Jesus went about all the cities “healing all manner of sickness and all manner of diseases among the people.” Matthew 4:23. Matthew tells us that because of His work of healing, “His fame went throughout all Syria and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments . .. and He healed them.” Matthew 4:24. The Lord Jesus did great works of healing and at times He used natural remedies. On one occasion we are told that He spat on the ground, and mixed the spittle with the clay. He then applied it to a man’s eyes and his sight was restored. “The cure could be wrought only by the power of the Great Healer, yet Christ made use of the simple agencies of nature. While He did not give countenance to drugs, He sanctioned the use of simple and natural remedies.”Counsels on Health, 30.
Today many people, sick and suffering from disease, put their faith entirely in medical doctors and in prescription drugs to cure their ailments. Instead of putting all our trust in the arm of flesh, we should follow God’s eight laws of health—pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, and trust in divine power. Natural remedies like charcoal, water treatments and the use of simple herbs can be used to restore the sick to health.
A true Christian physician should always point his patient to Christ for their healing, since all true healing comes from Him. “The physician should first gain the patient’s confidence and then point them to the Great Healer. If their faith can be directed to the true physician, and they can have a confidence that He has undertaken their case, this will bring relief to the mind and often give health to the body.” Ministry of Healing, 244.
There is a lesson in the life of King Asa in the Bible: “And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.” 2 Chronicles 16:12, 13.
Abused and Overused
Most of us have used antibiotics. They were discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, and their use initially had great results. They have saved many people from infectious diseases. Doctors have used them routinely in relieving people who have illnesses.
Unfortunately, these antibiotics have been abused. They are being used more liberally now than ever before. The antibiotics used today to fight infections are very potent and powerful. It is not just penicillin anymore. Broad-spectrum antibiotics are being used on little children because antibiotics are losing the war against the infectious diseases. Overprescription has become a major concern in this country with our doctors.
“Antibiotics are prescribed at an alarming rate in this country. Obstetricians and gynecologists write 2,645,000 antibiotic prescriptions every week. Internists give out 1,416,000 in the same period and pediatricians and family physicians lead the way prescribing over five hundred million dollars ($500,000,000) worth of antibiotics each year to treat just one problem—ear infections in children. Another five hundred million plus is spent on antibiotics to treat other pediatric illnesses. “Over the past fifteen years, antibiotic prescriptions to young children have risen a staggering fifty-one percent. Antibiotics have been prescribed for conditions that do not warrant their use. After congressional hearings and numerous academic studies on this issue, it has become the general consensus that forty to sixty percent of all antibiotics in this country are mis-prescribed.
“In 1983 more than fifty-one percent of the more than three million patients who saw doctors for treatment of the common cold, were unnecessarily given a prescription for an antibiotic. Antibiotics do nothing for the common cold because the condition is viral in nature. It is no accident that the most allergic generation in history has also been raised on antibiotics.” (Lendon B. Smith in Beyond Antibiotics, 3.)
Several times a week I see a new patient whose allergies appeared or became much worse after a course of antibiotics. “Recurrence rate [of middle-ear fluid] were significantly higher in the antibiotic-treated group than in the placebo group. Children receiving amoxicillin for chronic middle ear infection experienced two to six times the rate of re-occurrence.” (Ibid.)
Antibiotics, which literally means “against life,” are often the first choice of treatment for many ailments.
Let me share with you some personal experiences I have had with people who were taking antibiotics.
A mother brought her four year old to me. The little girl had tubes in her ears from recurrent middle ear infections. In fact, the child had been on four different antibiotics, stronger each time in the last couple weeks.
The mother said, “I was told to come and see you—that maybe you could help us.” The doctors had already pierced the child’s ear drums and now they wanted to do surgery, to open it and clean it out. “Can you help me?” the mother asked. I responded, “I can try, but first of all I need to ask the question, ‘Is your child on dairy products?’ ”
She said, “Yes, she is.”
“You need to get her off. She does not need milk, because milk is causing excess mucous. Secondly, I want to put some drops in your child’s ears. Drops that contain Saint John’s Wort, Mullein, and garlic. Things that are going to be probiotic for your child rather than antibiotic. They have the ability to kill certain germs without the side effects that you are experiencing with your daughter.”
The child was pale and sickly. She screamed and did not want to hold still when I was ready to put the drops in her ears. I put two drops in one ear. The little girl looked at me, smiled, turned her head over and pointed at the other ear. In two weeks the mother came back. She had taken the child off dairy products and she had continued using the ear drops. The mother came and thanked me. The child had not had another ear ache in two weeks. Before this the little girl had been in pain every day.
Another mother brought in her five year old child that had been given antibiotics for years. This child had a swollen spleen and an abnormal liver panel when she came to see me. I asked her the question, “Has this child been on antibiotics?”
“Ever since she was two years old,” the mother responded.
“You know, I need to read you something about the effects of antibiotics. Yes, they have been beneficial, but today they are too frequently prescribed for conditions that they are not even needed for.”
I read this to her from the book The Encyclopedia of Natural Health and Healing for Children: “Antibiotics do have associated side effects, some of which may cause irreversible damage. This is another reason why antibiotics should be the last choice for treating bacterial infections. All antibiotics are unsafe during pregnancy as they can cross into the baby’s blood stream through the placenta. Between 25% and 75% of the mother’s concentration of penicillin or tetracycline crosses into the baby and the common side effects include liver damage, allergies, destruction of valuable intestinal bacteria, vitamin K deficiency, interference with the absorption of nutrients and can induce thrush, diarrhea, skin rashes and phlegm.” Marcea Weber in The Encyclopedia of Natural Health and Healing for Children, 12, 13.
She said, “What do I do?”
I said, “I would try to bring in some natural things into the child’s diet such as herbs.” I gave her several herbs including Echinacea and Golden Seal. I also advised her to take the child off dairy products and give her lots of live, fresh foods.
The mother came back in a week and wrote out a check to Modern Manna for $50.00! I said, “Well, thank you.”
She said, “Thank YOU. After I put my daughter on the program you suggested, the spleen shrunk to normal and the liver panel came back fine. The child has not been on antibiotics since I saw you.”
Another woman came to me who had rashes all over her body. I asked her, “Have you ever had these before?”
“Just when I take penicillin. But I am not taking any penicillin. Why do I have these rashes all over my body when I am not using the drug?”
I asked her if she drank milk or used other dairy products. She said that she did.
I said, “Do you know there is penicillin residues in milk? Quit drinking it for two weeks and let us see what happens.” She came back in three days and the rash was gone.
Did you know that farm animals receive thirty times more antibiotics, mostly penicillin and tetracycline, than people do? Fifty percent of the antibiotics produced in America are given to animals.
Have you gotten just a little idea of what antibiotics can do? Consider also the hundreds of people who suffer from diarrhea and constipation because the good flora of their large intestine has been destroyed by antibiotics. When you take an antibiotic, it does not single out bad bacteria. It kills the good and the bad. This explains why many times a woman will have a yeast infection immediately following a round of antibiotics. The good bacteria, necessary for the intestine, and also for keeping the fungus in the vaginal lining under control, has been destroyed.
There are untold numbers of people suffering from allergies, because of leaking gut syndrome caused by antibiotics and other drugs, like alcohol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen—aspirin type drugs. There is also a connection between antibiotic over-prescription and immunal suppression diseases.
We are not the only ones realizing the danger that antibiotics can be. Newsweek, in an article called “Antibiotics —The End of Miracle Drugs” said this about the threat: “When a colony of bacteria is dosed with, say, penicillin, most die. But a few lucky microbes by chance harbor mutant genes that make them immune to the drug. They survive. The mutants pass on their resistant genes to their progeny. One bacterium can leave 16,777,000 offspring in twenty-four hours! The mutants gladly share their resistant genes with unrelated microbes. Antibiotic uses have stimulated evolutionary changes unparalleled in recorded biologic history.
“Even more ominous, there are signs that these bacteria are very clever. Microbiologist Stanley Falkhell at Stanford University puts it, ‘In ways scientists never suspect, it turns out the germs can become resistant to antibiotics they have never even met.’
“In women receiving tetracycline for a urinary tract infection, for instance, Ecoli developed resistance not only to tetracycline but to other antibiotics also. It is almost as if bacteria strategically anticipate the confrontation of other drugs when they resist one. One of the problems that we are facing today in America is that we are getting too many antibiotics in our people. Over-prescription is a problem and when you overprescribe antibiotics to people, it kills off the weak bad bacteria, but these mutant ones survive and change and become resistant.” Newsweek, March 28, 1994.
Bacteria are becoming so resistant that in 1993 alone, nearly fourteen thousand people died in our hospitals because the antibiotics could not kill these “super-bugs.”
The pharmacuetical industry can not keep up with the ever changing microbes. New resistant strains of old diseases are springing up. That means that patients are suffering and dying from illnesses that science predicted forty years ago would be wiped off the face of the earth. The scientists were wrong. Before science catches up with the microbes many more people will die.
Now is not the time to depend upon antibiotics and drugs to take care of ourselves. It is time for us to aid our immune systems to fight these things. We are suppressing our immune system, not only through drugs, but through the foods we eat, and the life style we live. We need to now take charge and become educated in what we can do to fight off these diseases.
Use Only as a Last Resort
Charise and I have used an antibiotic only once, for two days on our children. I do not tell people not to ever take an antibiotic, but use it only as a last resort. I knew a lady who would not use an antibiotic on her child. She was praying mightily to God to heal the child of an ear infection. She did not use the antibiotic and the child went deaf in one ear. You see there may be times when you need to do something of that nature, but today these “wonder drugs” have created an anti-miracle because of over use. Instead of building up, they are actually suppressing the immune system.
One of the diseases that is growing rampant today is candida albicans or candidiasis. A good flora keeps yeast within our bodies in check. We all have candida in our bodies, but it is held in check because of the good bacteria. So when you take in antibiotics killing off the good flora, these yeasts proliferate. And some of the problems are these. Chronic fatigue, loss of energy, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, vaginal infections, frequent bladder infections, menstrual complaints, depression, irritability, an inability to concentrate, allergies, chemical sensitivities,and low immune function.”
A History of the War on Infectious Disease
“The view of infectious disease was divided into two camps. There was Louis Pasteur, and another theory by a Russian biologist named Metchnikov. Pasteur believed that if we could identify the germ and isolate and treat it with drugs that we are going to eradicate all disease and illness. Metchnikov on the other hand said, ‘I don’t think so.’ His life work centered upon the healing power of the body and its battling against infections. Metchnikov taught that the correct way to deal with infectious disease was not by administering chemicals but by strengthening and where necessary exploiting the body’s own defenses.
“This view was in stark contrast with that of Pasteur who believed a germ could be found for every malady. He contended that if the germ could be isolated and treated with treatment devised to kill the germ virtually all disease might some day be eradicated. Pasteur came to realize that his theories about germs were erroneous. Just prior to his death he is said to have uttered the words, ‘Metchnikov was right.’ The terrain is everything, the bacteria is nothing. Pasteur recognized that it was not bacteria that were responsible for disease but the terrain, the surrounding land and the inability of the host to combat them. If the host was strong or the immune system was active, the organisms could not get a foothold. If the host was weak, the organisms could settle in and overcome. Pasteur had come to the conclusion that myriad factors including diet, nutrition, stress, heredity, environment, and state of mind had a profound effect on resistance to microbes.” Beyond Antibiotics, 14. (These are the two views that were held.)
In 1967, the surgeon general of the United States, at that time, William Stewart, said, “It was time to close the book on infectious diseases. We have basically wiped out all infection in the United States.” The Coming Plagues, 33. They set out to conquer infectious diseases around the world, and in the U.S. they were going to concentrate on chronic diseases.
How is it then that today we find that the infectious diseases are back—deadlier than ever in America. We are seeing viruses and bacteria beginning to hit the United States like never before, and our “wonder drugs” are losing the battle because of the mutant germs.
“Since the nineteen fifties we have seen the development and overuse of antibiotics. The use of hormones, birth control pills, the development of immuno suppressive drugs, prednisone, mytheltrephate, chemo therapy, the introduction of various chemical and toxins in our environment, and significant changes which have occurred within our diets leaving our foods tainted with pesticides, depleted in nutritional value, loaded with sugars and dyes. Can we really continue to believe that these incredible changes have not affected the well being of some and eventually perhaps all of us?” Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Yeast Connection, X1.
The Bible says the devil came to steal and destroy and kill. Jesus Christ is not “anti-biotic,” He is “pro-biotic.” In Him is life and life eternal. We need to learn that by living healthfully and eating the right foods, we can strengthen the immune system.
Dr. Leonard Horowitz, a Harvard graduate with his masters in public health, has recently done a great deal of research into vaccine contamination. In an interview, published in American Freedom Magazine, December 1996, he said this: “‘This month’s Money Magazine has the first article ever published in the United States that actually tells the truth about polio and DPT vaccine. Today’s oral polio vaccines are littered with monkey virus contaminates which are causing everything from Simian Cytomegalo virus associated with chronic fatigue to encephelopathy.’
“Should one be apprehensive about taking flu shots? ‘Regarding the flu shots: My mother received the swine flu shot and she among 10,000 others developed Guillian-Barre Syndrome, which is a common vaccine contaminate reaction. It’s a progressive neurological breakdown,where the body’s normal white cells start eating away the myelin sheath around nerve cells.’” American Freedom Magazine, Volume 1, Number 8, December 1996, page 19.
Inspired Counsel about Drug Medication
In conclusion, consider this counsel from God’s inspired messenger: “Drugs never cure disease, they only change its form and location . . . When drugs are introduced into the system, for a time they seem to have a beneficial effect. A change may take place, but the disease is not cured. It will manifest itself in some other form . . . The disease which the drug was given to cure may disappear, but only to reappear in a new form such as skin disease, ulcers, painful diseased joints, and sometimes in a more dangerous and deadly form . . . Nature keeps struggling and the patient suffers with different ailments until there is a sudden breakdown in her efforts and death follows.” Healthful Living, 243.
Some of the most common diseases today are auto-immune diseases. Fibromyalgia which causes pain in the muscles and joints, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, the list goes on. What has been causing these problems? Ellen White told us, with the use of drugs the disease is not cured, it just disappears and later manifests itself in some other way.
How to Build a Strong Immune System
What can we do to build our immune systems and fight off disease?
- Follow the eight laws of health, which is God’s plan.
- Maintain an ideal weight by decreasing the number of calories you eat.
- Eat a moderate protein, high complex carbohydrate, vegan diet rich in omega-3 fatty acid.
- Eat lots of fiber rich food like fruits, vegetables and cereals that reduce the transit time in the colon. This will help to get carcinogens, the bile acids and other fats that can cause cancer, out of the system.
- Avoid all animal products. Now is no time to be drinking milk.
- Keep salt intake low and avoid food additives and preservatives. Avoid condiments like mustard, vinegar, black pepper, baking soda and baking powder. Avoid caffeine and tobacco and alcohol, of course, but avoid other people’s smoke also.
- Consume large amounts of fruits, vegetables and legumes for their phyto-chemical properties. Whenever possible, try to obtain foods that were not artificially grown and are uncontaminated with pesticides.
- Eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables for their enzyme content.
- Have X-rays only when absolutely necessary.
- Avoid refined sugar and nutra-sweet. (These are related to systemic lupus, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis.)
- Use water filters whenever possible. Wash your hands several times each day and limit eating in restaurants.
- Use stress reduction techniques, such as walking, and taking a vacation.
- Make Bible reading and prayer a part of your day.
- Have a positive attitude.
- Avoid drugs unless absolutely necessary.
If we fail to follow the basic plans that God has given His people, we are going to be caught in the fray. The Bible also says that if we are obedient to His commandments and we follow His statutes, none of the diseases of Egypt will come upon us because the Lord who heals us has promised.
“The Lord gave His word to ancient Israel, that if they would cleave strictly to Him, and do all His requirements, He would keep them from all the diseases such as He had brought upon the Egyptians; but this promise was given on the condition of obedience. Had the Israelites obeyed the instruction they received, and profited by their advantages, they would have been the world’s object lesson of health and prosperity. The Israelites failed of fulfilling God’s purpose, and thus failed of receiving the blessings that might have been theirs. But in Joseph and Daniel, in Moses and Elijah, and many others, we have noble examples of the results of the true plan of living. Like faithfulness today will produce like results. To us it is written, ‘Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.’ I Peter 2:9.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 26, 27.