“And the evening and the morning were the second day.” Genesis 1:8. When God created this earth, He created time. We know that the earth, in one revolution around the sun, creates time known as a year. The moon going around the earth in one orbit creates time known as a month.
Time Equals Change
There is an absolute consequence to time—change. We see changes take place in this world. From year to year we experience the change of the seasons. Right now when you walk outside, you definitely know the season, do you not? It is winter. So an absolute consequence of time is change.
My wife and I like to plant a garden in the spring. We plant little seeds, which will develop eventually into a full-grown plant. There is a change that takes place over time.
We are not the same people we were five years ago. If you look at a picture of yourself, you would see the changes. What has happened in this time period? Change has taken place because all change is an absolute consequence of time, and we live in a world of time.
By the study of God’s Word I am leaning that time is running out for this world, and we are entering a shorter period of time for change—change that is necessary if we are going to heaven some day.
Consistency In All Things
There is a consistency that runs through the time that God created, and the changes that take place as a consequence of time. The earth continues to rotate around the sun year after year. The moon rotates around the earth month after month. There is consistency in this.
“God says through His prophet, For I am the Lord, I change not.” Malachi 3:6. That is the ultimate reason why there is consistency in all the changes that take place from year to year.
What has God implemented in the creation of this world that brings forth consistency in time and change? “The works of His hands are verity [which means truth] and judgment, all His commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.” Psalm 111:7, 8. So we see when God created this world—and time—it all fell into the context of His laws. That is why there is consistency.
“Let it be made plain that the way of God’s commandments is the way of life. [God has created everything with a law in it.] God has established the laws of nature, but His laws are not arbitrary exactions.” Ministry of Healing, 114.
You see, God has not created law for Himself. He created law for you and for me, and we will see the goodness of God in giving us His laws.
Every “Thou shalt not,” whether in physical or moral law, implies a promise. If we obey it, blessings will attend our steps. God never forces us to do right. It is amazing that the God whom we worship, the God who created us, does not force us to do what He knows to be right. You and I must choose.
Built In Consequences
With change, there is choice, but He seeks to save us from evil and lead us to good. That is the whole plan of redemption. Within every law that God created He placed a principle. God says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7. I have found that to be true, not only in the garden, but also in my own life.
What I sow, I reap, and I have been ashamed of much of what I have sown. But God is merciful. God is gracious, “…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9. What is repentance? Repentance is change; a change that comes from choice. Every law God created has a built in consequence. There is a blessing if we are in harmony with God’s laws; but there is a curse upon us if we are not.
Non-Compliance is Sin
What does God call non-compliance to His laws, whether the physical or moral laws? He calls it “sin.” Sin is being out of harmony with God’s laws. However we want to term it, we are not obeying God’s laws, for “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4.
It is interesting to read what Jesus spoke to those He healed, physically or spiritually. When He forgave their sins there was a physical healing and a spiritual healing of forgiveness and cleansing of sin.
Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?
Notice John 5:1–14. This story is about the paralytic man by the Pool of Bethesda, who for 38 years could not walk. He believes that when the water gets troubled, the first one in is going to be healed of his disease.
It is Sabbath, and Jesus is walking through Jerusalem. He comes by the Pool of Bethesda. He looks, and He wants to heal everyone, but He cannot. So He chooses the worst case. He comes up to this man, bends over him and says, “Wilt thou be made whole?” Verse 6. That is all.
The man looked at Him and said, “I would like to be made whole but every time the water ripples, I do not have anybody to carry me into the pool.” (See verse 7.) Did Jesus get into a discourse with this man? No. The next thing He said is, “Arise and walk.” (See verse 8.) Is that a command, a law? Yes. It may not be a law that we totally understand, but if we respond to God’s commands, we will reap the benefits.
Did the paralytic reap the benefits? Yes. He arose and walked for the first time in 38 years. Is this not a wonderful God we serve? Are His laws grievous? No! His laws are beneficial. The man was healed. “Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more.…” John 5:14.
All sickness, whether physical or spiritual, is the result of sin. Whether you have a spiritual deformity or a physical sickness or disease, God wants to heal you. He will heal you as you come into harmony with His laws.
Principles of Life
“In His written Word and in the great book of nature He has revealed the principles of life. It is our work to obtain a knowledge of these principles, and by obedience to cooperate with Him in restoring health to the body as well as to the soul.” Ministry of Healing, 115.
What is our work? Our work is to obtain a knowledge of these principles, an understanding of what constitutes God’s laws in the physical world in which we live and, in regard to our moral nature, the spiritual laws that God has given us. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.…” Psalm 19:7. “Converting” means restoring. Physical and spiritual restoration will come by way of allowing God, through His grace, to bring us into harmony with His laws.
We see this clearly brought to view in Exodus 15:26. Jesus Himself is speaking, through Moses, to the ancient Israelites in the wilderness. “…If thou wilt diligently harken 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 healeth thee.”
In Romans we see a strong inference that God’s laws, as Himself, are no respecter of persons. We may be totally ignorant of the laws that God has ordained for our physical health, but this does not mean that we cannot receive the blessing if we are choosing to do these things that constitute those laws.
Some people in the world may not even believe in God, or they may believe in a concept of a god that is not scripturally founded, but whether you have an intellectual knowledge of the law or not, if you are brought into harmony and work in harmony with the law, you will receive the benefit. (See Romans 2:14.)
God’s Plan for Health
Some of the physical laws that God has given to keep us well are found in Ministry of Healing, 127:
- Pure Air:
Is that something consistent that we need? Is that a law? It is. When someone smokes a cigarette, are they getting pure air? No. Are they breaking a law? Yes. Will they reap a consequence? What you sow, you reap. People who smoke cigarettes have a high incident rate of lung cancer, and most of them die earlier than God planned.
Maybe you never thought of sunlight as a law. We cannot be perfectly healthy unless we get a certain amount of sunlight. Close somebody up in a dark room; and after a month or two, you will find they are not physically healthy.
This is a long, old fashioned word that means temperance. Temperance is self-control. The only way we can have self-control is to allow God to have control of our lives. He wants to help us be temperate in all things, and that is a law.
Most of us are so busy we do not rest until our eyes start drooping in the evening. That is the signal that we had better go to bed. We live in a society that does not rest. We are constantly moving, and stress is the result. That is a law.
God is balanced. He says, “Rest, but I want you to exercise, too.” We need to exercise if we are going to have physical health. That is a law.
- Proper Diet:
What we eat is what we are physically. How we eat, when we eat, how much we eat will determine, to a great degree, how physically healthy we are. It is a law.
- Pure Water.
God created water to cleanse us inside. The best water we can drink is pure water. When we talk about pure water, we are not talking about mineralized water. Our bodies cannot break down inorganic material. So it is not true when people say you must drink water containing minerals. We are told, by Ellen White, through the testimony of Jesus, that pure, soft water is the best water to put into our bodies, and we need to get plenty of it every day. If you are not drinking pure water, you are not in perfect harmony with God’s laws.
- Trust in Divine Power.
Faith is a law. God has laws, and if we choose to be brought into harmony with these laws, we are going to have physical health.
How Do You Hear?
How is it with us spiritually? We should know, or we are totally deceived. We have a choice whether we want to be wayside hearers, stony ground hearers, the ones who allow the thorns to crowd out the Word, or we can be good ground hearers. Did you know that is a choice? It is a choice that we are all making right now.
Diagnosis of Death
Some of us may be burdened with besetting sins, wondering if God has a message for us. In Revelation 3:17 we find a diagnosis from the Great Physician, the Son of God. Under the seventh church, the last dispensation just before Jesus returns to this world, He diagnoses the spirituality of His people: “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.…” Jesus placed Himself in a position with humanity as a Physician because we are definitely in need.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. The whole plan of redemption is to bring us back into harmony with that law that we have sinned against, that we might be a glory to God.
God knows us. If you have never understood that, read Psalm 139:1–3. “Oh Lord, Thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.” He knows what we are thinking and doing.
“…and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Revelation 3:17. Is that a diagnosis? If you went in for a physical exam and received a diagnosis like that from a medical physician today, he would probably be telling you that you are about to die.
We do not have to be in this position, and I hope none of us are. But this is a warning that it is possible to return to this Laodicean condition, if we choose. Jesus says the people (Laodiceans) are preoccupied with a form of religion, and they are forgetting the power that God has to change their lives and to bring them into harmony with His laws. (See 2 Timothy 3:5.)
Our Greatest Need
What is our greatest need? “A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 121. We should seek for true godliness, not a form of godliness that God says the majority of His professed people have in the last days just before He comes.
The question we should ask ourselves is, Are we weary of a form of godliness that denies the power? It is only those who sense their need, who realize their true situation, who are going to lay hold of the solution. Jesus has the solution: “…seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness.…” Matthew 6:33. Do you know you cannot separate those? The kingdom of God will only be found in His righteousness. No one is walking into God’s kingdom without His righteousness. His righteousness is harmony with His laws. “…all Thy commandments are righteousness.” Psalm 119:172.
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God.” Is it a real kingdom, a real place? It is fully as real as where you and I are at this moment. It is reality and God wants to give us a sense of that reality. He tells us to exercise the law of faith in His Word. Believe and He will give us evidence by the presence of His Holy Spirit.
God wants to heal us of our physical diseases, if we allow Him to bring us into harmony with His laws. He wants to heal us spiritually. He wants us to be whole.
Romans tells us something about God’s laws. “…love is the fulfilling of the [My] law.” Romans 13:10. He has put His love into every law that He has made. When we choose to be brought into harmony with that law, and allow that law to have its right place in our lives, His love will come out of us. His love is His righteousness. To do right is to show love.
Scripture tells us that we will never be able to implement the moral law of the Ten Commandments fully and completely into our lives without His grace. Some people today are preaching a message that God’s grace does away with the law. That is just the opposite of what God says.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created [or restored] in Christ Jesus unto good works.…” Ephesians 2:8-10. And what are the good works that God wants us to perform? His law!
“Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the Tree of Life.…” Revelation 22:14. God wants to bring us into harmony with His laws, which are filled with His love for us. If we allow Him, we will be the healthiest, happiest people on the face of this earth. Jesus says, “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10.
The only way we can have more abundant life is to be brought into perfect harmony with all of God’s laws. We will never accomplish this without God’s grace. “Men need to learn that the blessings of obedience, in their fullness, can be theirs only as they receive the grace of Christ. It is His grace that gives man power to obey the laws of God. It is this that enables him to break the bondage of evil habit. This is the only power that can make him and keep him steadfast in the right path.” Ministry of Healing, 115. The right path is the narrow path.
All lasting changes involve consistent choices. There is only One being in the whole universe who is consistently changeless, and He can help us be consistent in our choices.
Our first choice in obeying God is to love Him. He says it is of faith that works by love. God wants us to have a faith that works by love. (See Galatians 5:6.) In fact, a professed faith that does not have the love of God motivating it constantly and consistently does not work consistently.
He Loves You!
You must fully understand and believe, with all your heart, that Jesus loves you personally, fully and completely, no matter who you are. No matter what you have been doing or where you are. “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love.…” Jeremiah 31:3.
An everlasting love is a love that lasts forever. Forever, as long as life exists. God loves you personally. He wants you to know that. It is so important because that needs to be the full motivation of our experience with Him. That is what will cause us to love Him fully.
When we believe that He loves us fully, we can love Him fully, and when we love Him fully, it is only natural to obey Him fully. Jesus said, “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15. There will be a promise of love in every law, it will not be a “Thou shalt not” to you any more.
One of the most drastic changes that God reveals in His Word concerns Laodicea. We read about Laodicea earlier. How were they? They were wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.
But now look at where they are. Some, not all, will accept the message to the Laodiceans, and those who accept the message undergo a drastic change. God says, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. That is a drastic change! These people, over time, have allowed God, through His grace, to change them. Now they are a perfect people, before a perfect God, having a perfect law written upon their hearts.
Is that the kind of people you want to be? That is the kind of people we must be. His grace, we are told in 2 Corinthians 12:9, is sufficient. I do not care where you are today, I do not care how down and out you feel in regard to sin in your life, God is talking to you today. He is trying to wake you up to the reality that He loves you fully and wants you to love Him so He can bring you into harmony with His laws. He wants to bring about a change in your life. Time for change, however, is running out.
“Our Saviour’s words, ‘Come unto Me,… and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28), are a prescription for the healing of physical, mental, and spiritual ills. Though men have brought suffering upon themselves by their own wrongdoing, He regards them with pity. In Him they may find help. He will do great things for those who trust in Him.” Ministry of Healing, 115.
Jesus, right now, this very moment, lives and moves in the heavenly court for you and for me. He knows us, loves us, and wants us to respond fully and completely so He can perform a full and complete work in us.