Then and Now
“The indulgence of perverted appetite, inflamed the passions of men in the days of Noah, and led to widespread corruption. . . . The same sins of gluttony and drunkenness benumbed the moral sensibilities of the inhabitants of Sodom, so that crime seemed to be the delight of the men and women of that wicked city. Christ thus warns the world: ‘Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot: they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.’ [Luke 17:28–30.]” Ibid., 146.
“The gratification of unnatural appetite led to the sins that caused the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God ascribes the fall of Babylon to her gluttony and drunkenness. Indulgence of appetite and passion was the foundation of all their sins.” Ibid., 147.
The World Today
“One of the strongest temptations that man has to meet is upon the point of appetite.” Ibid.
“Satan is constantly on the alert to bring the race fully under his control. His strongest hold on man is through the appetite, and this he seeks to stimulate in every possible way.” Ibid., 150.
Look to the Saviour
“His example declares that our only hope of eternal life is through bringing the appetites and passions into subjection to the will of God.” Ibid., 152.
“We must act our part, and divine power, uniting with our effort, will bring victory.” Ibid., 153.
Our Christian Duty
“Temperance in eating, drinking, and dressing is essential. Principle should rule instead of appetite or fancy. Those who eat too much, or whose food is of an objectionable quality, are easily led into dissipation, and into other ‘foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.’ 1 Timothy 6:9.” Ibid., 156.
“If we can arouse the moral sensibilities of our people on the subject of temperance, a great victory will be gained. Temperance in all things of this life is to be taught and practiced.” Ibid., 157.
Restrain Unnatural Appetite
“Those who have received instruction regarding the evils of the use of flesh foods, tea, and coffee, and rich and unhealthful food preparations, and who are determined to make a covenant with God by sacrifice, will not continue to indulge their appetite for food that they know to be unhealthful. 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.” Ibid., 161.
“Abstemiousness in diet, and control of all the passions, will preserve the intellect and give mental and moral vigor, enabling men to bring all their propensities under the control of the higher powers, and to discern between right and wrong, the sacred and the common. All who have a true sense of the sacrifice made by Christ in leaving His home in heaven to come to this world that He might by His own life show man how to resist temptation, will cheerfully deny self and choose to be partakers with Christ of His sufferings.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Those who overcome as Christ overcame will need to constantly guard themselves against the temptations of Satan. The appetite and passions should be restricted and under the control of enlightened conscience, that the intellect may be unimpaired, the perceptive powers clear, so that the workings of Satan and his snares may not be interpreted to be the providence of God. Many desire the final reward and victory which are to be given to overcomers, but are not willing to endure toil, privation, and denial of self, as did their Redeemer. It is only through obedience and continual effort that we shall overcome as Christ overcame.” Ibid., 163.
Relation of Habits to Sanctification
“It is impossible for any to enjoy the blessing of sanctification while they are selfish and gluttonous. These groan under a burden of infirmities because of wrong habits of eating and drinking, which do violence to the laws of life and health. . . . In the gratification of perverted appetite and passion, even professed Christians cripple nature in her work and lessen physical, mental, and moral power. Some who are doing this, claim to be sanctified to God; but such a claim is without foundation. . . .” Ibid., 164.
Decision of Character Required
“To deny appetite requires decision of character. For want of this decision multitudes are ruined. Weak, pliable, easily led, many men and women fail utterly of becoming what God desires them to be. Those who are destitute of decision of character cannot make a success of the daily work of overcoming. The world is full of besotted, intemperate, weak-minded men and women, and how hard it is for them to become genuine Christians.” Ibid., 165.
“ ‘What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’ [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.]
“Those who have a constant realization that they stand in this relation to God will not place in the stomach food which pleases the appetite, but which injures the digestive organs. They will not spoil the property of God by indulging in improper habits of eating, drinking, or dressing. They will take great care of the human machinery, realizing that they must do this in order to work in copartnership with God. He wills that they should be healthy, happy, and useful. But in order for them to be this, they must place their wills on the side of His will.” Ibid., 166.
By the Power of the Will and the Grace of God
“The necessity for the men of this generation to call to their aid the power of the will, strengthened by the grace of God, in order to withstand the temptations of Satan, and resist the least indulgence of perverted appetite, is far greater than it was several generations ago. But the present generation have less power of self-control than had those who lived then.
“Few have moral stamina to resist temptation, especially of the appetite, and to practice self-denial. . . . The walls of self-control and self-restriction should not in a single instance be weakened and broken down. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, says, ‘I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.’ [1 Corinthians 9:27.]
“Those who do not overcome in little things, will have no moral power to withstand greater temptations.” Ibid., 167, 168.
“A pure and noble life, a life of victory over appetite and lust, is possible to every one who will unite his weak, wavering human will to the omnipotent, unwavering will of God.” Ibid., 170.
When Ellen Gould Harmon White was 17, she received a message from God in the form of a vision. It was the first of some 2,000 visions she would experience in her lifetime. Inspired by these visions and her sense of God, she worked throughout her life, first to help found the Seventh-day Adventist Church, then to spread its word around the world. She wrote letters of personal counsel, periodical articles, and books based on her visions, led a health reform movement, and established schools and sanitariums.