Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 21 (1906)


Ms 81, 1906

The Object of Health Food Work

St. Helena, California

September 27, 1906

Portions of this manuscript are published in SD 70; 4BC 1160; HFM 88-91.

There was need for the establishment of the health food work and hygienic restaurants, and these have accomplished good. But they are not to become simply commercial enterprises. They are to be an object lesson. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 1

In the feeding of the five thousand, Christ passed food from His hands to the hands of the disciples. Of this we read, “So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when He had given thanks, He distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down.” [John 6:10, 11.] 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 2

The Word of God is here represented. The feeding of the five thousand with food from the hands of the disciples prepared the way for the giving of the gospel message. It was done with thanksgiving. The feeding of the multitude represents the feeding of hungry souls with the Bread of life. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 3

After the hunger of the people had been satisfied, the word was given, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” [Verse 12.] 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 4

Then follows the history of Christ’s giving the Word of life. Although Christ could furnish a supply of temporal food as often as He desired, yet He did not often perform a like miracle. When the people saw this miracle, they said, “This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.” [Verse 14.] Will they eat as readily of the Bread of life, the Word-food, as they did of the temporal food? Their minds, corrupted by false teaching, would not so readily receive the Word of eternal life. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 5

“Verily, verily, I say unto you,” Christ said, “Ye seek Me, not because ye saw the miracle, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labor not for the meat that perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you; for Him hath the Father sealed. Then said they unto Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, That ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” [Verses 26-29.] 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 6

He assured them that Moses gave them not the bread from heaven. “My Father,” He said, “giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” [Verses 32, 33.] 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 7

We have the result of this plain discourse. What was it? They would not receive the truth. They refused to hear and turned away from Christ. And their rejection of Christ, the Bread of life, was, to them, a final rejection of the truth. They walked no more with Him. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 8

“I am the Bread of life,” the author, nourisher, and supporter of eternal, spiritual life. In the thirty-fifth verse of the sixth chapter of John, Christ represents Himself under the similitude of heavenly bread. To eat His flesh and to drink His blood means to receive Him as a heaven-sent teacher. Belief in Him is essential to spiritual life. Those who feast on the Word never hunger, never thirst, never desire any higher or more exalted good. “In righteousness shalt thou be established; thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear; and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather together but not by Me; whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. ... No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord.” [Isaiah 54:14, 15, 17.] 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 9

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat; yea come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto Me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given Him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knewest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee, because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He hath glorified thee.” [Isaiah 55:1-5.] 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 10

What is our message? “Seek ye the Lord, while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God; for He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” [Verses 6-11.] 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 11

“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign, that shall not be cut off.” [Verses 12, 13.] 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 12

What a representation is this! God makes a most earnest, gracious offer of salvation to all who will empty their hearts of selfishness and of every species of idolatry. None need to despair of His mercy. Who will receive the Word, the Bread of life? This means receiving and believing in Christ, and uniting with Him in His works of mercy, teaching the way of life to sinners and backsliders—to all who have the tares of error mingled with their faith. “Buy,” He says, “without money and without price.” [Verse 1.] 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 13

All who make worldly good their portion, who seek to save themselves by their own devisings, will do exactly as did the disciples who would not understand Christ’s teaching, who refused to believe that He Himself is the Bread of life. These disciples, offended at the word of Jesus, walked no more with Him. They forsook His teachings. They depended on their own wisdom and spent money for that which is not bread. Their hearts and minds remained unsatisfied. It is eating the Bread of life that alone can satisfy the hungry soul. Without this Bread, the spiritual necessities must remain empty, unsatisfied. Christ’s words are spirit and life. It is the salvation of true obedience that gains for us eternal life. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 14

The Lord Jesus has pledged His own glorious perfection to those who will eat His flesh and drink His blood, to all who will seek His saving grace. Christ has pledged His word that sooner shall heaven and earth pass away than that any soul shall be put to shame who makes the Saviour his hope and his eternal reward. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 15

The Lord is present with His people in all their assemblies. He is acquainted with all their decisions and plans. They are to bring the truth, with its power to sanctify body, soul, and spirit, into all that they do. A spiritual creed with a selfish, carnal life God has no use for. This is a deception like that which rested upon Chorazin and Bethsaida. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 16

“Then began He to upbraid the cities wherein most of His mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell; for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for thee.” [Matthew 11:20-24.] 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 17

I have earnest words to speak to those who shall engage in the health food business. There is to be an entirely different feature brought into the work of our food stores, restaurants, and into every line in which our food productions are handled. This work must be carried forward as a means of gospel enlightenment to those who have not given themselves to the Lord. Those who handle these foods need daily the counsel of the One who created food for the five thousand hungry men. The work of our food stores and restaurants must be carried on in such a way that there will be no loss financially. We must not forget that this line of work needs to live. But all corrupting influences must be weeded out from it. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 18

Keep on the gaining side we must. But what is the use of carrying on this work if we have to sacrifice the principles of justice, mercy, and the love of God? What is the use of carrying it on if through its influence no souls are enlightened and prepared to lay hold upon the Word that is their spiritual food? Upon those connected with this work there should be urged the necessity of calling the attention of the people, with whom they are brought into contact, [to] the truths of heavenly origin. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 19

There should be appointed to the health food work men who are well qualified to speak words in season and out of season, and who can enlighten the minds of men and women in regard to the truth. Special wisdom is needed in order to understand when to speak and when to keep silent. Let each worker pray much for spiritual understanding. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 20

Financial gain is to be made a secondary matter. Let the mind become spiritualized. Watch unto prayer. It is hard for some to admit that, to a great extent, selfishness controls their actions. The food business is a door through which we are to let our light shine forth. Jesus is watching, ready to help every one who desires His help. My brethren, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God. Watch and pray, and work to answer your prayers by seizing the precious opportunities for service as they come. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 21

There is a genuine, sensible way in which to speak words of faith and encouragement. Paul, who had been greatly blessed by God, brought his religion into the workshop. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 22

Our workers may be sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and thus reap the very best results in their efforts to proclaim the truth. Such workers will not be satisfied unless they see something done. Often they will earnestly inquire of God, “Have I done all that I might have done in sowing the seeds of truth?” 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 23

Let our food stores and restaurants be provided with suitable reading matter—simply prepared tracts and papers, containing the truth in short, pointed tracts and articles. Thus the workers can bring the truth for this time before the minds of those with whom they talk. The mind needs to be sanctified, that it may be worked by the Spirit of God. The words spoken in season and out of season may be good seed dropped in the soil of the soul. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 24

Those who claim to be Christians do not do half that they might for the Master. Beside all waters the seed of truth is to be sown. Our restaurants and food stores must be made a means of enlightening minds. Let the workers have at hand leaflets and tracts containing the very best selections. If these cannot readily be sold, let them be given away; and good results will be seen from the seed thus sown. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 25

“Be thou prepared, and prepare thyself, thou and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely, all of them.” [Ezekiel 38:7, 8.] Read the thirty-eighth chapter of Ezekiel. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 26

This work is being done in foreign countries today and is being carried forward in a remarkable manner. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 27

I am not opposed to hygienic restaurants, but I am opposed to the exactions placed on the manufacture and sale of certain health food preparations. I am bidden to say to our people, Go forward, and use the capabilities God has given to human minds. Be content to live simply. Do not manufacture mixtures of foods. In no case pay the exactions required; for the Lord has given men and women ingenuity. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 28

In many places, in different sections of the country, an effort should be made to utilize natural products for healthful foods. A good work along this line may be done at Loma Linda. Our brethren there should make a beginning soon, even if all the arrangements regarding this work cannot be definitely decided upon at this time. As our brethren at Loma Linda study how to make the health food work a means of bringing the truth for this time before the minds of unbelievers, the Lord will add His blessing and will make plain the course they should pursue in the conduct of the business. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 29

A similar work is to be carried forward in the southern states. Men and women who embrace the truth in the South will often need to be helped to find employment. Many will find opportunity to engage in evangelistic work; and these should learn, in connection with this work, to teach worldlings how to prepare simple, palatable food. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 30

Outside the city of Nashville there are advantages that should be utilized in providing wholesome food for the people. Expensive buildings are not essential in order for this work to be carried forward. Let our health food men realize that the truth is to be sown beside all waters. My brethren in the health food work, speak words that will impress minds. Conduct meetings that will be a means of converting souls. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 31

In times past I have written to our brethren in the South, that as soon as they are prepared to carry forward the health food work in a proper manner, for the advancement of present truth, it would be well for them to make a beginning. If wise plans could be made to operate the food plant near Nashville, this would give opportunity for many to secure employment. But let not our brethren in the South, or in any other field, pay large sums for the privilege of manufacturing and handling expensive foods. We can use the productions that the Lord has given us. These are to be prepared by the skilful hands and minds of those whom the Lord shall teach. We need minds that can be worked in an unselfish way. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 32

My heart is drawn out with a desire that, in the future, many of our colored brethren shall be provided with suitable employment in various industries, including the manufacture of health foods. In some instances it may be possible to place colored brethren and sisters in healthful locations under men and women who are taught of God. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 33

My attention is called to the Word of the Lord in Ezekiel 42, the directions given the prophets regarding the buildings that were to be prepared. This instruction is given in several chapters. The Lord is always prepared to help both white and colored people, if matters are handled as they should be. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 34

These chapters in Ezekiel show that the Lord is the great deviser and planner. When men use for their own advantage the wisdom that the Lord has given them, then the Lord will manifest His own rights. “Then said the Lord unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it; therefore it shall be shut. It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the Lord. He shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.” [Ezekiel 44:2, 3.] 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 35

I present these matters before you. I am directed to say that the Lord has a great controversy with the men who have exalted themselves. Some have made nothingness of God. “Then brought He me the way of the north gate before the house, and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord; and I fell upon my face. And the Lord said unto me, Son of man, mark well, and behold with thine eyes and hear with thine ears, all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the Lord, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary. And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all your abominations, in that ye have brought into My sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary, to pollute it, even My house, when ye offer My bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken My covenant because of all your abominations. And ye have not kept the charge, but ye have set keepers of my charge in My sanctuary for yourselves. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 36

“Thus saith the Lord God: No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into My sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel. And the Levites that are gone away far from Me, when Israel went astray, which went astray from Me after their idols, they shall bear their iniquity; yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary; having charge at the gates of the house, and ministering to the house: they shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister unto them. Because they ministered unto them before their idols, and cause the house of Israel to fall into iniquity, therefore have I lifted up Mine hand against them, saith the Lord God, and they shall bear their iniquity. And they shall not come near unto Me, to do the office of a priest unto Me, nor to come near to any of My holy things in the Most Holy Place; but they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which they have committed. I will make them keepers of the charge of the house; for all the service thereof, and for all that shall be done therein. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 37

“But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of My sanctuary, when the children of Israel went astray from Me, they shall come near to Me to minister unto Me, and they shall stand before Me, to offer unto Me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord God. They shall enter into My sanctuary, and they shall come near to My table, to minister unto Me, and they shall keep My charge.” [Verses 4-16.] 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 38

I present this matter to all who may have wisdom to understand it. The Lord is no less strict today concerning the holiness of His servants. All who serve God with purity of soul will know that He is jealous that His honor should be preserved. Many of the most glorious revelations recorded in the Bible were made by the Lord in the darkest days of the church’s history. The Lord has given these revelations of His glory in order that men may be deeply impressed regarding the sacredness of His service. Impressions have been made that should bear with solemn force on the mind, showing that God is God, and that He has not lost His glory. He requires the utmost fidelity in His service today. The impression must be left on human minds that the Lord God is holy, and that He will vindicate His glory. 21LtMs, Ms 81, 1906, par. 39