The Divinely Prescribed Diet after Sin

After God created Adam and Eve, 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.]” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 81. But when they sinned and were banished from the garden of Eden, the Lord altered their diet making a specific addition: “you shall eat the herb of the field.” Genesis 3:18.

The word translated herb is identified as word number 6212 in the Hebrew-English lexicon contained in Strong’s Concordance of the Scriptures. If you have the New Englishman’s Concordance of the Old Testament by Wigram, you will see that this word is used about 33 times in the Old Testament and one of its most common translations is “grass.” The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon by Davidson gives the following translations of this word: “green herb,” and plural, “herb,” and “vegetables.” This same word is translated “green herb” in Genesis 1:30.

The definition of herb is a plant that has a fleshy stem as distinguished from the woody stem of shrubs and trees. Herbs generally die back at the end of the growing season.

An herb then is a green vegetable; and after sin man was given green vegetables—herbs—as part of his diet from then on. Adam and Eve had not been in the habit of eating grasses or green herbs in the garden of Eden; before sin entered the world, herbs were only animal food.

This divine instruction to man has never been rescinded. Therefore, green vegetables, or herbs, such as spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens, collards, alfalfa, dandelion, parsley, lamb’s quarter, kelp, watercress, celery, and many more are to be part of the diet of all who fear God. If the human race had always been careful to observe this divine instruction, great suffering would have been prevented down through the ages, but that is beyond the scope of this study.

In 1960, H. E. Kirschner, M.D., published a book entitled Nature’s Healing Grasses. The book was published by Herbert C. White Publications, and by 1980 had gone through 16 printings. Herbert White was one of Ellen White’s grandsons.

In 1936, N.W. Walker, D. Sci. published a book entitled Raw Vegetable Juices. In the expanded version of this book, published in 1970, there are over 70 vegetable juice formulas with instructions of how these formulas may be used to help treat various disease conditions.

These green foods will probably cease to be a part of the saints’ diet during the time of trouble because then their diet is going to be restricted to only bread and water (see Isaiah 33), but until then if we want to be in harmony with all of the divine instructions about how to live, these foods need to be a part of our daily diet.

A vegetable is defined as the edible part of a plant such as the root, the stem, the leaves and/or the flower. A fruit on the other hand is defined as the ripened ovary or ovaries of a seed-bearing plant together with the surrounding flesh in which the seed or seeds are usually contained.

Human beings evidently like sugar from birth and we can obtain and refine sugar from both fruits and vegetables or herbs. Vegetables that are concentrated sources of sugar include, beets, especially sugar beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, and yams. Fruits as a general class of food are high in sugar, but some fruits are much higher in sugar than others, including pineapple, dates, figs, grapes, pears, bananas, and several other tropical fruits.

Adding a little more sugar to your fruit would not be a problem if you are not a diabetic, and some raw fruits (raspberries come to mind) are better enjoyed by most people if a little sugar is added. But even though some vegetables contain significant amounts of sugar, adding more sugar to vegetables often results in indigestion. Mrs. White makes the following statement on this subject: “It is not well to eat fruit and vegetables at the same meal. If the digestion is feeble, the use of both will often cause distress and inability to put forth mental effort. It is better to have the fruit at one meal and the vegetables at another.” The Ministry of Healing, 299, 300

Notice several details about this statement:

  1. The subject is not given as a command. For example, it is not well to eat butter, either, but God’s people are not commanded not to eat butter.
  2. So this is counsel, but not a command, and this counsel is given especially for a certain subset of the general population—those who have weak digestion (dyspeptics).
  3. And because of the possibility of suffering indigestion as a result of consuming fruits and vegetables at the same meal, it is better for those individuals to eat fruit at one meal and vegetables at another.

Unfortunately, very few statements found in Inspiration concerning diet have caused as many questions to be directed at medical missionary workers as this simple statement with very rational counsel. Since questions about the counsel in the above statement have been asked to me in front of college educators with General Conference personnel present, I am acquainted with the unfortunate controversies that develop over this question and I want to explain a few further points on this subject.

  • The counsel in the above statement was intended as a general statement about fruits and vegetables and was not intended to be all inclusive to include all fruits and all vegetables. A general statement cannot be taken and interpreted literally to all varieties of food. I will explain this in a moment.
  • Since this statement was written especially for those with weak digestion, if you know that you have strong digestion, there certainly is nothing wrong with eating a piece of fruit at the end of a vegetable meal or eating a stalk of celery with your apple as some people like to do.
  • Since the statement is a general statement stating a general rule, we need to understand that there are exceptions to this statement (this general rule) where it does not apply. I will begin to list some exceptions now.

I myself listened to a report by Alma McGibbon who was one of Ellen White’s close associates during her later years, who stated that Ellen White ate cooked greens daily during that period of her life and she did not eat these cooked greens with just salt. She added some lemon juice. This of course is mixing fruits and vegetables. Was Ellen White a hypocrite, not following her own counsel since she had very weak digestion in her later years? No, this is an exception to the rule. In fact, it is two exceptions to the rule. First of all, greens, either cooked or raw, do not cause as much problems with indigestion as most other vegetables—such as potatoes or beets—if fruit is eaten at the same meal. But more importantly lemon juice does not contain sugar, and partly for this reason, lemons can be used freely with any vegetable meal. Secondly, lemons can be used at a vegetable meal because they are high in acid content. Consequently, we could easily formulate another general rule: if a fruit has a high acid and low sugar content, it may be freely used with vegetables. There may be some dyspeptics whose digestions are so feeble that this general rule would not apply, but if your digestion is that feeble, you are either very near death’s door or you should be seeing a physician who specializes in disorders of the digestive system.

Are there other fruits that are high in acid and low in sugar content that can be eaten with vegetables? Yes. Tomatoes should immediately come to mind. Some people have thought that they could not eat tomatoes with their tossed green salad, but such a restriction is not really necessary. If you want to have a tomato and lettuce sandwich, that is not a violation of the counsel any more than adding lemon juice to a salad or cooked greens.

Other questions soon surface such as this one: What if the fruit is high in acid content, but it also contains some sugar, such as oranges? This becomes a guessing game, and if you are a person with weak digestion it is safer to stick with high acid fruits that are low in sugar, but to be honest I have to say that so far I have never met a person who can eat Harvard beets (prepared with lemon juice) who could not eat Yale beets (prepared with orange juice).

What about the fruits which do not have much sugar content, but are not high in acid content? This is definitely a gray area where any person who is not sure that he has a strong digestion should avoid. There are many people who say that they cannot eat cucumbers. Every time a person has told me this I have asked them to try eating part of a cucumber at a meal not containing any vegetables or vegetable derivatives (example—potato flour). So far every person who thought they could not eat cucumbers found that they could eat them just fine. Foods in the melon family cannot be eaten with any other kinds of fruits or vegetables by people with very weak digestion, so you might want to try eating part of a cucumber with no other fruit or vegetable in the meal and see what happens—you probably will be able to eat as much cucumber as you please under those conditions.

Some of the other fruits that are low in sugar that most people can eat with vegetables would include most kinds of squash, green beans, peppers, (however, sweet peppers and potatoes give some people severe indigestion), and eggplant.

If you are troubled with any kind of indigestion problem, it is wise to ask yourself the question: Have I eaten some combination of foods that it would be wiser for me not to eat together at the same meal? Even if you are not combining fruits and vegetables, if the variety of food at one meal is too great, indigestion will result. “There should not be a great variety at any one meal, for this encourages overeating and causes indigestion.” Ibid.

There is still one other general exception to the counsel not to eat fruits and vegetables at the same meal. Mrs. White stated this herself: “Olives may be so prepared as to be eaten with good results at every meal.” Testimonies, Vol. 7, 134. Olives are a fruit, high in fat and low in sugar and acidic content, but they may be eaten with good results at every meal including vegetable meals.

Another fruit that is high in fat and low in sugar and acidic content is the popular avocado. Avocados, just like olives, can be eaten as part of a fruit meal or a vegetable meal “with good results.”

A most important fact to remember is that fruits and vegetables eaten at the same meal are not the only cause of indigestion, but that the same result can be brought about just as readily by any of the points in the table above.

For a more complete discussion of the problem of indigestion see the book Abundant Health by Julius Gilbert White, pages 85–99; or Natural Remedies Encyclopedia, sixth edition, by Vance Ferrell and Harold M. Cherne M.D., pages 348–350

Causes of Indigestion


Eating too fast




Meals not spaced far enough apart (less than five hours)


Eating between meals


Eating late at night


Eating when tired


Unhealthy state of mind or negative mental attitudes, such as depression


Eating unwholesome food such as unripe fruit or spoiled food, or fresh leavened bread, or bread not thoroughly baked, or rich, complicated mixtures of foods, especially combinations of milk and sugar, or simply too much sugar, or too much liquid with meals, and either too much liquid food or too much drinking with meals


Use of tea, coffee, cocoa, and soft drinks


Use of aluminum  utensils for cooking or eating

Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

The Spirit of Prophecy in the Remnant Church

We believe the Testimonies present no truth which may not be found in the word of God, in principle, if not in detail. The Bible contains the whole duty of man. It is our rule of faith and practice. We are told in the word that God has set the gifts of His Spirit in the church.

“He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11–13.

The acceptance of the word therefore involves the acceptance of the gifts of the Spirit. This was forcibly expressed by Elder James White, the great apostle of this movement, in the Review of October 3, 1854:

“The gifts of the Spirit should all have their proper places. The Bible is an everlasting rock. It is our rule of faith and practice. In it the man of God is ‘thoroughly furnished unto all good works.’ . . . Every Christian is therefore in duty bound to take the Bible as a perfect rule of faith and duty. He should pray fervently to be aided by the Holy Spirit in searching the Scriptures for the whole truth, and for his whole duty. . . . The position that the Bible, and the Bible alone, is the rule of faith and duty, does not shut out the gifts which God set in the church. To reject them is shutting out that part of the Bible which presents them. We say, Let us have a whole Bible, and let that, and that alone, be our rule of faith and duty. Place the gifts where they belong, and all is harmony.”

Messages of God

But while the writings of the messenger do not constitute an addition to the Scriptures of Truth, they are nevertheless the messages of God to the remnant church, and should be received as such, the same as were the messages of the prophets of old. Some are inclined to minimize their importance, and by specious reasoning and hypercritical distinctions, to confuse minds as to their character and value. To those who would do this, the messenger of the Lord appeals:

“And now, brethren, I entreat you not to interpose between me and the people, and turn away the light which God would have come to them. Do not by your criticisms take out all the force, all the point and power, from the Testimonies. Do not feel that you can dissect them to suit your own ideas, claiming that God has given you the ability to discern what is light from heaven, and what is the expression of mere human wisdom. If the Testimonies speak not according to the word of God, reject them. Christ and Belial cannot be united. For Christ’s sake, do not confuse the minds of the people with human sophistry and skepticism, and make of none effect the work that the Lord would do. Do not, by your lack of spiritual discernment, make of this agency of God a rock of offense whereby many shall be caused to stumble and fall, ‘and be snared, and be taken.’ ” Testimonies, vol. 5, 691.

Catching at Straws

It requires no marked mental acumen to criticize a great movement or great leaders in that movement. Thomas Paine and Robert G. Ingersoll could discourse eloquently on the mistakes of Moses—and he, even though a Heaven-appointed leader, made mistakes because he was human and not divine; but they utterly
failed to appreciate the great principles for which he stood, and the movement which he led. They found an abundance of pegs upon which to hang their doubts. They judged great causes by trifling details. They saw only the human element in God’s work, and failed to recognize God working through the human. Occasion for doubt may be found in every work where the human element exists, if the seeker hunts for the occasion. The Bible teaches that the remnant church will meet great opposition because of adherence to the commandments of God and the spirit of prophecy. Revelation 12:17. We should be careful to see that we do not share in any measure the spirit of this opposition.

We may see in relation to the work of Sister White things which we do not understand. Ancient Israel saw things which they could not understand in the work of the prophets of olden days. We must be careful that in our human reasoning we do not permit details and technicalities to confuse our minds, and thus obscure the messages which the Lord has been pleased to send us.

Believe the Lord and His Prophets

One who has had a living experience in connection with the work of the spirit of prophecy in this church finds no occasion to doubt its divine origin. The history of this movement reveals many instances where the Lord has used this gift for the preservation of His work. Many times in great crises God has sent through His servant a message which saved this church from disruption and from grave errors.

We cannot see how one can prayerfully read the messages which have come through the years, and doubt their genuineness. They speak to one’s heart. They carry with them the proof of their own inspiration.

We thank God that He gave a prophet to the remnant church. … We should rejoice that the Lord has in this manner visited His people, and again and again warned them of their danger in the midst of the evils which threaten the church at the present time. These messages we believe should be faithfully followed by every believer. Next to the Bible, and in connection with it, they should be read and studied. They throw a flood of light upon the Sacred Record.

“Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper.” 11 Chronicles 20:20.

This article was printed in the Review and Herald, March 17, 1921. At this time the writer was editor of the Review.

Restoring the Temple – Fruits, Cereals, Vegetables

The Lord intends to bring His people back to live upon simple fruits, vegetables, and grains.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 322.

“The Lord desires those living in countries where fresh fruit can be obtained during a large part of the year, to awake to the blessing they have in this fruit. The more we depend upon the fresh fruit just as it is plucked from the tree, the greater will be the blessing.

“It would be well for us to do less cooking and to eat more fruit in its natural state. . . . Eat freely of the fresh grapes, apples, peaches, pears, berries, and all other kinds of fruit that can be obtained.” Ibid., 309.

An Adequate Diet

“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., 310.

“Those who eat flesh are but eating grains and vegetables at second hand; for the animal receives from these things the nutrition that produces growth. The life that was in the grains and vegetables passes into the eater. We receive it by eating the flesh of the animal. How much better to get it direct, by eating the food that God provided for our use!” Ibid., 313.

“It is a mistake to suppose that muscular strength depends on the use of animal food. The needs of the system can be better supplied, and more vigorous health can be enjoyed, without its use. The grains, with fruits, nuts, and vegetables, contain all the nutritive properties necessary to make good blood.” Ibid.

“We are built up from that which we eat. Shall we strengthen the animal passions by eating animal food? In the place of educating the taste to love this gross diet, it is high time that we were educating ourselves to subsist upon fruits, grains, and vegetables. . . . A variety of simple dishes, perfectly healthful and nourishing, may be provided, aside from meat. Hearty men must have plenty of vegetables, fruits, and grains.” Ibid., 322.

Temporary Fruit Diet

“Intemperate eating is often the cause of sickness, and what nature most needs is to be relieved of the undue burden that has been placed upon her. In many cases of sickness, the very best remedy is for the patient to fast for a meal or two, that the overworked organs of digestion may have an opportunity to rest. A fruit diet for a few days has often brought great relief to brain workers. Many times a short period of entire abstinence from food, followed by simple, moderate eating, has led to recovery through nature’s own recuperative effort. An abstemious diet for a month or two would convince many sufferers that the path of self-denial is the path to health.” Ibid., 310.

Abundantly Supplied

“Nature’s abundant supply of fruits, nuts, and grains is ample, and year by year the products of all lands are more generally distributed to all, by the increased facilities for transportation. As a result, many articles of food which a few years ago were regarded as expensive luxuries, are now within the reach of all as foods for everyday use.

“If we plan wisely, that which is most conducive to health can be secured in almost every land. The various preparations of rice, wheat, corn, and oats are sent abroad everywhere, also beans, peas, and lentils. These, with native or imported fruits, and the variety of vegetables that grow in each locality, give an opportunity to select a dietary that is complete without the use of flesh meats.” Ibid., 313, 314.


“Grains used for porridge or ‘mush’ should have several hours’ cooking. But soft or liquid foods are less wholesome than dry foods, which require thorough mastication.

“Some honestly think that a proper dietary consists chiefly of porridge. To eat largely of porridge would not ensure health to the digestive organs; for it is too much like liquid. Encourage the eating of fruit and vegetables and bread.” Ibid., 314, 315.

The Staff of Life

“Bread should be thoroughly baked, inside and out. The health of the stomach demands that it be light and dry. Bread is the real staff of life, and therefore every cook should excel in making it.

“Some do not feel it is a religious duty to prepare food properly; hence they do not try to learn how. They let the bread sour before baking, and the saleratus added to remedy the cook’s carelessness makes it totally unfit for the human stomach. It requires thought and care to make good bread. But there is more religion in a good loaf of bread than many think.” Ibid., 315, 316.

“Bread should be light and sweet. Not the least taint of sourness should be tolerated. The loaves should be small, and so thoroughly baked that, as far as possible, the yeast germs shall be destroyed. When hot, or new, raised bread of any kind is difficult of digestion. It should never appear on the table. This rule does not, however, apply to unleavened bread. Fresh rolls made of wheaten meal, without yeast or leaven, and baked in a well-heated oven, are both wholesome and palatable. . . .


“Zwieback, or twice-baked bread, is one of the most easily digested and most palatable of foods. Let ordinary raised bread be cut in slices and dried in a warm oven till the last trace of moisture disappears. Then let it be browned slightly all the way through. In a dry place this bread can be kept much longer than ordinary bread, and if reheated before using, it will be as fresh as when new.

“Bread which is two or three days old is more healthful than new bread. Bread dried in the oven is one of the most wholesome articles of diet.” Ibid., 316, 317.

Dangers of Sour Bread

“The stomach has not power to convert poor, heavy, sour bread into good food; but this poor bread will convert a healthy stomach into a diseased one. Those who eat such food know that they are failing in strength. Is there not a cause? Some of these persons call themselves health reformers, but they are not. They do not know how to cook. They prepare cakes, potatoes, and graham bread, but there is the same round, with scarcely a variation, and the system is not strengthened. They seem to think the time wasted which is devoted to obtaining a thorough experience in the preparation of healthful, palatable food. . . .

“Many have been brought to their death by eating heavy, sour bread. An instance was related to me of a hired girl who made a batch of sour, heavy bread. In order to get rid of it and conceal the matter, she threw it to a couple of very large hogs. Next morning the man of the house found his swine dead, and upon examining the trough, found pieces of this heavy bread. He made inquiries, and the girl acknowledged what she had done. She had not a thought of the effect of such bread upon the swine. If heavy, sour bread will kill swine, which can devour rattlesnakes, and almost every detestable thing, what effect will it have upon that tender organ, the human stomach?” Ibid., 317, 318.

“We have been going back to Egypt rather than on to Canaan. Shall we not reverse the order of things? Shall we not have plain, wholesome food on our tables?” Ibid., 319.

Ellen G. White (1827–1915) wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books during her lifetime. Today, including compilations from her 50,000 pages of manuscript, more than 100 titles are available in English. She is the most translated woman writer in the entire history of literature, and the most translated American author of either gender.

Questions and Answers: Is it because we cannot see the Lord that we Seem to Follow Satan?

We cannot physically see either the Lord or Satan at this time; but we can see the fruits of each. Jesus tells us, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:20.

Satan has usurped, or seized, the temporary leadership of this world through Adam’s fall. We are born into this world with the propensity, or natural inclination, to follow Satan, the god of this world. And “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” II Corinthians 4:4.

For this reason, we need to be in the School of Christ so that we may be able to identify the path we are on and to identify, by our own fruits, whom we are following.

We are told in Revelation 3:18 to “anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see” spiritual things. To anoint means to consecrate by applying oil—the oil is the Holy Spirit. When we apply that oil, we can have the power of clear discernment between good and evil.

“Let the heavenly eyesalve be applied to the eyes of your understanding that you may distinguish between truth and error. Search the Word; and when you find a ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ take your stand.” My Life Today, 73.

“Our only safety is to be shielded by the grace of God every moment, and not put out our own spiritual eyesight so that we will call evil, good, and good, evil. Without hesitation or argument we must close and guard the avenues of the soul against evil.” The Adventist Home, 403.

The god of this earth has blinded many eyes, and that is why many cannot see and they follow Satan. We need to ask God daily for that eyesalve that will give us spiritual discernment to see where the devil is deceiving us and for the grace to turn away from following Satan. Make your choice today to sit in heavenly places with the God of Heaven.

In I Kings 18:21 Elijah said, “How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.” When you have spiritual discernment, you will want to choose the God of heaven and not the god of this earth. You will no longer halt between two opinions.

When the eyes have been enlightened with spiritual eyesight, we will no longer follow Satan.

If you have a Bible question you wish to have answered, please write to Steps to Life or e-mail it to:

Health – Fruits and Nuts Our Medicine

The walnut tree is believed to be a native of Persia and was well-known among the Jews. The ancient Romans placed this tree under the protection of the most powerful of their gods. The conquerors of the world eventually introduced this tree to the different countries of Europe.

The fruit was considered to be an astringent, strengthening and giving tone to the stomach and thus facilitating digestion.

More recently some have found the walnut to be effective against intestinal parasites by taking two to three ounces of walnut oil each evening for three days. This same dosage enhances digestion when taken daily. The walnut oil applied directly to skin diseases has been found to be effective in healing. The juice of fresh walnuts is used to heal cold sores. Walnut leaf tea has been used to lower blood sugar, cleanse the blood, eliminate intestinal parasites, and can be used as an astringent. There is, according to some authorities, an antibiotic element in the walnut leaves. The bark along with the leaves can be used in the treatment of skin troubles such as herpes and eczema or indolent ulcers. The walnut meat is used in cases of constipation and liver ailments.


The almond tree was much valued among the nations of the East. Today we find that the nut helps promote normal bowel function; some find the almond more easily digested if lightly roasted. Milk made from almonds is useful for inflamed stomach and intestines. It makes a fine tonic for children and convalescents. As a mild laxative almond oil may be taken in a dosage of about two ounces for adults and half an ounce for children. Ten almonds three times per day enhance the healing of broken bones.


The hazelnut is considered by the ancients to be the most wholesome and nourishing of any other shell fruit. The hazelnut is the best digested of all oil-bearing fruits. It is used to destroy intestinal parasites by taking one tablespoonful of the oil in the morning for two weeks.


Cashew nuts are used in cases of emaciation, teeth and gum problems, and for low vitality. They are more easily digested when eaten raw. The cashew oil, which must be used with great caution, is used as an application to warts, corns, ringworms and cancerous ulcers. If the nuts are roasted caution must be used not to let the fumes cover the face or hands, as they could cause inflammation.


Pecans have been used where there is a problem with low blood pressure, low vitality, and as nourishment for the teeth.

Pine Nuts

Pine nuts have saved the life of many an Indian baby when made into a nut soup and used as milk for the baby when the mother had no milk. The nut is considered to be effective where there are problems with the lungs such as tuberculosis, and for impotence, paralysis, low blood pressure, and emaciation. The pine nut is one of the best sources of protein in the nut family.


The apricot, perhaps because of its high iron and other mineral content, is helpful in cases of anemia, tuberculosis, asthma, bronchitis, and blood impurities. Many have been helped in cases of constipation or diarrhea and intestinal worms with this fruit. It is also useful in cases of weakness, physical or emotional depression and anxiety.


Blackberries made into syrup and given to infants have been used in cases of diarrhea, sore throat or lung disease. The usual dosage is four tablespoons daily. Blackberries have been helpful in cases of weak kidneys, rheumatism or arthritis, gout, constipation; any condition where there is an excess of mucus, such as in the sinuses or intestines.


The blueberry has a substance, myrtillin, which combats the bad bacteria in the intestinal tract. Because of this, the berry is useful in bowel diseases and diarrhea. A tea made from the berries has been used in cases of thrush or other mouth and throat infections. Abnormal menstrual flow, hemorrhage due to capillary fragility and hemorrhoids have responded when blueberries are eaten. The blueberry seems to be helpful in any condition requiring an antiseptic or astringent. The early settlers’ wives adopted the custom from the Indians of drinking blueberry tea at the birth of their babies, and also for lung problems. Some Indians used the blueberry tea to control excessive menstruation. Some who have hypoglycemia have reported blueberry leaf tea as very helpful.


Eating a half of a pound or more of cherries daily has helped in cases of gout. There are many reported medicinal benefits from the use of fresh cherries, such as arthritis, arteriosclerosis, liver disorders, gallstones, kidney stones, intestinal disorders, constipation, conditions where infection or toxins in the bloodstream are involved and obesity. Cherries stimulate the secretion of digestive juices and of urine. Uncontrollable urination has been helped in some by drinking cherry juice or cherry juice concentrate.


Apples have been and are used in many ways for medicinal purposes. Those suffering from gout have been helped by drinking a tea made from the powdered apple peelings. Make the tea by boiling one tablespoonful of powdered peelings to a quart of water for about 15 minutes. Drink four or five cups of this tea each day. Grated apple has helped in infantile diarrhea. Other afflictions that have responded to the eating of apples are anemia, arthritis, urinary stones due to uric acid, liver disorders, arteriosclerosis, intestinal infection, and various lung and asthma problems. The peel of the apple contains pectin, which helps remove noxious substances from the system. This pectin also helps prevent protein matter in the intestines from spoiling. Raw apples are a great help in combating intestinal disorders, as they have properties which aid the digestive juices in killing germs in the stomach. Some have called the apple Nature’s Toothbrush as it cleans the teeth and massages the gums. Research has proven that eating one apple removes over 30% more bacteria from the mouth than two to three minute brushing plus a gargle. Studies have shown that persons eating apples regularly have fewer headaches and other illnesses associated with nervous tension. Also, research has proven that daily apple-eaters show a reduced incidence of colds and other minor upper respiratory ailments. The apple is an excellent fruit for the hypoglycemic because it contains a higher percentage of fructose than other fruits, which do not call upon insulin from the pancreas. Fructose is fairly quickly absorbed into the system, goes through the liver and is then available as glucose and may be burned or utilized by the body for energy. A pleasant tea may be made by boiling two or three apples cut in thin slices with their peels in a quart of water for about 15 minutes. A little licorice root may be added for flavor.


Currants have an antiseptic effect and for this reason have been used as a gargle prepared by boiling about three ounces of black currants per quart of water for about 15 minutes. Currants eaten after a meal have been used as an effective aid to stimulate digestion. Helpful in liver diseases, cold sores, fluid retention, arthritis, gout and constipation.


Gooseberries have been suggested for liver ailments, gallbladder congestion, constipation, arthritis, inflammation of the kidneys and dyspepsia (indigestion usually due to excess acid). Gooseberries were plentiful in the Rocky Mountain area, and the Indians found them helpful when cooked into porridge for fever.


Grapefruit rinds can be dried and later used for colds. A tea is made by steeping a teaspoonful of the dried grated rind in a cup of water and drinking a cup each hour until relief is obtained. Grapefruit is a natural antiseptic for wounds when used externally. It is considered valuable in the removal of inorganic calcium which may have formed in the cartilage of the joints, as in arthritis. It is helpful in cases of a sluggish liver, gallstones, fevers, poor digestion, pneumonia, and inflammation of the respiratory tract.


Some of the many medicinal problems treated with the lemon are as follows: Cuts or other areas of infection are helped when lemon juice, a natural antiseptic, is applied. Skin problems such as acne, eczema and erysipelas will often respond to a treatment of lemon juice. For blackheads rub lemon juice over them each night. For pyorrhea cut the lemon rind into slices and place against the infected gum. Dandruff has been helped by applying lemon juice to the scalp and afterwards shampooing. After the shampoo, wash again and apply lemon juice to remove soap from the hair and scalp. Sore and reddened hands are helped by massaging with lemon juice. Rinse the juice off, then apply olive oil. Use lemon juice to relieve the itch from insect bites or poison oak or ivy. The symptoms of flu may be relieved by drinking lemon juice in warm water several times daily. A runny nose, secretions in the throat or head can usually be stopped by taking a tablespoonful of lemon juice several times a day. Some report that taking lemon juice in warm water before breakfast will assist the body in the digestion of food and help prevent the accumulation of fatty deposits. Taken in large quantities, lemon juice has been found to be helpful in liver ailments, asthma, headaches, pneumonia, rheumatism, arthritis and neuritis. Fresh lemon juice is considered by some to be the most potent or effective single liver rebuilder known to man. There seem to be only a very few people who cannot handle lemon juice.


Peaches are considered valuable in cases of constipation, high blood pressure, inflammation of the stomach, kidneys and bronchial tubes, and for asthma, difficult digestion, bladder and kidney stones and worms in the intestinal tract.


Pineapples contain papain, which aids digestion and chlorine, which is valuable for digestion of proteins. Pineapple is considered good for constipation, as a regulator of the glands, goiter, chronic digestive disturbances, secretions from mucous membranes, inflammation of the bronchial tubes, high blood pressure, arthritis and tumors. Intestinal worms have been expelled by drinking fresh pineapple juice.


Pumpkins have been used where there is an abnormal accumulation of fluids in the cavities of the body (edema), infected or inflamed intestines, stomach ulcers and hemorrhoids. Pumpkin seeds have been known to give much relief to prostate problems and tea made from pumpkin seeds is recommended for tape and other worm elimination.


Strawberries are used as a blood purifier, diuretic and for healing mucous membranes. They are recommended for a sluggish liver, gout, rheumatism, constipation, high blood pressure, inflammation of mucus membranes, skin cancer and syphilis. Strawberry juice combats bacterial infection. Taken at the beginning of a meal strawberries are used to stimulate the appetite. Strawberries are a common cause of allergy, and should not be taken by individuals subject to allergic skin rashes.

Fruits, grains and nuts constituted the original diet for man in the Garden of Eden. God has continued to provide many varieties of fruits and nuts for our use as food and for the healing of our bodies. We have so much to be thankful for. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

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 – Diet and Health

January 27, 2013 – February 2, 2013

The Healthy Reformer

Key Text

“Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” Luke 21:34.

Study Help: Counsels on Diet and Foods, 175–182, 368; Counsels on Health, 72–74; Child Guidance, 384–389, 399; The Sanctified Life, 20.


“There are few who realize as they should how much their habits of diet have to do with their health, their character, their usefulness in this world, and their eternal destiny. The appetite should ever be in subjection to the moral and intellectual powers. The body should be servant to the mind, and not the mind to the body.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 562.

“The prophet Malachi declares, ‘Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers’ (Malachi 4:5, 6). Here the prophet describes the character of the work. Those who are to prepare the way for the second coming of Christ are represented by faithful Elijah, as John came in the spirit of Elijah to prepare the way for Christ’s first advent. The great subject of reform is to be agitated, and the public mind is to be stirred. Temperance in all things is to be connected with the message, to turn the people of God from their idolatry, their gluttony, and their extravagance in dress and other things. The self-denial, humility, and temperance required of the righteous, whom God especially leads and blesses, is to be presented to the people in contrast to the extravagant, health-destroying habits of those who live in this degenerate age.” Counsels on Health, 72, 73.


  • What is one fruit that is evidence that the Spirit of God dwells within? Galatians 5:22, 23; Philippians 4:5.
  • What is the inspired definition of “true temperance”?

Note: “True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with everything hurtful and to use judiciously that which is healthful.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 562.

“Keep the work of health reform to the front, is the message I am instructed to bear. Show so plainly its value that a widespread need for it will be felt. Abstinence from all hurtful food and drink is the fruit of true religion. He who is thoroughly converted will abandon every injurious habit and appetite. By total abstinence he will overcome his desire for health-destroying indulgences.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 457.

  • How do we understand what is harmful? Romans 12:2.

Note: “Those who eat and work intemperately and irrationally, talk and act irrationally. 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.” Child Guidance, 398.

“It is a mistake to suppose that muscular strength depends on the use of animal food. The needs of the system can be better supplied, and more vigorous health can be enjoyed without its use. The grains, with fruits, nuts, and vegetables, contain all the nutritive properties necessary to make good blood. These elements are not so well or so fully supplied by a flesh diet. Had the use of flesh been essential to health and strength, animal food would have been included in the diet appointed man in the beginning.” Ibid., 384.


  • Is obedience a matter of convenience, taste, or principle? Matthew 5:19; James 2:10; Matthew 6:24.

Note: “God has spoken, and He means that man shall obey. He does not inquire if it is convenient for him to do so. The Lord of life and glory did not consult His convenience or pleasure when He left His station of high command to become a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, accepting ignominy and death in order to deliver man from the consequence of his disobedience. Jesus died, not to save man in his sins, but from his sins. [Emphasis author’s.] Man is to leave the error of his ways, to follow the example of Christ, to take up his cross and follow Him, denying self, and obeying God at any cost.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 250, 251.

  • What specific counsel applies to healthy digestion and discipline? Ecclesiastes 3:1.

Note: “The stomach becomes weary by being kept constantly at work, disposing of food not the most healthful. Having no time for rest, the digestive organs become enfeebled, hence the sense of ‘goneness,’ and desire for frequent eating. The remedy such require, is to eat less frequently and less liberally, and be satisfied with plain, simple food, eating twice, or, at most, three times a day. The stomach must have its regular periods for labor and rest; hence eating irregularly and between meals, is a most pernicious violation of the laws of health. With regular habits, and proper food, the stomach will gradually recover.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 175.

  • What is the process used in making the wine described in Proverbs 23:29–32? Should we allow this process to be reproduced in our stomach?

Note: “Disturbance is created by improper combinations of food; fermentation sets in; the blood is contaminated and the brain confused.

“The habit of overeating, or of eating too many kinds of food at one meal, frequently causes dyspepsia. … Disease takes the place of health.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 110, 111.


  • What principle should we remember in choosing our food items? I Timothy 4:3–5. What foods were sanctified by the word of God in the original plan? Genesis 1:29.

Note: “If several varieties of food are placed before me [Ellen White], I endeavor to choose only those that I know will agree. Thus I am enabled to preserve clear mental faculties. I refuse to place in my stomach knowingly anything that will set up fermentation. This is the duty of all health reformers. We must reason from cause to effect. It is our duty to be temperate in all things.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 493.

  • After sin, God prescribed something to add to the dietary. What was it? Genesis 3:18.

Note: “But while we would recommend simplicity in diet, let it be understood that we do not recommend a meager diet. Let there be a plentiful supply of fruits and vegetables that are in a good condition. Overripe fruit or wilted vegetables ought not to be used. Vegetables and fruit should not be eaten at the same meal. At one meal use bread and fruit, at the next bread and vegetables. Thus we may have all the variety that we need to desire, and if we must have puddings and custards, let bread and these articles form the meal.” The Signs of the Times, September 30, 1897.

  • God gave His people flesh to eat after the flood. Later, when preparing them to enter the Promised Land, He gave them manna. How is their reaction paralleled in our days? Philippians 3:19; Isaiah 65:4, 5; 66:15–17; 22:12–14.

Note: “Those who transgress the laws of God in their physical organism will not be less slow to violate the law of God spoken from Sinai. Those who will not, after the light has come to them, eat and drink from principle instead of being controlled by appetite, will not be tenacious in regard to being governed by principle in other things. The agitation of the subject of reform in eating and drinking will develop character and will unerringly bring to light those who make a ‘god of their bellies.’ ” Counsels on Health, 39.


  • Knowing one’s natural disposition to like sweet things, what inspired direction is given? Proverbs 24:13; 25:27. Too much of a good thing is not good. What is the reason for the advice listed in Proverbs 25:16?

Note: “Hurtful food and drinks are partaken of in such a measure as to greatly tax the organs of digestion. The vital forces are called into unnecessary action in the disposal of it, which produces exhaustion, and greatly disturbs the circulation of the blood, and, as a result, want of vital energy is felt throughout the system. … Christian men and women should never permit their influence to countenance such a course by eating of the dainties thus prepared. Let them understand that your object in visiting them is not to indulge the appetite, but that your associating together, and interchange of thoughts and feelings, might be a mutual blessing.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 88.

  • What are the “dainties,” and why are they declared to be “deceitful”? Proverbs 23:3.

Note: “Sugar is not good for the stomach. It causes fermentation, and this clouds the brain and brings peevishness into the disposition.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 327.

  • What principle should we keep in mind when choosing what will enter our mouth? I Corinthians 10:31; Proverbs 23:1; Daniel 1:8.

Note: “To have firm religious principles is an inestimable treasure. It is the purest, highest, and most elevated influence mortals can possess. Such have an anchor. Every act is well considered, lest its effect be injurious to another and lead away from Christ. The constant inquiry of the mind is: Lord, how shall I best serve Thee, and glorify Thy name in the earth? How shall I conduct my life to make Thy name a praise in the earth, and lead others to love, serve, and honor Thee? Let me only desire and choose Thy will.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 129.


  • What has God promised to those who seek to do all of His will? Psalm 1:1–3; Revelation 22:14.

Note: “If Christians will keep the body in subjection, and bring all their appetites and passions under the control of enlightened conscience, feeling it a duty that they owe to God and to their neighbors to obey the laws which govern health and life, they will have the blessing of physical and mental vigor. They will have moral power to engage in the warfare against Satan, and in the name of Him who conquered appetite in their behalf they may be more than conquerors on their own account.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 35, 36.

“If we do the pleasure of our Creator, He will keep the human organism in good condition, and restore the moral, mental, and physical powers, in order that He may work through us to His glory. Constantly His restoring power is manifested in our bodies.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1118.

  • What is important to us in developing “appetite discipline”? I Corinthians 9:25–27.

Note: “[Deuteronomy 6:1, 2 quoted.]

“In this scripture we are taught that obedience to God’s requirements brings the obedient under the laws that control the physical being. Those who would preserve themselves in health must bring into subjection all appetites and passions. They must not indulge lustful passion and intemperate appetite, for they are to remain under control to God, and their physical, mental, and moral powers are to be so wisely employed that the bodily mechanism will remain in good working order.” Lift Him Up, 160.

  • Eating simply and at regular times helps us to discipline our habits. Who showed by example a similar lifestyle and prefigures the faithful of the last days? Matthew 3:1–4.

Note: “After the regular meal is eaten, the stomach should be allowed to rest for five hours. Not a particle of food should be introduced into the stomach till the next meal. In this interval the stomach will perform its work and will then be in a condition to receive more food.” Child Guidance, 389.


1 Why doesn’t God want us to partake of anything harmful? Am I willing to leave those things behind?

2 How does Jesus’ example help us to overcome any desire and appetite for flesh?

3 Did God ever intend His people to eat of unclean things and to like killing?

4 Why is it wrong to celebrate with frequent feasts during the time of judgment?

5 What will help the most in developing self-control? Am I practicing it?

Expending Vital Force

“Intemperance in eating and drinking, intemperance in labor, intemperance in almost everything, exists on every hand. Those who make great exertions to accomplish just so much work in a given time, and continue to labor when their judgment tells them that they ought to rest, are never gainers. They are living on borrowed capital. They are expending vital force which they will need at a future time. When the energy they have so recklessly used, is demanded, they fail for want of it. Physical strength is gone, and mental power unavailable. They realize that they have met with loss. Their time of need has come, and their physical resources are exhausted. Those who violate the laws of health will sometime have to pay the penalty. God has provided us with constitutional force, and if we recklessly exhaust this force by continual overtaxation, our usefulness will be lessened, and our lives end prematurely.” The Signs of the Times, September 30, 1897.

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

Growing Beautiful Leaves

“Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” Matthew 21:12, 13.

Outside, the temple was beautiful marble that glistened in the sun; but inside it was full of thieves dressed in rich clothes—professional thieves. After they were driven from the temple, “The blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.” Verse 14. This is what the church is all about. The church is not here to be enriched by the people but to be a blessing. As members of God’s family, our work is not to see what can be done for us but what we can do for others.

“But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ they were indignant.” Verse 15. They thought that the temple had been desecrated by all of the activity that Jesus was carrying on. They forgot that they had been involved in all kinds of activities; but, of course, their activities had to do with the ceremonies. After all, people had to have something to sacrifice. Jesus was just here healing the body and cleansing the soul.

The temple of Jerusalem was illustrative of the church today. We are told that it is also illustrative of the Christian heart. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the temple of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” I Corinthians 3:16, 17.

The temple of Jerusalem was illustrative of the church today. We are told that it is also illustrative of the Christian heart. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” I Corinthians 3:16, 17.

The work that Jesus did for the temple in Jerusalem He wanted to do for the whole Jewish nation. In the same way, when Jesus is cleansing the heavenly temple, what He really wants to do is cleanse the worshipers.

The next day, Jesus gave three parables to illustrate the life, work, and character that He wanted to see manifested in the lives of His people. We should pay special attention to these parables, as they apply in a special sense to us. Interestingly, the Bible describes the Laodicean church, representing God’s end-time church, as being similar to the church of Jesus’ day.

You see, the Jewish leaders thought that they were spiritually rich and had need of nothing. After all, they had the truth; they were the church; and all the time, Jesus was kept outside while they went on with their services within. And in like manner, Laodicea is pictured as having need of nothing, while outside the door, Someone is standing and knocking. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20.

Notice what the great concern of the religious leaders was with regard to Jesus’ teaching. “Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?” Matthew 21:23. By what authority do you publish your magazine? By what authority do you preach? By what authority do you broadcast? By what authority do you do these things?

Today, many people are being swept along in a Laodicean condition, thinking that everything is fine; but when those who are hungry come to a Laodicean church, they go away as empty as when they came. For the hungry, there is no fruit.

Leaves Without Fruit

In another message, which God gives to the Laodiceans of the last days, He describes the last day church as a church that is filled with leaves and pretensions and professions but have no fruit. “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 7:21–23. “I don’t know who you are serving, but it certainly wasn’t Me. Depart from Me, you would had no fruit, you who went on practicing your own lawless deeds, you who had no character change. Depart from Me.”

When God looks at your life today, He is not looking for a great profession; He is looking for the fruits of holiness. The fruit spoken of in the Bible comes as the result of death to self and is revealed in service to others. “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me. Then they also will answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you? Then He will answer them, saying, Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matthew 25:41–44.

Unless you are spending time with Jesus, only self is reigning on the throne of your heart; and you have no fruit. “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath.” Galatians 5:19. It does not say that you are angry all of the time, just outbursts once in awhile. “Selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control [some versions say temperance.]” Verses 20–23.

While mankind looks on the outward appearance, God looks at the heart. Outwardly we may be rich, cultured, educated, well clothed, and hold church offices; but if we lack these fruits, we have nothing.

Fruit Inspectors

It is necessary that we be fruit inspectors once in awhile. We need to examine our own lives. We need to pull back the leaves a little bit and see what is growing on the tree. It will sometimes help us to understand why Jesus cannot use us more than He does. But I am glad that we have a heavenly Vinedresser, Someone who knows how to put the fertilizer on and knows how to bring just the right trials and troubles in order to prune the tree, aren’t you?

“Never should we lose control of ourselves. Let us ever keep before us the perfect Pattern. It is a sin to speak impatiently and fretfully or to feel angry—even though we do not speak. We are to walk worthy, giving a right representation of Christ.” Child Guidance, 95. To our own children, to our spouses, and to one another, we are to be a right representation of Christ, because the Bible says that we are the body of Christ. We are His mouthpiece. We are His hands and His feet. If we do not show Jesus to our children, to our husband or wife, to those around us, who is going to show Him?

There is only one solution, and it is total victory. “An entire change must take place in you. You frequently feel that you must be more guarded. You resolutely say, ‘I will be more calm and patient;’ but in doing this you only touch the evil on the outside; you consent to retrain the lion and watch him. You must go further than this. . . .

“You have repeatedly said, ‘I can’t keep my temper.’ ‘I have to speak.’ You lack a meek, humble spirit. Self is all alive, and you stand guard continually to preserve it from mortification or insult. Says the apostle, ‘For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.’ Those who are dead to self will not feel so readily and will not be prepared to resist everything which may irritate. Dead men cannot feel. You are not dead, if you were, and your life hid in Christ, a thousand things which you now notice, and which afflict you, would be passed by as unworthy of notice; you would then be grasping the eternal and would be above the petty trials of this life.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 425.

The Jewish leaders were full of works. They kept all of the commandments, but self was never crucified. Self was still alive within. They had only the external leaves. “The strongest argument in favor of the gospel is a loving and lovable Christian.” Ministry of Healing, 470. God is calling us all to work in His vineyard, but what good is it going to do to work in the vineyard if we have no fruits to give to the people?

As long as we carry around self, we do not have the power of the Holy Spirit in our life. It is not until we reflect the character of Jesus that we have the power of Jesus; then hearts are touched.