September 9, 2012 – September 15, 2012
“Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” I Peter 2:9.
Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 1, 283–287; Ibid., vol. 4, 180.
“What compassion, what matchless love, has God shown to us, lost sinners, in connecting us with Himself, to be to Him a peculiar treasure!” Patriarchs and Prophets, 289.
1 A PECULIAR PEOPLE
- From all the world’s inhabitants, who are recognized as God’s true people? I Peter 2:9; Malachi 3:17, 18.
- What makes God’s people peculiar, and how is this privilege blessed? Exodus 19:5, 6; Deuteronomy 14:2; 26:16–19. How do we know that this distinction encompasses our dietary choices? Exodus 15:26.
Note: “Our habits of eating and drinking show whether we are of the world or among the number whom the Lord by His mighty cleaver of truth has separated from the world. These are His peculiar people, zealous of good works. … In the case of Daniel and his three companions there are sermons upon health reform. God has spoken in the history of the children of Israel, from whom for their good He sought to withhold a flesh diet. He fed them with bread from heaven.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 372.
“We shall soon reach a time when we must understand the meaning of a simple diet. The time is not far hence when we shall be obliged to adopt a diet very different from our present diet.” Medical Ministry, 281.
2 LEADING UP THE NARROW PATH
- What relationship should exist between the leaders and the flock entrusted to their care? I Timothy 4:12; I Peter 5:2–4.
Note: “Let not any of our ministers set an evil example in the eating of flesh meat. Let them and their families live up to the light of health reform.” Medical Ministry, 281.
- How does the knowledge of the truth, including health reform, affect our salvation and that of those who are watching us? I Timothy 4:16.
Note: “As we near the close of time we must rise higher and still higher upon the question of health reform and Christian temperance, presenting it in a more positive and decided manner. We must strive continually to educate the people, not only by our words, but by our practice.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 112.
- Where does obedience to God’s laws—including His natural laws—lead? Isaiah 1:19; I Peter 1:14–16.
Note: “[I Corinthians 6:19, 20 quoted.] Yes, we are God’s property, and the path of obedience to nature’s laws is the direct path to heaven. He who is converted from errors in eating, drinking, and dressing is being prepared to hear and receive the truth into a good and willing heart.” Counsels on Health, 222.
- How does God purify His people? Isaiah 48:10; I Peter 1:22; John 16:13.
- What calls did Joshua and Elijah make to ensure Israel’s faithfulness? Joshua 24:15; I Kings 18:21. How is it possible to make the same type of call for a temperance pledge?
Note: “The importance of caring for the health should be taught as a Bible requirement. Perfect obedience to God’s commands calls for conformity to the laws of the being. … No one can properly understand his obligations to God unless he understands clearly his obligations to himself as God’s property. He who remains in sinful ignorance of the laws of life and health, or who willfully violates these laws, sins against God.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 295.
3 PURIFICATION AND FINAL SEPARATION
- What will happen to all who persist in evil habits? Hosea 4:17.
Note: “Many who are now only half converted on the question of meat eating will go from God’s people to walk no more with them.” Counsels on Diet and Foods (1902), 382.
- What ultimately happens to the “candlestick” of a church that continues in wrongdoing? Revelation 2:5; 3:16.
Note: “God calls upon His ministers to carry forward a work of decided reform. He is seeking to lead His people to a higher plane of action. Let the church arise and shine. Let every family practice self-denial, doing all they can to improve their own condition. Those who are truly on the Lord’s side will be self-denying and self-sacrificing. They will eat and drink to the glory of God, refusing to corrupt soul and body by intemperance. Then the condition of the church will testify that her light has not been removed. But if church members do not act the part God has assigned them, the movement of health reform will go on without them, and it will be seen that God has removed their candlestick out of its place. Those who refuse to receive and practice the light will be left in the background.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, 339.
- What kinds of people will be ready to see Christ? Ephesians 5:25–27.
Note: “If meat is discarded, if the taste is not educated in that direction, if a liking for fruits and grains is encouraged, it will soon be as God in the beginning designed it should be. No meat will be used by His people.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 82.
“The Lord would bring His people into a position where they will not touch or taste the flesh of dead animals. … There is no safety in the eating of the flesh of dead animals, and in a short time the milk of the cows will also be excluded from the diet of God’s commandment-keeping people. In a short time it will not be safe to use anything that comes from the animal creation. Those who take God at His word, and obey His commandments with the whole heart, will be blessed. He will be their shield of protection. But the Lord will not be trifled with.” Ibid., 411.
4 SERIOUS PREPARATION FOR ETERNITY
- Of the many Bible promises, which ones have brought special hope and courage during the difficult times of God’s church in all ages? II Peter 1:4; Matthew 5:5; II Peter 3:13.
- What work is Jesus doing in the heavenly sanctuary in order for His people to spend eternity with Him? John 14:1–3; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25.
- What is included in our preparation to meet Christ? I John 3:3; II Corinthians 7:1.
Note: “In our work more attention should be given to the temperance reform. Every duty that calls for reform involves repentance, faith, and obedience. It means the uplifting of the soul to a new and nobler life. Thus every true reform has its place in the work of the third angel’s message. Especially does the temperance reform demand our attention and support. At our camp meetings we should call attention to this work and make it a living issue. We should present to the people the principles of true temperance and call for signers to the temperance pledge. Careful attention should be given to those who are enslaved by evil habits. We must lead them to the cross of Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 110.
“Satan has laid every measure possible that nothing shall come among us as a people to reprove and rebuke us, and exhort us to put away our errors. But there is a people who will bear the ark of God. Some will go out from among us who will bear the ark no longer. But these cannot make walls to obstruct the truth; for it will go onward and upward to the end. In the past God has raised up men, and He still has men of opportunity waiting, prepared to do His bidding. … When God puts His Spirit upon men, they will work. They will proclaim the word of the Lord; they will lift up their voice like a trumpet. The truth will not be diminished or lose its power in their hands. They will show the people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 411.
5 LET US REDEEM THE TIME
- Why has the return of Christ been delayed for so many years? II Peter 3:9; I Timothy 2:4.
Note: “It was not the will of God that Israel should wander forty years in the wilderness; He desired to lead them directly to the land of Canaan and establish them there, a holy, happy people. But ‘they could not enter in because of unbelief.’ Hebrews 3:19. Because of their backsliding and apostasy they perished in the desert, and others were raised up to enter the Promised Land. In like manner, it was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be so long delayed and His people should remain so many years in this world of sin and sorrow. But unbelief separated them from God. As they refused to do the work which He had appointed them, others were raised up to proclaim the message. In mercy to the world, Jesus delays His coming, that sinners may have an opportunity to hear the warning and find in Him a shelter before the wrath of God shall be poured out.” The Great Controversy, 458.
“Why has the Lord so long delayed His coming? The whole host of heaven is waiting to fulfil the last work for this lost world, and yet the work waits. It is because the few who profess to have the oil of grace in their vessels with their lamps, have not become burning and shining lights in the world. It is because missionaries are few.” Maranatha, 55.
REVIEW AND THOUGHT QUESTIONS
1 In what specific areas will God’s remnant be a peculiar people?
2 How should church officers take a leading role in health reform?
3 What will the presentation of the correct principles of health reform produce among the people?
4 When we understand the health message principles, what should we be ready to sign?
5 How does our diet relate to our preparation for the second coming of Jesus?
© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.