The subject of this study is one that many people never consider when determining whether or not they are going to stand in the last days. After we read the statements that will be presented here, I think you will see that, in the last days, the matter of appetite is at the foundation of standing for God. We are going to address seven questions, and we will rely on the Bible and the writings of Ellen White for the answers.

The question is, “What Will it Take to Stand in the Last Days?” The Bible promises salvation only to the overcomer. (See John 8:32–36; Romans 8:1–14; 1 John 3:4–10; Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 21:5–7.) The work of overcoming begins with the overcomer.

Question 1

Where did the workings of the temptation and the fall begin? How did the devil tempt Adam and Eve? The fall of man was on the point of appetite. When the devil came to Jesus on the mount of temptation, he used three temptations. What was his first temptation? It was appetite.

“If we would elevate the moral standard in any country where we may be called to go, we must begin by correcting their physical habits.” Counsels on Health, 505. We must begin by correcting peoples’ physical habits. Some people who have been Christians for a while might think that they do not need to be concerned about this. They may think that they have already corrected their physical habits, but think this through for a moment. We have to maintain control over our physical habits for the rest of our lives.

When we speak of physical habits, we are not just referring to smoking, drinking alcohol, or using some type of harmful substance. Now, these things are involved, and if you are using a harmful substance or drinking something that is harmful or smoking, you need to put all those things aside—if you are going to get your physical habits corrected so you will be living in harmony with the divine government. But we are talking about something more basic than that.

Every day of your life, you have to deal with what and how much you are going to drink and what and how much and when you are going to eat. As long as you live in this world, you will have to make these decisions. The choices you make lie at the foundation of either your success or your failure in developing a Christian character, going through the last days, and at last being ready for Jesus to come. It sounds like a long jump to make something that simple so directly involved in how we will stand, but let us read a few statements and ask some more questions and we will then see the answer develop.

Question 2

What is the relationship between health reform and preparation for the Second Coming of Christ?

We are told in Testimonies, vol. 3, 492, that “those who are slaves to appetite will fail in perfecting Christian character.” Does perfecting of Christian character have to do with standing in the last days? If we are slaves to appetite, we are going to fail. That is what the prophet says.

We want to learn the relationship between health reform and preparing for Christ’s return, so we will read some more statements and then ask the question, What can we do to get in control?

In 1973, I began an educational process at the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University [Loma Linda, California]. One of the very first classes I attended was on the subject of nutrition. At that time, we were told that America had a greater problem with eating in that the weight of Americans was more out of control than in any other nation in the world. Now this was in 1973, and the findings were that, in America, over 40 percent of the population had a severe problem in this area. At that time, Europe was quite poor at 25 percent, but in places like India and Africa, it was only 10 percent.

When I first heard these facts, I could hardly believe them, but if you have been listening to the news lately, you know that over 60 percent of America’s population is overweight today. Why is this so?

Temptation to Indulge

“As we near the close of time, Satan’s temptation to indulge appetite will be more powerful and more difficult to overcome.” Ibid. Is the temptation to indulge more powerful today than when Ellen White wrote these words? When she penned this statement, was there McDonalds? No! Did we have Burger King or Taco Bell yet? No! The fast food industry did not exist.

Some of you are old enough to remember that there was a time when, if you wanted to eat out, you had to do so during the times the restaurants were open. They served breakfast for a set time in the morning, and then, in the middle of the day, they served dinner or lunch for so long a time, and in the late afternoon and early evening, they served supper or dinner for so long a time. You had to go during those times, or you could not get anything to eat.

After World War 11, that all changed. I remember, when I was a boy, something called Dairy Queen came to our town. A person could go to the Dairy Queen and get a great big ice cream cone for 10 cents. The Dairy Queen was not just open from 4 to 6 o’clock for supper; it was open extended hours.

As time went on, we eventually got to the place where we decided we needed to have our eating establishments open 24 hours a day. There are a number of eating establishments in Wichita [Kansas] that are open 24 hours a day. I am not usually downtown late at night, but the few times I have had occasion to be there late at night, I have found it to be an amazing sight! As you drive by some of these places at 10 o’clock at night—or even later—the cars are lined up, and they are not lined up to buy apples. They are lined up to buy food that has a very high fat and protein content. If you eat food like that late at night, the stomach and small intestines will be digesting and assimilating it until 6 or 7 or 8 o’clock in the morning. The more fat in the food, the longer it takes to digest, and if you eat a lot of deep-fat-fried food and a lot of meat with fat in it, it is not going to be out of your stomach in three or four hours. It is going to be in there a long time.

This kind of eating pattern did not exist 60 years ago. The places offering food like this were not on the market then. The concept of “fast food” had not yet been developed.

Our children are flooded with advertisements on television about eating. By the way, the food being featured on these advertisements is not apples either—or oranges or bananas. It is food that is high in protein and fat.

Let us look at some additional statements Ellen White gives that deal with the relationship between health reform and preparation for the Second Coming.

“Nine-tenths of the wickedness among the children of today is caused by intemperance in eating and drinking.” Review and Herald, October 21, 1884. That is a startling statement!

Then this one: “As our first parents lost Eden through the indulgence of appetite, our only hope of regaining Eden is through the firm denial of appetite and passion.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 59. So if we are to go to heaven, what do we have to learn? We must learn to control our appetites. That is foundational; that is number one. If I am not in control of my appetite, I will not be in control of my passions, and I will not be in control of my thoughts or my feelings. It is just that simple.

We have studied during this Week of Prayer about the necessity of controlling our thoughts. That is important, but if our appetites are out of control, we will find it impossible to control our thoughts and our sexual passions, too.

People come to preachers saying that somehow the plan of salvation does not work for them. Why does it not work? They say they have been praying and praying and praying. Let me ask you a question. Now this is a cruel question and a crude one, too, but I want you to think. If I were to climb onto the roof of a building and jump off, I am going to get hurt because of gravity. But can I jump off the building and then—if I pray hard enough—not get hurt? No, that would never happen, because I have violated a physical law. There are physical laws in the body, and the foundation of overcoming—so that we are ready to stand in the last days—has to do with learning to live in harmony with the physical laws in the body. If we do not live in harmony with the physical laws of the body, we will not be able to control our thoughts, and eventually, we will not have patience. Ellen White says that an intemperate person cannot be a patient person. (Review and Herald, February 21, 1888.)

She also wrote: “We want our sisters who are now injuring themselves by wrong habits to put them away and come to the front and be workers in reform. The reason why many of us will fall in the time of trouble is because of laxity in temperance and indulgence of appetite.” Temperance, 150.

That is quite a statement! Many of us are going to fall in the time of trouble, because we have not learned to control our appetites. Please, friends, let us not look at anyone else. Let me share with you some information I received from a physician about 30 years ago.

The digestive systems of some people are so efficient with food that they can overeat just a little bit, and over a period of time, they will gain a lot of weight. He said that there are other people whose systems are efficient enough that they can throw off all the extra food they eat and stay skinny. But, he said, the skinny sinners are just as much sinners as the fat sinners. So do not look at someone else who has a different kind of metabolism than you have. If you have not learned to be in control of your intake of food, you have just as much a problem as they have, even if you are skinny! The other person has to work on his problem, but we each have to work on our own problem.

You are probably familiar with this statement: “Many who are now only half converted on the question of meat eating will go from God’s people to walk no more with them.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 382.

Question 3

Let us try to understand some relationships between how we eat, how it affects the body physically, and what happens to us mentally and spiritually. What do the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy say about the relation of physical habits and Christian living?

In 1 Peter 2:11, Peter shows that there is a relationship between our physical habits and our Christian experience: “Dearly beloved, I beseech [you] as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” Ellen White quotes that text and says, “Many regard this warning as applicable only to the licentious; but it has a broader meaning. It guards against every injurious gratification of appetite or passion.” Counsels on Health, 67, 68.

What we are studying is something to which a large part of the Christian world is apparently oblivious. They do not understand it, and this is one of the reasons there is trouble in many Christian churches. They do not understand the principles of temperance. In fact, there is such a lack of understanding that some churches even use fermented wine for communion! Are you aware of the fact that some people have become drunkards just by going to communion?

We are not focusing primarily on liquor and tobacco use. We are addressing the things that are more basic—the water we drink and the food we eat.

How would you describe the relationship between physical habits and Christian living?

For one thing, however we overload the physical system has a direct bearing on the mind and, consequently, on the spiritual and the emotional faculties. Our physical habits are going to affect our minds, our ability to think.

One of the faculties of the mind is willpower. If the willpower is weakened, is that going to affect the Christian experience, especially when we are faced with a temptation? Yes, it is. The classic example generally used is the way alcoholic drink will anesthetize the will. Someone in this condition will fall for just about anything the devil puts in his or her way. The Bible says, “Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.” Proverbs 23:33. People will do and say crazy things, and afterwards, when they come to their senses, they will ask, “What in the world did I do that for?” Their will was turned off by what they drank.

Although it is not totally anesthetized, the will can be weakened by improper physical habits. For instance, would you want to take a college examination after you have eaten something that has made you drowsy? It would not be too prof-itable, would it?

Your physical habits affect the different faculties of the mind and your ability to think. One of the faculties of the mind, as we have discussed, is the will. Another is the ability to exercise faith. If you are drowsy and cannot think, does that affect your ability to exercise faith in God? Yes, it certainly does.

Even eating too much of good things can make our minds drowsy. That is one of the reasons Ellen White told us that it would be well for us to eat less food on Sabbath than on other days. On the Sabbath, people are less physically active than on other days. If we eat the same amount of food on Sabbath that we eat on other days, we will have the tendency to go to sleep in church.

“We should not provide for the Sabbath a more liberal supply or a greater variety of food than for other days. Instead of this, the food should be more simple, and less should be eaten, in order that the mind may be clear and vigorous to comprehend spiritual things. A clogged stomach means a clogged brain. The most precious words may be heard and not appreciated, because the mind is confused by an improper diet. By overeating on the Sabbath, many do more than they think, to unfit themselves for receiving the benefit of its sacred opportunities.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 46.

This is something that is good to remember if you are ever driving a car for long distances. Eating too much food is a way to become drowsy, and even if you do not go to sleep, your reflex actions may be slowed, and if a quick response is needed, you may have an accident.

Question 4

Where does the devil have the strongest hold on the human race? On appetite!

“[Satan’s] strongest hold on man is through the appetite, and this he seeks to stimulate in every possible way.” Ibid., 150. If, by the grace of God, we gain the victory on appetite, we are going to gain the victory on everything else. If we do not obtain the victory on appetite, Christian perfection will be impossible.

One of the challenges we face is that we have to eat every day. That is why it is such a struggle. To eat is necessary, yet it calls for control. We do not have to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, but we do have to eat every day. When I was at the School of Public Health, the instructors used to say that dealing with overeating and overweight was a much more difficult problem than even alcoholism. You can quit alcohol or tobacco, but eating, you cannot quit. You have to do it in a controlled way, and that is much more difficult than quitting something.

That is even true with dieting. There have been people who sought to solve their overweight problem by stopping to eat. The world record for fasting is 382 days—at least it was when I went to school. Ceasing to eat is not encouraged, because it is very dangerous.

There was a woman who fasted under medical supervision. Her electrolytes were kept up and medical professionals monitored her. She was not given any calories and she lost weight very quickly. She was on the fast for 210 days, and she did reach normal weight, but a week or two later she was admitted to the hospital and died. Since her fasting diet was medically supervised, an autopsy was performed to learn the cause of death. From the autopsy, it was found that approximately 64 percent of the myofibrils in her heart had been removed. When the body loses weight, about half the calories it loses are protein calories, so muscle mass is lost. The fasting diet took the protein right out of the heart, and she died.

The fasting diet then went out of vogue and was replaced with protein modified fasting, which was really the “in” thing for several years. In fact, it is still being done. This is dangerous, too. Numerous people have died on these various kinds of programs.

The important thing is not how much we weigh. The important thing is for us to get in control of our appetites. Then, if we are controlling our appetites and actively exercising, the Lord will help us with our problem with weight. The important thing is being in control of our appetites.

Control of the appetite is the most basic place where overcoming must begin. That is where the devil has the strongest hold on the human race.

Question 5

Why is appetite the most basic human drive that must be brought under control?

“Entire cities have been swept from the face of the earth because of the debasing crimes and revolting iniquity that made them a blot upon the fair field of God’s created works. The gratification of unnatural appetite led to the sins that caused the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God ascribes the fall of Babylon to her gluttony and drunkenness. Indulgence of appetite and passion was the foundation of all their sins.” Ibid., 147.

What was the foundation of the whole problem? “The indulgence of appetite” was the foundation of all their sins. Indulgence of appetite! Does it sound important? It is at the foundation of a large number of things.

I want to tell you friends, I have been a minister for several decades now, but I do not ever go to the table, in private or public, without asking the Lord to give me wisdom to make the right choice—not just for the kind of food but for the appropriate amount of food to eat. I need wisdom; I need help; I need divine grace to make the right choice.

Appetite is the most basic human drive that has to be brought under control. Look at what happens if the appetite is not in control: “Through the channel of appetite, the passions are inflamed, and the moral powers are paralyzed . . . .” Temperance, 183.

Stop there for a moment. If your moral powers are paralyzed, are you going to be able to stand in the last days? There is no way! You are not going to make it. Your moral powers will be paralyzed, if your appetite is not in control.

“. . . so that parental instruction in the principles of morality and true goodness falls upon the ear without affecting the heart.” Ibid. If the appetite is not in control, it will be impossible for the parents to train their children to be Christians. Have you ever thought about that? It will be impossible; it will not work.

This is one of the problems in our society. The appetites of the children are not in control. They are eating at all hours of the day and night and eating all kinds of foods that are not healthful for them.

“Satan is no novice in the business of destroying souls. He well knows that if he can lead men and women into wrong habits of eating and drinking, he has gained, in a great degree, the control of their minds and baser passions.” Ibid., 161.

Sometimes we are dense. We do not know what is going on, but the devil knows. He knows that if he can get us to indulge our appetites, he is going to get control of our minds and our passions. Do you want the devil to be in control?

Are you going to go through the last days and stand? If the devil is in control of your passions, you are not going to make it.

Question 6

How can I bring my appetite under the control of my mind and reason?

We can talk about the temperance pledge, about removing temptation as far as possible, but we cannot succeed unless we have help. We have to cooperate with the Holy Spirit.

We cannot succeed unless we receive divine grace, but God is not going to help us unless we cooperate. “This could not be the case if Christ alone did all the overcoming. Man must do his part. Man must be victor on his own account, through the strength and grace that Jesus gives him. Man must be a co-worker with Christ in the labor of overcoming, and then he will be partaker with Christ of His glory.” Review and Herald, November 21, 1882.

One of my favorite statements is, “Jesus knows the circumstances of every soul. The greater the sinner’s guilt, the more he needs the Saviour. His heart of divine love and sympathy is drawn out most of all for the one who is the most hopelessly entangled in the snares of the enemy. . . .

“Today He is standing at the altar of mercy, presenting before God the prayers of those who desire His help. He turns no weeping, contrite one away.” Temperance, 124.

If you are trapped, keep praying! Jesus is not going to leave His children to be overcome and perish, even if they are weak and very sinful, as long as they continue asking for help, saying “Lord, I am stuck.” Friend, when we are referring to this problem of appetite, you and I are stuck. Unless we receive divine help, we are never going to get control of it, and if we do not get control of it, we are not going to get control of our passions. We are not going to be in control of our thoughts, and we are not going to be in control of our feelings. Then we will not stand in the time of trouble.

The Lord has made provision so that we can be overcomers, if we cooperate with Him. “What a work is before the Christian! Yet, however great the struggle, he may overcome. By the help of that divine power which withstood the fiercest temptations that Satan could invent, he, too, may be entirely successful in his warfare with evil, and at last may wear the victor’s crown in the kingdom of God.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 167.

I need help, do you? We might as well face it, we all need help. Unless the Lord helps us, we are not going to gain control, and we have to have control if we are going to go through to the kingdom.

Question 7

It is human nature to go to extremes, and we want to be sure that we do not go to extremes. What are the two errors that the beginning temperance reformer must avoid with regard to diet?

Those who understand the laws of health and who are governed by principles will shun the extremes of both indulgence and restriction. “Health reformers, above all others, should be careful to shun extremes.” Ibid., 207.

There are different kinds of people in the world. When this subject is studied, some people recognize they have been overeating and determine to eat less. Other people are so gung ho that they restrict themselves until, Ellen White states, they damage their health.

“Some of our people, while conscientiously abstaining from eating improper foods, neglect to supply themselves with the elements necessary for the sustenance of the body.” Ibid. Diseases caused by improper nourishment are some of the most difficult with which the physician deals.

Mrs. White wrote to an aged minister about his extremes: “I have been informed that you have taken but one meal a day for a period of time; but I know it to be wrong in your case, for I have been shown that you needed a nutritious diet, and that you were in danger of being too abstemious. Your strength would not admit of your severe discipline. . . .

“I think that you have erred in fasting two days. God did not require it of you. I beg of you to be cautious and eat freely good, wholesome food twice a day. You will surely decrease in strength and your mind become unbalanced unless you change your course of abstemious diet.” Ibid., 191.

We are talking about temperance. We are not talking about restricting the nourishment our bodies need. Health reform, dietary reform in regards to getting control of our appetites does not mean that we restrict ourselves until we damage our bodies. God wants us to get all of the nutrition that our bodies need; He does not want us to deprive ourselves. We are to avoid the extremes of doing like the monks and the nuns and the priests during the Middle Ages.

Martin Luther wrecked his health fasting. He said if he had kept on doing it much longer, he would have died. He damaged his health for the rest of his life and shortened his life because he fasted so much. That is one extreme.

The other extreme is to eat so much that you damage your health because of your overeating. What if we are getting twice what we need? “We ought always to eat the most simple food. Often twice as much food as the system needs is eaten. Then nature has to work hard to get rid of the surplus.” Medical Ministry, 295. Have you ever done that? I am sure I have done it more than once, but I am determined that I am not going to live in this way any more. The Lord wants to deliver us from both extremes.

We have to have control of the appetite if we are going to have control of the thoughts and the passions. Remember, “The reason why many of us will fall in the time of trouble is because of laxity in temperance and indulgence of appetite.” Temperance, 150.

Restoring the Temple – Indulgence of Appetite

Christ paid a dear price for man’s redemption. In the wilderness of temptation He suffered the keenest pangs of hunger; and while He was emaciated with fasting, Satan was at hand with his manifold temptations to assail the Son of God, to take advantage of His weakness and overcome Him, and thus thwart the plan of salvation. But Christ was steadfast. He overcame in behalf of the race, that He might rescue them from the degradation of the Fall. Christ’s experience is for our benefit. His example in overcoming appetite points out the way for those who would be His followers and finally sit with Him on His throne.

Christ suffered hunger in the fullest sense. Mankind generally have all that is needful to sustain life. And yet, like our first parents, they desire that which God would withhold because it is not best for them. Christ suffered hunger for necessary food and resisted the temptation of Satan upon the point of appetite. Indulgence of intemperate appetite creates in fallen man unnatural desires for the things which will eventually prove his ruin.


Man came from the hand of God perfect in every faculty of mind and body; in perfect soundness, therefore in perfect health. It took more than two thousand years of indulgence of appetite and lustful passions to create such a state of things in the human organism as would lessen vital force. Through successive generations the tendency was more swiftly downward. Indulgence of appetite and passion combined led to excess and violence; debauchery and abominations of every kind weakened the energies and brought upon the race diseases of every type, until the vigor and glory of the first generations passed away, and, in the third generation from Adam, man began to show signs of decay. Successive generations after the Flood degenerated more rapidly.

Appetite and Passion

All this weight of woe and accumulated suffering can be traced to the indulgence of appetite and passion. Luxurious living and the use of wine corrupt the blood, inflame the passions, and produce diseases of every kind. But the evil does not end here. Parents leave maladies as a legacy to their children. As a rule, every intemperate man who rears children transmits his inclinations and evil tendencies to his offspring; he gives them disease from his own inflamed and corrupted blood. Licentiousness, disease, and imbecility are transmitted as an inheritance of woe from father to son and from generation to generation, and this brings anguish and suffering into the world, and is no less than a repetition of the fall of man.

Transgression of Rules

A continual transgression of nature’s laws is a continual transgression of the law of God. The present weight of suffering and anguish which we see everywhere, the present deformity, decrepitude, disease, and imbecility now flooding the world, make it, in comparison to what it might be and what God designed it should be, a lazar house; and the present generation are feeble in mental, moral, and physical power. All this misery has accumulated from generation to generation because fallen man will break the law of God. Sins of the greatest magnitude are committed through the indulgence of perverted appetite.


The taste created for the disgusting, filthy poison, tobacco, leads to the desire for stronger stimulants; as liquor, which is taken on one plea or another for some imaginary infirmity or to prevent some possible disease. Thus an unnatural appetite is created for these hurtful and exciting stimulants; and this appetite has strengthened until the increase of intemperance in this generation is alarming. Beverage-loving, liquor-drinking men may be seen everywhere. Their intellect is enfeebled, their moral powers are weakened, their sensibilities are benumbed, and the claims of God and heaven are not realized, eternal things are not appreciated. The Bible declares that no drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Tobacco and liquor stupefy and defile the user. But the evil does not stop here. He transmits irritable tempers, polluted blood, enfeebled intellects, and weak morals to his children, and renders himself accountable for all the evil results that his wrong and dissipated course of life brings upon his family and the community. The race is groaning under a weight of accumulated woe, because of the sins of former generations. And yet with scarcely a thought or care, men and women of the present generation indulge intemperance by surfeiting and drunkenness, and thereby leave, as a legacy for the next generation, disease, enfeebled intellects, and polluted morals.


Intemperance of any kind is the worst sort of selfishness. Those who truly fear God and keep His commandments look upon these things in the light of reason and religion. How can any man or woman keep the law of God, which requires man to love his neighbor as himself, and indulge intemperate appetite, which benumbs the brain, weakens the intellect, and fills the body with disease? Intemperance inflames the passions and gives loose rein to lust. And reason and conscience are blinded by the lower passions. Testimonies, vol. 4, 29–31.

The Pool of Bethesda, Part II

There is not one habit, inherited or cultivated, that God’s power cannot break! The reason we do not have that power is because we do not believe in that power. The reason we do not have it is because we do not access it. We do not crave it.

As a freshman in high school, I made the varsity team. I remember getting my uniform, No. 23, and the coach telling the team, “Young men, if you are going to be great basketball players, you must eat, drink, and sleep basketball.”

I was so excited to go home and tell my mother that I had made the first team. When the sun set, instead of putting on my pajamas, I put on No. 23 to go to bed. The next morning I was up, going to the bathroom to get ready for school, and I heard my mother call me. Now, when my mother wanted my attention, she did not call me by my first name; she said, “Boy!” And when she said that, I knew that I had better stop at attention! This particular morning, she got my attention, then asked, “Where are you going?”

“I am going to prepare for school.”

“What is that you have on?”

“My uniform.”

“Did you sleep in that?”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“Is that appropriate?”

“Well, no.”


“Mom, my coach said that if I am going to be good, if I am going to be great, I must eat, sleep, and drink basketball.”

She looked at me like I was stupid. She said, “Son, you have to understand what he was saying. He was saying that you must have a passion for it. That is what he meant.” Are you following this? You have to have a passion for it.

My wife has always been No. 2 in my life. She knows that. We started dating when we were 17 years of age. We went to high school together and have been together ever since. When I got out of college, we married.

When I was in high school, I thought I was something very good because I was a basketball player. My wife could not stand basketball players. That was a challenge in itself. Growing up in Chicago, Illinois, there were a lot of street gangs, but basketball kept me out of those gangs. I would play in the winter; I would play in the rain; I would play in the snow. When my date wanted to go out somewhere, I would always put her off, saying that we would do something the next week.” It always occurred that way. I do not know why she stayed with me, because she was No. 2 to basketball. She is still No. 2, but not to basketball—to Jesus now. My point is this: there is a power in passion.


When I played basketball, I was in so much pain. The drugs would wear off; the needle would wear off; the ultra-sound treatment did not work, but I had such zeal and passion for the sport, I rose above the pain. That was for a corruptible crown.

When you are possessed by God, you do not become fanatical. No. You have a radical change in your life, but there is a balance. The fact is that you love God more than the necessary food. You love God so much that you are willing to do anything to make Him happy.
People say, “I want to be happy.” Wait a minute! When you make God happy, you are going to be happy.

In Romans 1:16, Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation.” From 1 Corinthians 1:18, we know that the cross of Jesus is the power of God.

Romans 1:16 includes the phrase, “unto salvation.” Salvation means, to save from sin. What is sin? 1 John 3:4 tells us that “Sin is the transgression of the law.”

So, the gospel contains the power to deliver us from sin. That power is invested in Jesus Christ. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name.” John 1:12. To those who become sons and daughters, Jesus gives authority; He gives them power. We are not talking about Internet power or nuclear power; we are talking about a power that made the Internet. We are talking about a power that made nuclear. It is the energy and power that brought the world into existence. This same energy that brought the world into existence is found in God’s Word. There is power there. When we receive His Word, not intellectually only, but when it becomes a part of our lives, there will be a change in us. We are not going to be the same. The change is going to be radical. That does not mean we are instantly perfect and ready to go to heaven, but that the power is transforming.

Do Not Practice Spiritualism

God gives you power. If you have been struggling with the same sin problem, year after year after year, when you hear His voice today, access this power. You do not have to continue to be under the control of the demonic forces. You are going to have trials and tests, but that does not mean you succumb to them. The Spirit is the President; the flesh is the resident, and the resident does not tell the President what to do.
In Galatians 5:16, we read, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” It does not say that you are not going to have tests and trials, but it says that you do not have to succumb to them. Do not converse with the resident. When you listen to the resident, you practice spiritualism.

Spiritualism simply means the dead communicate with the living. Now, we definitely know that the dead are dead in the grave. We know the situation with Saul (see 1 Samuel 28), but at the same time, the average Seventh-day Adventist is not going to be caught up into believing that the dead communicate with the living. But the average Christian Adventist will be caught up if they do not get the victory over the flesh, because the Bible says, “Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin?” Romans 6:11.

So, if that flesh begins to speak to you, enticing you to do something you know you should not do, telling you that it is all right, that nobody is watching you, and you begin to converse with that flesh that is supposed to be dead, I know it might sound a bit strange, but you are communicating with the dead! Do not listen to that flesh; listen to the Spirit of the living God, who is alive and will give power to you.

We read of the power of God in Jeremiah 10:12: “He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.” We see also the words of Jesus, in Acts 1:8, promising the power of the Holy Spirit. That is what we should be looking for today, that Pentecostal power. How did the apostles receive it? They emptied themselves of themselves. A person that is already full with self cannot be filled with anything else, just as you cannot pour more water into an already full glass of water. When we empty ourselves of ourselves, God will fill us with power.

History is Past

At the pool of Bethesda, the people were waiting for the moving of the water, but there was no power in the water. That certain man had been lying there beside it for 38 years, unable to get into the waters when they were stirred. (John 5:5.) Inspiration says that the reason this man was in such a condition for 38 years was because of his own choices. “His disease was in a great degree the result of his own sin, and was looked upon as a judgment from God.” The Desire of Ages, 202. He had messed up! How many of us have fallen? How many of us have messed up? But when Jesus overshadowed that man with His dignified shadow, He did not rehearse to that man the history of his mistakes. He just asked one question: “Wilt thou be made whole?” John 5:6.

That is what He is asking of each one of us today. He says, “I know your history; I know where you have fallen. Wilt thou be made whole?” I am sure you would want to instantly respond that you indeed wish to be healed; you want that power! Do you believe that Jesus is going to give that power to you? He gave it to that man.

Too many of God’s people are struggling with the sin problem, and we are told that we will keep sinning till Jesus comes. To me, that is almost blasphemy! Calvary should be a revelation to our dull senses of what sin does to the heart of God. God hates sin. He will eradicate it, and He will get it out of us.

The Blind

There were, by the pool of Bethesda, other impotent people, including the sightless, those who were blind. (John 5:3.)

Revelation 3 directs us to the Laodicean church, which is rebuked for its lukewarmness, and then, in Revelation 3:17, another element of this people is described:

“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” [Emphasis added.]

This is not speaking about other churches, but about God’s people, of which there are those who are blind, spiritually blind. This is why God counseled: “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Verse 18.

“I counsel thee to buy of me . . .”; to whom is “Me” referring? It is definitely not referring to man or to a church. God holds the resources. Isaiah 55:1 tells us, “Every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” How are we going to buy or otherwise acquire power from Jesus? We cannot buy it; all He wants is our sin in exchange for His righteousness. He just wants to hear: “Lord, here I am. I recognize that I am wretched, miserable, and poor. I am blind, God. I have failed, and You have promised me that You will give to me, if I come and buy. The only thing I can give You is my sin.” What kind of a deal is this, when God says, “Just give Me your sin; I will give you My righteousness”?

Read again Revelation 3:18. The “gold tried in the fire” is understood to be faith and love, faith that works by love and purifies the soul. It goes on to state, “Anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” The anointing of the eyes is that the Holy Spirit wants to awaken us to the reality that we might see our need. We need eyesalve so that we may see how we look. We need to pick up and look into the mirror—the perfect law of liberty—to see in what kind of condition we are. As we draw closer to Jesus, we will continue to see our wretchedness.

God is not going to save us in our sin; He is going to deliver us from our sin. The more we behold Jesus, the more we see our need. But the more we behold one another, the more we think that we look pretty good. We must behold Christ, and the more we see ourselves through the eyes of Jesus, we are going to cry, as did the apostle Paul, “O wretched man that I am.” Romans 7:24.

We need the eyesalve to help us to see our wretchedness, and then we need the other eye anointed so we can see the needs of our fellow human beings. We need to see ourselves the way we are and know that God can clean us; then we need to see that our fellowman needs our help. We must turn our eyes from ourselves, from me and mine. There is no healing in the pool of Bethesda for that, but Jesus said, “I counsel thee, . . . anoint thine eyes.”
“I will bring the blind by a way [that] they knew not; I will lead them in paths [that] they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16. God said that He would take the blind, and lead them out of darkness. All we need to do is ask.

To be concluded . . .

Thomas Jackson is a health evangelist and Director of Missionary Education and Evangelistic Training (M.E.E.T.) Ministry in Huntingdon, Tennessee. He may be contacted by e-mail at: or by telephone at: 731-986-3518.

Victory in Jesus, Part II

Some of the hardest temptations to deal with are those that go with a natural drive or passion that God created but that has been perverted. They are hard because, for example, when gaining the victory over appetite you cannot just stop eating; you still have to eat some nourishment, unlike smoking where you must quit altogether.

“Of all the lessons to be learned from our Lord’s first great temptation none is more important than that bearing upon the control of the appetites and passions. In all ages, temptations appealing to the physical nature have been most effectual in corrupting and degrading mankind. Through intemperance, Satan works to destroy the mental and moral powers that God gave to man as a priceless endowment. Thus it becomes impossible for men to appreciate things of eternal worth. Through sensual indulgence, Satan seeks to blot from the soul every trace of likeness to God.

“The uncontrolled indulgence and consequent disease and degradation that existed at Christ’s first advent will again exist, with intensity of evil, before His Second Coming. Christ declares that the condition of the world will be as in the days before the Flood, and as in Sodom and Gomorrah. Every imagination of the thoughts of the heart will be evil continually. Upon the very verge of that fearful time we are now living, and to us should come home the lesson of the Saviour’s fast. Only by the inexpressible anguish which Christ endured can we estimate the evil of unrestrained indulgence. His example declares that our only hope of eternal life is through bringing the appetites and passions into subjection to the will of God.

“In our own strength it is impossible for us to deny the clamors of our fallen nature. Through this channel Satan will bring temptation upon us. Christ knew that the enemy would come to every human being, to take advantage of hereditary weakness, and by his false insinuations to ensnare all whose trust is not in God. And by passing over the ground which man must travel, our Lord has prepared the way for us to overcome. It is not His will that we should be placed at a disadvantage in the conflict with Satan. He would not have us intimidated and discouraged by the assaults of the serpent. ‘Be of good cheer,’ He says, ‘I have overcome the world.’ John 16:33.

“Let him who is struggling against the power of appetite look to the Saviour in the wilderness of temptation. See Him in His agony upon the cross, as He exclaimed, ‘I thirst.’ [John 19:28.] He has endured all that it is possible for us to bear. His victory is ours.” The Desire of Ages, 122, 123.

“Temptations to the indulgence of appetite possess a power which can be overcome only by the help that God can impart. But with every temptation, we have the promise of God that there shall be a way of escape. Why, then, are so many overcome? ¾It is because they do not put their trust in God. They do not avail themselves of the means provided for their safety. The excuses offered for the gratification of perverted appetite are therefore of no weight with God.” The Signs of the Times, August 10, 1915.

“Satan comes to man, as he came to Christ, with his overpowering temptations to indulge appetite. He well knows his power to overcome man upon this point. He overcame Adam and Eve in Eden upon appetite, and they lost their blissful home. What accumulated misery and crime have filled our world in consequence of the fall of Adam. Entire cities have been blotted from the face of the earth because of the debasing crimes and revolting iniquity that made them a blot upon the universe. Indulgence of appetite was the foundation of all their sins.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 153.

“The strength of the temptation to indulge appetite can be measured only by the inexpressible anguish of our Redeemer in that long fast in the wilderness. He knew that the indulgence of perverted appetite would so deaden man’s perceptions that sacred things could not be discerned. Adam fell by the indulgence of appetite; Christ overcame by the denial of appetite. And our only hope of regaining Eden is through firm self-control. If the power of indulged appetite was so strong upon the race, that, in order to break its hold the divine Son of God, in man’s behalf, had to endure a fast of nearly six weeks, what a work is before the Christian! Yet, however great the struggle, he may overcome. By the help of that divine power which withstood the fiercest temptations that Satan could invent, he, too, may be entirely successful in his warfare with evil, and at last may wear the victor’s crown in the kingdom of God.

“Through appetite, Satan controls the mind and the whole being. Thousands who might have lived, have passed into the grave, physical, mental, and moral wrecks, because they sacrificed all their powers to the indulgence of appetite. The necessity for the men of this generation to call to their aid the power of the will, strengthened by the grace of God, in order to withstand the temptations of Satan, and resist the least indulgence of perverted appetite, is far greater than it was several generations ago. But the present generation have less power of self-control than had those who lived then.” Ibid., 167, 168.

“One of the strongest temptations that man has to meet is upon the point of appetite. Between the mind and the body there is a mysterious and wonderful relation. They react upon each other. To keep the body in a healthy condition to develop its strength, that every part of the living machinery may act harmoniously, should be the first study of our life. To neglect the body is to neglect the mind. It cannot be to the glory of God for His children to have sickly bodies or dwarfed minds. To indulge the taste at the expense of health is a wicked abuse of the senses. Those who engage in any species of intemperance, either in eating or drinking, waste their physical energies and weaken moral power. They will feel the retribution which follows the transgression of physical law.” Counsels on Health, 122.

“Few temptations are more dangerous or more fatal to young men than the temptation to sensuality, and none if yielded to will prove so decidedly ruinous to soul and body for time and eternity. The welfare of his entire future is suspended upon the decision of a moment.” Letters to Young Lovers, 69.

Solution to our Condition

In the Scriptures, victory through Jesus is promised to us: “But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12, 13. “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7:24, 25.

“While the sinner cannot save himself, he still has something to do to secure salvation. ‘Him that cometh to Me,’ says Christ, ‘I will in no wise cast out.’ John 6:37. But we must come to Him; and when we repent of our sins, we must believe that He accepts and pardons us. Faith is the gift of God, but the power to exercise it is ours. Faith is the hand by which the soul takes hold upon the divine offers of grace and mercy.

“Nothing but the righteousness of Christ can entitle us to one of the blessings of the covenant of grace. There are many who have long desired and tried to obtain these blessings, but have not received them, because they have cherished the idea that they could do something to make themselves worthy of them. They have not looked away from self, believing that Jesus is an all-sufficient Saviour. We must not think that our own merits will save us; Christ is our only hope of salvation. ‘For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’ Acts 4:12.

“When we trust God fully, when we rely upon the merits of Jesus as a sin-pardoning Saviour, we shall receive all the help that we can desire. Let none look to self, as though they had power to save themselves. Jesus died for us because we were helpless to do this. In Him is our hope, our justification, our righteousness. When we see our sinfulness we should not despond and fear that we have no Saviour, or that He has no thoughts of mercy toward us. At this very time He is inviting us to come to Him in our helplessness and be saved. . . .

“If we are conscious of our needs, we should not devote all our powers to mourning over them. While we realize our helpless condition without Christ, we are not to yield to discouragement, but rely upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Look and live. Jesus has pledged His word; He will save all who come unto Him. Though millions who need to be healed will reject His offered mercy, not one who trusts in His merits will be left to perish.

“Many are unwilling to accept of Christ until the whole mystery of the plan of salvation shall be made plain to them. They refuse the look of faith, although they see that thousands have looked, and have felt the efficacy of looking, to the cross of Christ. Many wander in the mazes of philosophy, in search of reasons and evidence which they will never find, while they reject the evidence which God has been pleased to give. They refuse to walk in the light of the Sun of Righteousness, until the reason of its shining shall be explained. All who persist in this course will fail to come to a knowledge of the truth. God will never remove every occasion for doubt. He gives sufficient evidence on which to base faith, and if this is not accepted, the mind is left in darkness. If those who were bitten by the serpents had stopped to doubt and question before they would consent to look, they would have perished. It is our duty, first, to look; and the look of faith will give us life.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 431, 432.

“We may resist temptation, and force Satan to depart from us. Jesus gained the victory through submission and faith in God, and by the apostle He says to us, ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.’ James 4:7, 8. We cannot save ourselves from the tempter’s power; he has conquered humanity, and when we try to stand in our own strength, we shall become a prey to his devices; but ‘the name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.’ Proverbs 18:10. Satan trembles and flees before the weakest soul who finds refuge in that mighty name.” The Desire of Ages, 130.

Our Part

“Let no man present the idea that man has little or nothing to do in the great work of overcoming; for God does nothing for man without his cooperation. Neither say that after you have done all you can on your part, Jesus will help you. Christ has said, ‘Without me ye can do nothing’ (John 15:5). From first to last man is to be a laborer together with God. Unless the Holy Spirit works upon the human heart, at every step we shall stumble and fall. Man’s efforts alone are nothing but worthlessness; but cooperation with Christ means a victory. Of ourselves we have no power to repent of sin. Unless we accept divine aid we cannot take the first step toward the Saviour. He says, ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end’ (Revelation 21:6) in the salvation of every soul.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 381.

“Let my brethren be very careful how they present the subject of faith and works before the people, lest minds become confused. . . .

“Never leave the impression on the mind that there is little or nothing to do on the part of man; but rather teach man to cooperate with God, that he may be successful in overcoming.” A New Life, 38, 39.

Our Will

We must place our will on the side of God’s will. We must be willing to fight.

“Will man take hold of divine power, and with determination and perseverance resist Satan, as Christ has given him example in His conflict with the foe in the wilderness of temptation? God cannot save man against his will from the power of Satan’s artifices. Man must work with his human power, aided by the divine power of Christ, to resist and to conquer at any cost to himself. In short, man must overcome as Christ overcame. And then, through the victory that it is his privilege to gain by the all-powerful name of Jesus, he may become an heir of God and joint heir with Jesus Christ. This could not be the case if Christ alone did all the overcoming. Man must do his part; he must be victor on his own account, through the strength and grace that Christ gives him. Man must be a co-worker with Christ in the labor of overcoming.

“The victims of evil habit must be aroused to the necessity of making an effort for themselves. Others may put forth the most earnest endeavor to uplift them, the grace of God may be freely offered, Christ may entreat, His angels may minister; but all will be in vain unless they themselves are roused to fight the battle in their own behalf. . . .

“Those who put their trust in Christ are not to be enslaved by any hereditary or cultivated habit or tendency. Instead of being held in bondage to the lower nature, they are to rule every appetite and passion. God has not left us to battle with evil in our own finite strength. Whatever may be our inherited or cultivated tendencies to wrong, we can overcome through the power that He is ready to impart.

“The strongest temptation cannot excuse sin. However great the pressure brought to bear upon the soul, transgression is our own act. It is not in the power of earth or hell to compel anyone to do evil. Satan attacks us at our weak points, but we need not be overcome. However severe or unexpected the assault, God has provided help for us, and in His strength we may conquer.” God’s Amazing Grace, 254.

Faith in Jesus’ Merits

“To talk of religion in a casual way, to pray without soul hunger and living faith, avails nothing. A nominal faith in Christ, which accepts Him merely as the Saviour of the world, can never bring healing to the soul. The faith that is unto salvation is not a mere intellectual assent to the truth. He who waits for entire knowledge before he will exercise faith cannot receive blessing from God. It is not enough to believe about Christ; we must believe in Him. The only faith that will benefit us is that which embraces Him as a personal Saviour; which appropriates His merits to ourselves. Many hold faith as an opinion. Saving faith is a transaction by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God. Genuine faith is life. A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power.

“True faith is that which receives Christ as a personal Saviour. God gave His only-begotten Son, that I, by believing in Him, ‘should not perish, but have everlasting life’ (John 3:16). When I come to Christ, according to His word, I am to believe that I receive His saving grace. The life that I now live, I am to ‘live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me’ (Galatians 2:20).” Ibid., 140.

Keys for Help in Overcoming

1) We must not place ourselves in the way of temptation. The Bible tells us: “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14. “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” Job 31:1.

For example, we should not jump off a cliff and expect the law of gravity not to work. So it is with temptation. We do not go where there is temptation and expect not to fall.

“We must keep close to the word of God. We need its warnings and encouragement, its threatenings and promises. We need the perfect example given only in the life and character of our Saviour. Angels of God will preserve his people while they walk in the path of duty; but there is no assurance of such protection for those who deliberately venture upon Satan’s ground. An agent of the great deceiver will say and do anything to gain his object. . . . Pretending great interest in their welfare, he casts a spell over his unsuspecting victims, charming them as the serpent charms the trembling bird. Soon they are completely in his power, and sin, disgrace, and ruin are the terrible sequel.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 115, 116.

2) If we are placed in the way of temptation because of circumstances, God will be with us as He was with Daniel and Joseph. 1 Corinthians 10:13.

“He who understands well his own character, who is acquainted with the sin that most easily besets him and the temptations that will be most likely to overcome him, should not expose himself needlessly, and invite temptation by placing himself upon the enemy’s ground. If duty calls him where circumstances are not favorable, he will have special help from God, and can thus go fully girded for a conflict with the enemy. Self-knowledge will save many from falling into grievous temptations, and prevent many an inglorious defeat. In order to become acquainted with ourselves, it is essential that we faithfully investigate the motives and principles of our conduct, comparing our actions with the standard of duty revealed in God’s word.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 517, 518.

3) We should notice situations that bring temptation and try to stay away from such situations as much as possible. If we are placed in temptation, we must immediately ask God for help. This involves self-knowledge; we must know about ourselves. “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].” Romans 13:14. “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” Galatians 6:4. “The wisdom of the prudent [is] to understand his way: but the folly of fools [is] deceit.” “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent [man] looketh well to his going.” “A prudent [man] foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” Proverbs 13:8, 15; 22:3.

If your temptation is to drink beer or other alcoholic beverages, do not go into or by a pub or saloon. Do not place yourself in the way of temptation. Consider another example: Mom says to little Johnny, “Come home right after school today; do not stop to swim.” Johnny may agree and commit that he will be home right after school, but when he returns home late with wet hair and admits that he has been swimming, Mom wants to know why he did not keep his word. Johnny replies that he was tempted. Persisting, Mom asks, “Why did you take your swimming clothes with you?” To which Johnny says, “Because I thought I might be tempted!” Johnny made provision to fall into temptation.

[All emphasis added.]

To be continued . . .

Jana Grosboll serves Steps to Life as its Network Administrator. She may be contacted by e-mail at:

Restoring the Temple – Control of Appetite

Then and Now

“The indulgence of perverted appetite, inflamed the passions of men in the days of Noah, and led to widespread corruption. . . . The same sins of gluttony and drunkenness benumbed the moral sensibilities of the inhabitants of Sodom, so that crime seemed to be the delight of the men and women of that wicked city. Christ thus warns the world: ‘Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot: they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.’ [Luke 17:28–30.]” Ibid., 146.

“The gratification of unnatural appetite led to the sins that caused the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God ascribes the fall of Babylon to her gluttony and drunkenness. Indulgence of appetite and passion was the foundation of all their sins.” Ibid., 147.

The World Today

“One of the strongest temptations that man has to meet is upon the point of appetite.” Ibid.

“Satan is constantly on the alert to bring the race fully under his control. His strongest hold on man is through the appetite, and this he seeks to stimulate in every possible way.” Ibid., 150.

Look to the Saviour

“His example declares that our only hope of eternal life is through bringing the appetites and passions into subjection to the will of God.” Ibid., 152.

“We must act our part, and divine power, uniting with our effort, will bring victory.” Ibid., 153.

Our Christian Duty

“Temperance in eating, drinking, and dressing is essential. Principle should rule instead of appetite or fancy. Those who eat too much, or whose food is of an objectionable quality, are easily led into dissipation, and into other ‘foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.’ 1 Timothy 6:9.” Ibid., 156.

“If we can arouse the moral sensibilities of our people on the subject of temperance, a great victory will be gained. Temperance in all things of this life is to be taught and practiced.” Ibid., 157.

Restrain Unnatural Appetite

“Those who have received instruction regarding the evils of the use of flesh foods, tea, and coffee, and rich and unhealthful food preparations, and who are determined to make a covenant with God by sacrifice, will not continue to indulge their appetite for food that they know to be unhealthful. God demands that the appetites be cleansed, and that self-denial be practiced in regard to those things which are not good. This is a work that will have to be done before His people can stand before Him a perfected people.” Ibid., 161.

“Abstemiousness in diet, and control of all the passions, will preserve the intellect and give mental and moral vigor, enabling men to bring all their propensities under the control of the higher powers, and to discern between right and wrong, the sacred and the common. All who have a true sense of the sacrifice made by Christ in leaving His home in heaven to come to this world that He might by His own life show man how to resist temptation, will cheerfully deny self and choose to be partakers with Christ of His sufferings.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Those who overcome as Christ overcame will need to constantly guard themselves against the temptations of Satan. The appetite and passions should be restricted and under the control of enlightened conscience, that the intellect may be unimpaired, the perceptive powers clear, so that the workings of Satan and his snares may not be interpreted to be the providence of God. Many desire the final reward and victory which are to be given to overcomers, but are not willing to endure toil, privation, and denial of self, as did their Redeemer. It is only through obedience and continual effort that we shall overcome as Christ overcame.” Ibid., 163.

Relation of Habits to Sanctification

“It is impossible for any to enjoy the blessing of sanctification while they are selfish and gluttonous. These groan under a burden of infirmities because of wrong habits of eating and drinking, which do violence to the laws of life and health. . . . In the gratification of perverted appetite and passion, even professed Christians cripple nature in her work and lessen physical, mental, and moral power. Some who are doing this, claim to be sanctified to God; but such a claim is without foundation. . . .” Ibid., 164.

Decision of Character Required

“To deny appetite requires decision of character. For want of this decision multitudes are ruined. Weak, pliable, easily led, many men and women fail utterly of becoming what God desires them to be. Those who are destitute of decision of character cannot make a success of the daily work of overcoming. The world is full of besotted, intemperate, weak-minded men and women, and how hard it is for them to become genuine Christians.” Ibid., 165.

“ ‘What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’ [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.]

“Those who have a constant realization that they stand in this relation to God will not place in the stomach food which pleases the appetite, but which injures the digestive organs. They will not spoil the property of God by indulging in improper habits of eating, drinking, or dressing. They will take great care of the human machinery, realizing that they must do this in order to work in copartnership with God. He wills that they should be healthy, happy, and useful. But in order for them to be this, they must place their wills on the side of His will.” Ibid., 166.

By the Power of the Will and the Grace of God

“The necessity for the men of this generation to call to their aid the power of the will, strengthened by the grace of God, in order to withstand the temptations of Satan, and resist the least indulgence of perverted appetite, is far greater than it was several generations ago. But the present generation have less power of self-control than had those who lived then.

“Few have moral stamina to resist temptation, especially of the appetite, and to practice self-denial. . . . The walls of self-control and self-restriction should not in a single instance be weakened and broken down. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, says, ‘I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.’ [1 Corinthians 9:27.]

“Those who do not overcome in little things, will have no moral power to withstand greater temptations.” Ibid., 167, 168.

“A pure and noble life, a life of victory over appetite and lust, is possible to every one who will unite his weak, wavering human will to the omnipotent, unwavering will of God.” Ibid., 170.

When Ellen Gould Harmon White was 17, she received a message from God in the form of a vision. It was the first of some 2,000 visions she would experience in her lifetime. Inspired by these visions and her sense of God, she worked throughout her life, first to help found the Seventh-day Adventist Church, then to spread its word around the world. She wrote letters of personal counsel, periodical articles, and books based on her visions, led a health reform movement, and established schools and sanitariums.