Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 113, 1898

“Present Your Bodies a Living Sacrifice.”


September 8, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 2MCP 388, 694; 5MR 360-361; 7MR 133; 10MR 306.

Some are in danger of taking the position that if Christ is their healer, there is no need for them to restrict the animal appetites. The answer for these will be found in the Word of God. The Lord promised the children of Israel that if they would keep His statutes and obey His commandments, all their diseases should be removed from them, and that there should not be one feeble person in all their tribes, and that He would establish them in the land of Canaan, a pure, happy, and holy people. But if they disregarded the conditions, if they were unmindful of the words of God and followed their own ways, they would dishonor God, and would suffer from sickness and disease and plagues. 13LtMs, Ms 113, 1898, par. 1

God calls upon all who will to come and drink, of the waters of life freely. The power of God is the one element of efficiency in the grand work of obtaining the victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. It is in accordance with the divine plan that we follow every ray of light given of God. Man can accomplish nothing without God, and God has arranged His plans so as to accomplish nothing in the restoration of the human race without the co-operation of the human with the divine. The part man is required to sustain is immeasurably small, yet in the plan of God it is just that part that is needed to make the work a success. 13LtMs, Ms 113, 1898, par. 2

“We are laborers together with God.” This is the Lord’s own wise arrangement. The co-operation of the human will and endeavor with divine energy is the link that binds men up with one another and with God. The apostle says, “We are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Man is to work with the facilities God has given him. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” He says, “for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] 13LtMs, Ms 113, 1898, par. 3

The organs of respiration may be restricted by the human agent. If they choose, they may cripple the organs of respiration and digestion. For disobedience to the laws of nature will be followed by the sure result. The Lord has graciously made the human frame so that the lungs, the liver and the heart shall do their appointed work without restriction. If men and women seek to improve God’s plan because of customs and fashions, they injure the delicate vital organs, and by their own foolish human inventions and ideas, they cut off from themselves the very means that God has ordained to keep the human machinery in healthful action. In crowding the body into as little compass as possible so that the waist may be small, the vital organs are cramped, and they cannot do the work God has designed they shall do. 13LtMs, Ms 113, 1898, par. 4

These false ideas, this ignorance in regard to the organs of the body and the work they are required to perform, has laid in the grave thousands who might now be living to do service for the God who made them. The Lord has given air for the human agent to breathe, and they must not restrict the organs from receiving their full complement. Every part of the being, the wonderful work of God, every movement in respiration, is essential, in order to keep the machinery moving. Our bodies are God’s property, to be carefully cherished, without adopting any of Satan’s agencies to interfere with the Lord’s wise and wonderful arrangements for life. 13LtMs, Ms 113, 1898, par. 5

David writes: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” [Psalm 139:14.] Every movement of the vital organs is the handiwork of God our Creator, and if the human agent will not interfere, the Lord will do his work wisely and well. All that He requires is co-operation with him, that there may be no disorder in the human mechanism. God would be recognized as the Author of our being. That life He has given us is not to be trifled with. Recklessness in the bodily habits reveals a recklessness of moral character. 13LtMs, Ms 113, 1898, par. 6

The health of the body is to be regarded as essential for the advancement of growth in grace, an even temper. If food is given to the stomach which will prove a tax to it, it will surely result in perverting the finer feelings of the heart. The stomach has a controlling influence upon the whole being, and has everything to do with the health of the whole body. If the stomach is not properly cared for, the formation of a moral character will be hindered. The brain and nerves are in sympathy with the stomach. Erroneous eating and drinking will result in erroneous thinking and acting. 13LtMs, Ms 113, 1898, par. 7

The indulgence of appetite in overeating is gluttony. The great variety of foods often taken at one meal is enough to create a disordered stomach and a disordered temper. Therefore God requires of every human being co-operation with Him, that none may go beyond their proper boundary in overeating or in partaking of improper articles of food. This indulgence strengthens the animal propensities and blunts the nobler sentiments of the mind. The whole being is degraded, and the human agent becomes the slave of appetite by pampering and indulging his own grovelling sensual passions. 13LtMs, Ms 113, 1898, par. 8

Said the apostle Paul to the Roman church: “I beseech you 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. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think: but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” [Romans 12:1-3.] 13LtMs, Ms 113, 1898, par. 9

Christ, the mighty Healer, has said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” [Matthew 16:24.] Those who choose to be presumptuous, saying, “The Lord has healed me, and I need not restrict my diet, I can eat and drink as I please,” will ere long need, in body and soul, the restoring power of God. They will find that selfish gratification of appetite will not ensure health. The Lord gave His word to ancient Israel that if they would cleave strictly to the Lord, and do all His requirements that He would keep from them all disease such as He had brought upon the Egyptians; but this promise was given upon the condition of obedience. Because the Lord has graciously healed you, you must not think that you can link yourself up with the self-indulgent practices of the world. Do as Christ commanded after his work of healing, “Go, and sin no more.” [John 8:11.] Appetite must not be made your god. 13LtMs, Ms 113, 1898, par. 10

O, how many lose the riches blessings that God has in store for them in health and spiritual endowments. There are many souls who wrestle for special victories and special blessings, that they may do some great thing. To this end they are always feeling that they must make an agonizing struggle in prayers and tears. When these persons search the Scriptures with prayer to know the expressed will of God, and then do His will from the heart without one reservation of selfish indulgence, they will find rest. All the agonizing, all the tears and struggles will not give them the blessing they long for. Self must be entirely surrendered. They must do the work that presents itself, appropriating the abundance of the grace of God which is promised to all who ask in faith. “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another: if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, even so also do ye.” [Colossians 3:12, 13.] 13LtMs, Ms 113, 1898, par. 11