Chapter 3—Impairment Through Indulged Appetite

The Food We Eat and the Lives We Live—Indulgence of appetite is the greatest cause of physical and mental debility, and lies at the foundation of the feebleness which is apparent everywhere.—Testimonies for the Church 3:487. Te 15.1

Our physical health is maintained by that which we eat; if our appetites are not under the control of a sanctified mind, if we are not temperate in all our eating and drinking, we shall not be in a state of mental and physical soundness to study the word with a purpose to learn what saith the Scripture—what shall I do to inherit eternal life? Any unhealthful habit will produce an unhealthful condition in the system, and the delicate, living machinery of the stomach will be injured, and will not be able to do its work properly. The diet has much to do with the disposition to enter into temptation and commit sin.—Counsels on Diet and Foods, 52. Te 15.2

Adam and Eve Failed Here—Through the temptation to indulge appetite, Adam and Eve first fell from their high, holy, and happy estate. And it is through the same temptation that the race have become enfeebled. They have permitted appetite and passion to take the throne, and to bring into subjection reason and intellect.—Testimonies for the Church 3:139. Te 15.3

Their Children Have Followed On—Eve was intemperate in her desires when she put forth the hand to take of the fruit-forbidden tree. Self-gratification has reigned almost supreme in the hearts of men and women since the Fall. Especially has the appetite been indulged, and they have been controlled by it, instead of reason. For the sake of gratifying the taste, Eve transgressed the command of God. He had given her everything her wants required, yet she was not satisfied. Te 15.4

Ever since, her fallen sons and daughters have followed the desires of their eyes, and of their taste. They have, like Eve, disregarded the prohibitions God has made, and have followed in a course of disobedience, and, like Eve, have flattered themselves that the consequence would not be as fearful as had been apprehended.—How to Live, 51. Te 15.5

Sin Made Attractive—Sin is made attractive by the covering of light which Satan throws over it, and he is well pleased when he can hold the Christian world in their daily habits under the tyranny of custom, like the heathen, and allow appetite to govern them.—The Signs of the Times, August 13, 1874. Te 16.1

Satan Gains Control of the Will—Satan knows that he cannot overcome man unless he can control his will. He can do this by deceiving man so that he will co-operate with him in transgressing the laws of nature in eating and drinking, which is transgression of the law of God.—Manuscript 3, 1897. Te 16.2

Every Function Enfeebled—Many groan under a burden of infirmities because of wrong habits of eating and drinking, which do violence to the laws of life and health. They are enfeebling their digestive organs by indulging perverted appetite. The power of the human constitution to resist the abuses put upon it is wonderful; but persistent wrong habits in excessive eating and drinking will enfeeble every function of the body. In the gratification of perverted appetite and passion, even professed Christians cripple nature in her work, and lessen physical, mental, and moral power.—The Sanctified Life, 20. Te 16.3

Failure to Perfect Character—The controlling power of appetite will prove the ruin of thousands, when, if they had conquered on this point, they would have moral power to gain victory over every other temptation of Satan. But slaves to appetite will fail in perfecting Christian character. The continual transgression of man for six thousand years has brought sickness, pain, and death, as its fruits.—The Health Reformer, August, 1875. Te 16.4

Death Preferred to Reform—Many are so devoted to intemperance that they will not change their course of indulging in gluttony under any considerations. They would sooner sacrifice health, and die prematurely, than to restrain their intemperate appetite.—Spiritual Gifts 4a:130. Te 16.5

A Vicious Circle of Degradation—The lower estimate men place upon their body, the less they desire to keep it pure and holy, the more reckless will they be in the indulgence of perverted appetite.—Manuscript 150, 1898. Te 17.1

The World Taken Captive—Satan is taking the world captive through the use of liquor and tobacco, tea and coffee. The God-given mind, which should be kept clear, is perverted by the use of narcotics. The brain is no longer able to distinguish correctly. The enemy has control. Man has sold his reason for that which makes him mad. He has no sense of what is right.—Evangelism, 529. Te 17.2

The Results of Natural Law Violated—Many marvel that the human race have so degenerated, physically, mentally, and morally. They do not understand that it is the violation of God's constitution and laws, and the violation of the laws of health, that has produced this sad degeneracy. The transgression of God's commandments has caused His prospering hand to be removed. Te 17.3

Intemperance in eating and in drinking, and the indulgence of base passions have benumbed the fine sensibilities.... Te 17.4

Those who permit themselves to become slaves to a gluttonous appetite, often go still further, and debase themselves by indulging their corrupt passions, which have become excited by intemperance in eating and in drinking. They give loose rein to their debasing passions, until health and intellect greatly suffer. The reasoning faculties are, in a great measure, destroyed by evil habits.—Spiritual Gifts 4a:124-131. Te 17.5

Let none who profess godliness regard with indifference the health of the body, and flatter themselves that intemperance is no sin, and will not affect their spirituality. A close sympathy exists between the physical and the moral nature. The standard of virtue is elevated or degraded by the physical habits.... Any habit which does not promote healthful action in the human system degrades the higher and nobler faculties. Wrong habits of eating and drinking lead to errors in thought and action. Indulgence of appetite strengthens the animal propensities, giving them the ascendancy over the mental and spiritual powers.—The Review and Herald, January 25, 1881. Te 17.6

Life Record Closed in Dissipation—Many close their last precious hours of probationary time, in scenes of gaiety, feasting and amusement, where serious thoughts are not allowed to enter, where the spirit of Jesus would be unwelcome! Their last precious hours are passing while their minds are benumbed with tobacco and alcoholic liquors. There are not a few who pass directly from the dens of infamy to the sleep of death; they close their life record among the associations of dissipation and vice. What will the awakening be at the resurrection of the unjust! Te 18.1

The eye of the Lord is open upon every scene of debasing amusement and profane dissipation. The words and deeds of the pleasure lovers pass directly from these halls of vice to the book of final records. What is the life of this class worth to the world, except as a beacon of warning to those who will be warned, not to live like these men, and die as the fool dieth.—The Signs of the Times, January 6, 1876. Te 18.2

The Christian Controls His Appetite—No Christian will take into his system food or drink that will cloud his senses, or that will so act upon the nervous system as to cause him to degrade himself, or to unfit him for usefulness. The temple of God must not be defiled. The faculties of mind and body should be preserved in health, that they may used to glorify God.—Manuscript 126, 1903. Te 18.3

With Ceaseless Vigilance—Men's natural appetites have been perverted by indulgence. Through unholy gratification they have become “fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” Unless the Christian watches unto prayer, he gives loose reign to habits which should be overcome. Unless he feels the need of constant watching, ceaseless vigilance, his inclinations, abused and misguided, will be the means of his backsliding from God.—Manuscript 47, 1896. Te 19.1

Indulged Appetite Inimical to Christian Perfection—It is impossible for those who indulge the appetite to attain to Christian perfection.—Testimonies for the Church 2:400. Te 19.2

The Spirit of God cannot come to our help, and assist us in perfecting Christian characters, while we are indulging our appetites to the injury of health, and while the pride of life controls.—The Health Reformer, September, 1871. Te 19.3

True Sanctification—It [sanctification] 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.”—The Review and Herald, January 25, 1881. Te 19.4

Fitted for Immortality—If man will cherish the light that God in mercy gives him upon health reform, he may be sanctified through the truth and fitted for immortality. But if he disregards that light and lives in violation of natural law he must pay the penalty.—Testimonies for the Church 3:162. Te 19.5