Miraculous Medicine

The focus of this talk is the wonderful message of health God provides us in the Bible.
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I know there may be some who are here for the first time, either at our local site in Lansing, Michigan, or friends who are watching from all different parts of the world right now. And I want to welcome you to the Here We Stand Program.

I’d like to just reiterate what we’ve been doing. This is a special, unique series where we are highlighting some of the distinctive differences of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Now Seventh Day Adventist Christians are bible Christians. When people ask me what denomination I am, I tell them I don’t want to brag, but I’m a Seventh Day Adventist.

It’s amazing, I meet some people, they’re afraid because, you know, some people accuse the Seventh Day Adventist Church of being a cult. And we should expect that because if God does have a Remnant Church in the last days and are the devil, you’d scandalize it every way you could. You’d try to defame it, you’d try to brand in the wrong way, but we are Bible Christians.

When they say, well, what do you believe? I say, I believe the bible. We’re bible Christians. But there are some distinctive differences between what Seventh Day Adventists believe and general Christendom that I believe has done a lot of compromising over the ages. The Seventh Day Adventist movement is a movement where people are being called back to biblical Christianity.

As it is says in the Book of Jude 3, ‘When I found it necessary to write to you, it was needful that I should write, that you might earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints,’ for evil men have crept in unaware and people are eroding some of the foundational teaching. So we talked about one of the obvious differences. We talked about our understand of the law, the Sabbath.

Many Christians believe that you die and go right to heaven and hell before the judgments, so we talked about the state of the dead and the punishment of the wicked, that are people are sleeping until the resurrection. We talked about the role of Ellen White and prophesy, the Remnant Church.

Tonight we’re going to be talking about the Second Coming. A lot of misunderstandings with this whole left-behind scenario that’s become so popular. One of the things that people think of when they think about the Seventh Day Adventist Movement is what we call the Health Message. And that’s our subject this morning. It’s one of my favorite subjects. We’re going to be talking to you a little bit about Miraculous Medicine.

But I want to begin as I often do with an Amazing Fact. If there ever is a miracle drug, that miracle drug in the last century would have been penicillin. It’s mind-boggling to think about how people died that did not need to die from simple infections because they really had no way to prevent or to treat it. So many casualties on the battlefield because simple infections spread.

Well, first it was Alexander Fleming, later Sir Alexander Fleming, the doctor at St. Mary’s Hospital. He had a culture with some staff infection growing in it and he noticed that a mold had somehow contaminated it and where the mold was, this penicillin mold, it was preventing the growth of the bacterium. And he made a note of that and wanted to do more research, but it wasn’t too long -- that was 1928 -- World War II came around and three other scientists from Oxford University, they resumed Dr. Fleming’s studies and they said we really need something for the soldiers on the battlefield.

And they went into overdrive trying to develop this mold and trying to find where they could reproduce quickly. They were afraid that the Germans would bomb their facilities and they were prepared to smuggle mold in their clothing out of the country because it was such a top-secret important study. They finally had the research continue in North America, not far from Peoria, and they were looking for the very best culture and they were offering a reward to those who could find the best mold. People were bringing their moldy food to the research lab.

This one lady brought a cantaloupe that had stuff growing on it and it proved that the mold on the cantaloupe was one of the best and they could grow it three times as fast and they could not get it made quickly enough and the first few doses of penicillin cost $20 a dose. Do you know how much that was back during the war? That was 1943. By the end of the war, it was 50 cents a dose. And it was a miracle what they had done and so many people that would have been written off as hopeless and terminal, it was considered a miracle cure.

Well you know, there is a lot of stations, a lot of magazines, a lot of marketers that are selling miracle drugs, food supplements, and it is a multibillion dollar business. Do you know why? A lot of people are sick. There’s a lot of sickness in our culture in spite of all the miraculous discoveries in medicine and the modern advances in technology and in treatment, it seems like more people are sick now than ever before. And it used to be when people might have died a little sooner, a few generations ago, they died easier. They just sort of fell over. Now people start dying at 50 and they last until they’re 80 and they’re just sick the whole time and suffering and miserable.

And there is a healthcare crisis that just about everybody recognizes right now in the country and the greatest problem with our healthcare crisis is not just that people don’t have insurance. That is a problem. What, 15 to 20 percent of people have no medical insurance and the medical costs are so high.

Let me give you a little tip. I was just in Columbia and while I was in Columbia -- my health problem is hay fever. You’ve got ragweed here in Michigan. Did you know that? The wind’s been blowing the last few days and I’m sniffing right now. When I was in Columbia there was something there that aggravated me and so I went to the store to get this prescription for something. One little pill I take keeps my head clear. Here in America, if it wasn’t for my medical insurance was like ten dollars a pill. I did not even need a prescription to get it in Columbia. It was ten cents a pill. Something’s fishy. Same exact pill. And so I bought a nice supply while I was down there.

But the insurance companies and because of the deep pocket suits in our country, it’s an incredible problem. And the emergency rooms are just backed up. Heaven forbid you get sick and you go to an emergency room, if you’re just a little sick, waiting there for four hours, you might get something that’ll really take you out. People are all lined up and there is a crisis.

But you know what I think the biggest crisis is, I’ll tell you what the miracle pill that we should distribute in North America is that nobody is taking. It’s called the pill of prevention. Everybody is wanting to treat the result and nobody is wanting to treat what the cause is.

And the bible has a miracle medicine in it and it’s the keys to prevention and healing. It’s not just prevention, it’s also even the keys of things you can following, practical things you can follow to be healed. Let’s find out what the bible says about some of these principles for miracle medicine and long life. The bible has a lot to say.

Question No. 1 - Are health principles really part of true bible religion? Let’s find out what the Lord says in his word. Look with me at the 3 John 1:2, ‘Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.’ It’s very clear in the bible God is interested in a physical prosperity as well as a spiritual prosperity. God cares about that.

The next verse in Matthew 4:23, ‘And Jesus went about all Galilee teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom,’ -- He was a teacher, He was a preacher, -- ‘…and healing all manner of sickness and disease among the people.’ Notice that along with Jesus, teaching and preaching he did what? Healing. Part of the ministry of Christ and every Christian should be related to not only talking about people’s spiritual health and their mental understanding, but their physical health.

John 10:10, Jesus said, ‘I am coming that they might have life,’ -- not only eternal life, but, -- ‘…they might have life more abundantly.’ Now, I like that picture. That gentleman, he’s alive today. I think when the picture was taken he was in his 80s. His name is Banana George. Do you know what his favorite food it? Bananas. Don’t take that picture away. I want that picture up on the screen for just a second. You notice that he doesn’t have dentures. He’s skiing with a rope in his mouth. But if he did, he must have really good Polygrip. He started skiing at 40 and he’s skiing barefoot. He started skiing barefoot at 46, started snowboarding at 70. He was still skiing barefoot up to 90. Obviously he got plenty of sunshine, water, fresh air and exercise, which are some of the most important ingredients to health and longevity.

Why should a Christian primarily be interested in good health? Well, the principal reason is that this is part and parcel of the Christian religion, your mind is a miracle. Another little Amazing Fact for you. Even with today’s microprocessors -- and they micro microprocessors today, that in order to build a computer and that be able to do what human brain does -- I heard someone say you would need a building as big as the Empire State Building to hold it, you would need all of the water of Niagara Falls to power it and you’d need the same water of Niagara Falls to cool it. One human brain. Because it would generate heat to do the processing that’s going on between your ears right now. That’s assuming that you are processing and listening to what I’m saying.

You’ve got this miraculous two and a half approximately pound electro chemical computer that is recording and processing a fabulous amount of information. I mean, you just think about what’s going on right now is I’m speaking to you, my brain is not only controlling the thoughts that I’m saying and controlling the muscles in my mouth and my eyes and my physical mannerisms, it’s controlling my heartbeat, by body temperature, the breathing of my lungs and a million other functions I’m not even thinking about, it’s a miracle. Just think, it only took 50 billion years for that to evolve. Sorry, I’m being sarcastic. I don’t believe it evolved.

Now, your brain is unique in that not only is it a physical organ; we all know if it doesn’t get blood, if it doesn’t get oxygen, that it dies. But even brain surgeons admit that they don’t understand how a thought is stored. A thought is almost a spiritual thing. So your brain is the principal meeting through which God communicates to you. God does not communicate to you through your ankle. He doesn’t not -- you might say the Lord is in my heart, but you know, you could have an electronic plastic heart and he still could enter your heart, but it’s not the plastic device that’s pumping the blood. But I’ve never known anybody that says I’ve got an artificial brain or having a brain transplant. It’s the holy of holies. God speaks to you through your brain, yet it is physical.

There are things physically you can do to take care of your mind. The better your body health is in, the more clearly your mind typically thinks. And that’s why it’s so important for us to maintain good health. The clearer your mind is, the easier it is for you to hear the Holy Spirit speaking to you. It’s true. The devil wants to befuddle and cloud our minds and destroy our health because it makes it more difficult for us to comprehend spiritual truth and to understand his voice to our spirit.

It’s very important for us to recognize there’s this connection. That’s why the devil has a whole generation and they’re all fuzzy with drugs and rock music that’s fevered their brains and videogames, so that they can’t think clearly and hear the simple voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to the sensitive nerves and the synopsis taking place in their minds.

One of the best reasons then to take care of your health is to take care of your brain because God speaks to us through our minds. You want to have good health and a clear mind so you can worship God better and so you can serve God better.

So the three reasons to take care of your health are 1) for the Glory of God, 2) because you love your neighbor and you want to serve him better, 3) because you love yourself and you’ll feel better. You’ll have a longer life and a better life if you take care of your health. So I can’t overemphasize this.

Part of the reason the bible even teaches fasting, you almost never hear people talk about that anymore, but it is a New and Old Testament teaching. Amen. It’s because it gives your mind a chance to rest and your blood gets purified because we’re eating so much sometimes, our blood is so full of sugar and fat and the different things we’re eating, it befuddles our thinking a little bit. It’s good to fast periodically. Typically once a week. I’m not praying like the pharocy, but I try to fast at least for a meal, if not longer, and I find it clears my mind, I hear the Holy Spirit speaking more precisely and this is part of good health. Not only that, but it teaches you self-control. And we are not a culture that likes to wait for food, do we? If lunch is ten minutes late, we say we’re starving. And most of us don’t know what starving means.

Question No. 2 - Why did God give health rules to His people? I’ve got these glasses, speaking of good health, and I’m supposed to read close from the bottom of them and so I’ve got to go like that to read the screen. Getting old, Grandpa. Why did the Lord give these health things to his people? Deuteronomy 6:24, ‘And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes for our good always that He might preserve us alive.’ It’s for our good that he gave us these things. Exodus 23:25, ‘And you shall serve the Lord your God and He will bless your bread and your water and I’ll take sickness away from the midst of thee.’

God told the children of Israel as they were going through the Wilderness that if they would serve the Lord, he’d bless their food. I hope you pray over your food and ask a blessing. After following the health principles that God gave the children of Israel and after going through the wilderness, by the time they entered the Promised Land, listen to what it says about them. Psalms 105:37, ‘He brought them forth and there was not one feeble person among their tribes after following the health principles that God had given the children of Israel for 40 years and a nation of approximately 2.5 million that crossed into the Promised Land. Can you imagine any city with 2.5 million and the hospitals empty? Wouldn’t that be nice? Not one feeble person among their tribes.

I can tell you how to solve the medical crisis in North America. If all of the citizens in our country right now would begin following the principles of health in the bible, it would turn it around. Of course the drug companies would a lot of money and the hospitals would have a problem, so I’m sure they’re ready for that. They make a lot more money treating our sickness than they do teaching prevention. Because teaching prevention can be free.

Question No. 3 - Do God’s health rules have anything to do with eating and drinking? Well, the bible has a lot to say. 1 Corinthians 10:31, ‘Whether therefore you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to,’ -- what? -- ‘…the glory of God.’ Now, if it’s possible to eat to the glory of God, wouldn’t you say it’s safe to assume it is possible to not eat to the glory of God? It’s possible to eat to the glory of the devil. And a lot of people, that’s who they glorify by the way they eat and they drink. Isaiah 55, ‘Eat ye that which is good.’ God would not command us to eat that which is good unless it was possible some people were eating that which is bad. It does matter. It has an effect on our bodies, it affects our minds, it affects our spiritual relationship with the Lord.

Question No. 4, What did God give people to eat when He first created them in the beginning and He provided the perfect diet? What was the original diet that God gave to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden? We can learn something here about the ideal diet by looking back at the beginning. Genesis 1:29, ‘And God said behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for meat.’ And that word meat there means food. It’s the Old English word.

The original diet for man was fruits, grains, nuts, legumes. That was his original diet. That’s the ideal diet. Man was eating from the tree of life at this point and he was intended to flourish through eternity. His body was going to live forever. That was part of God’s original plan. After sin, when man was evicted from the Garden of Eden and he could no longer eat from the tree of life, evidently there was something missing that the tree of life offered. God was not going to supplement it with a substitute and He told man in Genesis 3:18, ‘He could now eat vegetables.’ I’m sure there’s a lot of young people who think that was part of the curse. It said, ‘Thou shalt eat the herb of a field.’

Now let me give you a little test. You know what the difference is between a fruit and a vegetable? All right. Fruit or vegetable? Tomato? Fruit. Zucchini? Fruit. A lot of people think it’s a vegetable. Potato? Vegetable. Eggplant? Fruit. Some of you know what the rule is, very good. You’re doing better than most classes. Some people think eggplant is a vegetable. Some people think that of crooked neck squash, it’s a fruit. And some of your kids that they don’t want to eat zucchini, just tell them it’s kind of like a green banana. See if that’ll help. Pretend. They’re fruit.

The difference between a fruit and a vegetable is the fruit is going to be the product of a blossom of the plant. Watermelon is a fruit. Cantaloupe is a fruit and they’re in the squash family. Tomato is a fruit. Anything that is the product of the blossom, like apples and pears and tangerines, they’re all fruit. Any other part of the plant; the leaf, vegetable, the stalk, vegetable, the root, vegetable. So if it’s not the product of the blossom -- and of course you’ve got the seeds, which are the same as nuts and so forth. All right. That is the ideal diet. A vegetarian diet. Under that diet, the jury is in now, it is very clear that a vegetarian diet is the optimum diet for man.

How many of you saw the report in National Geographic a few months back where they actually highlighted Seventh Day Adventists as one of the groups to be studied because they are among the longest living group or among the longest living people with less disease and those statistics would be a whole lot better if Seventh Day Adventists followed what they know. I’m amazed that we still even got noticed because so many don’t follow what they know and indeed many are vegetarians, which is great, but then they pig out on sugar. Pardon me. And they have a whole other raft of problems that go along with that.

If we follow the principles of health -- but in spite of that, National Geographic and others have done a number of studies because Seventh Day Adventists have a lot less of certain types of diseases and cancers because they are largely, or a high percentage of them, vegetarians. I’m a vegetarian and I have been for 30 years now. I think some people have probably slipped me some stuff at potlucks before I wasn’t aware of. That’s why we pray before we eat. But there’s a few times I’ve been at an airport or a restaurant and I’ve had to pick a few things aside. You know what I’m talking about. But I’ve been a vegetarian for 30 years now and I’m a grandfather and I think I’m in pretty good health. I’m not going to do a back handspring though. It’s Sabbath morning. But look at this -- okay, so that’s all I’ll do for Sabbath morning. I’ve got five grandkids.

If you’re a vegetarian -- let me see, I wonder if I could -- you will feel a lot better. I’ve been playing racquetball with a few of the gentlemen here. I can see Dane back there. Dane, am I in good health? [Yes.] Okay, he’s been playing racquetball with me. The idea that you don’t get enough carbohydrates or you don’t get enough protein if you’re a vegetarian, that is a total myth. You get plenty of protein and the people who are saying you need protein, they’re often saying you need a lot more than you really need. The fact is that some of the people who are living the longest, they are vegetarians.

I went to Australia with the family a couple of years ago and while we were there, we went to visit what they call the Australia Zoo. We were introduced to Harriet the Tortoise. This is a picture I actually took. It’s an amazing story. Harriet the Tortoise was first picked up in 1845 by Charles Darwin. Actually, Charles Darwin thought it was Tom, Dick, and Harry and for years they thought Harriet was Harry. And after living in England for a few years, they were about the size of dinner plates when he brought them to England. A couple of them died, Tom and Dick died. Harry survived, but Darwin felt bad because he wasn’t doing well. He put him on a whaling ship and sent him to Australia. Harry lived in the Botanical Gardens there and, the poor thing, they tried to force unnatural relations on him for years so that he would breed, not knowing that Harry was really Harriet. Then she was finally sold to the Australia Zoo, the oldest living creature on earth that they know of right now, 175 or 176 years of age, a vegetarian. So if you eat a vegetarian diet, you’ll look like that. No.

Question No. 5 - What items are specifically mentioned by God as being unclean and forbidden in the bible? There are some things God says you shouldn’t eat at all. They’re unclean, they’re an abomination, don’t eat them. And the list is given in Leviticus 11:3. It says, ‘Among the animals, whatever divides the hoof, having cloven hoofs and cheweth the cud, that you may eat.’ So an animal needed both characteristics. They chew the cud, like a cow or sheep or goat, and it needed to have the cloven hoof and they were considered to be clean animals if they had those two characteristics. If they did not have those characteristics among the mammals, they should not be eaten.

Some of you have heard about the nutritional pyramid that has been released by the Health Industries of North America. It talks about the foods you should the most of and the foods you should eat the least of for health. At the bottom, they’ve got the breads and the cereals, the rice, the pasta. In group one, that’s supposed to be really what you combine, the bulk of your diet. Then they put in group two the fruits and the vegetables. I really think that ought to be on the bottom tier. And then they’ve got the meats and the cheeses and the animal products at the top and then they’ve got the fats and the oils. I think you’d be a lot better if you just cut to the top two tiers off that pyramid. You’d live a lot longer, you’d feel a lot better and you would have a lot less problems with disease, you’d have more energy.

I’ll tell you, I know this personally. Don’t laugh, but I’m going to show you an old picture. I don’t know if you can see the whole thing. The whole part of this has been cropped. That is me, believe it or not. That’s 30 years ago. After I came down from the cave, I had a business selling steaks and you can see part of the sign there on the Volkswagen, it says ‘Wholesale Prime Beef Steaks.’ I had a terrible diet growing up. My mom was a good cook, but we just didn’t eat very well. When I was growing up, I might Twinkies for breakfast or cookies and sometimes Fruit Loops with lots of sugar. My brother and I would swig down some coffee and then head off to school. We didn’t have very good diets. Living with my dad, he’d take us out to eat and we’d eat turtle and frog and a lot of creepy things, Rich people eat bad things. Poor people that eat beans and rice usually have less problem. You eat too many processed foods and too many weird things.

So I ran away when I was 15. I finally ended up in a cave, had no refrigeration and so I would eat the day-old bananas from the dumpster. I made good banana bread on a campfire, made a lot of banana bread. And I would eat a lot of fruits and grains and vegetables and rice and stuff like that. I was probably the healthiest in my life at the time. And I was even smoking then, but I had lots of exercise and I just felt really good because my diet was so good.

And then I came down to town and I got into this meat business where I would buy sections of beef, I’d butcher them, I’d drive around the desert cities in my Volkswagen with a refrigerated cooler in the back and I sold butchered steaks. But I had the best cuts for myself and I was eating steak literally three times a day. I’d have New York steak and eggs for breakfast, I’d have filet mignon for lunch and I’d have T-bone for dinner. I had a voracious appetite and a 30-inch waist. It was amazing. Then I’d top it off with a quart of ice cream before I went to bed.

I immediately noticed I was not feeling as well eating the rich diet. I became a vegetarian before I joined the Seventh Day Adventist Church. It wasn’t for me some religious criteria and it just because I learned so much while I was selling meat about meat and the problems with the industry and the sanitation issues, I thought, man, this stuff is not clean and the animals aren’t all healthy and they still sell it. Sometimes when they don’t know what else to do with it, it turns into hamburger. And if people only knew what I knew, it’d be a lot easier for you to appreciate the vegetarian diet. All you’ve got to do is read some of the headlines.

Newsweek Magazine, 1997, can this meat kill you, the e-coli problem. They’ve had several other scares since then. Salmonella problems and you’ve heard about the mad cow disease and mad pig disease. I know some of you are thinking, but Pastor Doug, God designed humans to eat meat. We learned this in science class. That’s why we’ve all got these canine teeth right here. That’s proof that we’re supposed to be meat eaters. Oh, really? This fellow has canine teeth, too. He’s a vegetarian. So if you’re a vegetarian, you’ll look like this. No. No, it’s a myth, the idea that you’ve got these teeth.

The human digestive system actually flourishes on a vegetarian diet and if you were to compare the digestive track of a human, it belongs with those of the vegetarian category. The animals that have a meat diet -- you know, I play guitar and guitar strings are called sometimes cat gut. They used to call them that because the original guitar strings were made from cat gut because cats, which are carnivorous, they’ve got a very straight digestive system that processes food very quickly, because otherwise it stays in their system long enough to putrefy and cause problems. The carnivorous animals process the meat very quickly.

The human body, when it eats meat, it takes much longer to process it and it actually does begin to putrefy in the system and that’s why there’s so many incidences of colon cancer and diverticulitis and a whole ream of problems, because meat should never be part of the human diet. Now the bible does not say you’ve got to be a vegetarian. Pastor Doug highly recommends it. When we get to heaven, we’re all going to be vegetarians, right? Some of you sound shocked by that. Do you really think when we get to heaven we’re going to chasing chickens around and cutting off their heads so we can make buffalo wings? When Adam was naming the animals, was he looking at the cow and going Whopper and Big Mac and Nuggets?

We’re all going to be vegetarians in heaven, so I’m just getting ready. You should start yourself. You’ll feel a lot better. But if you’re going to eat meat, know what the categories are according to the bible. Some things are unclean. They’re a total red light. They’re not even yellow like a red light. Among the fish, Leviticus 11:9, ‘These you shall eat of all that are in the waters, whatsoever had fins and scales, then you may eat.’

And I understand that the Navy a number of years ago did a study because they would have sailors that would go down in the ocean, they’d be in these lifeboats sometimes for days. They’d be forced to eat whatever fish was swimming around the raft or on the islands where they got deserted. They wanted to find a rule of thumb because some of the sailors had eaten fish that were highly toxic and poison and they didn’t know what was safe and what wasn’t safe. So after all this study, and who knows how much of the taxpayers’ money they spent on this, they finally came up with a conclusion. Do you know what they said? If it’s got fins and scales, it’s probably safe. Which is of course what the Lord said.

Now having said that, there are a lot of things that people eat that are considered seafood that don’t have fins and scales and the bible says they’re an abomination. Lobster, I used to love lobster. Shrimp, oysters, when you think about it, these are scavengers. Lobsters crawl around the bottom. I used to hunt lobster in the ocean and they eat whatever dies and falls to the bottom. They’re scavengers. Oysters, they live down on the bay floor soaking up all of the diesel and everything else that might be in the water. God puts these creatures there to clean the environment. He does not want us to eat the scavengers. Catfish, they’ve got fins, they don’t have scales. And they used to say you catch the biggest catfish by the mouth of the sewer. They’re not clean.

My brother and I, we used to catch and eat catfish, dad’s mansion was right there on Biscayne Bay in Miami Beach and we’d catch catfish. My brother one time was pulling the hook out, the catfish wiggled, it boned him with a dorsal fin and it was so toxic, he could never bend his finger again the rest of his life. It killed the nerves. We’re not supposed to eat those things. Oh, but Pastor Doug, gumbo tastes so good. Gumbo is like a death sentence. Anything that crawls across the plate. So if you’re going to eat seafood, it’s got to have fins and scales. People ask, tuna, Pastor Doug, please tell me, does tuna have scales? Yes, it does. They’re little bitty scales, but it does have them. But if you eat that, be careful.

Leviticus 11, what about the birds? The Lord tells us that there are certain birds that were unclean to eat. It says, ‘Every raven after its kind and the owl and the nighthawk and the macaw and the hawk after its kind and the pelican, these things are unclean.’ Now, a person might be thinking, well, Pastor Doug, what is the rule for the birds? There’s a rule for the mammals and a rule for the sea life. What about the birds? As near as we can tell, the rule that God offers for the birds, any bird that was a foraging bird. Those are birds like the chicken, the turkey, the pheasant, the quail, they peck around for the seeds on the ground. Those were typically the clean ones. Technically pigeons are clean birds. Meaning people in New York City will last a long time. Even here in Michigan. But all of the scavengers, like the owls and the hawks and the vultures, they were considered unclean.

Someone is thinking, Pastor Doug, it doesn’t have a cloven hoof, it doesn’t chew the cud, what about pork? Does that mean pork is unclean? But I like pork, will God destroy me if I eat it? Well, let’s find out what the bible says. You want to go by the bible, friends? Isaiah 66:15 and 17, ‘For behold the Lord will come,’ -- speaking of the last days, the Lord coming, notice, --‘…with fire and with his chariots and like a whirlwind to render his anger with fury. They that sanctify themselves,’ -- they’re can justify themselves, I can do this, they’re rationalizing, -- ‘…and purify themselves eating swine’s flesh,’ -- you all know what swine is, the hog, it’s a pig, same thing, -- ‘…and the abomination, and the mouse,’ -- God is putting pork and rats in the same category, -- ‘…they will be consumed together, says the Lord.’ God does not want his people eating pork.

And I know some of our friends who are listening right now are saying, oh, Pastor Doug, you’re putting these people under the bondage of the law. Not only is there abundant biblical support for this, there is good, practical scientific support for this. When I was in the meat business, I went to one of my friends -- I used to sell USDA prime beef, that was my major thing I sold. And one of my customers said, Doug, I appreciate the steaks, can you get me some prime pork? And no one had ever asked me that before, so I went to my supplier, this butcher, and said someone is asking for prime pork and he laughed. He said they don’t grade pork the way they grade beef. Beef they grade as prime, choice, good.

But the pork, the U.S. Department of Agriculture prints pamphlets telling people if you’re going to eat it, you’d better cook it very well to kill the trichiniasis larvae, do not cook your pork in the microwave because the microwave does not cook it evenly and some of the trichiniasis could survive. And if you didn’t know about it, allow me to gross you out. When the muscle tissue containing trichina cysts are eaten by humans, these little cysts are in the flesh of the pig frequently, the cysts are digested in the stomach and it releases the larvae, the temperature of the stomach and the enzymes, it releases the larvae, they migrate into the intestine, they get into the blood and they begin a new life cycle. Female trichina worms live about six weeks. In that time, they might release 15,000 larvae and these cysts that infect many pigs into humans and they lodge in their joints and their muscles.

And I read one place that one out of six autopsies they found in North America they found evidence of trichina infection because people ate so much pork. And a lot of people went through their lives thinking they had bursitis and arthritis. They had pigitis, is what it was, and they didn’t know it. It says the migration and incistment of the larvae can cause fever, pain, even death. Some people have died from eating contaminated pork.

I really appreciate this statement. Newsweek, September 6, 1999, a few years ago, one nutritionist said bacon wasn’t technically a meat anymore. It did not belong to any food group at all. It was a salty nitrate-ridden fat-laden carcinogenic thing. That’s a nutritionist. I don’t think he was a member of our church. And so pork should not be eaten. A lot of people have been giving it up and the pork industry has been threatened.

So they began this new advertising campaign to try to make pork sound healthy. They call it the other white meat. They’re very careful because they could get sued for false advertising, so they don’t say what’s good about white meat because when people think about white mean, they’re thinking about lean meat, like fish or chicken. Pork is nothing like fish or chicken. It is very salty. It is concentrated with fat and it is very exposed to disease. And when you buy that stuff in the supermarket, do you think from the time that it’s been slaughtered until it’s wrapped up on that shelf it’s been sterilized in any way? It hasn’t been.

1 Timothy 4:4, some are saying, but Pastor Doug, the bible says you can eat anything, just pray over it. Doesn’t it say, ‘For every creature of God is good and nothing can be refused if it be received with thanksgiving for it’s sanctified by word of God and prayer.’ And I’ve met some of these hillbillies, you know, these good ‘ole boys, and they said, Pastor Doug, what are you telling me, if God doesn’t want us to eat it, then why did he make it? And I guess their premise is they’re supposed to shoot everything that crawls across their plate and eat.

If you really argue that every creature of God is good, that means it’s okay to eat maggots and cockroaches and skunks and porcupines, buzzards. Come on over for potluck, we’re going to have buzzard soufflé, vulture pie. If you really think about it, it doesn’t mean that.

What is Paul talking about? He’s saying the ones that are sanctified by the word of God, even it had been offered to a pagan idol, you shouldn’t be worried about it because you prayed over, God will bless your food. The issue had nothing to do with the substance of the food. Paul was talking about praying about those things that are sanctified by the word of God. That means you can find the word of God, they’re endorsed, the clean foods. It had nothing to do with eating pork.

And no Christian of any denomination really believes that, because those people, if they’re children were to use that same argument, pray over it and God will bless it, everything is fine, that would mean that your child sitting down for breakfast, as your teenager is getting ready, they take their Count Chocula and they pour that in the bowl and then they get out some maple syrup and they get out a can of Jolt and they start pouring that in the bowl and they put teaspoon after teaspoon sugar and you say wait a second, what are you doing, are you out of your mind? You can’t eat that before school. And they say, don’t worry, mom, don’t worry, dad. I’m getting ready to ask God to bless it. Can you really mock God that way and just pray over a plateful of cholesterol, ask God to bless it? That’s mocking God. There is a direct cause to effect. Every creature is good. Technically, if the way some people abuse that, that would mean cannibalism is okay. The person next to you is a creature. Are you going to eat them?

Question No. 7 - But didn’t this law of clean and unclean animals originate at Mt. Sinai? Isn’t it for Jews only? And didn’t this end at the cross? No. The law of distinction between clean and unclean goes way back before the time of Moses and Abraham, you go to Noah. God told Noah, you shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, two of the animals that are unclean. God made a distinction between the clean and the unclean all the way back then.

And look at what happened to the life expectancy. It was measured in centuries before the flood. After the flood, all the vegetation was destroyed. Because they had so many clean animals, they began to eat more of them and look what happened to the lifespan after the flood. Not only changes in the environment, but changes in the diet. Man’s lifespan went from 900 years down to pretty soon our present day, three score and ten. Someone is going to say what about the vision Peter in Acts 10 where this sheet full of unclean things came down three times and God said arise and eat.

That actually proves you should not eat unclean food because all three times when the sheet descends from heaven, I’m trusting that you’ve the chapter, and Peter is invited to eat one of these unclean animals. He says, no, not so Lord. I have never eaten -- notice, Peter has followed Jesus three and a half and this vision happens 34 A.D., Jesus has been dead for seven years, ascended to heaven, seven years after the cross. He says I have never eaten anything common or unclean. He certainly did not get the idea from Jesus that it was okay to eat unclean food. Three times the sheet comes down. Does he ever take anything out of the sheet? No.

Later, when he’s explaining the vision to others, he says it had nothing to do with food. He says in Acts 10:28, ‘God has shown me I should not call any man common or unclean.’ It was God’s vision telling the Jews they could now take the Gospel to the gentiles, not to call the gentiles unclean. It doesn’t say I shouldn’t call any pig unclean.

Does it matter what we eat? People who think that Christianity and what you eat has no connection, have you forgotten how we got into all this trouble? It began way back in the Garden of Eden, somebody eating something they weren’t supposed to eat. And doesn’t the bible say that if any man can bridle his tongue, he can bridle everything else. That’s not only what comes out of your mouth, that’s what does into your mouth, right? And I’ve done some research to find out exactly what that fruit, that forbidden fruit on the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Some say it was an apple and that’s why they call this Adam’s apple, because it got stuck there. It wasn’t really an apple. Recent footage has circulated on the internet and we’ve discovered now what that fruit was on the forbidden tree. We’ve actually got a picture of Eve taking her first bite. It was a Hershey tree.

Question No. 8 - Does the bible forbid the use of alcoholic beverages? Yes, very clearly. When it speaks in the bible of wine, it never calls grape juice, grape juice in the bible. Sometimes it talks about new wine, but that’s talking about grape juice. Sometimes it uses the word wine and you’ve got to read the context to find out what it’s talking about. Sometimes it says wine and you can tell they’re drunk, it’s the fermented variety. They did not have on their wine skin something that said three proof, ten proof, twelve proof. It was a process they actually tried to avoid.

When Jesus made the water into wine at that wedding feast, he did not turn it into booze for a party. He turned it into pure grape juice and they say you’ve saved the best for last. They could get fermented alcohol all year long. You could only get new wine during the harvest season. And Christ compared the Gospel to new wine. He said that he’ll drink new wine with us in the Kingdom.

And the idea that a communion service, some churches actually serve alcoholic grape juice. It’s supposed unleavened bread. The leaven is a sign of sin. The grape juice must be unleavened, too. Fermentation is the process of leavening. It’s the process of rotting. The pure bread of Christ should never be symbolized by something fermented.

I know a man who was an alcoholic and he had been clean for a long time. He went to a church and at the church it was communion that day. It was one of those dominations that serve alcoholic grape juice and he didn’t know it until he took a sip and he started drinking again, just from that. Why would you want to do that and make your brother stumble.

Proverbs 20:1, ‘Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging, whoever is deceived thereby is not wise.’ That’s why when you go by a liquor store, it says wine and spirits. People drink that stuff and they start being possessed by spirits and it’s not God’s spirit that’s possessing them. It’s the most deadly, costly drug in North America, alcohol.

When God was calling Sampson to do his great work, his mother was told, Judges 13:7, ‘Behold thou shalt conceive and bear a son. Now drink no wine or strong drink.’ He was going to be a healthy, strong specimen. And again, with John the Baptist, he would be filled with the Spirit of God from his mother’s womb. What did the angels say? For he shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Ghost. Notice the contrast between filled with God’s spirit and being filled with strong drink or wine. That’s why Paul says do not drink wine, which is dissipation, rather be filled with the spirit. Because they’re opposites. People who drink alcohol, they become filled with another spirit. It lowers your mental resolve, it makes it easier for you to be overcome by temptation and that would mean naturally possessed by the devil.

I’m spending time on this because I meet people that are Christians that start defending the drinking of alcohol and I don’t know how you can do that. Even if there was nothing in the bible. Just look at our society when over half the people that die on the highway every year are either drinking or struck by someone drinking. More than half the people who are in an emergency room are there because of injuries or illness connected with alcohol. More than half the people who are in prison are there because of crimes that are committed under the influence of alcohol. People in mental institutions are there because of birth defects or accidents from alcohol. The calls that police get for child and spousal abuse, more than half connected with alcohol.

So to what extent can a Christian support a little bit of that? Well, I’m just going to drink a little bit, they say. In moderation. One out of seven persons that drinks becomes a problem drinker. Would you keep a dog that bit one out of seven people that came to your house? Christians should speak out against this more and I’m surprised that there are some Christians that try to defend it.

There’s so many things you can drink, why would you want to defend something that is a drug? Back in bible times, they just had water and wine. There weren’t too many options. They didn’t have that great big aisle there. You go to 7-Eleven and pick 90 things to drink that are good, juice and soda -- not soda, I’m talking about club soda. There’s so many things that are good you can drink, you don’t need to drink alcohol unless you like the drug. Be honest.

Proverbs 23:31, 32, ‘Look not upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At last it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will behold strange women.’ 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10, ‘Neither fornicators nor drunkards shall inherit the Kingdom of God.’ That’s clear enough, friends.

Question No. 9 - What about tobacco? Does the bible condemn the use of cigarettes, smoking? Yes, it says thou shalt not kill. You don’t find tobacco in the bible, but it says on every pack, don’t kill yourself. This stuff is going to kill you eventually. I call them coffin nails. Tobacco is the second most costly drug addiction in North America, alcohol being the first.

And I realize some people smoke because they think it’s cool. There’s absolutely no nutritional value, but some people think it makes me look cool and manly or chic and elegant when they smoke. You really think so? You want to be like Carl, huh? They’ve gotten all these different ways. Some people don’t smoke, but they’re addicted to their patch or they’re addicted to their chewing gum. It’s a drug. Nicotine is a drug. Here’s one lady who smoked and couldn’t get one cigarette at a time. She’s smoking 12 at once. I hope this was an experiment and she’s trying to break a record and that’s not her regular habit. Cigarettes are highly addictive. Some say more addictive than even heroin. Right away, you ought to know that you should stay away from anything that’s addictive.

Question No. 10 - What are some of the other simply and very helpful health principles found in the bible? The bible has so much to say about health, people just don’t hear these days. A) Quarantine procedure helps control contagious disease. The knowledge in the bible helps stop the bubonic plague through quarantine. B) Human waste should be buried. Simple sanitation. I tell you friends, you might think that’s commonsense. I’ve been a lot of places in the world. Here in America, we’ve got places that are designated as the bathroom. In some parts of the world, they have places that are designation, not the bathroom. Everything else is the bathroom. I don’t know how else to describe it. I won’t describe it. But God tells us that there are sanitation procedures. Waste should be covered. C) Washing the body and clothing helps control germs. This is in the bible and of course we know that now, and yet for ages, this stuff was hidden and disease was rampant. D) Moral living helps prevent disease. Quite honestly, I don’t worry about AIDS. I mean, I worry about what it’s doing to the culture. I personally don’t worry about it, because I know, hey, if I’m living right, the chances of me being affected with that, I have a better chance of being hit by a meteor. E) Animal fats should not be eaten. The bible says that. And what do they say now about the animal fat, it is pure cholesterol and we know that that’s not the best kind of fat. God said don’t eat it. Some other practical health information. F) Hatred and bitterness are detrimental to one’s health. A lot of people are sick, not because of what they’re eating, but what’s eating them. They’re bitter, they’re angry inside. G) Overeating is harmful. I mean, even when you do eat, things should be eaten in moderation. We’re eating more today in our culture than any other time in history. Our bodies need proper rest. That’s why God gives us the Sabbath.

We’ve talked about how disease in our culture is connected with stress. People working now more than before trying to keep up with all of the products they need to pay for and buy and they’re wearing away all their vital forces. Yet physical work is important. So much of the work that people get now, it’s sedentary work. They dial the phone, they text message their friend, they press the remote control. And yet they’re eating as much as the farmers ate or more than the farmers ate 100 years ago. But they’re not getting the exercise. Physical work is good for you. J) A positive attitude is good medicine. By the way, all of these scriptures are on the screen and they’ll be on the programs if you should order them. Deuteronomy 12, ‘A parent’s habits affect the children.’ The bible says unto the third and fourth generation. Those things get reproduced in the lives of the children.

Question No. 11 - What solemn reminder is given to those who ignore the health rules that God gives in his word? Sit up, friends, and pay attention to this. 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17, ‘You are the temple of God. If any man defiles the temple of God, him shall God destroy.’ Again, 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20, ‘Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own. You are bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.’ Your body is not your own. Christ purchased us with his own life.

Galatians 6:7, ‘Do not be deceived. God is not mocked. For what a man sows he will also reap.’ And if you sow to the flesh a lot of sugar, you may reap diabetes. If you sow a lot of cholesterol, you may reap a heart attack. It makes a difference.

Some of you have heard about this sort of controversial film a man made. His name was Morgan Spurlock. A normally healthy 6’2” 33-year-old. He wondered what would happen if someone just ate fast food for a month. He ate nothing but fast food for a month and it nearly killed him. Not only did he gain about 30 pounds, but his liver looked like that of an alcoholic, his blood pressure went up, his cholesterol went through the roof. The doctors pled for him to abandon the experiment before he killed himself. He completed it and all he did was eat the food that was at one particular chain of fast food. Named the film Supersize Me. It’s pretty frightening and yet that is a principal part of the diet of many people.

National Geographic August 2004, ‘U.S. is an overfed nation, for all the Americans who have blamed the bulging bellies on a slow metabolism, the jiggle is up. A report earlier this year by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention finally confirms what many of us didn’t want to admit, we’re fat because we eat a lot.’ A whole lot more than we used to eat. And most of the increase comes from carbohydrates.

Just in the last few years among women, they’re now eating 335 calories more per day than they did in 1971. Men 168 calories more. We just eat way too much and we ought to get a grip on this and be careful what we eat. You want to know what’s contributing to the crisis for healthcare in North America? There’s an epidemic of diabetes. Epidemics of heart disease and cancers and it’s because we’re killing ourselves with our fork and our spoon, with our convenience and our abundance. Amen.

And then of course now they’ve got not just the typical coffee and the tea, these caffeinated drinks and the soda pop, not they’ve got all these energy drinks and they’re like Jolt, they're industrial-strength caffeine. You ought to know, anything that’s addictive you ought to be careful for. Nobody ever gets addicted to things that are good for you. A husband gets up at night to tiptoe into the kitchen, the wife calls out, honey where are you going? He says, I’ve got an urge to defrost some broccoli. I’m starting to shake, I need some broccoli. Is that how they do it? No. Run down to the store, we’re all out of Brussels sprouts. People don’t get addicted to what’s good for them.

Question No. 12 - What fearful and shocking truth about health involves our children and even our grandchildren? Deuteronomy 5:9, God says, ‘I am the Lord your God and I’m a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me and showing mercy unto thousands of those that love me and keep my commandments.’

Question No. 13 - What more fearful and sobering fact does God’s word reveal? Revelation 21:27, Speaking of the new Jerusalem, ‘There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth.’ Daniel and his friends would not defile themselves with the food of Babylon and God filled them with the Spirit and gave them wisdom and long life. Ezekiel 11:18, ‘They will take away the detestable things thereof.’ People eat some creepy things.

Question No. 14 - What should every sincere Christian endeavor to do at once with this information? The answer, friends, present your body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Is that your desire?

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