Bible Study Guides – We Are What We Eat

January 20, 2013 – January 26, 2013

Key Text

“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 11 Corinthians 7:1.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 1, 485–489, 618; The Desire of Ages, 114–123.


“Those who claim to believe in health reform, and yet work counter to its principles in the daily life practice, are hurting their own souls and are leaving wrong impressions upon the minds of believers and unbelievers.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 37.

“The abuses of the stomach by the gratification of appetite are the fruitful source of most church trials. Those who eat and work intemperately and irrationally, talk and act irrationally. An intemperate man cannot be a patient man. It is not necessary to drink alcoholic liquors in order to be intemperate. The sin of intemperate eating, eating too frequently, too much, and of rich, unwholesome food, destroys the healthy action of the digestive organs, affects the brain, and perverts the judgment, preventing rational, calm, healthy thinking and acting. And this is a fruitful source of church trials. … All those who are indifferent and excuse themselves from this work, waiting for the Lord to do for them that which He requires them to do for themselves, will be found wanting when the meek of the earth, who have wrought His judgments, are hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 618, 619.

“He who cherishes the light which God has given him upon health reform has an important aid in the work of becoming sanctified through the truth, and fitted for immortality.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 59, 60.

“Just where the ruin began, the work of our redemption must begin. As by the indulgence of appetite Adam fell, so by the denial of appetite Christ must overcome.” The Desire of Ages, 117.


  • What components make up the human being? Luke 10:27.

Note: “If your lives are conformed to the life of Christ through the sanctification of mind, soul, and body, our example will have a powerful influence on the world.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 300.

“The Lord accepts no divided heart. He wants the whole man. He made all there is of man. He offered a complete sacrifice to redeem the body and soul of man.” Special Testimonies on Education, 83.

  • What is the relationship between what we do physically and our spiritual condition? III John 2; I Corinthians 3:17.

Note: “Let it ever be kept before the mind that the great object of hygienic reform is to secure the highest possible development of mind and soul and body. All the laws of nature—which are the laws of God—are designed for our good. Obedience to them will promote our happiness in this life, and will aid us in a preparation for the life to come.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 23.

“It is impossible for those who indulge the appetite to attain to Christian perfection.” Ibid., 22.

“If we weaken these powers of mind or body by wrong habits or indulgence of perverted appetite, it will be impossible for us to honor God as we should.” Ibid., 21.

“It is as truly a sin to violate the laws of our being as it is to break the ten commandments. To do either is to break God’s laws. Those who transgress the law of God in their physical organism, will be inclined to violate the law of God spoken from Sinai.” Ibid., 17.

  • How does Scripture depict the sacredness of our responsibility in caring for our body? Romans 12:1.

Note: “In the time of ancient Israel every offering brought as a sacrifice to God was carefully examined. If any defect was discovered in the animal presented, it was refused; for God had commanded that the offering be ‘without blemish.’ So Christians are bidden to present their bodies, ‘a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.’ In order to do this, all their powers must be preserved in the best possible condition. Every practice that weakens physical or mental strength unfits man for the service of his Creator. And will God be pleased with anything less than the best we can offer?” The Great Controversy, 473.


  • In what sense should we take no thought about what we are going to eat or drink tomorrow (Matthew 6:25–33; Luke 12:29–31)? Psalm 37:25. What does the Bible say in relation to our choice of food? I Corinthians 10:31.

Note: “The habits of the age are serious obstacles to the perfecting of Christian character. Physically we are composed of what we eat, and our minds are greatly influenced by our bodies.” The Signs of the Times, January 6, 1876.

  • What does our choice of food have to do with character development? Proverbs 23:1–7.

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.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 372.

“By what means shall the young man repress his evil propensities, and develop that which is noble and good in his character? Let him heed the words, ‘Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God’ (I Corinthians 10:31).” Gospel Workers, 127, 128.

  • How can our eating habits affect others? I Timothy 4:12.

Note: “Sickness is caused by violating the laws of health; it is the result of violating nature’s law. Our first duty, one which we owe to God, to ourselves, and to our fellowmen, is to obey the laws of God, which include the laws of health. If we are sick, we impose a weary tax upon our friends, and unfit ourselves for discharging our duties to our families and to our neighbors. And when premature death is the result of our violation of nature’s law, we bring sorrow and suffering to others; we deprive our neighbors of the help we ought to render them in living; we rob our families of the comfort and help we might render them, and rob God of the service He claims of us to advance His glory. Then, are we not, in the worst sense, transgressors of God’s law?” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 21.


  • Can what we eat actually cause wrong behavior? Ecclesiastes 10:17; Psalm 141:4.

Note: “When we have tried to present the health reform to our brethren and sisters, and have spoken to them of the importance of eating and drinking and doing all that they do to the glory of God, many by their actions have said: ‘It is nobody’s business whether I eat this or that. Whatever we do we are to bear the consequences ourselves.’ Dear friends, you are greatly mistaken. You are not the only sufferers from a wrong course. … But what care we for your judgment, if your brain nerve power has been taxed to the utmost, and the vitality withdrawn from the brain to take care of the improper food placed in your stomachs, or of an enormous quantity of even healthful food? What care we for the judgment of such persons? They see through a mass of undigested food. Therefore your course of living affects us. It is impossible for you to pursue any wrong course without causing others to suffer.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 356, 357.

  • What fruit of the Spirit enables us to add patience to our character development? II Peter 1:6.

Note: “Temperance in eating must be practiced before you can be a patient man.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 65.

  • What habits improve clarity of thought and discernment? Leviticus 10:9, 10. How will this help others? Daniel 12:3; Ezekiel 44:23.

Note: “Those who by habits of intemperance injure mind and body, place themselves in a position where they are unable to discern spiritual things. The mind is confused, and they yield readily to temptation because they have not a clear discernment of the difference between right and wrong. Sinful indulgence defiles the body and unfits men for spiritual worship. He who cherishes the principles of true temperance has an important aid in the work of becoming sanctified through the truth, and fitted for immortality. But if he disregards the laws of his physical being, how can he perfect holiness in the fear of God?” The Signs of the Times, January 27, 1909.


  • Why did God give His people specific instruction regarding what to eat? Leviticus 3:17; Acts 15:20; Exodus 15:26.

Note: “We are living in critical times. Disease of every stripe and type is afflicting the human family, and it is largely the result of subsisting upon the diseased flesh of dead animals. Some who have had the consequences of a meat diet set before them do not change. Why? Because they have educated their taste to enjoy the flesh of dead animals, and that taste must be indulged at any cost. And instead of preparing the meat in the least objectionable way, many choose the way that is most objectionable. The meat is served reeking with fat, because it suits the perverted taste. Both the blood and the fat of animals are consumed as a luxury. But the Lord gave special directions that these should not be eaten. Why? Because their use would make a diseased current of blood in the human system. The disregard of the Lord’s special directions has brought a variety of difficulties and diseases upon human beings.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, 423, 424.

  • What were the people of Israel instructed to avoid? Leviticus 11 (whole chapter, summarized in verses 46 and 47). What progressive changes have we been counseled to make?

Note: “Let the diet reform be progressive. Let the people be taught how to prepare food without the use of milk or butter. Tell them that the time will soon come when there will be no safety in using eggs, milk, cream, or butter, because disease in animals is increasing in proportion to the increase of wickedness among men. The time is near when, because of the iniquity of the fallen race, the whole animal creation will groan under the diseases that curse our earth.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 356.

“In most cases, two meals a day are preferable to three. Supper, when taken at an early hour, interferes with the digestion of the previous meal. When taken later, it is not itself digested before bedtime. Thus the stomach fails of securing proper rest. The sleep is disturbed, the brain and nerves are wearied, the appetite for breakfast is impaired, the whole system is unrefreshed, and is unready for the day’s duties.” Ibid., 176.


  • What other benefit is the result of choosing the best articles for our diet? I Corinthians 2:14–16.
  • More important than the physical benefits is the spiritual discernment. Why is it so necessary now? II Timothy 3:13.

Note: “God’s people in these last days are not to choose darkness rather than light. They are to look for light, to expect light. … The light will continue to shine in brighter and still brighter rays, and reveal more and more distinctly the truth as it is in Jesus, that human hearts and human characters may be improved, and moral darkness—which Satan is working to bring over the people of God—may be dispelled. … As we near the close of time there will be needed a deeper and clearer discernment, a more firm knowledge of the Word of God, a living experience, and the holiness of heart and life which we must have to serve Him.” That I May Know Him, 347.

  • What was the first temptation brought to Christ in the wilderness, and why is this a lesson for us? Matthew 4:3, 4.

Note: “Mighty issues for the world were at stake in the conflict between the Prince of light and the leader of the kingdom of darkness.” The Desire of Ages, 114.

“Many look on this conflict between Christ and Satan as having no special bearing on their own life; and for them it has little interest. But within the domain of every human heart this controversy is repeated. Never does one leave the ranks of evil for the service of God without encountering the assaults of Satan. The enticements which Christ resisted were those that we find it so difficult to withstand. They were urged upon Him in as much greater degree as His character is superior to ours. With the terrible weight of the sins of the world upon Him, Christ withstood the test upon appetite, upon the love of the world, and upon that love of display which leads to presumption. These were the temptations that overcame Adam and Eve, and that so readily overcome us.” Ibid., 116, 117.


1 Are we at liberty to do whatever we want with our body without affecting the other parts of our being?

2 Why does God counsel us to avoid deceptive food? Can I think of items that should be avoided?

3 What is needed in order for us to be patient people? Am I one?

4 Why does God give such specific instruction to His people? Am I thankful for His counsel?

5 Is discernment more or less necessary as time goes by?

Walk in the Light

“There are some professed believers who accept certain portions of the Testimonies as the message of God, while they reject those portions that condemn their favorite indulgences. Such persons are working contrary to their own welfare, and the welfare of the church. It is essential that we walk in the light while we have the light.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 37.

Teach Your Children

“You should be teaching your children. You should be instructing them how to shun the vices and corruptions of this age. Instead of this, many are studying how to get something good to eat. You place upon your tables butter, eggs, and meat, and your children partake of them. They are fed with the very things that will excite their animal passions, and then you come to meeting and ask God to bless and save your children. How high do your prayers go? You have a work to do first. When you have done all for your children which God has left for you to do then you can with confidence claim the special help that God has promised to give you.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 362.

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Heaven’s Approved Healing

January 13, 2013 – January 19, 2013

Key Text

“If thou wilt diligently hearken 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.” Exodus 15:26.

Study Help: Counsels on Health, 49–51, 206, 207; Counsels on Diet and Foods, 32–40.


“There are many ways of practicing the healing art, but there is only one way that Heaven approves. God’s remedies are the simple agencies of nature that will not tax or debilitate the system through their powerful properties.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 443.

“You need clear, energetic minds, in order to appreciate the exalted character of the truth, to value the atonement, and to place the right estimate upon eternal things. If you pursue a wrong course, and indulge in wrong habits of eating, and thereby weaken the intellectual powers, you will not place that high estimate upon salvation and eternal life which will inspire you to conform your life to the life of Christ; you will not make those earnest, self-sacrificing efforts for entire conformity to the will of God, which His word requires and which are necessary to give you a moral fitness for the finishing touch of immortality.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 47.

“Even if you are strict in the quality of your food, do you glorify God in your bodies and spirits which are His, by partaking of such a quantity of food? Those who place so much food upon the stomach, and thus load down nature, could not appreciate the truth should they hear it dwelt upon. They could not arouse the benumbed sensibilities of the brain to realize the value of the atonement, and the great sacrifice that has been made for fallen man. It is impossible for such to appreciate the great, the precious, and the exceedingly rich reward that is in reserve for the faithful overcomers. The animal part of our nature should never be left to govern the moral and intellectual.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 364.


  • Why is there so much sickness and sorrow around us? Galatians 6:7; Deuteronomy 28:15, 21, 22, 60, 61.

Note: “It is a great thing to ensure health by placing ourselves in right relations to the laws of life, and many have not done this. A large share of the sickness and suffering among us is the result of the transgression of physical law, is brought upon individuals by their own wrong habits.” Counsels on Health, 49.

  • Why is there sickness also among God’s professed people? Proverbs 3:7, 8; 4:20–22.

Note: “Satan, the author of disease and misery, will approach God’s people where he can have the greatest success. He has controlled the appetite in a great measure from the time of his successful experiment with Eve, in leading her to eat the forbidden fruit. He came with his temptations first to the mixed multitude, the believing Egyptians, and stirred them up to seditious murmurings. They would not be content with the healthful food which God had provided for them. Their depraved appetites craved a greater variety, especially flesh meats.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 15.

  • What can we do about this problem? I Corinthians 6:19, 20; Romans 12:1, 2.

Note: “In regard to that which we can do for ourselves, there is a point that requires careful, thoughtful consideration. I must become acquainted with myself. I must be a learner always as to how to take care of this building, the body God has given me, that I may preserve it in the very best condition of health. I must eat those things which will be for my very best good physically, and I must take special care to have my clothing such as will conduce to a healthful circulation of the blood. I must not deprive myself of exercise and air. I must get all the sunlight that it is possible for me to obtain. I must have wisdom to be a faithful guardian of my body.” Child Guidance, 366, 367.


  • What do most people do when they are sick? Matthew 9:12; Luke 8:43. How do many fall into Satan’s trap?

Note: “Satanic agents claim to cure disease. They attribute their power to electricity, magnetism, or the so-called ‘sympathetic remedies,’ while in truth they are but channels for Satan’s electric currents. By this means he casts his spell over the bodies and souls of men.” The Signs of the Times, March 24, 1887.

  • What warning should we take to heart regarding Satan’s methods of healing? Proverbs 16:25; Ezekiel 44:23.

Note: “It should ever be kept prominent that the great object to be attained through [the Battle Creek Health Institute] is not only health, but perfection, and the spirit of holiness, which cannot be attained with diseased bodies and minds. This object cannot be secured by working merely from the worldling’s standpoint.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 554.

  • Besides the health of the body, what else does God seek to restore through His healing methods? Psalm 103:1–3; Mark 6:13; Philippians 2:5.

Note: “The apostles of nearly all forms of spiritism claim to have the power to cure the diseased. They attribute their power to electricity, magnetism, the so-called ‘sympathetic remedies,’ or to latent forces within the mind of man. And there are not a few, even in this Christian age, who go to these healers, instead of trusting in the power of the living God and the skill of well-qualified Christian physicians.” Evangelism, 606.

  • What is the basic difference between God’s method and Satan’s method?

Note: “Christ’s remedies cleanse the system. But Satan has tempted man to introduce into the system that which weakens the human machinery, clogging and destroying the fine, beautiful arrangements of God.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 289.


  • What are God’s methods of healing? Psalm 67:2. How are these methods intended to be a blessing?

Note: “God’s remedies are the simple agencies of nature that will not tax or debilitate the system through their powerful properties. Pure air and water, cleanliness, a proper diet, purity of life, and a firm trust in God are remedies for the want of which thousands are dying; yet these remedies are going out of date because their skillful use requires work that the people do not appreciate. Fresh air, exercise, pure water, and clean, sweet premises are within the reach of all with but little expense; but drugs are expensive, both in the outlay of means and in the effect produced upon the system.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 443.

  • What is God’s commission to us in regards to helping our society? Matthew 10:8.

Note: “Some will be attracted by one phase of the gospel, and some by another. We are instructed by our Lord to work in such a way that all classes will be reached. The message must go to the whole world. Our sanitariums are to help to make up the number of God’s people. We are not to establish a few mammoth institutions; for thus it would be impossible to give the patients the messages that will bring health to the soul. Small sanitariums are to be established in many places.” Medical Ministry, 327.

  • How can we accomplish God’s work with the best results? John 12:36; Matthew 5:16.

Note: “To locate our sanitariums amidst the scenes of nature would be to follow God’s plan, and the more closely this plan is followed, the more wonderfully will He work to restore suffering humanity.” Counsels on Health, 266.

“Christ’s workers are to obey His instructions implicitly. The work is God’s, and if we would bless others His plans must be followed. Self cannot be made a center; self can receive no honor. If we plan according to our own ideas, the Lord will leave us to our own mistakes.” The Desire of Ages, 369.


  • As we follow God’s instruction for our health, how will we be benefited individually? III John 2; I Thessalonians 5:23; Psalm 63:5.

Note: “God has bountifully provided for the sustenance and happiness of all His creatures; if His laws were never violated, if all acted in harmony with the divine will, health, peace, and happiness, instead of misery and continual evil, would be the result.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 20.

  • How does temperance in diet affect not only our physical health but also our mind? Proverbs 16:32. What warning should we take to heart? Proverbs 23:1–3, 20, 21.

Note: “It cannot be too often repeated that whatever is taken into the stomach affects not only the body, but ultimately the mind as well. Gross and stimulating food fevers the blood, excites the nervous system, and too often dulls the moral perceptions, so that reason and conscience are overborne by the sensual impulses. It is difficult, and often well-nigh impossible, for one who is intemperate in diet to exercise patience and self-control.” Child Guidance, 461.

“But if the human agent shall cooperate with divine agency, his physical and mental development will become higher and better. His mind will enlarge, and he will grow in power to do good.” The Signs of the Times, April 16, 1896.

  • What is the great purpose in God’s working for our physical and mental well-being? Proverbs 3:1–4; Isaiah 40:31.

Note: “As we study questions of truth and duty, we find that hardy, courageous workmen are needed in the Master’s service. God needs as laborers men and women who have good physical powers; clear, active minds; and decided moral principles, that cannot be shaken by temptation, nor put aside because of difficulties. There is need of persons who have a symmetrical training of all their mental, moral, and physical powers. Practical men and women are wanted—those who will teach the religion of Christ, and exemplify it in their daily life and work.” The Review and Herald, October 11, 1898.


  • How will others be benefited through our example if we follow God’s plan individually? I Timothy 4:11–16.

Note: “In the world all kinds of provisions have been made for the relief of suffering humanity, but the truth in its simplicity is to be brought to the suffering ones through the agency of men and women who are loyal to the commandments of God.” The Kress Collection, 13.

“I [Ellen White] am instructed to say to health reform educators: Go forward. The world needs every jot of the influence you can exert to press back the tide of moral woe. Let those who teach the third angel’s message stand true to their colors. [Romans 12:1, 2 quoted.] May the Lord arm those who labor in word and doctrine, with the clearest messages of truth. If His workers will give these messages with simplicity, assurance, and all authority, the Lord will work with them. …

“Let them take the living principle of health reform into the communities that to a large degree are ignorant of these principles.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 113, 118.

“The Saviour in His miracles revealed the power that is continually at work in man’s behalf, to sustain and to heal him. Through the agencies of nature, God is working, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment, to keep us alive, to build up and restore us. When any part of the body sustains injury, a healing process is at once begun; nature’s agencies are set at work to restore soundness. But the power working through these agencies is the power of God. All life-giving power is from Him. When one recovers from disease, it is God who restores him.” The Ministry of Healing, 112, 113.

  • For what future event will health reform help us get the needed preparation? Psalm 91:1–10.

Note: “While the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, and the nations will be angry, yet held in check so as not to prevent the work of the third angel. At that time the ‘latter rain,’ or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel, and prepare the saints to stand in the period when the seven last plagues shall be poured out.” Maranatha, 170.


1 What can individually be done to limit sickness?

2 Are all methods of healing from God?

3 What tests can we apply to a method to know its fruit?

4 What does God want to accomplish by physically healing people?

5 How will God’s health principles help during the time of the last plagues?

Customs and Disease

“Our ancestors have bequeathed to us customs and appetites which are filling the world with disease. The sins of the parents, through perverted appetite, are with fearful power visited upon the children to the third and fourth generations.” Counsels on Health, 49.

Self-Indulgence and Disease

“Many persons bring disease upon themselves by their self-indulgence. They have not lived in accordance with natural law or the principles of strict purity. Others have disregarded the laws of health in their habits of eating and drinking, dressing, or working. Often some form of vice is the cause of feebleness of mind or body. Should these persons gain the blessing of health, many of them would continue to pursue the same course of heedless transgression of God’s natural and spiritual laws, reasoning that if God heals them in answer to prayer, they are at liberty to continue their unhealthful practices and to indulge perverted appetite without restraint. If God were to work a miracle in restoring these persons to health, He would be encouraging sin.” The Ministry of Healing, 227.

Satan and Disease

“Christ’s remedies cleanse the system. But Satan has tempted man to introduce into the system that which weakens the human machinery, clogging and destroying the fine, beautiful arrangements of God.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 289.

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Advancing Truth

January 6, 2013 – January 12, 2013

Key Text

“The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18.

Study Help: Counsels on Diet and Foods, 69–77,145–147; Testimonies, vol. 6, 326–328, 378, 379.


“The light that the Lord has given on [health reform] in His word is plain, and men will be tested and tried in many ways to see if they will heed it. Every church, every family, needs to be instructed in regard to Christian temperance. All should know how to eat and drink in order to preserve health. We are amid the closing scenes of this world’s history, and there should be harmonious action in the ranks of Sabbath keepers.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 378.

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” II Peter 1:19.

“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek Him, that seek Thy face, O Jacob. Selah. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.” Psalm 24.


  • Where do we find God’s original plan for living? Genesis 1:26–28.
  • What was God’s original plan for the health of His creation? Genesis 1:29; 3:15, 18. Specify the different aspects of health instruction given in these verses.

Note: “In the beginning He [God] placed our first parents amidst the beautiful sights and sounds He desires us to rejoice in today. The more nearly we come into harmony with God’s original plan, the more favorable will be our position to secure health of body, and mind, and soul.” The Ministry of Healing, 365.

“In order to know what are the best foods, we must study God’s original plan for man’s diet. He who created man and who understands his needs appointed Adam his food. ‘Behold,’ He said, ‘I have given you every herb yielding seed, … and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food’ (Genesis 1:29, ARV). Upon leaving Eden to gain his livelihood by tilling the earth under the curse of sin, man received permission to eat also ‘the herb of the field’ (Genesis 3:18).

“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.” Ibid., 295, 296.

“As far as possible we are to come back to God’s original plan. From henceforth my table shall be free from the flesh of dead animals, and devoid of those things in desserts which take much time and strength to prepare. We may use fruit freely, and in different ways, and run no risk of incurring the diseases that are incurred by using the flesh of diseased animals. We should bring our appetite under control, so that we shall enjoy plain, wholesome food, and have an abundance of it, that none may suffer hunger.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 488.


  • What detailed instruction did God give to Adam and Eve? Genesis 2:16, 17. What should the people of Israel bear in mind? Deuteronomy 8:2.

Note: “When Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden, everything contributed to their enjoyment.” The Signs of the Times, February 24, 1898.

“Adam and Eve were placed upon trial, that it might be demonstrated as to whether they would obey the word of their Creator, or disobey His requirements. The Creator of man was his Father, and had an entire right to the service he could render. Body, soul, and spirit, man was the sole property of God. … He made it plain to them that by obedience to His holy law they would retain happiness, and finally be blessed with immortality. Eternal life should be theirs if they regulated their conduct according to the principles of the law of God. … Every provision was made whereby blessings might be secured to the human race, and but one mild restriction was placed upon the sinless pair to test their loyalty to God.” Ibid., October 8, 1894.

  • When put to the test, how did our first parents fall? Genesis 3:1–6; Romans 5:19; James 4:17; I John 3:4.

Note: “Eve had everything to make her happy. She was surrounded by fruit of every variety. Yet the fruit of the forbidden tree appeared more desirable to her than the fruit of all the other trees in the garden of which she could freely eat. She was intemperate in her desires. She ate, and through her influence, her husband ate also, and a curse rested upon them both.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 120.

  • What happened because of the wrong choice made by Adam and Eve? Genesis 3:16–19; Romans 3:23.

Note: “The earth also was cursed because of their sin. And since the Fall, intemperance in almost every form has existed.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 120.


  • What was the long-term result of Adam and Eve’s choice? Genesis 6:11–13, 17. How is history being repeated? Matthew 24:37–39.

Note: “The same sins that brought judgments upon the world in the days of Noah, exist in our day. Men and women now carry their eating and drinking so far that it ends in gluttony and drunkenness.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 11.

  • How was the people’s diet changed after the Flood? Compare Genesis 1:29; 3:18 with Genesis 9:3, 4.
  • Why was a flesh diet permitted after 1500 years without it? Psalm 90:9, 10.

Note: “The eating of flesh meat was permitted as one of the consequences of the Fall. Before the Flood, no provision was made for the use of animal food.” This Day With God, 210.

“The diet appointed man in the beginning did not include animal food. Not till after the Flood, when every green thing on the earth had been destroyed, did man receive permission to eat flesh.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 374.

“God provided fruit in its natural state for our first parents. He gave to Adam charge of the garden, to dress it, and to care for it, saying, ‘To you it shall be for meat’ [Genesis 1:29]. One animal was not to destroy another animal for food. After the Fall, the eating of flesh was suffered in order to shorten the period of the existence of the long-lived race. It was allowed because of the hardness of the hearts of men.” Testimony Studies on Diet and Foods, 68.

  • What distinction, well known to Noah and his descendants, was to be observed with reference to the flesh diet? Genesis 7:2, 3, 8, 9.

Note: “Before [the Flood] God had given man no permission to eat animal food; He intended that the race should subsist wholly upon the productions of the earth; but now that every green thing had been destroyed, He allowed them to eat the flesh of the clean beasts that had been preserved in the ark.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 107.


  • What food did God provide for the people of Israel after their exodus from Egypt? Exodus 16:15, 35.

Note: “When God led the children of Israel out of Egypt, it was His purpose to establish them in the land of Canaan a pure, happy, healthy people. Let us look at the means by which He would accomplish this. He subjected them to a course of discipline, which, had it been cheerfully followed, would have resulted in good, both to themselves and to their posterity. He removed flesh food from them in a great measure. He had granted them flesh in answer to their clamors, just before reaching Sinai, but it was furnished for only one day. God might have provided flesh as easily as manna, but a restriction was placed upon the people for their good. It was His purpose to supply them with food better suited to their wants than the feverish diet to which many of them had been accustomed in Egypt. The perverted appetite was to be brought into a more healthy state, that they might enjoy the food originally provided for man—the fruits of the earth, which God gave to Adam and Eve in Eden.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 118.

  • What attitude did many Israelites take regarding their diet, and how did God respond to it? Numbers 11:4–6, 18–20; Psalm 78:18–31; 106:14, 15.

Note: “They [the children of Israel] murmured at God’s restrictions, and lusted after the fleshpots of Egypt. God let them have flesh, but it proved a curse to them.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 119.

  • What are we to learn from that event during the wilderness journey? Hebrews 3:12–19; I Corinthians 10:6–11; Psalm 78:18.

Note: “The travels of the children of Israel are faithfully described. … This faithful picture is hung up before us as a warning lest we follow their example of disobedience and fall like them.” Gospel Workers, 159, 160.


  • Describe the progressive changes in the diet of Elijah. I Kings 17:4–6, 12–16; 19:6.
  • Instead of sending manna to His people in these last days, what has God given them? Romans 15:4; I Corinthians 10:31.

Note: “Again and again I have been shown that God 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. I cannot think that in the practice of flesh eating we are in harmony with the light which God has been pleased to give us. All who are connected with our health institutions especially should be educating themselves to subsist on fruits, grains, and vegetables. If we move from principle in these things, if we as Christian reformers educate our own taste, and bring our diet to God’s plan, then we may exert an influence upon others in this matter, which will be pleasing to God.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 119.

“I was again shown that the health reform is one branch of the great work which is to fit a people for the coming of the Lord. It is as closely connected with the third angel’s message as the hand is with the body.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 69.

  • In order to reach heavenly Canaan, in what state of mind should we, as God’s people, heed His instructions? Romans 15:6; I Corinthians 1:10; Philippians 1:27; 2:2.

Note: “Can He [the Lord] be pleased when half the workers laboring in a place, teach that the principles of health reform are as closely allied to the third angel’s message as the arm is to the body, while their coworkers, by their practice, teach principles that are entirely opposite?” Healthful Living, 32.

*Locusts are the common carob which grows in the Middle East.


1 What was the original plan for healthy living?

2 What was the result of indulging the appetite contrary to God’s instruction?

3 In what way did God adapt His health plan?

4 Why did God feed His people with manna for so long?

5 Have I studied God’s health principles before? Am I willing now to not only study, but to change if necessary?

Teaching and Preaching

“Because of imprudence in eating, the senses of some seem to be half paralyzed, and they are sluggish and sleepy. These pale-faced ministers who are suffering in consequence of selfish indulgence of the appetite are no recommendation of health reform.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 417.

Better Food for God’s People

“God might as easily have provided [the Israelites] with flesh as with manna, but a restriction was placed upon them for their good. It was His purpose to supply them with food better suited to their wants than the feverish diet to which many had become accustomed in Egypt. The perverted appetite was to be brought into a more healthy state, that they might enjoy the food originally provided for man—the fruits of the earth, which God gave to Adam and Eve in Eden. It was for this reason that the Israelites had been deprived, in a great measure, of animal food.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 378.

The Object of Hygienic Reform

“Let it ever be kept before the mind that the great object of hygienic reform is to secure the highest possible development of mind and soul and body. All the laws of nature—which are the laws of God—are designed for our good. Obedience to them will promote our happiness in this life, and will aid us in a preparation for the life to come.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 120.

Bible Study Guides – Knowing God’s Plan

December 30, 2012 – January 5, 2013

The Healthy Reformer

Key Text

“My son, attend to My words; incline thine ear unto My sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20–22.

Study Help: God’s Amazing Grace, 202; The Faith I Live By, 296.


“All who will come to the Word of God for guidance, with humble, inquiring minds, determined to know the terms of salvation, will understand what saith the Scriptures. … The Lord will not speak to a mind that is unconcerned.” The Review and Herald, December 15, 1896.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23.

“The Saviour comes very near to those who consecrate themselves to God. If there was ever a time when we needed the working of the Spirit of God upon our hearts and lives it is now. Christ is speaking to each of us individually saying, ‘I am He that holdeth thy right hand. I am He that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive forever more.’ There is a decided message to be borne to our people upon the question of health reform. Let us come into line that our prayers be not hindered. God cannot be glorified in the lives of ministers, who give up these principles of reform; but He will reveal Himself to every soul who will be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. We need now to arouse, and in all our schools follow closely the light that God has given on this question.” Backsliding in Health Reform, 4.


  • When seeking to know God’s will regarding any issue, what should we do? James 1:5, 6; John 5:39; Psalm 119:125.

Note: “Young men and young women will often be brought into positions where they are uncertain what to do. Their inclination leads them in one direction, and the Holy Spirit of God draws them in another direction. Satan presses his temptation upon them, and urges them to follow the inclinations of the natural heart. But those who desire to be true to Christ, will listen to the voice that says, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it’ [Isaiah 30:21]. They will decide to take the course of the righteous, although it is more difficult to pursue, more painful to follow, than the way of their own heart. … We need to receive divine wisdom in the daily concerns of life, in order that we may display sound judgment, and choose the safe path because it is the right one. He who acts upon his own judgment will follow the inclination of the natural heart; but he whose mind is opened to the word of God, will prayerfully consider every way of his feet, so that he may honor God and keep the way of the Lord. … He will realize that he belongs to God, soul, body, mind, and strength.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 19, 1895.

  • Through what other means does God speak to us besides His written word? Isaiah 30:21; Hebrews 3:7, 8; Revelation 3:20.

Note: “Through nature and revelation, through His providence, and by the influence of His Spirit, God speaks to us. But these are not enough; we need also to pour out our hearts to Him. … Our minds may be drawn out toward Him; we may meditate upon His works, His mercies, His blessings; but this is not, in the fullest sense, communing with Him. In order to commune with God, we must have something to say to Him concerning our actual life.” Steps to Christ, 93.


  • What has God given specifically to instruct us in the right way? II Timothy 3:16.

Note: “The Bible teaches the whole will of God concerning us. [11 Timothy 3:16 quoted.] The teaching of this Word is exactly that needed in all circumstances in which we may be placed. It is a sufficient rule of faith and practice; for it is the voice of God speaking to the soul, giving the members of His family directions for keeping the heart with all diligence. If this word is studied—not merely read, but studied—it furnishes us with a storehouse of knowledge which enables us to improve every God-given endowment. It teaches us our obligation to use the faculties given us. Guided by its precepts, we may render obedience to God’s requirements.” The Review and Herald, December 15, 1896.

  • What agencies has God established in the church to impart instructions to His people? Ephesians 4:11–14 (cf II Corinthians 6:7; Revelation 19:10).

Note: “We must follow the directions given through the spirit of prophecy. We must love and obey the truth for this time. This will save us from accepting strong delusions. God has spoken to us through His Word. He has spoken to us through the testimonies to the church and through the books that have helped to make plain our present duty and the position that we should now occupy.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 298.

  • How do we know that God has special light for each period of time in history? Proverbs 29:18; II Peter 1:12; Acts 2:17–20.

Note: “Those who today claim to have light, and who contradict the teaching of God’s ordained messengers who were working under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, those who get up new theories which remove the pillars of our faith, are not doing the will of God, but are bringing in fallacies of their own invention, which, if received, will cut the church away from the anchorage of truth, and set them drifting, drifting, to where they will receive any sophistries that may arise.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, 247.


  • What is the basis of the theme of redemption? Matthew 1:21; Psalm 130:7, 8.

Note: “The Lord would have us value our souls according to the estimate—as far as we can comprehend it—that Christ has placed upon them. … Jesus died that He might redeem man from eternal ruin. Then we are to hold ourselves as property purchased. [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 quoted.] All our powers of mind and soul and body are the Lord’s. Our time belongs to Him. We are to place ourselves in the very best possible condition to do His service, keeping constantly in connection with Christ, and considering daily the costly sacrifice made for us that we should be made the righteousness of God in Him.” In Heavenly Places, 60.

  • What does redemption include? Romans 6:22, 23; Ephesians 2:5, 6.

Note: “Candidly and seriously we are to consider the question, Have we humbled ourselves before God, that the Holy Spirit may work through us with transforming power? As children of God, it is our privilege to be worked by His Spirit. When self is crucified, the Holy Spirit takes the brokenhearted ones, and makes them vessels unto honor. They are in His hands as clay in the hands of the potter. Jesus Christ will make such men and women superior in mental, physical, and moral power. The graces of the Spirit will give solidity to the character. They will exert an influence for good because Christ is abiding in the soul.” The Southern Review, December 5, 1899.

  • What transformation must take place in us if we want to be among the redeemed? I Thessalonians 5:23; II Peter 3:14.

Note: “ ‘Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price’ [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20]. Your physical and mental powers belong to God, and should be used in His service. There are souls to save; there is earnest work to be done for the Master; and half-hearted, indolent efforts will not be accepted.” The Signs of the Times, May 29, 1884.


  • How do we know that we are living in the last days? Matthew 24:3–14, 24–33. What is to take place in the heavenly sanctuary before the coming of Christ? Revelation 11:18, 19; I Peter 4:17.
  • What event in the history of Israel pointed to the Day of Judgment? Leviticus 16:30–34.
  • What instruction did God give His people for that day? Leviticus 23:28–32.
  • What specific instruction does God have for His people now? II Peter 3:11–14; Romans 13:11–14; James 4:7–10.

Note: “I [Ellen White] have been perplexed to know how we may help those who are doing their best to live and keep the commandments of God. God calls upon us to bind about our wants, to have a genuine experience in daily self-denial. Although we may not be compelled to restrict our appetites, we should show that we do not live to eat, but eat to live. God demands a complete consecration of ourselves, soul, body, and spirit, to His service. Time is precious; strength is precious; no member of the family should be overtaxed because of unnecessary labor, and thus be disqualified to serve God and to keep his or her soul in the love of God. The Lord demands that we shall live simply. Our diet is not to consist of expensive food, or of unnecessary dishes which require time and strength for preparation. It is profitable for us to consider the time in which we are living. We shall be called upon to engage in enterprises that will work for the salvation of the souls of men, women, and children. We must do this work in the spirit which Christ exercised in His mission, fulfilling the word, ‘Whosoever will come after me [follow in my footsteps], let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me’ [Mark 8:34]. So shall he be my disciple.” The Home Missionary, December 1, 1894.


  • God gave Israel light and instruction. What did they do with them? Hebrews 3:10; Ezekiel 20:6–8, 13.
  • What was the root of their rejection? Hebrews 3:19.

Note: “Although the Lord gave Israel the greatest evidences of His favor, and upon condition of obedience, the rich promise that they should be to Him a peculiar people, a royal nation, yet because of their unbelief and disobedience He could not fulfill the promise. …

“Some profess Christianity year after year, and in some things appear to serve God, and yet they are far from Him. They give loose rein to appetite and passion, and follow their own unsanctified inclinations, loving pleasure and the applause of men more than God or His truth. But God reads the secrets of the heart. …

“The character is revealed by the works, not by occasional good deeds and occasional misdeeds, but by the tendency of the habitual words and acts.” The Signs of the Times, March 27, 1884.

  • What is the difference between faith and presumption? James 1:21–25; 2:14.

Note: “Faith is in no sense allied to presumption. … For presumption is Satan’s counterfeit of faith. Faith claims God’s promises, and brings forth fruit in obedience. Presumption also claims the promises, but uses them as Satan did, to excuse transgression. Faith would have led our first parents to trust the love of God, and to obey His commands. Presumption led them to transgress His law, believing that His great love would save them from the consequences of their sin.” The Desire of Ages, 126.

  • If we have true faith in God, what will we do with His instructions? John 14:15; Deuteronomy 11:1; 26:17.


1 How does God guide us to know His will? Do I know how to be guided?

2 When studying the Word of God, what attitude do I have? Am I seeking the truth, that I may do it?

3 Once I understand God’s will, what response should I give?

4 What is included in the work of redemption for each person?

5 How does the fact that we are living in the time of the judgment affect the way we should live?

Who are the Sanctified?

“There are thousands, yes, millions, who are making a mistake in their religious life. They make religion a thing independent of their life, of their thoughts and words, and daily actions. Their religion is a delusion of the senses. Their ideas and principles presented as sanctification are deceitful workings. Some speak of hearing voices and of seeing sights of a supernatural character; but there is no sign in their daily course of action that the Spirit of God has wrought a change in the natural heart, for they are carnal, at enmity with God’s law, and neither love God nor obey His commandments.” The Signs of the Times, February 28, 1895.

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Quinoa with Vegetables and Herbs

1 cup quinoa

½ tsp. kosher salt,

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium zucchini, chopped (2 cups)

divided 3 carrots, peeled and chopped (1 ½ cups)

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

2 tsp. fresh thyme or oregano (optional)

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives

Rinse quinoa in a strainer. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring quinoa, 2 cups water, and ¼ tsp. salt to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until quinoa absorbs the water, 10-15 minutes. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion; cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high and add next 5 ingredients. Sauté, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender and golden around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with ¼ tsp. salt. In a large bowl, mix together quinoa, vegetables, and fresh chives and serve.

Food – Turn Over a New Leaf

Fresh herbs have long enjoyed a place of importance in the hearts of cooks. They are, without a doubt, the most versatile culinary ingredients. Fresh herbs add rich and savory flavors to foods, perking up and adding depth to vegetables and soups. They are a quick, healthy and fat-free way to add spice to everyday meals without adding additional sodium and calories.

  • In most recipes you can very easily substitute fresh herbs for dry herbs by using about 3 times the amount—1 tsp. dry equals 1 Tbsp. fresh.
  • Buy herbs with vibrant color and aroma. Avoid those that are limp, yellowing, have black spots or don’t smell totally fresh.
  • To store—Trim unwashed herb bunches. Wrap in a damp paper towel and slip into a plastic bag filled with a little air to prevent crushing. Place in the refrigerator crisper drawer. Wash when ready to use.
  • Use a sharp knife when cutting fresh herbs. A dull one will crush and bruise the herbs. Scissors also work well when chopping chives or snipping off tender leaves.
  • Do you have leftover fresh herbs? Fill an ice cube tray with finely chopped herbs and pour water over just to cover. Freeze until solid. Pop frozen cubes in a freezer bag. Place into the freezer until needed.
  • Fresh herbs can also be dried for later use—Remove leaves from the bottom inch of each stem. Bundle several stems together with string or a rubber band. Hang upside down in a warm, airy room. When completely dry, crumble the leaves into jars.
  • Herb butters are one of the most wonderful treats you can make with herbs. Combine 1 stick of softened Earth Balance vegan buttery stick with 1 tsp. lemon juice and 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped herbs of your choice. Transfer the mixture to a piece of waxed or parchment paper and roll into a log. Refrigerate until firm. Slice and serve with corn on the cob, Italian bread, steamed vegetables, baked potato or cooked pasta.
  • Create herb-infused oils to use in vinaigrettes, as a bread dip or drizzled over cooked vegetables. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat 1 cup of olive oil along with 5 sprigs of thyme or 2 sprigs of rosemary until bubbles appear around the edge of the pan. Cool completely. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
  • Think beyond lettuce—adding coarsely chopped herbs to a salad adds flavor and color. Dill, basil, mint and parsley are especially delicious.

AmacAdvantage, vol. 6, Issue 3, 46, 47.

Current Events – Persecution

“The early Christians were often called to meet the powers of darkness face to face. By sophistry and by persecution the enemy endeavored to turn them from the true faith. At the present time, when the end of all things earthly is rapidly approaching, Satan is putting forth desperate efforts to ensnare the world. He is devising many plans to occupy minds and to divert attention from the truths essential to salvation. In every city his agencies are busily organizing into parties those who are opposed to the law of God. The archdeceiver is at work to introduce elements of confusion and rebellion, and men are being fired with a zeal that is not according to knowledge.” The Acts of the Apostles, 219.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide is urging the Government to raise concerns over religious intolerance and other human rights violations in Indonesia. In particular, the organisation raises concerns over the forced closure of churches in Indonesia, including churches that have secured legal permission. Last week nine churches and six Buddhist temples had been closed down as a result of intense pressure from local Islamist groups.

A massive four-day national prayer event in the desert north of Cairo, is expected to draw 50,000 people from all over Egypt. In the midst of increased persecution, turmoil and uncertainty, Christians are reaching out to others and fervently praying “in such a time as this.” With all the political, social, economic and religious challenges Egypt has faced in the last few months, all Egyptians are left with many uncertainties and concerns about the present and future.

Seven people are dead and at least 100 others were injured after a suicide bomber ran an SUV filled with explosives into a Catholic church during mass Sunday [October 28]. The bombing in Kaduna is the latest in a series of attacks on Nigerian churches. No group claimed responsibility for this attack.

Authorities in southern Laos pressure three jailed pastors and other Christians to participate in occult rituals and recant their faith in Jesus Christ, a religious advocacy group said.

In India, an Indian evangelical pastor was recovering of injuries, after he and his family were beaten by “anti-Christian” Hindu extremists near the capital New Delhi, a major mission group and relatives said. In published remarks his son who suffered a broken hand, said at least two men entered the house and used “a steel water bucket” to hit his father’s head till he was unconscious. The beatings were encouraged by nearly a dozen other Hindus who earlier hurled stones and other materials at the pastor’s family home, Christian witnesses said.

In Montana [United States of America], the Kalispell city council has declined to take possession of a Ten Commandments monument and move it to a prominent location on city-owned land in downtown Kalispell. The Flathead Beacon reports that the council decided earlier in the week that accepting the statue could lead to legal problems. The Fraternal Order of the Eagles asked the council to take possession of the statue and six others that include historical texts from the Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence that together form a “cornerstone of law” display. The Flathead Area Secular Humanist Association threatened legal action if such a move took place.

Health – Music and the Frontal Lobe

Few people understand the powerful influence that music has on the frontal lobe. Music enters the brain through its emotional regions.

Depending on the type of music, it can either influence the brain beneficially or detrimentally. Music therapists tell us that certain types of music, such as rock with its syncopated rhythm, bypass the frontal lobe and thus escape our ability to reason and make judgments about it. Evidence suggests that it, like television, can produce a hypnotic effect. For many years some have argued that rock music was ruining America’s youth. Recently a neurobiologist and a physicist teamed up to put this generalization to a test. They designed a study to evaluate the neurological reaction of mice to different musical rhythms. For eight weeks they exposed each of three groups of mice to different music settings. One group heard rock-like disharmonic drum beats playing softly in their environment; a second group heard classical music, while the third heard no music whatsoever. All the mice went through a standard maze test (with food at the end of the maze). On the first day, all three groups performed equally well. They groped about the maze in search of food. By the end of eight weeks, however, it was noted that the second and third groups had learned the direct path to the food. The “rock group,” however, was still groping for it, taking much longer to find the food than the other two groups.

Next there was a three week break in their maze training without music followed by maze re-tests to see how much knowledge they had retained of the maze’s course, and to see if the effect of the rock beat had worn off. Again the rock group performed poorly. They continued to have difficulty remembering how to get to their food, while the other two groups still found it quickly. The rock group seemed almost to be starting from scratch. They groped around and seemed disoriented. Both the control group and the harmonic group, on the other hand, could run the maze considerably faster, proving that their learning had stuck.

To determine why the poor performers were having so much trouble, the researchers examined their brains, looking for changes in the hippocampus, a region in the temporal lobe near the brain stem, which is usually associated with alertness, memory, and learning. They found evidence of abnormal branching and sprouting of the nerve cells, and also disruptions in the normal amounts of messenger RNA [ribonucleic acid], a chemical crucial to memory storage.

The researchers concluded that the culprit causing the memory and learning problems was the music’s rhythm, not its harmonic or melodic structure. The theory is that certain musical rhythms help to synchronize natural biological rhythms, thus enhancing body functions, while other rhythms tend to clash with, or disrupt, those internal rhythms. This is not surprising since all of our body systems function in rhythm. The study’s authors postulate that if these natural rhythms are disrupted by some kind of disharmony, detrimental effects can result, including permanent learning difficulties. This could help explain why rock music listeners are more prone to use drugs and engage in extramarital sex, and why heavy metal listeners are much more likely to consider suicide. Not only did the disharmonic rock-like music cause damage to the temporal lobes, it also caused atrophy of the frontal lobe. This atrophy would be expected to affect moral worth, learning, and reasoning power.

Harmonious types of hymns and symphonies, on the other hand, can produce a very beneficial frontal lobe response. This is the kind of musical environment in which our children should be raised—music that can produce a positive rather than a negative effect. Classical music has been demonstrated to help college students learn spatial relationships in geometry. A study showed that listening to Mozart piano sonatas significantly increased spatial temporal reasoning. Interestingly, Mozart began composing music at the age of four.

In a follow-up of the Mozart study, children three to five years of age who received eight months of group singing and keyboard lessons scored significantly higher on the “object assembly” task (arranging pieces of a puzzle to form a meaningful whole, requiring frontal lobe function) when compared to children in the same pre-school who did not receive music lessons. Another study showed that musicians who possess perfect pitch were soundly exposed to music before the age of seven.

The impact of music on shaping the character (and hence the frontal lobe) was recognized at least 23 centuries ago. Aristotle, the Greek philosopher of the fourth century B.C., recognized that music can either be beneficial or detrimental to our character, depending on the kind of music we expose ourselves to. He wrote, “Music directly represents the passions or states of the soul—gentleness, anger, courage, temperance, and their opposites and other qualities; hence, when one listens to music that imitates a certain passion he becomes imbued with the same passion; and if over a long time he habitually listens to the kind of music that rouses ignoble [degraded or vulgar] passions his whole character will be shaped to an ignoble form. In short, if one listens to the wrong kind of music he will become the wrong kind of person; but, conversely, if he listens to the right kind of music he will tend to become the right kind of person.” Aristotle unwittingly referred to the frontal lobe, where we now know the seat of our character resides.

Dr. Neil Nedley, M.D., Proof Positive, Nedley Publishing Co., Ardmore, Oklahoma, May 1999, excerpt from chapter, “The Frontal Lobe.”

Children’s Story – The Sleigh Ride

Mary Lee returned to her father’s house after a two years’ stay with her uncle Kent. The little children were quite overjoyed. For the first week or so Mary was regarded [as] something in the light of a visitor.

By and by she began to take her appropriate place in the family circle, and bear the burden of family duty. Her parents rejoiced to behold much which was truly excellent and lovely in her principles and her practice. One defect soon appeared, which threatened some unhappiness: Mary was secretly dissatisfied with her home. Small it certainly was compared with her uncle’s, and she yearned for the elegant and expensive furniture, for the costly decorations and thousand luxuries which she had been accustomed to see and to enjoy there. The small air-tight stove was too black and cheerless; the old flag-bottomed chairs were very unfashionable; her room was not carpeted, and she complained that the floor was cold.

One day, when Mary had been moaning over her unfashionable cloak, her father returned home in the forenoon, and asked her to ride with him. She gladly accepted the proposal, although she did not think her hat was fit to wear, especially as her father suggested he might make a call somewhere.

It was a beautiful January day. The fields lay covered with pure, untrodden snow. The twigs and boughs reflected a sparkling radiance from their frosty crust. The air seemed filled with a thousand brilliants, and the deep cold stillness of the country was only broken by the dropping icicle or the distant sleigh-bell. Mary was much exhilarated, both by the magnificence of the snow scene and her father’s pleasant conversation. They rode long upon the beaten path, when he attempted to force his way into an almost untrodden track. They emerged from a snow-bank here only to plunge into another there.

“O, father, where are we going?” exclaimed Mary.

“To call at a friend’s house,” answered her father, and, as they rode on, Mary discovered a roof and a chimney on a slope not very far off.

“Why, father, is it a hut you’re going to?” The strong horse found some difficulty in making his way from the main path to the house. They reached the door. The steps were unshovelled. The snow had been soiled by no human step, and no signs of active life were visible since the storm.

“I’m sure nobody lives here,” said Mary, as her father jumped out of the sleigh, and, making a path with his feet, lifted the latch of the door. He entered and disappeared for a few minutes. “Is this the call father meant to make!” thought Mary, surveying the building. The next moment he was by her side. “Come, Mary, let me take you in my arms, child, and carry you in; the snow is pretty deep.”

What a scene did Mary behold! Two children were crouched beside a few sticks of green wood, which they were in vain attempting to kindle; their blue legs and purple arms were covered with a thin calico. A few potato parings lay upon the hearth, which one seemed greedily chewing. “What a privilege to be a Christian!” and Mary, turning suddenly, beheld the skinny arm of a woman extended from a low bed. “Oh, Mr. Lee, I knew God would not forsake us.” Tears glistened in her gray, sunken eye, and even the white hairs which were scattered on the forehead, as Mary afterwards declared, seemed like a halo around that dry, withered face, golden with the emotions of a thankful heart.

“This severe cold has set in so suddenly, we feared you might be in want, and have come to help you,” said Mr. Lee, kindly taking the sick woman’s hand; “you have been ill again. This is my Mary, Mrs. Jones,” and he drew Mary towards the bed.

“God bless you, my dear; God bless you, for leaving your warm home to come and see an old one like me,” said the woman in a broken voice; “and are you going to be like your father, finding out the sick and relieving the poor? Oh, Miss Mary, it’s your father that denies himself for his Master’s cause. It is not he that spends his money gewgawing [on ornaments]; nobody that’s suffering comes to him without finding help some way; it’s I that know that, indeed;” and her voice choked, and her eyes blinded, and she covered her face as if in silent prayer. Meanwhile Mr. Lee was aiding the children’s efforts about the fire. “We’ve got in four potatoes there, sir,” said one, “and they ain’t warm yet.” As in disappointment he thrust his fingers into the cold ashes. “Oh, sir, don’t you think they will roast to-day?” turning his peaked, disquieted face as he made the anxious inquiry. “If you do not have potatoes, you shall have something, my child,” said Mr. Lee, patting the boy on the head. “Shall we? Oh!” he exclaimed earnestly. The good man then went out to the sleigh and bore in a basket filled with objects for immediate comfort. “The Lord be praised!” ejaculated the aged Christian: “that’s he, that’s deacon Lee!” “Grandmother, you prayed, and you told us to pray, for God only could help us, and you always said He would,” exclaimed the children, running from the bed to the basket, and the basket to the bed, in grateful ecstasy.

Mary looked on in tearful silence. It was a scene she was not soon to forget. To her full heart her father seemed like an angel, ministering indeed to the heirs of salvation. “What a privilege it was to bless that suffering family,” said Mary, with deep emotion, as they rode over the ice-bound bridge at the foot of the hill.

“By denying myself the luxuries of life, Mary, I have been enabled to do this. Our home has all the necessaries of life. Now, Mary, you have grown up, and have a voice in the family arrangements. Do you choose that we shall buy costly furniture, splendid decorations for our house, or shall we use our earnings as God has prospered us, in relieving the distressed, seeking out the suffering, and aiding the great plans of doing good which are everywhere to advance our Redeemer’s cause?”

“Let me be like you, father!” exclaimed Mary, stricken to the heart, when she remembered how much pain she must have caused him.

“Deny yourself, and thus imitate the example of your Redeemer, my Mary,” said the father, with deep solemnity.

From that day Mary rejoiced in her home, and was often found in many humbler homes, bearing the blessed fruits of Christian charity and love.

The Youth’s Instructor, October, 1855.

Q&A – Can I Continue to smoke while claiming to be a Christian?

There are many “good” people in this world who will not make it to heaven, because once being aware of a different lifestyle, they refuse to walk or live to a heavenly standard right here on earth. By the worldly standard they are considered “good” because the world agrees with their lifestyle. In heaven, there will be nothing that will cause either sorrow or death.

Smoking is not the only thing that pollutes the body, but also drinking alcohol. There is much information today revealing the deleterious effects of tobacco and alcohol. When shown that something is so harmful to your health, whether it be physical, mental or spiritual and you persist in its use, to turn away from the will of God to retain health and choose to walk in your own ways is a very serious matter. God has said, “Thou shalt not kill” and “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Exodus 20:13; I Corinthians 10:31.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made and live in a time where there is a feast of information available to make healthy choices and avoid certain foods or substances that cause harm. Willfully continuing to do harmful things will cost you the gift of salvation unless you repent and turn away from those things that destroy your body, that amazing piece of machinery in which you live. (See Sermons and Talks, vol. 2, 286.)

We are told to “ ‘Make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way’ [Hebrews 12:13]. We cannot realize how powerful for good or for evil is our influence upon those with whom we associate. Let us be careful that there be not found on our garments in the day of judgment the blood of precious souls.” Ibid., 287.

To continue in these harmful habits while professing to be a Christian is a bad witness to others. It lowers the standard of behavior and can cause others also to sin by the bad example.