, confuse the mind, and debase the morals. It prevents men from realizing the sacredness of holy things or the binding force of God’s requirements. All who occupied positions of sacred responsibility were to be men of strict temperance, that their minds might be clear to discriminate between right and wrong, that they might possess firmness of principle, and wisdom to administer justice and to show mercy.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 362



5.a. What do the Holy Scriptures say about our physical bodies? 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17; 6:19, 20

Note: “It is not possible for us to glorify God while living in violation of the laws of life. The heart cannot possibly maintain consecration to God while lustful appetite is indulged. A diseased body and disordered intellect, because of continual indulgence in hurtful lust, make sanctification of the body and spirit impossible. The apostle understood the importance of the healthful conditions of the body for the successful perfection of Christian character.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 44

“God desires that we shall have a care, a regard, and an appreciation for our bodies—the temple of the Holy Spirit.” Healthful Living, 305

5.b. In order to preserve the health of our physical bodies, what counsel is given us? 1 Corinthians 9:24–27; 10:31; 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Note: “All are required to do what they can to preserve healthy bodies and sound minds. If they will gratify a gross appetite, and by so doing blunt their sensibilities, and becloud their perceptive faculties so that they cannot appreciate the exalted character of God, or delight in the study of His word, they may be assured that God will not accept their unworthy offering any sooner than that of Cain.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 49



1    What vital quality makes captive Daniel outshine prestigious Felix?

2    Describe the diet God intends that we partake in these last days.

3    When only in history did God permit the use of flesh food, and why?

4    Why are alcoholic beverages such an evil?

5    Why is the message of health reform so important?

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