Refusing Babylon’s Buffet, Pt. 1

Scripture: Daniel 1:3-20, Genesis 1:29
Date: 11/23/2021 
What does the Bible say about how to take care of our bodies so that we could have a longer, stronger, more abundant life? - Part 1

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In January 2010, a minivan struck and killed a man crossing a Brooklyn street, especially tragic because this was no ordinary man. Joe Rollino would've been 105 years old in March. His friend said he was the model of health. A World War II vet with three Purple Hearts, Rollino got his start in the 1920s at the Coney Island Carnival billed as the strongest man in the world. Five feet five inches tall and weighing 150 pounds, for his size, he was one of the strongest men ever. He could move 3,200 pounds with his back, lift 475 pounds with his teeth, and 635 pounds he could lift with one finger. At Joe Rollino's 103rd birthday party, a friend gave him a quarter, and Rollino bent it with his fingers. He then apologized because he used to do it with a dime.

Did I mention that Joe Rollino didn't drink or smoke, he exercised daily, and he was a lifelong vegetarian? The Bible also makes a connection between a very strong man and a unique lifestyle. The Bible says Samson did not drink, and he stayed away from unclean foods. Would you like to live to a healthy 100? Anything as possible when we follow God's health plan. So join me now as we take a deeper look into this life-changing subject. Well tonight, we're going to be talking about the subject of Refusing Babylon's Buffet. So if you've got your Bibles, go ahead and turn to the book of Daniel chapter one, and it tells us that, "In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem and he besieged it, and the Lord gave Jehoiakim, king of Judah, into his hand, with some of the articles from the house of God, that he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his God, and he brought the articles from into the treasure house of his God."

First thing I want you to notice about the book of Daniel, it is a battle between two gods and two kingdoms. All through the book of Daniel, it's talking about the gods of the world and the king of kings and who's going to ultimately win in this battle. "Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, master of the eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king's descendants." Actually some of these are descendants from he Hezekiah, and there had been a prophecy made by Isaiah to Hezekiah, saying, "Some of your descendants will be brought to the palace of Babylon and be eunuchs serving the king."

This was literally fulfilled in the book of Daniel. "Some of the king's descendants and some of the nobles and young men in whom there was no blemish but good looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king's delicacies from the king's cafeteria. They would be fed as they studied in the king's university to serve as advisors and wise men." He said, "We're going to get the brightest and the best." "Now from among those were the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. To them, the chief of the eunuchs gave the name to Daniel the name Belteshazzar, then to Hananiah, Shadrach, to Mishael, Meshach, to Azariah, Abednego. But Daniel purposed in his heart he would not defile him himself with the portion of the king's delicacies."

Daniel was faced with a little moral conundrum. He said, "I'm thankful that of those who are carried away captive, we're going to be having comfortable quarters somewhere in the king's barracks. We'll be in this Babylonian university. I'm thankful they're offering to defeat us. They're not torturing us, that we'll be able to serve in this capacity. But they want us to eat things, according to the word of God, we are not supposed to eat and drink things, according to the word of God, we are not supposed to drink that the Bible says will defile us."

Daniel was very wise, came up with a solution, and he suggested to the prince of the eunuchs, said, "Test your servants for 10 days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Put us on a vegetarian diet for 10 days." And so at first, the prince of the eunuchs says, "I can't do that because my job is to keep you healthy, and you're going to have to eat the good Babylonian food if you want to be healthy. How can you be healthy eating vegetables and pulse and beans and drinking water?" They'd got the idea that somehow that the exotic food is going to be the healthiest food, but that's not true. At the end of 10 days, their features appeared better and fatter in flesh.

Now you might be thinking, "Pastor Doug, I don't want to be fatter in flesh." What that means is they had just made a grueling trip across the desert to come to Babylon, and they were probably worn thin, and they were able to fill out. They had elasticity in their step and zip in the hip, and they just looked like they were in good shape. And they looked much better than all of the young men who ate the portion of the king's delicacies. You could visibly see a difference. Not only was there a visible difference after just 10 days of eating this diet, but it says, "In all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them 10 times better than all of the magicians and astrologers that were in his realm." 10 times wiser, these young men. Notice the connection between their perceptions, their intelligence, and their diet that is being made.

So why are we talking about this as we delve into deep prophecies? Because clarity of mind is actually going to help in your understanding. The devil is trying to befuddle this whole generation in the world with drugs and dissipation and bad diets, so we just don't think straight, and it affects our understanding. It affects every aspect of our life and our relationships. And that's why this is the first chapter that you find in the book of Daniel. It's a lesson on self control, giving glory to God with your body, and tells us that not only did they live 10 times longer. You read on in that chapter, it says Daniel lived until the time of King Cyrus, meaning Daniel lived about 100 years. So he not only was sharp, and even you get into Daniel chapter five. He's an old man, and he's still brilliant at that time, and God is still speaking through him. So let's find out what the Bible says about how to take care of our bodies so that we could have a longer, stronger, more abundant life, and friends, when I began to learn these things, it just changed my life, and I am just so thankful that we have a chance to share this with you. We're going to have fun tonight. You want to know what the Bible says, amen?

- [Congregation] Amen.

- And I think you're going to be blessed by this. First of all, question number one, what was the original diet that God designed for humans? You read the answer there, right? In the first chapter of the Bible. It says in Genesis one verse 29, "And God said, 'See, I have given you every herb that yields seed, and every tree whose fruit yields seed to you, it shall be for food.'" The original diet for man was fruits and nuts and maybe beans. But in the beginning, man was certainly a vegetarian, and during that time, his lifespan was measured in centuries. This was the original diet for man. And now you might be saying, "Pastor Doug, are you telling us we've got to be vegetarians?"

Let me set the record straight. No, I'm not telling you that. I'm saying this is where we came from, and this is where we're going in heaven. This is God's original plan, and since God designed our bodies, he knows that this is the best diet for the human body, and science now is backing that up. Question two, after Adam and Eve sinned, what supplemental food did God add to their diets? You read in Genesis three, and this is following sin, man could no longer eat from the tree of life. He said, "And you will eat the herb of the field." And that is better known as what? Vegetables. In other words, at first, it's just the fruits and the grains, the water, of course, nuts, and then he adds vegetables. Now you know the difference between a fruit and a vegetable? Let me do a little quiz with you real quick. Apple?

- Fruit.

- Fruit. Potato.

- Vegetable.

- Vegetable. Tomato.

- Fruit.

- They sound alike. Potato tomato, but they're different, huh? Zucchini.

- Fruit.

- Vegetable.

- I heard both there. Zucchini's a fruit. Eggplant.

- Fruit.

- Frui, yeah. Brussels sprouts.

- Vegetable.

- Unedible. Anything that is the product of the blossom is a fruit. Any part of the plant, whether it's a tuber, like a potato, and then you get the carrots or the root or the stalk or the leaves, that's part of the vegetation. That's a vegetable, and so then God added vegetables. I know a lot of kids are really sorry God added vegetables to man's diet, but this was the original diet for man, and man was originally a vegetarian. And it's been proven and a lot of athletes have also discovered that in that diet, you're going to have less disease, less cancers. Your life will be longer. The jury's in.

How many of you have heard of the "National Geographic" study that they did? It was in the cover of their magazine called the blue zones, the blue zones. These are areas of the world where people live unusually long, much longer than average, and they did some research and went around the world and looked at the lifespans, looked at the lifestyles of people that were living a long time, trying to evaluate why do they live so long. I remember three out of four of the principal areas, they had Sardinia in the Mediterranean, people lived a very long time, they had people in Okinawa that live a very long time, and then they had Seventh Day Adventists in Loma, Linda, California, that live a very long time. That was one of the groups. The jury is in. It is a fact that if you follow the biblical principles of health that you find in the word of God, you can avoid a lot of disease.

Now, I know that some of this is genetics, and someone said one of the most important things you can do to increase your health is choose your ancestors very carefully because there's some things you can inherit, but you don't have to have the same results as your ancestors. Even though you may have inherited bad genetics, that was maybe combined with a bad lifestyle. One reason I got real excited about this is any of you remember Jack LaLanne? He had the first aerobic exercise program on television, and when he was a boy, his father died when he was very young from a heart attack. I don't know, he was late 40s or something, and he later learned it was from the lifestyle. And he went to a lecture and he saw a man that was 60 years old doing back handsprings across the stage, and he was promoting a vegetarian diet, and Jack LaLanne said, "I don't want to die young," and he committed himself to health. He ended up living into his 90s. He signed one of his books, and he saw our TV program. He signed one of his books and sent it to me, said, "Doug, thinking of you healthfully." And when he was like 75 years old, he pulled 75 kids across San Francisco Bay in a boat by himself. He just had incredible health, but he learned that, in spite of the genetics of his family, by changing his lifestyle, he could prolong his life. So original diet, vegetarian diet.

Here's an amazing fact for you. A few years ago, Janette and Alan Murray from Australia, Janette had survived cancer, and she thinks one reason she had survived breast cancer is because she had turned to a vegetarian and a vegan diet, and they wanted to promote that. So she and her husband Alan decided to do a marathon around Australia, and they ran 365 marathons a day consecutively without missing a day. They went 11,000 miles completely around the country of Australia. They consumed, I think, 22,000 bananas. I forget. Lots of vegetables, lots of fruit. They had a support crew that would meet them along the way. They'd start early so it wouldn't be too hot. Then they went to Tasmania. They ran around Tasmania. They ended up running consecutively 366 marathons in a row, making it through the "Guinness Book of World Records," and the interesting thing is Janette was 63 and he was 68 at the time they did this. Vegetarians. People say, "Oh, vegetarians can't be healthy. You don't get enough protein. You don't get enough vitamin B. Those are myths. That's totally not true."

Don't go anywhere, friends. We'll be back in just a moment with the rest of today's presentation. It's no secret, friends. Millions of people today are suffering from health issues that lead to crippling disease and shorter lives. We spend billions every year on goofy health fads that often end up hurting our bodies more than helping. But what if I told you that the Bible has the exact prescription that you need to live a healthier and a happier life? Amazing Facts wants to send you a special free resource called "Amazing Health Facts." This attractive full-color magazine presents eight powerful biblical health lessons in a direct and captivating way, giving you practical, easy to follow guidance on better living today. Backed by modern research, each lesson is packed with colorful and intriguing facts that will help you keep your body, mind, and spirit stronger than ever. To get your free copy, call the phone number on the screen and ask for offer number 806 or visit the web address. And after you read this incredible resource, be sure and share it with a friend. Let's return now to today's presentation and learn some more amazing facts from the word of God.

So is God concerned with our physical health? What does the Bible say? Is it just spiritual things or is it physical also? You read in Matthew four verse 23, "And Jesus went about all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people." Did Jesus want people to be sick and diseased?

- No.

- No. He spent so much time healing these things. "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health just as your soul prospers." Now he's telling us that, "Not only do I want your soul to prosper, I want you to prosper and be in health." Now the apostle Paul said, "It's true that bodily exercise is not going to save your soul." The most important thing is that you are spiritually healthy, but that doesn't discount the importance of bodily exercise and health. Another little amazing fact. The Williams sister, Venus and Serena, I believe it was a Venus who had an autoimmune deficiency and that she had to get out of her tennis playing for a while. She found that the best results came from turning to a vegan and a vegetarian diet, and it showed such dramatic improvement that her sister Serena also adopted it, and especially when they're training, they're very strict about it, and they have won more titles than any other pair of women in tennis in history. They're also in the "Guinness Book of World Records," and I can go through a number of athletes, triathlon people, Carl Lewis, and then they're learning that the human body functions better with the diet that God designed.

When I wake up in the morning, I typically, before I go to the office, Karen, she usually has a little bucket of grapes for me or some fruit. I'll dice up an apple and eat a handful of nuts, and boy, that just holds me. My head is clear, I feel great, and I can make it until one o'clock just on that. That's Adam and Eve, fruit, grains, and nuts. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich if you got strawberry preserves. Fruits, grains, and nuts, all your basic fruit groups. You got your protein. Everything's in there and you feel great, long as it's not too much sugar.

Oh, I didn't ever read the verse, John 10:10. Christ said, "I have come that they might have life and they might have it more abundantly." God wants you to have an abundant life. God promised the children of Israel that if they would serve and obey him, he'd remove all sickness. Did he keep his promise? He did. You read in Psalm 105 verse 37, "He brought them out, and there was none feeble person, not one sick person among his tribes." Tells us they had about 600,000 men in the army. So if you got 600,000 fighting men and then you figure that there's some younger men and older men and you got the women and you got the kids, you've got at least two million people. Can you imagine two million people and not one clinic, and the doctors just sitting there all day, tapping his foot with nothing to do? Wouldn't that be wonderful?

- Amen.

- Well, they spent 40 years following God's plan, drinking the water from the rock and eating the bread from heaven, and he did give them occasional quail that would come in. But following the diet of God, they ended up, they were getting exercise. There's a world famous Institute, their friends of ours, just up the hill, called Weimar Institute. Have some of you heard of Weimar Institute? And they're famous for an acronym called NEWSTART, And each letter in that acronym, NEWSTART, represents one of the biblical principles for health, things like nutrition and exercise and water and sunlight, ST, and temperance, A, air, R, rest, T, trust in divine power. Had to talk it out to myself to remember what they were. But you follow those things, fresh air, exercise, sunlight, water, trust in divine power, and you know what? You follow that program. People come from around the world to go to that institute to recover their health by following those principles, and they're in the Bible. It's Bible teachings.

When they came out, there was not one feeble person among their tribes. Why is our health so important to God? We heard this come up in our questions with the people on the street. It says in the Bible, I Corinthians 6:19 and 20, "Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, glorify God in your body." Now how many of you are hoping that God is going to give you a new body when Jesus comes? Anybody? You don't care so much when you're young, but you get to be my age, you start thinking, "That sounds pretty attractive to me. I'd like to trade this in on a newer model." Anyone else?

- Yeah.

- Yes.

- All right, suppose that you're my friend, and you're going to take a vacation in Mexico, and you say, "Pastor Doug, can I borrow your pickup truck?" The pickup truck's only a few years old, and I say, "All right, yeah," and you take the truck. You're gone for three weeks. You don't tell me you're going to race the Baha 100. And you come limping back after a few weeks, and I can hear you coming. There's this terrible knocking noise that's coming from what used to be my engine, and as you drive up, one of the doors is falling off. Windshield's broken. Headlight's hanging out. Smoke's coming out from under the hood. You're making a terrible squealing noise because the tires are worn off and you're driving on the rims. You ever seen that before? Sparks are flying out everywhere, and you come out and you jump out, and you hand me the keys say, "Thanks so much, Doug. I really appreciate it. Had a great trip. Can I borrow it again in a month?" Am I going to lend you my truck? I can't afford to fix it anyway.

You are not your own. You are bought with a price. Christ owns you because he is your creator. He owns you because he's your Redeemer, and we will give an account to God for what we do with the bodies that he's given us. If we're saying, "Lord, we want you to give us a new body," and we're not caring for the one that we've got, well, why would you think that he'd trust you with a glorified eternal body? Now some of you didn't know these things, and you're already suffering the results of bad life choice decisions. God will forgive you, but you want to start where you're at now and start taking care of your body. Amen? This is something you don't hear Christians talk about very often, but it's in the Bible. I'm going to show you some more verses here. Look at Romans chapter 12, verse one. "Present your body as a living sacrifice." He doesn't want a dead one. He wants a living healthy sacrifice. "Holy." Your body's a temple of the Holy Spirit, which is your reasonable service. It's reasonable for you to do that and say, "Lord, take my body. Take my health."

Now, why do you want to take care of your health? Not just for you. What's the great commandment? Love the Lord with all your heart. Love your neighbor as yourself. I want to take care of my body because I love God and I want to serve God. I can serve him better if I'm in good health. Does that make sense? I want to take care of my body because I love my neighbor and I want to serve my fellow man. I can serve my fellow man better if I'm in good health. We're doing these programs and plus, I've got my other work that I do, and it's rather demanding, and I just know that every day, I've got to get some exercise. I've got to make sure I get rest. I eat very carefully. I've just eaten twice today. If you eat too much, you get food coma just before you preach and that doesn't work. And so out of love for you, out of love for God, I try to take care of myself. Isn't that the reason to do it, first of all? It's because of love.

Are the Bible health principles still practical today? Answers, I'm going to go through just some of these very quickly, and by the way, these answers that you're going to see, this lesson was written before the pandemic. I just want you to know that. This is not some kind of statement on what's happening in the world today. A, quarantine procedures control contagious disease. Church leaders in Europe during the bubonic plague finally turned to the Bible and figured out how to prevent the bubonic plague from spreading. Talks about isolation. You read about that in the laws of Moses.

Answer B, human waste should be buried. Basic sanitation. You'd think people would know that, but I've been in a lot of countries of the world where they don't know it, and they just have typhoid and cholera and all kinds of disease because they're not practicing biblical sanitation. It says this back in the Bible times. Washing the body and clothing controls germs. God talked about the importance of washing, regularly washing your body and your clothing. And I hope you'll write down questions on this lesson.

D, living morally helps prevent sexual diseases. I think all of us know that that's practical good sense. Answer E, animal fat should not be eaten. Not only that, the Bible says animal fat and blood should not be eaten. Disease can be transferred from animal to animal. In fact, they're still speculating that they're not exactly sure what the animal was, but they're pretty sure that this pandemic originated in China and it had to do with either a pangolin or a bat or some animal. Many of the flus, the swine flu, the bird flu, it's because of people getting disease from animals. You've never heard of someone spreading a virus because they got it from blueberries. You don't get a virus from bananas.

Another good, simple rule for health. Anything you get addicted to is probably not good for you. I've never seen a person start shaking, and you say, "What's the problem?" And they say, "I haven't had Brussels sprouts all day." It just always happens with the things that aren't good for you. Hatred and bitterness is detrimental to one's health. So it's not just what you eat. Some people are unhealthy because of what's eating them. God talks about forgiveness, doesn't he? That's a health practice in the Bible. Say amen.

- Amen.

- Overeating is harmful. We're living in a world in a culture where more people now are dying from eating too much than starvation. Isn't that shocking? We're eating in a time in the world where our kids are more likely to have shorter lives than us because of their lifestyles. Childhood diabetes is an epidemic right now, and overeating, soda pop is liquid candy, and kids are always walking around nursing sodas, and it's just a really big problem. It's bankrupting our country, too, the health issues.

Answer H, our bodies need proper rest. I, the importance of work. Not only does the Bible say that you should be resting, but it says six days, you should work, and when you work, it gives you exercise. Wasn't work part of God's original plan for Adam? In a world today where some people, the only exercise they get is putting batteries in the mouse or the remote control, we don't get the exercise we used to get, and so we need to get out. If you're in a sedentary job, get out. Use your muscles. Exercise. You've got to make it be disciplined about that if you want your body to function well.

A positive attitude is good medicine. That sometimes just takes mental training. Do not keep falling into the trap about thinking about the regrets and bitter things and negative things. Train yourself to be grateful for your blessings. It is better for your health, and it's healthy to laugh, releases endorphins. The other thing is being a good influence. Parents' habits affect the children. So a lot of people are unhealthy because they adopted lifestyle habits from their families. They've not gotten the victory over those things, and so be careful that you make those changes in your life, or it can be generational.

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