Healing, Health and Holiness

Healing, Health and Holiness

Date: 11/10/2017 
God says we are to treat our bodies as a temple of the Holy Spirit and to not defile our bodies.
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(Music) >>Welcome, friends, to our Foundations of Faith program. So glad to see each of you here. And we've been talking about if the Reformation was to continue, what are some messages that the Christian world really needs to hear? Tonight I'm going to be sharing a topic that, I think, the Christian world is long overdue to understand this issue and people have suffered greatly because the do not understand this principle from the Bible that is very practical. But I like to always start with an amazing fact. I'm going to need to read some of this from my notes tonight, because there are just a lot of details I can't remember. The most powerful supercomputer used to be in the U.S., it was called 'Big Blue' - made by IBM - no longer; now it's in China. It's the 93 Petaflop Sunway TaihuLight installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, China - I've been to Wuxi - it has more than 10.5 million locally-made processor cores - one computer - your computers might have a couple. At its peak the computer can perform 93 trillion calculations per second, which is a whole room of super processors, air conditioners, and power cables. Still, this is only 0.4 percent of what one human brain can do in processing in a second, which means this supercomputer is about half as smart as a mouse brain. You know, the Bible tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. You know, in your brain, that two and a half pound electrochemical computer, it's filled with, you know, billions of neurons, and they've discovered now that within the neurons are these dendrites. And they used to think that they were just, kind of, interconnecting cables, but the scientists have come to discover that each one of these little dendrites, which are just super microscopic cables within the neurons, actually, each is a computer in itself. And so, the statistics that they had about the computing ability of the human brain, they're finding out that it was much more than they even thought, which makes sense because we're going to be learning through eternity. That's one reason I just could never accept evolution; why would you evolve a brain that you don't even use 70 percent of it in one life? Why would you evolve with so much extra capacity? I think that God made these things. Now, our message tonight is dealing with the subject of healing, health, and holiness. And it begins with a story that you find in a book of prophecy and it's in Daniel chapter 1. It tells that after King Nebuchadnezzar had conquered Babylon, he took some of the brightest and the best of the nation and he brought them with him back to Babylon and he said, 'Look, we're going to train you in the language of the Chaldeans, we're going to feed you from our cafeteria for three years and we're going to prepare you to be ambassadors representing your part of the world and go to the university of Babylon.' You think, 'Well, that would be really good - you'd, be eating from the Babylonian cafeteria.' But there's a problem with that - the Babylonians ate things that God had told His people they're not supposed to eat. So Daniel and his three friends that had been carried off to Babylon - Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego - their Hebrew names were Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah - they said, 'We can't eat that. Please let us eat pulse' - or vegetables - 'and just give us a chance.' The man who was in charge of the eunuchs, he said, 'I can't do that because if you start looking scrawny and sick, I'm responsible for your health and education - my head'll be on the block.' They said, 'You give us ten days.' - Notice it says in Daniel 1, verse 8, "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile" - he would not what? "defile himself with the portion of the king's meat,..." - so they proposed to Ashpenaz, prince of the eunuchs, "Prove thy servants" - 'test us' - for "ten days...give us pulse to eat, and water to drink." 'We're not going to eat the Babylonian food and the fermented wine - and the Bible says he consented to that. And then, after the testing time, it says it found that they were ten - at the end of ten days their countenances appeared "fairer and fatter in flesh..." - you know, they'd just come across the desert and "...he found them ten times better" - smarter - "than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm." And the first chapter of Daniel closes by saying, 'And Daniel continued until the time of King Cyrus.' Daniel lived to around a hundred years of age. He must have been 15 to 17 when he was carried off. So, it's interesting that, at this very important book of prophecy, it would make a point that Daniel and his friends had purposed that they would take care of their bodies, even when they were tempted by their surroundings. And even though there was social pressure to compromise, they said, 'No, this is what God says about treating our bodies as a temple of the Holy Spirit and we will not defile our bodies. This is a truth that has been lost by much of the Christian church and it's an area where there needs to be revival and reformation and that's also true even within our denomination. Let's look at our lesson, it's going to bring out a number of points. First question: What was the original diet that God designed for humans? You read in 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 the word 'meat' there it's King James - it just means 'for food'. And so the original diet that God gave to man was a vegetarian diet - contained - it was actually fruits, grains, and nuts - beans - but later, God expanded the diet. That's the next question: After Adam and Eve sinned," - when they were evicted from the Garden of Eden, they could no longer eat from the tree of life - God then said, 'Alright, I want to give you something supplemental.' What was added to their diet at that point? Genesis 3, verse 18, He said, "Thou shalt eat the herb of the field." - meaning vegetables. Now, I find, sometimes, people don't know the difference between a fruit and a vegetable. Let me test you - apple - >>Fruit. >>Fruit; orange - >>Fruit. >>Zucchini. >>Fruit. Vegetable. >>See? Fruit. Onion. >>Vegetable. >>Vegetable. Brussels sprouts. >>Vegetable. >>Inedible. (Laughter) Vegetable. There's a real simple - zucchini - it's a [fruit] - potatoes - vegetable. It's very simple - that anything that is the product of the blossom is the fruit. And anything that's any other part of the plant, whether it's the stalk or the leaves or the bulbs - that's a vegetable. And so, after Adam and Eve - and, you know, a lot of kids out there are really sorry that Adam and Eve sinned because they didn't want vegetables added to their diet. But, after they sinned and they were told they could no longer stay in the garden, God said, 'You can also eat the herb of the field.' But the original diet for man was a vegetarian diet. And I'll just tell you right now I'm biased. I am a vegetarian. I encourage people to consider it. The Bible does not require you to be a vegetarian, but are you aware that we will be vegetarians in heaven? >>Amen. >>When God asked Adam to name the animals, he did not look at the cow and say 'Whopper' (Laughter) and he did not look at the chickens and say 'Mc Nuggets' (Laughter). You know, he was supposed to protect them, he wasn't supposed to think about eating them. And it wasn't until after sin and, especially, after the flood, that animals became part of the diet. I'd like to sprinkle a few amazing facts here: I was reading, back in 2014, about Janette and Alan Murray who set a record for running the most consecutive marathons of anybody in history together. Starting January 1, 2013, every day, through the year, they ran a marathon and they ran completely around Australia and Tasmania, running 366 - they did one extra for good measure - marathons - 26.2 miles every day - and she was 63 and he was 68 years old. And, along the way, they consumed 10,000 bananas, thousands of avocados, smoothies - they're both vegetarians - vegan vegetarians. Part of the reason they did this was to promote a vegetarian diet because she believed it was largely responsible for her recovery from cancer. And the jury is in, friends. In spite of what you may be hearing from some of the meat and dairy industry, a vegetarian diet is definitely healthier for people. There's far less disease - I learned this the hard way, years ago - and I'll maybe say more about that later. Question 3: Why is God concerned with our physical health? Well, because, first of all, He loves you. Look at Matthew 4:23. What was the ministry of Jesus like? "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people." Jesus spent almost as much time healing as He did teaching. He wants us to be well. He created man healthy in the beginning. He wants us to have life. You read in 3 John, verse 2, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." How important is physical prosperity to God? He said, 'Even as your soul prospers.' Why? Why is that important? Because God communicates to you through your brain. Your brain is sort of like the bridge between your physical body and God. He doesn't communicate to you through your toes. Or through your elbow. And you might think He speaks to you through your stomach, but God speaks to you through your head. >>Amen. >>And your head is a combination of some kind of a spiritual organ and they still don't know if thoughts are physical. Look at all the things that are happening now - right now in this room in your minds and in mine while I'm talking to you and I'm taking in things visually and I'm watching some of you yawn - and think of what that does to me while I'm talking (Raucous laughter) and I'm seeing all of this and I'm thinking about what I've got to say next and there's just thousands of things going on in my mind and are those tangible? When the Holy Spirit inspires you, is that just a computer process or is there something outside influencing your brain? But your brain is also an organ. It's fed by blood. It's interesting, it's the center of all the nerves in your body - all kind of end in your brain, but your brain doesn't feel. And if you take care of your body and your mind is clear, it is easier for you to be a witness for the Lord. You will feel better, which makes you a happier person, which makes you a better witness. If your head is clear, you understand spiritual things better, it's easier for you to live a Christian life and comprehend the will of God, if your mind is clear. And so, the devil is working overtime to try to fog up the minds of His people and make them sick so that they're just not able to let their light shine the way He wants them to. He wants us to have an abundant life - and that's our next verse - John chapter 10, verse 10, "I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly." I love this picture of this guy, his name was Banana Jack. I think in the picture he's skiing - he's not only skiing, he's skiing barefoot and he's 90 years old. He, obviously, doesn't have dentures because he's holding the rope in his teeth (Laughter). He loved bananas so they called him Banana Jack. God wants us to have an abundant life - a full life. God promised the children of Israel - when He brought them out of Egypt He gave them a number of health laws. Question #4: That if they would serve and obey Him, He would remove all sickness from them. Did He keep His promise? >>Amen. >>You know, he prescribed their diet; they ate angel's food from God every day and, after forty years of following the laws of health and sanitation that God had given Moses - you know what the testimony is in Psalm 105, verse 37? Among this people - this nation - of up to 2 million people, it says, "He brought them forth...and there was not one feeble person among their tribes." Can you imagine 2 million people in a city and the hospital is empty? Nobody - nobody, you know, the nurses and doctors are just kind of folding their arms and they're watching the clock because there's nobody to take care - because everybody's well. You know one reason that there's a healthcare crisis in North America? Is because, you know, even if you take care of yourself and you follow all the best health laws, you'll eventually get old and die. But God doesn't want you to spend the last 30 years of your life dying. You read in the Bible about Moses, it says Moses climbed a mountain - 120 years old - God says, 'Moses, time to die. I want you to climb that mountain and we'll deal with it up there.' Moses climbs the mountain, God lays him to rest and it says, 'His strength was not abated. His vision was still clear - 120 years old - active, productive, clear - and then, all of a sudden, at the very end, he dies. Isn't that kind of how you'd like to go? >>Amen. >>Just - I know so many dear, old people that took care of their health and they just kind of fell over in their garden. You know, you just - everything sort of holds together until the end. But you know what's happening because of the bad living practices - not completely - some things I know are hereditary and some things are accidents, but a lot of the time the bad living practices in western society - people start getting heart disease and diabetes and hypertension and all these problems - and they're on medication and that makes them sicker - and they spend the last 30 years being sick and it's overwhelming the expenses of our society. I'll tell you the cure for the healthcare problem in America right now - congress can't fix it - but if there was a revival of the teachings of the Bible on your knowing your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and people taking care of themselves, in ten years the healthcare crisis would be gone. >>Amen. >>Try it. See. Taste and see. Question #5: Why is our health so important to God? The Bible says, in 1 Corinthians 6, verse 19, "Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost...Therefore glorify God in your body." He dwells within you - Christ said 'He will be in you.' So He wants you to take care of this miraculous machine that He's given you - and you'll feel better. Again, Romans 12, verse 1, Paul says, "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God..." You know, whenever you brought a sacrifice to the temple, it was to be a holy, pure, unblemished sacrifice. What is a good Bible living rule - or what is a good Bible living rule for all Christians? Simple principle that we should all follow? 1 Corinthians 10, verse 31, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink...do all to the glory of God." Now, help me. If it's possible to eat and drink to God's glory, does it make sense that it's possible to not eat and drink to God's glory? And a lot of people are eating and drinking things that are not bringing glory to God and it's not good for their bodies either. And the church, I think, needs to discover this truth - or rediscover, I should say, this truth. Let's be specific, if you don't mind - we talked about it during our Bible questions another night. Should Christians be using any alcoholic beverages? You know, there's a reason that you drive by the liquor store and it says 'Beer, liquor, and spirits'. (Laughter) Because, when the person drinks the beer and the liquor, they become possessed by other spirits. >>That's right. >>Let's face it, haven't you noticed that when a person has a little bit to drink they start doing things they normally would not do? Their judgment is impaired, they say things they're often sorry about. They do things they're often sorry about. And, I know from experience, you wake up, you're in jail - you don't know why you're there. Or you wake up and you find out you've done something terribly embarrassing that you can never forget about - or you've hurt somebody you cared about because - it's like a spirit took over. Why would a Christian want to do anything that would lower their resistance to temptation? No drank, stumbled around - Noah drank, stumbled around naked. King David tried to get Uriah drunk so he'd go against his conscience. Lot drank and he slept with his daughters. You look in the Bible, it's not a good record. 'Give wine to him that is ready to perish.' You read in Proverbs 20, verse 1, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." God wants us to be wise. >>Amen. >>Alcohol is addictive. It destroys brain cells. It dramatically affects a person's ability to reason. Christians should not drink alcohol. >>Amen. >>And even if you think you could make a Biblical argument that they drank a little wine in the Bible, now that you know better, and since it's the most destructive drug in our society, why would you want to support that by your example and make someone else stumble - even a little bit? What'll God do to those that destroy their bodies? This is serious - now don't say 'Pastor Doug, you're being legalistic.' You take it up with the New Testament. (Laughter) It's what God says. 1 Corinthians 3, verses 16 and 17, "...Ye are the temple of God...If any man defile" - now where did we just see that word 'defile'? >>Daniel. >>Daniel said he purposed in his heart he would not defile himself. And did God bless Daniel through the whole book of Daniel? >>Yes. >>Blessed him with a clear mind, a long life, a great ministry - starts out by saying he purposed he would not defile his body because he believed - he wanted his body to be a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. Was Daniel spirit-filled? Read in Daniel chapter 6, it says the king saw an excellent spirit was in him. He was spirit-filled - would not defile himself. The Bible says, 'You're the' - New Testament - "...Ye are the temple of God...If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy." Praise the Lord, if you're alive, there's a chance to repent. >>Amen. >>Because you've probably all done it before. I know I have. But He's calling on us to be holy, to be pure, and to be healthy. Why wouldn't we want to? So is murder a sin? What about self-murder? >>Yes. >>Now, if you take poison and you know it's poison, and it takes 24 hours to kill you, is that a sin? >>Yes. >>But what if the poison you take is going to take a week? And you know it's poison, it says 'This'll kill you in one week' - and you take it - is that still, kind of, suicide? >>Yes. >>What if it takes twenty years? At what point is it okay, if you know it's going to kill you? And what does it say on every pack of cigarettes? Warning: This is known to cause cancer. This is known to cause birth defects. It's known to cause all kinds of problems. Tobacco is the second most costly drug addiction in North America - is what it does to our society. Now, I know people watching, people out here, you have struggled or may be struggling with this or one of the other things. I have too. It was a big struggle. Now, quitting smoking is not hard - I've done that a hundred times. (Laughter) Staying quit is the hard part. That's what Mark Twain said, 'Quitting smoking's easy, I've done it a hundred times.' So I did - I'd quit and then I'd start; I'd quit and then I'd start - and I know it's a challenge. My mother smoked, my father smoked - my grandparents smoked and I was a smoker before I picked up my first cigarette, just by the second-hand smoke in my life. So it was very easy for me to start. It was very hard to quit. But how much can we do through Christ? >>All. >>All things are possible. And you know how much money I've saved? >>Amen. >>You could do a down payment on a house for what you'll save if you quit smoking. And he can give you the victory - whatever it is. There's a problem with people addicted to opioids and drugs. It's not just alcohol and cigarettes. God doesn't want us to abuse any drug. Now, there's some necessary medications, but we're talking about people who are addicted to things and it controls their life. The devil wants you to - I mean, God wants you to be free, the devil wants to enslave you. So, let's talk a little bit about food - you still friends? You want me to tell you the truth? >>Yes. >>Paul asks the question in the New Testament, 'Am I your enemy because I tell you the truth? (Laughter) What mammals does God say we can eat? Now I told you I'm a vegetarian. I encourage that, but the Bible does say you're going to eat meat - but it does say, 'If you're going to eat meat, there's some criteria.' You can read about this in Leviticus 11, verse 3, "Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud." - These you can eat. So, it needed to have a cloven hoof - it needed both characteristics, not just one. But even some meat is not healthy. For instance, you know a camel - camel chews the cud, but it's got a paw. Now there's some of you that are really bothered by that because you're going to have to go take the camel out of your fridge tonight, right? After this (Laughter) - but, you know, this was a problem in Christ's time. He said, 'You strain a gnat and you swallow a camel.' Which is unclean. He said, 'You're worried about getting a little bitty bug in your water but then you go eat camel steak when you go home.' And God says it's unclean. Have you ever been around camels? I have - yeah, I wouldn't want to eat one. But even if you're going to eat meat, there's a lot of problems that can come from eating meat. 'This meat can kill you' - Newsweek - Mad Cow disease. Now, some things that chew the cud but they don't have a cloven hoof, and then there's a couple of animals that have a cloven hoof but they don't chew the cud. You know what's in that category? Ah, this one's very popular - puerco (Laughter) - the pig - the hog - "And the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you." He goes on to say, "Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch." They were an abomination - pigs are filthy. I used to take care of my neighbor's pigs when he would go on vacation and, you know, I would always try to find some new word to describe it, but all I can come up with is to tell you that pigs are pigs. (Laughter) Their name is the definition - you can't improve on it. (Laughter) You ever been by or driven by a pig slaughterhouse? Even the Bible says, like, 'The sow that was washed returns to wallowing in the mire.' And their flesh is full of disease. They're scavengers. God made some animals that are scavengers and they're made to, kind of, clean up the environment. They eat garbage. Why would you - you wouldn't eat garbage, but you'll eat the garbage can (Laughter) when you eat a pig. How many of you remember this? This little piggy went to the market, (Laughter) this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy had roast beef - even a pig won't eat pork (Laughter) see that? You know, I remember reading once, I think it was one out of five autopsies done in North America, they found out that the cadavers had symptoms, or evidence, of trichinae poisoning. Trichinosis is a very tricky disease in that when the muscle tissue containing trichina cysts are eaten by a human - it says - the cysts are digested in the stomach; then release the larvae, which migrate to the intestine - begin a new life cycle. Female trichina worms live about six weeks and in that time they might release 15,000 larvae. The migration and encystment of larvae can cause fever, pain, and even death. It can cause stiffness in joints and knees and pain, and it's often misdiagnosed. A person thinks 'I've got bursitis or arthritis' and they've got pigitis (Laughter) is what it is. It's from - it's very common around the world. There's a picture of a fellow who's got his lunch on his box - the back of his bike. One nutritionist wrote a few years ago - and this is an old article, but I like the way he worded it. September 6, 1999 a nutritionist said bacon wasn't technically meat anymore; it didn't belong to any food group at all. "It was a salty, nitrate-ridden, fat-laden carcinogenic thing." Why would you want to eat a carcinogenic thing? 'Because it tastes good.' Are you going to be controlled by the spirit or by the flesh? Now some of you are saying, 'Pastor Doug, you're coming down pretty hard on those of us who, you know, eat meat and stuff like that. You know, God designed humans to eat meat and that's why we've got these canine teeth, you know?' I've heard that argument before. That's nonsense. This fellla's got canine teeth too. (Laughter) And he's a vegetarian. As is the hippo and the elephant. I don't know how far I want to take this illustration, but - and, actually, the digestive system of a cat or a carnivore or a dog is very smooth - vegetarian animals have a more complex digestive system where they've got the broken up intestine and we're in that category. We thrive on a vegetarian diet. And people say to me all the time, 'Well, Pastor Doug, you know, you can't be healthy if you're a vegetarian. You're not going to get enough B-12 and protein.' That is a myth. That's totally an uneducated statement. I've been a vegetarian for forty years. I love when I go to Subway and I order a veggie and they say, 'You want any cheese?' I say, 'No.' I'm a vegan too. I say, 'No, I'll just - all veggies.' I say, 'I'm a vegetarian.' 'Really?' I say, 'Yep.' I say, 'Do I look 90 years old?' (Laughter) And they go, 'Wow, you're 90?' (Raucous laughter) I usually confess that I'm kidding at that point. Notice, I didn't say I was 90, I said, 'Do I look 90?' (Laughter) Of course, once I said, 'Do I look 70?' And they said, 'Yeah, about' - (Raucous laughter) So I had to up it a little bit. But, no, you know, I really have been a vegetarian forty years and I feel great. You get, you know, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich has everything you need. >>Amen. >>If you use strawberry preserves, you've got your fruits, grains, and nuts right there, the whole thing. (Laughter) You've got protein, you've got B-12 - you've got everything you need. And so they say, 'Oh, you won't get enough' - don't believe that for a minute. Look what happened here in the Bible. This is - it's kind of a primitive chart, but you see here - these are the people who lived in the days before the flood. You've got Seth and Methuselah and Noah. Their lives were measured in hundreds of years. After the flood, all of the vegetation was destroyed - you remember, God took the clean animals on the ark by sevens and they, ostensibly, would sacrifice them - they were allowed to eat of the sacrifice, but meat eating became a lot more predominant after the flood. And look what happened to the life span. One of the places in the world where people live the longest is the Hunza people in the Hunza Valley in India - largely vegetarian - very common for them to live over 100 years of age. They don't have a fraction of the modern diseases that we experience. Karen and I were in Australia with the kids a few years ago and we met Harriet the tortoise - it's a fascinating story. Charles Darwin collected three Galapagos tortoises in 1844 when he went to the Galapagos. He brought them back to England, he named them Tom, Dick, and Harry. They did not do very well. He sent them back to Australia with a friend and, as the years went by, Tom and Dick died and then they moved Harry to the Brisbane Park where he was on display there and a hundred years went by and they didn't want the tortoise to die off so they tried - encouraged him to mate with a female and, after about another 50 years they found out that Harry was actually Harriet. They felt really bad for kind of forcing those unnatural relations on him. (Laughter) Lived to 175. I think I took one of those two pictures. Sadly, he's since passed away - a vegetarian - she, sorry. I get mixed up on my own illustration. Now, if you're going to talk about what we talked about with the mammals, that had to have a cloven hoof and chew the cud, what about the sea creatures? What types of fish or seafood are clean, biblically? You read in Leviticus 11, verse 9, "These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales...them shall ye eat." You know, I understand that the Navy did some research back after World War II because a number of pilots and sailors were floating around in the ocean. They didn't know what they could and couldn't eat - the fish had kind of gathered around their life rafts and they said, 'We need to give them some criteria that they can remember, something simple.' And they did all this research and one of them said, 'You know, it says in the Bible that if it has fins and scales it's safe.' And they said, 'Well let's see what that looks like.' And they did all the research. They said, 'That's probably the best rule of thumb that we can tell the sailors.' They found - a lot of toxins in the scavengers. Catfish do not have scales. My brother and I used to catch catfish off my dad's back porch - he was right on Biscayne Bay in Miami Beach - and taking the hook out of the catfish, my brother's finger got poked by the dorsal fin and it was so toxic, he could never bend his finger again. And people eat those things. We ate 'em too, back then. Sharks, they've got cartilage on the outside - they're scavengers. Some of you are wondering, 'What about tuna?' Tuna has scales - very small, but they've got scales. And so, they needed these things. So what would be unclean? "But [all] in the seas" - Leviticus 11:10 still - "But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you." Now there's no time in the Bible when God calls something 'abomination' in one part that is then blessed in another part. Anything that's declared by God an abomination stays an abomination. And, by the way, these are not laws just for one group of people, these are laws that God gave to humanity in the beginning. What about the birds? If you're going to eat meat, what birds are clean? Well, the way they raise some birds I wouldn't eat anything but, biblically, it needed to be a foraging bird. The ones that are unclean, it says, "Every raven after his kind; and the owl, and the night hawk and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind." The scavengers, the raptors, they were unclean. The omnivores - the foraging birds like the pheasant and the quail and the chicken and the turkey, you'll be happy to know, are in the clean category. (Laughter) Pigeon is clean, which means they'll never starve in New York City. (Laughter) I wouldn't eat any of those, though. (Laughter) But they were typically in that category. So, are the laws about clean and unclean animals part of Moses' ceremonial law, that ended at the cross? This is the argument. Have you heard this before? No, you read in Genesis 7, when God was telling Noah to bring the animals on the ark, everyone says, 'Oh yeah, they went on the ark two by two.' Not all of them; the unclean animals went by two, the clean animals went by seven - "Come thou and all thy house into the ark." And it says, "...and of beasts that are not clean by two" - of the clean beasts they come by sevens. Like you might have the stag and seven does; you have the bull and six cows - and the bull. And so, they may have divided it up like that. And so, how many here are related to Noah? That'd be all of you. How many of you never raise your hand when the pastor asks a question? (Laughter) Some of you are honest enough to finally raise your hand for that question. But we're all related to Noah. So God makes a distinction of clean and unclean right back there in the beginning. And these things - we know, today, that there's health principles. By the way, National Geographic did an article a few years ago called The Blue Zones - did any of you here ever see this magazine? It talked about the areas of the world where people live the longest. They came up with three groups: the people that live in Sardinia - the Mediterranean, the people that live in Okinawa, Japan - some of the oldest in the world, and the third category was Seventh-day Adventists that live in Loma Linda - or Seventh-day Adventists, but that's just a - it's an enclave down there so they saw there was a concentration. And so, they specifically said Seventh-day Adventists. What do they attribute that to? Their healthy lifestyle - following the biblical criteria, among other things. Having a day of rest helps also. And they live a lot longer. I was visiting a sister today - 93 years old - up and around doing fine. This is a picture of one of my church members - 111 - still going - Viola Cook - and just was amazing to me. Her brother-in-law told me - Art Reed - gave me some good advice. If you forget everything I say tonight, remember this. I said, 'Art, how come you're so old and so healthy?' He said - three things - 'Stop eating while you're still a little hungry, wake up when you're still a little sleepy, and stop talking when you still have something left to say.' (Laughter) Secret to life. Does God say that eating unclean food is a serious offense? Some people think, 'Well, you know, the Bible laws about health are recommendations.' The Bible doesn't call them recommendations, it calls them laws. Listen to what the Bible says in Isaiah 66, verses 15 and 17, "For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury...They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves" - they're declaring themselves sanctified and pure - "'eating swine's flesh and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together,' saith the Lord." 'Oh, Pastor Doug, are you telling me that my BLT sandwich is no more? It tastes so good.' You know, when you really think about it, there are so many good things to eat. I'm surprised - people say to me, 'Pastor Doug, you're a vegetarian, what do you eat?' (Laughter) Well, I eat great - lots of things - it's just you grow up learning a certain way and you think that's the only way. You've got to just learn to do good - learn a new way and you'll be fine. Some people think, 'Well, if God doesn't want us to eat it, why did He make it?' And it's almost like a bumper sticker you would find somewhere on Bubba's truck 'God made it so we can kill it and eat it.' He didn't make any of the animals for us to kill and eat. People quote this verse in 1 Timothy 4:4, "For every creature of God is good" - have you heard this before? - "and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:" - and prayer. Now they don't read the context - they don't read what it says before or after. It says, first of all, it'll be sanctified by the word of God. That means, the creatures that are approved in the word of God can be sanctified by prayer. But this notion that Christians believe - and this is where - boy, I hope this sinks in with thinking Christians out there - the idea that we're free now from the laws about health because we just pray and God blesses whatever we eat. You would not accept that from your children. How many are parents out there? Are they raising their hands? If you were getting ready for work one day and your kids were fixing their own breakfast - you know, they're a little older, and you see that they're pouring sugar frosted flakes in their bowl, then they're putting sugar on top of it, then they go in the freezer and they get a scoop of chocolate ice cream, then they get some caramel syrup - and you say, 'What in the world do you think you're doing?' 'Don't worry, Mom, Dad, I'm going to ask Jesus to bless it.' (Raucous laughter) Would you say, 'Oh, that's okay, as long as you pray over it, that'll be okay.' How many would accept that? Then why do we think that we can tempt the Lord by going against the basic principles of health in the Bible and say, 'But I prayed over it.' When the Bible talks about that it's talking about there was a big contest between the Jewish Christians and the Gentile Christians and the Jewish Christians said, 'Oh, that meat had been offered to an idol, you can't eat it.' Paul said, 'Look, the idol is nothing. You pray over it' - he was talking about clean animals that maybe they had bought in a Gentile marketplace - goat or turkey or sheep or whatever it was - and the Jews had a very sensitive conscience - they said, 'But it was a Gentile marketplace. They butcher things and they offer them to gods before they butcher them and' - Paul said, 'Look, it's sanctified by the word of God. God's word said you can eat that goat, that sheep - and you've prayed over it - don't worry about it. How many of you eat Chinese food in Chinese restaurants? I do. I did this week. And when I went in, there was a Buddha in the restaurant. (Laughter) Now some Christians might have a problem with that. They might say, 'I can't eat in there, there was a Buddha. I'll be supporting Buddha if I eat in that restaurant. (Laughter) Paul was saying, 'Look, you pray over your food. Don't worry about what they think about. The cook might be a Buddhist. It's not going to hurt you.' This was the issue. It wasn't saying you could eat anything. That's irresponsible. We all know better than that. What you eat is going to affect your health. How much you eat is going to affect your health. Some will say, 'What about the vision that Peter had in Acts chapter 10?' Some of you remember it tells us that Cornelius, a Gentile, and his family full of Gentiles - an angel says, 'You must hear from Peter.' They send messengers to Peter. Normally Jews did not preach to the Gentiles in those early days. Peter's up on the roof - he's praying - he's hungry. God gives him a vision of a sheet that comes down from heaven full of all these unclean animals and God says, 'Arise and eat.' Notice what Peter says: 'Not so, Lord, I have never eaten anything common or unclean.' And the Bible says, 'Do not call unclean what I have cleansed.' And he's wondering - this happens three times - he never takes anything out of the sheet - it's a vision - you can't eat a vision. He never takes anything out of the sheet. He never eats it. And he's wondering what the vision means and some Gentiles knock on the door downstairs and Peter explains what this vision is about. He said, 'God has told me not to call any man' - that's a funny way to spell pig - it doesn't say God has shown me - call any swine unclean - he says not to call a man unclean because the Jews were calling the Gentiles unclean. This vision had nothing to do with food. It had to do with taking the gospel to the Gentiles. So pastors that say that, they're being dishonest. They know that's not what was really happening there. Does it make a difference what we eat? Do you know why we're all having problems with sin and temptation? Because our first parents ate something they weren't supposed to eat. So you're not going to convince me 'Oh, it doesn't matter. Whatever feels good. Pray over it. Eat whatever you want.' What's a good, basic health rule for Christians? 'Every man that has the mastery is temperate in all things.' So, you know, when you think about food and drink, think in the context of a traffic light. You've got a green light, what does that mean? >>Go. >>Go. Red light? >>Stop. >>Stop. Yellow? Go real fast. (Laughter) No, what do you do when you see a yellow? No, yellow means caution, right? >>Slow down. >>Some things are absolutely 'no'. You're not supposed to eat the things God calls an abomination. If you're going to eat meat - yellow light - eat the clean meat and do it in moderation. If you're going to eat sweets - it's not just meat - you know, there's a lot of things - a treat, that's okay from time to time, but if you're eating desserts with every meal, it's going to start to show. And then, of course, green light is blessing - go - but, you know, you can overdo anything. You should be temperate. Now I did some research - have you ever wondered what was the fruit on the forbidden tree? I'm pretty convinced it was actually a chocolate tree. (Raucous laughter) I heard about a guy - forgive me, but he found a Genie - true story - and he rubbed the bottle and the Genie came out and says, 'Oh, you get three wishes.' And the guy said, 'I want a bank account with a billion dollars in it.' *Poof* He's got this bank account that's got a billion dollars - Swiss bank account. He said, 'Now I want a beautiful, red, Italian sports car.' *Poof* He's got a Maserati. 'Now, the third thing, I want to be irresistible to women.' *Poof* He turned into a box of chocolates. (Raucous laughter) I'm sorry, I just thought that's fun. So, before I say this, I needed to say that, because this is pretty serious. Last month, the Centers for Disease Control - October 2017 - a troubling new report released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows almost 40 percent of American adults and nearly 20 percent of adolescents are obese - the highest rates ever recorded in the U.S. Even though we've heard this for years, it isn't getting better, it's getting worse. We're being destroyed by abundance. It used to be people were dying every year because of malnutrition and starvation. Now there are more people in our country that are dying from overeating - over-nutrition, you could say. The Bible is pretty clear - Galatians 6, verse 7, 'Do not be deceived; God is not mocked. Whatever a person sows, they will also reap.' One of the big offenders is soda. It's liquid candy, is what it is. I've got a friend and I hadn't seen him for a while. I saw him again, he'd lost 30 pounds. I said, 'Brother, you look great. What did you do?' He said, 'I did one thing.' 'What was that?' He said, 'I stopped drinking soda. That's all I did. Don't exercise anymore. Didn't change my diet. I gave up the soda and lost 30 pounds.' You see kids all the time, walking around nursing a soda pop and they're struggling with obesity and then it leads to diabetes and their lives - they start getting sick before they even begin to live. This is not God's plan, but we need the power of God to make these practical changes, amen? >>Amen. >>Are Bible health principles still practical today? Look at some of the principles that God gives in His word - very simple things - you find this is Leviticus 13:46 - quarantine procedures control contagious disease. You ever hear about the Ebola crisis? They found the cure was hyper-Leviticus. They starting following the quarantine procedures in Leviticus and they put a stop to it. Human-body waste should be buried. Just simple sanitation. I've been in countries - you know, most of us, we've got countries where you've got a place designated as the bathroom. I've been in a few places where there's only a few places that are not the bathroom - and they have all kinds of disease problems. Washing the body - inside and out - controls germs. You need to drink lots of water - good water. People, sometimes, never drink water - and I haven't even said anything about the addiction to caffeine. They're having, I read, 24,000 people have been admitted to the hospital last year because of over-caffeine-related problems. And a lot of them are kids. Moral living prevents sexual disease. That's self-understood truth. Do you know the Bible says that animal fat and blood should not be eaten? And, by the way, it says that in the New Testament too. Read Acts chapter 15. You get a lot of Christians - you'll never hear pastors talk about that. And it's not just the food you eat. Hatred, bitterness is detrimental to one's health. Some people are sick because of what they're eating; a lot of people are sick because of what's eating them. They are mad, they're bitter, they keep nursing grudges, they can't forgive, and it affects - the stress affects your health. And, of course, as I mentioned, overeating - of even good food - is very harmful. I understand these Sumo wrestlers, they have a brief time of glory and they have very short lives. Our bodies need proper rest. There's never been a time when people are so short on sleep as our age now, because of the computers and the fluorescent lights and so much to entertain that people are not resting and it will shorten your life span. The importance of good exercise and work. God took man and He put him in the garden. He said, 'Dress it, keep it, work.' He wants us to be active. And you've got to stay busy. God gave you a body with muscles and if you don't use them, they atrophy and all kinds of - your bones get weak and God - it's very simple: use it or lose it. That's also true with your faith, you've got to share it with others or you lose it. >>Amen. >>You've got to give it away if you want to keep it. Have a positive attitude. The Bible says that a happy spirit is health to the bones. And, keep in mind, that the life you live will influence others. It says, in Exodus, your parent's habits will affect the children unto the third and fourth generation. So be a good example. A lot of people say, 'Well, I just inherited this metabolism and that's why I struggle with my weight.' And what they inherited was the living practices of their parents so they end up with the same acreage as their parents. And you pass things on to your kids. So one reason to make changes in your life is others are watching. So be a good witness, amen? >>Amen. >>What will people in heaven - or will people in heaven kill and eat animals? >>No. >>No. It says ''They will not hurt and destroy in all My holy mountain,' says the Lord. So how can I make these changes that God wants me to make? The Bible says that He will take away - Ezekiel 11:18 - "The detestable things thereof." And notice this: '...And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them; that they may walk in my statutes and keep my ordinances.' How can we do it? He puts a new spirit within us. Now it's difficult making changes in our lives, amen? >>Amen. >>Do you know, I was addicted to ice cream for 40 years? I've got a sermon you can listen to online, it's called 'Cold Confession'. It's a true story - I'm not saying ice cream's a sin - everyone clear on that? It was for me. I was addicted and I struggled and it was a battle. And it wasn't until about six years ago, finally, I was able to be free. I had to have ice cream every single day and - so I know what a struggle is - a simple thing like that. And, you know, it didn't look like it was hurting me, but I knew that it had a grip on me. It was the expensive stuff, too. And God wants to give you the victory - whatever your struggles might be. How many of you would like to ask Him? Father in heaven, we just thank you for your presence and pray that the things we talked about tonight - that we can put them to practice in our lives. Set us free. We believe that, through Jesus, all things are possible. Give us victory and help us to glorify you in our bodies and dwell within them as your temple. We pray in Jesus' name, amen. >>Amen. (Music)
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