God's Plan: Abstemiousness - Temperance

Abstemiousness - Temperance

Dear brothers and sisters of the congregation of God,

This article is written for your profit and for the profit of the kingdom of heaven. It is God's express will that none be lost: "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." The Saviour's own words as preserved in the book of Luke 19:10.

Heaven will be more immensely prospered than we can possibly imagine by just one sinner that repents from his sins and turns from his evil ways into the path of eternal life. Our minds are woefully inadequate and utterly unable to fathom or calculate the worth of one single soul in the eyes of our God. Consider that God offered up His only Son that we might be redeemed!

Sister Ellen outlined eight natural laws or principles of health that are available to all of us; and that if practiced and obeyed will result in vibrant good health and longevity. Abstemiousness [temperance and moderation] is one of those laws. The essential purposes of the eight laws of natural health that sister White gave us are for building not only physical well being, but also to build and establish spiritual well being.

Keys to Spiritual Health

Without the faith of the Saviour; without the word of God; and without good physical health and stamina, spiritual strength and the resolve to resist temptation will falter. The spiritual stamina to endure afflictions will not be sufficient in the time of greatest need!

Exercising abstinace of that which is harmful, and exercising physical temperance [moderation] in the use of all things good will condition, train, and strengthen the mind to be spiritually strong. Practicing abstemiousness and temperance in the physical things of this world will teach us and supply us with the necessary discipline and resolve to avoid all things evil. And we will have the stamina to bear the great afflictions which must come our way. We will have spiritual resolve, self restraint, strength, and stamina!

Do you remember Joseph in Egypt? Joseph was in the habit of practicing the self discipline of abstemiousness and, consequently, he was able to resist the seductive temptations of Potiphar's wife. Had Joseph been in the habit of satisfying every momentary craving of pleasure, would he have been able to flee from the seductions of the temptress? Likely not!

A willfully mal-nourished body that is weak and sickly and not well cared for [due to poor lifestyle choices] is to the overwhelming advantage of the Devil and his evil angels. Such a one will neither have the strength, stamina, and resolve to resist the wiles of the enemy [he will be easy prey]; nor will he be able to endure the hard trials of afflictions that must soon come upon us.

Godly Knowledge

Godly knowledge is also essential. "The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed." 1 Samuel 2:3 The book of Proverbs tell us, "An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered." Proverbs 11:9 God's people are not to remain willingly ignorant. We must acquire knowledge of that which is good and healthful and acceptable in the eyes of our God.

The American Heritage Dictionary, Third Edition partly defines abstemious as 'utilizing self-restraint'. The same dictionary defines the word temperance in part as 'abstinance' and 'moderation'. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance defines the word moderation with a single word - 'appropriate'. The meaning as used by Ellen White means to absolutely abstain from anything that is harmful; and only to use that which is good appropriately [in moderation].

God's people because of their fallen nature at the entrance of sin into the world are given to excesses. Excesses of appetite; excesses of emotion; excesses and abuses of all kinds! There is a worldly saying or proverb that says, 'If a little is good, then a whole lot is even better!' This is the beguiling wisdom of Satan, the enemy of our souls. Do not pay any heed to such deceitful notions.

Salt is good! And it is even an essential ingredient in our diets. But excess salt in our diets becomes poisonous. It can cause edema, or swelling in the ankles and legs. Excessive salt can wreak havoc with blood pressure in some individuals. Too much salt causes the element potassium to be excreted in the urine; and this is damaging to good bone health; and it wreaks havoc with those suffering from osteo-arthritis and osteo-porosis. Excessive intake of salt can damage the kidneys. Salt must be used appropriately [intelligently] and in moderation. Knowledge is necessary in the appropriate use of that which is good!

Sunshine is good; and it too is essential to healthy living. But excessive exposure to sunlight is damaging to the skin and harmful. Even water can be used to excess. Knowledge and self-control are the keys to the appropriate use of those things which are good.

As far as the use of harmful things is concerned. God's people are to uttery avoid them. Just as sin is to be absolutely and utterly avoided, and there is no circumstance which justifies sin; all things which are harmful in their use are to be abstained from. Again this requires much godly knowledge and the greatest self-restraint!

A Work of Preparation

Abstemiousness and temperance are the work of preparation. Preparation of the soul [physical body] and of the spirit. Just as physical excercise strengthens muscles, exercising abstemiousness and temperance strengthen spiritual resolve, restraint, and stamina. Preparing the physical body [holy temple] to meet with a holy God is truly nothing less than spiritual preparation!

Signs in the earth, and signs in the heavens clearly indicate that we are closer to our salvation than when we first believed. Time is short! Even should we die at the age of an hundred years, time is still so very short. "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." Psalms 90:12

Ellen White repeats the warning over and over that the events of the final days on earth will follow in swift succession. Will you be prepared? "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." 3 John 2

Your friend at Angels 3 Bible.com HealthPage
Thomas Jeffery Forney

God's Plan: Abstemiousness - Temperance

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