Presented at March 19 WCAS Event at Oroville SDA Church by Lucia Tiffany

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It was warm sunny CA day. I was headed down the hill into Oroville to run errands and listening to a favorite podcast on the car speakers. I had no worries and was enjoying the day.

 

All of a sudden I glanced in my mirror and realized that I had just passed a CHP car going the opposite direction. I quickly looked at my speedometer and immediately took my foot off the pedal, realizing that coming down the hill I had picked up more speed then intended and was indeed over the speed limit. I kept glancing in the rearview mirror and with a sinking feeling in

the pit of my stomach saw the patrol car pull over, do a you-ey, and turn on its lights as it closed the gap between us. Has that ever happened to you? What thoughts start going through your

mind?

 

A few minutes later he was at my window, asking for my papers and asked if I knew how fast I was going. I told him the truth, that I hadn’t realized that coming down the hill I had picked up some extra speed, but assured him I would pay more attention to that in the future. As I sat there, I wondered how much CA speeding tickets cost, exactly how was I going to deal with that, and so on. Then he handed me the paper he had been writing on, smiled, and told me that this time he would only give me a warning. I had one more thing to add to my thankful list that day. Thanks that the officer had given me a warning, allowing me to be more faithful in living in harmony with the laws of the land. The warning was an act of mercy. Our God, in his mercy, has done the same thing.

 

“The Lord has sent to our world a message of warning even the Third Angel’s Message.” {RH April 16, 1901}

 

For the third part of today’s message we are going to dig even

deeper into this important message.

 

The topic I was assigned is Health Reform: The right arm of the Third Angel’s Message. Arm has hand which is indispensable to efficient action of the arm. Imagine life without an arm. According to the dictionary, arm is the part that goes before, and makes it possible to progress.

 

“The health reform, I was shown, is a part of the third angel’s message and is just as closely connected with it as are the arm and hand with the human body. I saw that we as a people must make an advance move in this great work. Ministers and people must act in concert. God’s people are not prepared for the loud cry of the third angel. They have a work to do for themselves which they should not leave for God to do for them. He has left this work for them to do. It is an individual work; one cannot do it for another. {1T 486.2}

 

Warning contains 4 areas specifically addressed by the health message.

 

    Revelation 14:9-12

14:9    And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand,  

14:10    The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:  

14:11    And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.  

14:12    Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.  

 

Today we will explore each of these 4 areas –

1). How the practice of health reform helps us avoid receiving the mark of the

      beast

2) How the practice of health reform helps us have the Patience of the saints

3) How practicing health reform is Keeping the commandments of God

4). How the faith of Jesus enables us to practice health reform.

 

Not to Receive Mark in Forehead or Hand

 

How the practice of health reform helps us avoid receiving the mark of the Beast?

 

The worshipers of the beast (Revelation 13) are said to receive his mark in their foreheads or in their hands. As the forehead represents the intellect, the hand represents power…. {GC88 691.3}

 

Receiving the mark means going along with enforced legislation of Sunday sacredness observance through our choice, whether we believe it or not. Those who receive the mark in the forehead are DECEIVED. Avoiding deception Requires decernment. Those who receive the mark in the hand know it’s wrong, they are not deceived, but they rationalize their actions, their habits of thinking lead to wrong choices. Establishing correct habits of thought requires mental clarity and strength. Both of these depend on a high functioning frontal lobe that is sensitive to the voice of God and has a conscience that is educated by the truth of God’s Word.

We are truly in a battle for the mind upon which the entire outcome of the destiny of each individual is decided for eternal life or eternal death. How important is it to have a clear mind?

 

We want to bring our people up to the right position on the health reform. “Let us,” says the apostle, “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” We must be right in order to stand in the last days. We need clear brains and sound minds in sound bodies. { 2T 375.2}

 

2 Corinthians 7:1

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

 

We need to learn that indulged appetite is the greatest hindrance to mental improvement and soul sanctification. With all our profession of health reform, many of us eat improperly. Indulgence of appetite is the greatest cause of physical and mental debility, and lies largely at the foundation of feebleness and premature death. { CCh 234.2}

 

This is true sanctification. It is not merely a theory, an emotion, or a form of words, but a living, active principle, entering into the everyday life. It requires that our habits of eating, drinking, and dressing be such as to secure the preservation of physical, mental, and moral health, that we may present to the Lord our bodies,—not an offering corrupted by wrong habits, but “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.  {CD 57.6}

 

How important is this?

 

As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position, and join the ranks of the opposition. {GC88 608.1 }

 

I believe we all want the Lord to sanctify us by His power, that this not be our future.

 

He who knows the end from the beginning, who understands our nature and our needs,—our compassionate Redeemer,—saw our dangers and difficulties, and condescended to give us timely warning and instruction concerning our habits of life, even in the proper selection of food and clothing. {CH 599}

 

Our habits of life have a direct impact on the characters we are developing – after all , it is the sum total of our habitual thoughts and feelings.

 

God’s instructions for life are simply tools that He foresaw we would need to be prepared to stand in the last grand, final conflict. Is the subject of health reform salvational? Let’s read this and I’ll let you decide…

 

Those who teach the principles of health reform should be intelligent in regard to disease and its causes, understanding that every action of the human agent should be in perfect harmony with the laws of life. The light God has given on health reform is for our salvation and the salvation of the world. {7T 136.1} 

 

You see, We can ignore the tools He has provided, in His great love, knowing what we need for our sanctification – but it’s like trying to build a house without nails, like trying to slice bread without a knife, or trying to change a tire without a lug wrench. Even with the best of intentions, success will evade us.

 

So we begin to see how the practice of health reform and avoiding the mark of the beast are indeed connected.

 

Patience of the Saints

 

How does the practice of health reform helps us have the Patience of the saints? Patience, as used here, includes the idea of endurance. It’s about not letting go of our relationship with Christ, no matter what life throws at us. It is in patient endurance that God’s saints reflect his character to the world. Let’s explore what Peter has to say about this.

 

    2 Peter 1:4-6

1:4    Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  

1:5    And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  

1:6    And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  

 

“And to temperance, patience.” The need of becoming temperate is made manifest as we try to take this step. It is next to an impossibility for an intemperate person to be patient. We should make decided efforts to be on the right side in every matter. We are on a battle ground, and Satan is striving for our souls. No impatient man or woman will ever enter into the courts of heaven. We must not allow the natural feelings to control our judgment. {RH February 21, 1888, par. 10}

 

Notice that patience comes after temperance. In order to be patient, we must be temperate. Those who give loose reign to appetite will be dyspeptics; and we all know how hard it is to live peaceably with a dyspeptic. When the digestive organs are abused and irritated, nervous, hasty, impatient words follow. {RH April 14, 1904, par. 10}

 

Abuse happens whenever we disregard the design of our bodies and the counsel we have been given by God on how to take care of them. Overeating, Eating that which does not promote health, and lack of attention to the principles of proper eating such as regularity, thorough chewing and pleasantness at meals all are forms of intemperance and reflect a lack of self-

control.

 

   

The better health of body and mind we possess, the more acceptable service can we render to God. Great evils follow the indulgence of perverted appetite. The blood becomes feverish and diseased, and impatience is the sure result. {RH December 1, 1885, par. 7}

 

Upon reaching Paradise Valley, April 20, I was very weary; but the next morning we attended the San Diego church, where I spoke to the people on the first chapter of Second Peter. . . . The church building was crowded. As I looked for the first time into the faces of these new converts, I was drawn out to speak words of counsel and encouragement to them. In connection with

the injunction of Peter that we are to add “to temperance, patience,” I referred to the blessings of health reform, and the advantages to be gained by the use of proper combinations of simple, nourishing foods. The close relationship that eating and drinking sustain to the state of one’s mind and temper, was dwelt upon. We can not afford to develop a bad temper through wrong habits of living. Whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do, we are to keep in mind the glory of God. We are the purchased possession of the blood of the Son of God. RH July 12, 1906, par. 7

 

Christian character is not achieved in an instant, but day after day we are to add to our faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity. It is in this way that we are to be made ready for the coming of Christ. {RH April 21, 1891, par. 9}

 

Patience is an attribute of the Christian character and character is built through our habits of daily life.

 

So now we see how the practice of health reform and the patience of God’s people is onnected.

 

Keep the Commandments of God

 

Next we will explore, How practicing health reform IS Keeping the commandments of God

 

December 10, 1871, 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…Had men ever been obedient to the law of Ten Commandments, carrying out in their lives the principles of those precepts, the curse of disease now flooding the world would not be. {3T 161.1}

 

READ HERE – December 10, 1871, 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. The law of Ten Commandments has been lightly regarded by man, but the Lord would not come to punish the transgressors of that law

without first sending them a message of warning. The third angel proclaims that message. Had men ever been obedient to the law of Ten Commandments, carrying out in their lives the principles of those precepts, the curse of disease now flooding the world would not be.

 

Men and women cannot violate natural law by indulging depraved appetite and lustful passions, and not violate the law of God. Therefore He has permitted the light of health reform to shine upon us, that we may see our sin in violating the laws which He has established in our being. {CD 69.2}

 

Here we see God’s heart in giving us the light on health reform – just like the moral law, natural laws provide a mirror in which we can see if our choices are in harmony with God’s vision for us, repent when we recognize our errors, and enable Him to change our desires to conform to His will for our lives.

 

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. {CD 313.2}

 

Grains and fruits prepared free from grease, and in as natural a condition as possible, should be the food for the tables of all who claim to be preparing for translation to heaven.—Testimonies for the Church 2:352, 1869 {CD 355.1}

 

There is no safety in eating the flesh of dead animals, and in a short time the milk of the cow will also be excluded from the diet of God’s commandment- keeping people. In a short time it will not be safe to use anything that comes from the animal creation. Those who take God at His word and obey His commandments with the whole heart will be

blessed. He will be their shield of protection.  1898 Letter to Kellogg  {Letter 59, 1898}

 

To make plain natural law, and urge the obedience of it, is the work that accompanies the third angel’s message to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord. {3T 161.2}

 

The seal of the living God will be placed upon those only who bear a likeness to Christ in character. 

As wax takes the impression of the seal, so the soul is to take the impression of the Spirit of God and retain the image of Christ. 

It is obedience to the principles of the commandments of God, that molds the character after the divine similitude. {FLB 287}

 

I hope this makes it clear how the practice of health reform IS the keeping of God’s laws, both moral and natural. Now let’s look at the 4th link between health and the 3rd angel’s message.

 

Have the Faith of Jesus

 

God has called us to allow Him to mold us into His image, now, not later. But how does this happen? How the faith of Jesus enables us to practice health reform and enjoy its many benefits?

 

Having become partakers of the heavenly gift, they are to go on to perfection, being “kept by the power of God through faith.” { RH September 19, 1912, par. 5 }

 

Having become partakers of the heavenly gift, they are to go on to perfection, being “kept by the power of God through faith.” It is the glory of God to give his virtue to his children. He desires to see men and women reaching the highest standard; and when by faith they lay hold of the power of Christ, when they plead his unfailing promises, and claim them as their

own, when with an importunity that will not be denied they seek for the power of the Holy Spirit, they will be made complete in him. This is how the Holy Spirit transforms our lives as we surrender our lives to him on a daily basis.

 

Faith of Jesus. Not in Jesus. Of Jesus. The same faith He had. Faith in His Father’s plan. Faith that enabled Him to stand, just as we must.

 

To stand is essential.

 

    Luke 21:36

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

 

Ephesians 6:11

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

 

We expect trials to come in these last days; we are not looking for anything else; but may God give us grace that we may endure the trials when they do come, and not faint under persecution. We do not desire to be in a position where we shall have no strength at that time. Then let us become acquainted with God now…. {TDG 114.4}

 

But we must meet all obstacles placed in our way, and overcome them one at a time. If we overcome the first difficulty, we shall be stronger to meet the next, and at every effort will become better able to make advancement. By looking to Jesus, we may be overcomers. {YI January 5, 1893, par. 3}

 

By taking one step after another, the highest ascent may be climbed, and the summit of the mount may be reached at last. Do not become overwhelmed with the great amount of work you must do in your lifetime, for you are not required to do it all at once. Let every power of your being go to each day’s work, improve each precious opportunity, appreciate the helps that God gives you, and make advancement up the ladder of progress step by step. Remember that you are to live but one day at a time, that God has given you one day, and heavenly records will show how you have valued its privileges and opportunities. May you so improve every day given you of God, that at last you may hear the Master say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” {YI January 5, 1893, par. 4}

 

Hopefully this has made these four, clear connections between the third Angel’s message and the health message.

 

    Revelation 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

 

Only God can get us to the finish line. Only we can let Him do this work as we surrender our hearts and lives to Him. How many of you would like to join me in making this choice?

 

    Philippians 1:6

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

 

Praise God!

 


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