Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 49, 1897

Obedience to Physical Laws

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

May 19, 1897

This manuscript is published in entirety in KC 44-49.

“When thou saidst, Seek ye my face: my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord will I seek.” [Psalm 27:8.] “He that cometh to God must believe that he is; and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” [Hebrews 11:6.] 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 1

A Christian! What does the term comprehend? Our Saviour says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him.” “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” “But ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” [John 14:15-17; 1 Corinthians 2:14.] 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 2

Thus the contrast between the two classes is presented. The world are those who receive not the drawing and invitation of Christ. Truth is that which they do not desire. They cannot desire Christ because they follow their own way and their own will. They do not see anything in Christ that they should desire Him. “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: for he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” [Isaiah 53:1-5.] 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 3

The natural growth cannot develop a symmetrical character. There must be a new birth. “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, but of God.” [John 1:12, 13.] “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. Marvel not that I say unto thee, ye must be born again.” [John 3:6, 7.] The believing soul is here represented in the words of Christ. “Ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” And His promise to His follower is, “I will not leave you comfortless.” [John 14:17, 18.] 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 4

I would say to every student in our school, Know thyself. The obligations we owe to God, in presenting to Him clean, pure, healthful bodies, are not comprehended. We have special duties resting upon us. We should become acquainted with our physical structure and the laws controlling natural life. While Greek and Latin, which is seldom of any advantage, is made a study, physiology and hygiene are barely touched upon. The study to which we should give thought is that which concerns the natural life, a knowledge of one’s self. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 5

There is not one in a thousand, married or unmarried, who realizes the importance of purity of habits, in preserving cleanness of body and purity of thought. Sickness and disease is the sure consequence of disobedience to nature’s laws, and neglect of the laws of life and health. It is the house in which we live that we need to preserve, that it may do honor to God who has redeemed us. We need to know how to preserve the living machinery, that our soul, body, and spirit may be consecrated to His service. As rational beings we are deplorably ignorant of the body and its requirements. While the schools we have established have taken up this study of physiology, they have not taken hold of the matter with that decided energy which they should. They have not practiced intelligently that which they have received in knowledge. And they do not realize that unless it is practiced, the body will decay. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 6

Notwithstanding all the light shining forth from the Scriptures on this subject; notwithstanding the lessons given in the history of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; notwithstanding the result of plain healthful diet, there is little regard for the lessons penned by men inspired by God. The dietetic habits of the people generally are neglected; there is an increase of tobacco using, liquor drinking, and subsisting on flesh meats. I see young boys here in this locality, bright-looking, intelligent youth, from ten to twelve years of age, following the example of their fathers. His habits and practices are educating his children to do as he does. When going to Cooranbong a few days since, two lads were sitting in a trap before me. They were about ten and eleven years of age. One was smoking a cigarette. He would use the vile, poisonous little roll of paper, then the other would take the same in his mouth and enjoy the luxury. Physical and moral ruin is seen everywhere. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 7

The question is asked, Have I not a right to do as I please with my own body? No; you have no moral right, because you are violating the laws of life and health which God has given you. You are the Lord’s property—His by creation and His by redemption. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” [Leviticus 19:18.] The law of self-respect for the property of the Lord is here brought to view. And this will lead to respect for the obligations which every human being is under to preserve the living machinery that is so fearfully and wonderfully made. This living machinery is to be understood. Every part of its wonderful mechanism is to be carefully studied. Self-preservation is to be practiced. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 8

The human agent has been granted a second probation. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] As you look upon your body, you should remember that you are every moment sustained by the Creator of all things, the Preserver of life, the Giver of happiness and peace and grace in obeying His requirements. Any action in eating, drinking, or dressing that is unhealthful, injured the fine works of the human machinery, and interferes with God’s order. There are obstructions created in bone, brain, and muscle, which are destroying this wonderful machinery that God has organized to be kept in good order. Any misuse of the delicate workmanship results in suffering. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 9

The transgression of physical law is the transgression of God’s law. Our Creator is Jesus Christ. He is the Author of our being. He has created the human structure. He is the Author of physical laws as he is the Author of the moral law. And the human being who is careless and reckless of the habits and practices that concern his physical life and health sins against God. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 10

Many who profess to love Jesus Christ do not show proper reverence and respect for Him who gave His life to save them from eternal death. He is not reverenced or respected or recognized. This is shown by the injury done to their own bodies in violation of the laws of their being. Whoever in any way disregards the law of their being, will suffer the sure consequence of their own course of action. And in their pain and suffering, they will, under the suggestions of Satan, find fault with God for causing them to be afflicted. Should the Lord work a miracle to restore the wonderful, fine machinery which human beings through their own carelessness and inattention, and their indulgence of appetite and passions, have destroyed in doing the very things that the Lord has told them that they should not do? Should He do so, the Lord would be administering unto sin, which is the transgression of His own law. The moral sense of the human agents in our world is exceedingly low upon the subject of their own bodies and their own lives. But the Lord has placed before the human family the right way in His Word. Will they keep the way of the Lord? 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 11

But with the world there is a sacrifice made that is amazing to the heavenly intelligences. Satan is Master of their appetites and inclinations, and he leads them to gratify and indulge perverted, unnatural appetite. He leads them to suppose that this is the very sum and substance of their happiness. A created appetite is the only law that controls the tobacco devotee, and it will continue to be thus to the close of this earth’s history. Men and women and children are corrupting their ways before the Lord. They are fast reaching the boundary line when the Lord will speak, and His words, going forth from His exalted throne, will not return unto Him void. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 12

To His servant that had long ministered to a rebellious generation, the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” [Genesis 6:7.] “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. ... The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” [Verses 5, 11-13.] 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 13

And Christ has declared of these last days, “As the days of Noah were, so also shall the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away, so shall the coming of the Son of man be.” [Matthew 24:37-39.] 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 14

And He exhorts His people, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would have come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing. Verily, I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and he shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken, the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of. And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” [Verses 42-51.] 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 15

Daniel kept a strict watch over his appetite and passions, that he might present his body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God. And Paul, the great apostle to the Gentiles, says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” [Romans 12:1, 2.] “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal; but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” [2 Corinthians 10:4, 5.] 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 16

“Simon Peter a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who hath called us to glory and virtue; 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. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience, godliness.” [2 Peter 1:1-6.] 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 17

The Lord has inspired men to write the very things that are essential for this time in regard to the special attention we must give to the care of the body. We are the Lord’s property. Christ has paid a sum for the ransom of man that in no way can be computed. He gave Himself a living offering to God. He bore the sins of the transgressor that God might be just, and yet be the justifier of the repenting, believing sinner. In the wilderness of temptation He overcame every temptation on the point of appetite. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and in His weak condition Satan assailed Him. But He answered not with His own words, for Satan was ready to enter into controversy had He done this. And yet His answer was His own words, traced by human pen under the inspiration of the Spirit of God. He met Satan with “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” [Matthew 4:4.] The insinuating temptation was presented, “If thou be the Son of God, command that this stone (in appearance exactly like bread) be made bread.” [Verse 3.] But the “if” of unbelief was not accepted, and there was no ground left for controversy. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 18

When the temptation was presented to Christ that the whole world should be given to Him if He would fall down and worship Satan, divinity flashed through humanity, and with a voice that Satan understood perfectly, He said, “Get thee hence, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” [Verse 10.] Thus Christ resisted every temptation. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 19

Then the whole universe of heaven rejoiced. Christ had passed over the ground of test and trial that Adam had failed to endure. In His human nature He had redeemed Adam’s disgraceful failure and fall. This meant everything to the human family. By overcoming in man’s behalf, He was placing fallen man on vantage ground with God. In His human nature Jesus gave evidence that in every temptation wherewith Satan shall assail fallen man there is help for him in God, if he will take hold of His strength, and through obedience made peace with Him. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 20

Jesus stood forth in human nature a conqueror in behalf of the fallen race. He was an overcomer in behalf of every human being, and as a pledge that all who shall receive His name may resist the temptations of Satan, and overcome in their own behalf as Christ has overcome in theirs. There is not one of the feeblest of humanity but can be a conqueror by being a partaker of the divine nature. As the branch is united to the vine and becomes partaker of the nourishment of the wine, so he who is one with Christ absorbs the elements of the life of Christ, and is [a] branch of the living Vine. Every member of the human family is honored by the achievement of this wonderful victory, making it possible for every soul to become a partaker of the divine nature if he will connect with Christ. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 21

All heaven was watching the working of the enemy against Christ when tempted in behalf of man. And all heaven is watching the strivings of every individual soul under every temptation by which men shall be beset. If he will resist the temptation, if he will not yield on any point, Satan cannot have the victory. And in the books of heaven will stand registered against your name that on such a day Satan sought to overthrow and ensnare one of My redeemed ones, but the tempted one looked to me, the conqueror, and I gave him angels to press back the powerful foe. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 22

“Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” [Verse 11.] Thus will angels minister to every soul who under temptation will resist Satan. Angels are appointed, “sent forth to minister to them that shall be heirs of salvation,” [to] minister unto them as they ministered unto Christ who was the Substitute and Surety of all who will receive Him. [Hebrews 1:14.] “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.] They occupy no middle ground. They are the subjects of faith and repentance, and are embraced in the promise, entitled through grace to come into relation with God as those whom he has addressed. “And let him take hold of my strength and make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 23

In that day when all cases are decided, when sentence are passed upon those who are rejecters of His mercy and His great love, provided for them by the sacrifice of the Son of the Infinite God who bore the sins of every son and daughter of Adam, each will be called to account for the talents in intellect, in earthly treasures to bestow upon the needy. And what will those answer who have turned away from light and from knowledge, and lived a careless, self-indulgent life? The amount of evidence a man has had presented before him, the number of talents which he has received, the returns made to the Master, these will determine his destiny for eternity. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 24

Those who have had privileges and opportunities and light upon light will find themselves brought into comparison with those whose religious advantages have been limited, but who have made diligent, persevering effort to lay hold on eternal life. Over such the Lord rejoices with singing. The whole heathen world will rise up in judgment against those whom heaven has favored the most, but who have placed themselves on Satan’s side, and worked in his lines to bring their soul-destroying narcotics to foreign lands, to pollute and destroy the heathen nations with their defiling and health-destroying drugs. For the sake of a revenue, a professedly Christian nation have forced their traffic upon the heathen nations at the point of the sword, and thus compelled them to accept their merchandise, which would, in using, degrade the people below the level of the brute creation. “Shall I not judge for these things,” saith God. [Jeremiah 5:9.] 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 25

Christ came to our world to restore the moral image of God in man; but the men who have had great light have given themselves over to Satan. They have worked out his plans in introducing tobacco, liquor, and opium into foreign heathen lands. And these things have been recognized by the intelligent heathen as a deadly evil that leads to all kinds of violence and crime, and stirs up the savage elements to delight in war. Thus ungovernable propensities are perpetuated, making it almost a hopeless task to send missionaries among them. And the heathen hate the white men for this kind of work. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 26

Although the so-called Christian has heard the message of warning, the message of mercy, he has misappropriated his talents and used them to advance the work of the first great apostate. His heart has become hardened to all the mercies received of God. He has abused His goodness, and done despite to the Holy Spirit by his persistent refusal to follow Christ. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 27

The Lord has made it part of His plan that man’s reaping shall be according to his sowing. And this is the explanation of the misery and suffering in our world, which is charged back upon God. The man who served himself, and makes a god of his stomach, will reap that which is the sure result of the violation of nature’s laws. Those who abuse any organ of the body to gratify lustful appetite and debased passions, in the married or unmarried life, will bear testimony of the same in his countenance. He has sown to fleshly lusts, and he will just as surely realize the sure consequence. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 28

The licentiate and profligate is attended by a never wearied fiend. He is like a hunted being. He is the slave to passion, the chains of which he is unwilling to break. And at last he is left of God, without conviction, without mercy, without hope, to destroy himself. He is left to the natural process of corrupting practices which degrade him beneath the brute creation. His sinfulness has ruined the mechanism of the living machinery, and nature’s laws transgressed become his tormentors. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 29

“Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof; I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then they shall call upon me, and I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me; for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord; they would none of my counsel; they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” [Proverbs 1:24-33.] 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 30

“I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go; keep her; for she is thy life.” [Proverbs 4:11-13.] Who will heed the warning? Who will turn unto the Lord with full purpose of heart? Who will take fast hold of instruction? “Let her not go,” is the injunction; “keep her; for she is thy life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it; pass not by it, turn from it; and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.” “The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble.” [Verses 13-17, 19.] This is the condition of our world today. “But the path of the just is as a shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” [Verse 18.] 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 31

The Lord sees every human being; He notes every phase of character. In the great day of judgment He will execute the sentence against the sinner. It will then be seen that the sinner’s conduct has never stopped with himself. Every departure from righteousness has a vital relation to His divine laws. Had we eyes as the eyes of God we would be able to see in the tiny seed the flower or shrub or tree there in enclosed. God made it thus. He searches the heart. He will look into our motives as He looks into the seed and He will reveal what we are and what we should have been. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 32

The last great day will be a triumph of law. The Lord is preparing for His last great work, and He will rise out of His place to punish the world for their iniquity. Then the earth will disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. Who will prepare to hold up a light amid the moral darkness that exists in our world. The wretchedness that has been accumulating for ages and that is degrading humanity is not sensed as it should be. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” is the command of God. [Exodus 20:3.] Idolatry exists in the churchgoers today as verily as in the days of Noah. But when this command is obeyed, the human family will be elevated, ennobled, and exalted. 12LtMs, Ms 49, 1897, par. 33