Chapter 3—Defiling the Temple of God

Inconvenient, Expensive, Uncleanly—The use of tobacco is an inconvenient, expensive, uncleanly habit. The teachings of Christ, pointing to purity, self-denial, and temperance, all rebuke this defiling practice.... Is it for the glory of God for men to enfeeble the physical powers, confuse the brain, and yield the will to this narcotic poison?—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 17, 18. Te 62.2

Looking Through Clouded Windows—The youth who has made a practice of using tobacco has defiled the whole man. The will has no longer the promptness and force which made him trustworthy and of value before he accepted the enemy's poison.... His mind need not have decayed. He need not have lost the inspiration that comes from God. But when the human agent works in perfect harmony with the destroyer, enervating the sinews and muscles, the fluids and solids, of the whole human structure, he is dulling the machinery through which the intellect works. He is clouding the windows through which he looks. He sees everything in a perverted light.—Manuscript 17, 1898. Te 62.3

Incense to His Satanic Majesty—As I have seen men who claimed to enjoy the blessing of entire sanctification, while they were slaves to tobacco, spitting and defiling everything around them, I have thought, How would heaven appear with tobacco users in it? The lips that were taking the precious name of Christ were defiled by tobacco spittle, the breath was polluted with the stench, and even the linen was defiled; the soul that loved this uncleanness and enjoyed this poisonous atmosphere must also be defiled. The sign was hung upon the outside, testifying of what was within. Te 62.4

Men professing godliness offer their bodies upon Satan's altar, and burn the incense of tobacco to his satanic majesty. Does this statement seem severe? The offering must be presented to some deity. As God is pure and holy, and will accept nothing defiling in its character, He refuses this expensive, filthy, and unholy sacrifice; therefore we conclude that Satan is the one who claims the honor.—Counsels on Health, 83. Te 63.1

The Pipe Versus Heaven—I have seen many an example of the power of these habits. One woman I knew who was advised by her physician to smoke as a remedy for the asthma. To all appearance she had been a zealous Christian for many years, but she became so addicted to smoking that when urged to give it up as an unhealthful and defiling habit, she utterly refused to do so. She said, “When the matter comes before my mind distinctly, that I must give up my pipe or lose heaven, then I say, ‘Farewell heaven;’ I cannot surrender my pipe.” This woman only put into words that which many express by their actions. God, the maker of heaven and earth, He who created man and claims the whole heart, the entire affections, is held subordinate to the disgusting, defiling nuisance, tobacco.—Letter 8, 1893. Te 63.2

That Christ should be discarded for these soul-and-body-destroying indulgences, is an amazement to the unfallen universe.—Letter 8, 1893. Te 63.3

Dulls Appreciation of Atonement and Eternal Things—When we pursue a course of eating and drinking that lessens physical and mental vigor, or become the prey of habits that tend to the same results, we dishonor God, for we rob Him of the service He claims from us. Those who acquire and indulge the unnatural appetite for tobacco, do this at the expense of health. They are destroying nervous energy, lessening vital force, and sacrificing mental strength. Te 63.4

Those who profess to be the followers of Christ, yet have this terrible sin at their door, cannot have a high appreciation of the atonement and an elevated estimate of eternal things. Minds that are clouded and partially paralyzed by narcotics, are easily overcome by temptation, and cannot enjoy communion with God.—The Signs of the Times, January 6, 1876. Te 64.1

If Christ and the Apostles Were Here—James says that the wisdom which is from above is “first pure.” If he had seen his brethren using tobacco, would he not have denounced the practice as “earthly, sensual, devilish”?—The Sanctified Life, 24. Te 64.2

Were Peter upon the earth now he would exhort the professed followers of Christ to abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul. And Paul would call upon the churches in general to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. And Christ would drive from the temple those who are defiled by the use of tobacco, polluting the sanctuary of God by their tobacconized breaths. He would say to these worshipers, as He did to the Jews, “My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” We would say to such, Your unholy offerings of ejected quids of tobacco defile the temple, and are abhorred of God. Your worship is not acceptable, for your bodies which should be the temple for the Holy Ghost are defiled. You also rob the treasury of God of thousands of dollars through the indulgence of unnatural appetite.—The Signs of the Times, August 13, 1874. Te 64.3

Tobacco-Using Priests Would Have Suffered Death—The priests, who ministered in sacred things, were commanded to wash their feet and their hands before entering the tabernacle in the presence of God to importune for Israel, that they might not desecrate the sanctuary. If the priests had entered the sanctuary with their mouths polluted with tobacco, they would have shared the fate of Nadab and Abihu. And yet professed Christians bow before God in their families to pray with their mouths defiled with the filth of tobacco.... Te 64.4

Be Ye Clean—Men who have been set apart by the laying on of hands, to minister in sacred things, often stand in the desk with their mouths polluted, their lips stained, and their breath tainted with the defilements of tobacco. They speak to the people in Christ's stead. How can such service be acceptable to a holy God, who required the priests of Israel to make such special preparations before coming into His presence, lest His sacred holiness should consume them for dishonoring Him, as in the case of Nadab and Abihu? Te 65.1

These may be assured that the mighty God of Israel is still a God of cleanliness. They profess to be serving God while they are committing idolatry, by making a God of their appetite. Tobacco is their cherished idol. To it every high and sacred consideration must bow. They profess to be worshiping God, while at the same time they are violating the first commandment. They have other gods before the Lord. “Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.”—Spiritual Gifts 4a:127, 128. Te 65.2

He Will Not Defile God's Temple—God desires all who believe in Him to feel the necessity of improvement. Every entrusted faculty is to be enlarged. Not one gift is to be laid aside. As God's husbandry and building, man is under His supervision in every sense of the word, and the better he becomes acquainted with his Maker, the more sacred will his life become in his estimation. He will not place tobacco in his mouth, knowing that it defiles God's temple. He will not drink wine or liquor, for, like tobacco, it degrades the whole being.—Manuscript 130, 1899. Te 65.3