Chapter 3—By Voice—a Part of Our Evangelistic Message

Present Temperance With Spiritual Truths—In connection with the presentation of spiritual truths, we should also present what the word of God says upon the questions of health and temperance. In every way possible, we must seek to bring souls under the convicting and converting power of God.—Letter 148, 1909. Te 237.2

I have heard some, when speaking in reference to temperance, say, “I have not time. I have so much to do in preaching here and there upon the third angel's message and the reasons of our faith, that I cannot take time to engage in the health and temperance work.” If these men would cut their sermons short about one third, the people would receive more benefit from them, and they would then have time to speak upon this question.—The Review and Herald, February 14, 1888. Te 237.3

Temperance and Salvation—As a people we have been given the work of making known the principles of health reform. There are some who think that the question of diet is not of sufficient importance to be included in their evangelistic work. But such make a great mistake. God's word declares: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31. The subject of temperance, in all its bearings, has an important place in the work of salvation.—Testimonies for the Church 9:112. Te 237.4

A Part of the Third Angel's Message—Brethren and sisters, we want you to see the importance of this temperance question, and we want our workers to interest themselves in it, and to know that it is just as much connected with the third angel's message as the right arm is with the body. We ought to make advancement in this work.—The Review and Herald, February 14, 1888. Te 238.1

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.—Testimonies for the Church 3:161. Te 238.2

Stir the Public Mind—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.—Testimonies for the Church 3:62. Te 238.3

Let us raise our voices against the curse of drunkenness. Let us strive to warn the world against its seductive influences. Let us portray before young and old the terrible results of indulgence of appetite.—Manuscript 80, 1903. Te 238.4

When temperance is presented as a part of the gospel, many will see their need of reform. They will see the evil of intoxicating liquors and that total abstinence is the only platform on which God's people can conscientiously stand.—Testimonies for the Church 7:75. Te 238.5

No Tame Message Now—The conflict against this evil, which is destroying the image of God in man, must be vigorously maintained. The warfare is before us. No tame message will have influence now. God looks upon our world as revolted and corrupted, but He will send His holy angels to aid those who will engage to destroy the worship of these idols.—Letter 102a, 1897. Te 239.1

The evil [of intemperance] must be more boldly met in the future than it has been in the past.—The Youth's Instructor, March 9, 1909. Te 239.2

Temperance Sermons in Every City Effort—In the advocacy of the cause of temperance, our efforts are to be multiplied. The subject of Christian temperance should find a place in our sermons in every city where we labor. Health reform in all its bearings is to be presented before the people, and special efforts made to instruct the youth, the middle-aged, and the aged in the principles of Christian living. Let this phase of the message be revived, and let the truth go forth as a lamp that burneth.—Manuscript 61, 1909. Te 239.3

With Convincing Arguments and Strong Appeals—In all our large gatherings we must bring the temperance question before our hearers in the strongest appeals and by the most convincing arguments. The Lord has given us the work of teaching Christian temperance from a Bible standpoint.—Manuscript 82, 1900. Te 239.4

Schools of Health to Follow Public Meetings—There is a great work to be done in bringing the principles of health reform to the notice of the people. Public meetings should be held to introduce the subject, and schools should be held in which those who are interested can be told more particularly about our health foods and of how a wholesome, nourishing, appetizing diet can be provided without the use of meat, tea, or coffee.... Te 239.5

Press home the temperance question with all the force of the Holy Spirit's unction. Show the need of total abstinence from all intoxicating liquor. Show the terrible harm that is wrought in the human system by the use of tobacco and alcohol.—Evangelism, 534. Te 240.1

Show Why We Have Changed Our Dietetic Habits—Lectures should be given explaining why reforms in diet are essential, and showing that the use of highly seasoned food causes inflammation of the delicate lining of the digestive organs. Let it be shown why we as a people have changed our habits of eating and drinking. Show why we discard tobacco and all intoxicating liquor. Lay down the principles of health reform clearly and plainly, and with this, let there be placed on the table an abundance of wholesome food, tastefully prepared; and the Lord will help you to make impressive the urgency of reform, and will lead them to see that this reform is for their highest good.—Medical Ministry, 286. Te 240.2

Drive It to the Hilt—When we have shown the people that we have right principles regarding health reform, we should then take up the temperance question in all its bearings, and drive it home to the hilt.—Letter 63, 1905. Te 240.3

Present It Attractively—Present the principles of temperance in their most attractive form. Circulate the books that give instruction in regard to healthful living.—Testimonies for the Church 7:136. Te 240.4

The High Standard for Temperance Meetings—Great care should be taken to make the temperance meetings as elevated and ennobling as possible. Avoid a surface work and everything of a theatrical character. Those who realize the solemn character of this work will keep the standard high. But there is a class who have no real respect for the cause of temperance; their only concern is to show off their smartness upon the stage. The pure, the thoughtful, and those who understand the object of the work, should be encouraged to labor in these great branches of reform. They may not be intellectually great, but if pure and humble, God-fearing and true, the Lord will accept their labors.—Testimonies for the Church 5:127. Te 240.5

Not to Work Alone—One man should not try to do this work alone. Let several unite in such an effort. Let them come to the front with a message from heaven, imbued with the power of the Holy Spirit.... Let men and women be shown the evil of spending money in indulgences that destroy the health of mind and soul and body.—Evangelism, 531. Te 241.1

Present God's Appointed Way—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. God has shown that health reform is as closely connected with the third angel's message as the hand is with the body. There is nowhere to be found so great a cause of physical and moral degeneracy as a neglect of this important subject. Those who indulge appetite and passion, and close their eyes to the light for fear they will see sinful indulgences which they are unwilling to forsake, are guilty before God. Te 241.2

The Hazard of Turning From the Light—Whoever turns from the light in one instance hardens his heart to disregard the light upon other matters. Whoever violates moral obligations in the matter of eating and dressing prepares the way to violate the claims of God in regard to eternal interests.... Te 241.3

The people whom God is leading will be peculiar. They will not be like the world. But if they follow the leadings of God they will accomplish His purposes, and will yield their will to His will. Christ will dwell in the heart. The temple of God will be holy. Your body, says the apostle, is the temple of the Holy Ghost. Te 241.4

Called to Obedience of Natural Laws—God does not require His children to deny themselves to the injury of physical strength. He requires them to obey natural law, to preserve physical health. Nature's path is the road He marks out, and it is broad enough for any Christian. God has, with a lavish hand, provided us with rich and varied bounties for our sustenance, and enjoyment. But in order for us to enjoy the natural appetite, which will preserve health and prolong life, He restricts the appetite. He says: Beware; restrain, deny, unnatural appetite. If we create a perverted appetite, we violate the laws of our being and assume the responsibility of abusing our bodies and of bringing disease upon ourselves.—Testimonies for the Church 3:62, 63. Te 242.1

An Effective Entering Wedge—I have been informed by my guide that not only should those who believe the truth practice health reform but they should also teach it diligently to others; for it will be an agency through which the truth can be presented to the attention of unbelievers. They will reason that if we have such sound ideas in regard to health and temperance, there must be something in our religious belief that is worth investigation. If we backslide in health reform we shall lose much of our influence with the outside world.—Evangelism, 514. Te 242.2

Temperance Sermons Will Reach Many—Careful attention is to be given to helping those who are enslaved by evil habits. They are to hear discourses from the word of God concerning Christian temperance. We must lead them to the cross of Christ. Persons who have not entered a church for nearly a score of years have come to such gatherings and have been converted. The result was, they discarded tea and coffee, tobacco, beer, and liquor. Most marvelous changes in character have taken place. While many thus receive the light, others reject it, to their own eternal loss. This work costs time and wearing effort, and it causes much anguish of soul to see so many hear and understand, but, because of the cross, refuse to accept of Jesus Christ.—Manuscript 52, 1900. Te 242.3

Personal Work for the Intemperate—Work for the intemperate man and the tobacco user, telling them that no drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of God, and that “there shall in nowise enter into it anything that defileth.” Show them the good they could do with the money they now spend for that which does them only harm.—Medical Ministry, 268. Te 243.1

Work, Pray, Uplift—The wretched victim of intemperance may refuse to seize the opportunity of regaining his manliness by breaking with Satan. Is it any less your duty to strive to awaken the soul dead in trespasses and sins by doing all that human effort can do? Jesus will work wonderful miracles if men will but do their God-given part. In his own strength man can never recover souls from Satan's grasp. A union with Christ only can accomplish this restoration. Man must work, he must pray, he must uplift the discouraged and hopeless by his human endeavor, while he grasps the arm of the Mighty One, and wrestles as did Jacob for the victory. His cry must be, I cannot, I will not, let Thee go unless Thou bless me.—Manuscript 87, 1898. Te 243.2

Why the Temperance Message Is Vital—The Christian will be temperate in all things,—in eating, in drinking, in dress, and in every phase of life. “Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” We have no right to indulge in anything that will result in a condition of mind that hinders the Spirit of God from impressing us with the sense of our duty. It is a masterpiece of satanic skill to place men where they can with difficulty be reached with the gospel.—The Review and Herald, August 29, 1907. Te 243.3

Laymen Called to Public Temperance Work—A working church is a living church. Church members, let the light shine forth. Let your voices be heard in humble prayer, in witness against the intemperance, the folly, and the amusements of this world, and in the proclamation of the truth for this time. Your voice, your influence, your time,—all these are gifts from God, and are to be used in winning souls to Christ. Visit your neighbors, and show an interest in the salvation of their souls.—Medical Ministry, 332. Te 243.4

Sunday a Day to Work for Temperance—Sunday can be used for carrying forward various lines of work that will accomplish much for the Lord.... Speak on temperance and on true religious experience. You will thus learn much about how to work, and will reach many souls.—Testimonies for the Church 9:233. Te 244.1

At Camp Meetings—In our labors at the camp meetings more attention should be given to the work of teaching the principles of health and temperance reform; these questions are to take an important place in our efforts at this time. My message is, Educate, educate on the question of temperance.—Manuscript 65, 1908. Te 244.2

In Our Churches—Every church needs a clear, sharp testimony, giving the trumpet a certain sound. If we can arouse the moral sensibilities upon the subject of practicing temperance in all things, a very great victory will be gained.—Manuscript 59, 1900. Te 244.3

Prepare to Teach Others—I will inquire why some of our ministerial brethren are so far behind in proclaiming the exalted theme of temperance. Why is it that greater interest is not shown in health reform?—Letter 42, 1898. Te 244.4

We should educate ourselves, not only to live in harmony with the laws of health, but to teach others the better way. Many, even of those who profess to believe the special truths for this time, are lamentably ignorant with regard to health and temperance. They need to be educated, line upon line, precept upon precept. The subject must be kept fresh before them. This matter must not be passed over as nonessential; for nearly every family needs to be stirred up on the question. The conscience must be aroused to the duty of practicing the principles of true reform. God requires that His people shall be temperate in all things.... Te 244.5

Not to Be Deterred by Ridicule—Our ministers should become intelligent upon this question. They should not ignore it, nor be turned aside by those who call them extremists. Let them find out what constitutes true health reform, and teach its principles, both by precept and by a quiet, consistent example. At our large gatherings, instruction should be given upon health and temperance. Seek to arouse the intellect and the conscience. Bring into service all the talent at command, and follow up the work with publications upon the subject. “Educate, educate, educate,” is the message that has been impressed upon me.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 117. Te 245.1