Be In Good Health!
III John 2 gives the mind of God relative to our health: “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” From Genesis to Revelation, the Creator gives principles, which, if followed, will result in an abundant life with good health, and eventually, eternal, everlasting, life.
How many of you have known someone in the Church who has suffered and died of a terrible disease, such as cancer, heart trouble, diabetes, etc.? How many of you have personally been miraculously healed by the Almighty? I dare say that there are many more who answer yes to the first question, rather than the second question. I am tired of hearing so much of the sickness and disease among God’s people. I want to hear more about miracles of faith and healing! It is God’s will for us to have good health.
When you look at what the Bible says about health, you may be offended. Today, some folks do not like to be told that they need to change their lives, eat differently, live differently, and work differently. Yet, the Bible is a book that shows us how to live life to the full, here and now, and eternally hereafter. The Greek word for “life” is zoe, Strong’s #2222. Narrow is the way which leads to life, Matthew 7:14, and few find it. If you will enter into life (zoe), Jesus said, “keep the commandments,” Matthew 19:17. Now, many people today are like the man who asked Jesus how to obtain eternal life. “Which commandments?” they wonder. Jesus recited a number of the Ten Commandments, verses 18-19 so he would get the point. But, many today don’t understand what Jesus said.
The whole Bible can be summarized by the Ten Commandments, which in turn are summarized by two great laws, “Love God,” and “Love your fellow man,” Matthew 22:36-40. The two summary laws in turn are summarized into one thing: God, who is love, I John 4:8. The Ten Commandments are summaries of the laws, statutes, and judgments, as detailed in the Torah, expounded by the prophets, and magnified by the Messiah. The chart from our book, Biblical Law ($5 suggested donation from Giving & Sharing), demonstrates this essential Truth.
Now, what does this have to do with health? Everything! The Bible is full of laws, statutes, judgments, and principles on how we may be healthy, how God will heal us when we fall short of the goal of perfect health, and how He will ultimately heal us completely by resurrecting us with a spirit body so we can live forever, eternally joyful and healthy. Every one of these health principles relates to one or more of the Ten Commandments, which reflect the characteristic of love, which is the essence, the character of God.
Now, let’s review some Bible principles of good health, and make sure we are diligently putting into practice what the Bible tells us to do. There are several areas I would like to cover: food, sexuality, cleanliness, and healing. Much more detail is given in our free book, Biblical Health and Healing, and on our website, www.giveshare.org/health/.
The proper perspective on food and drink is expressly stated in I Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Do we glorify God by our eating and drinking? Or instead, do we pay little attention to what enters our mouth? God’s people know that their bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and we are not our own, with the freedom to do as we please with our body. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” I Corinthians 6:19-20.
We are instructed by God which food gives zoe (Greek word for life). Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 define clean and unclean foods. Today, it is getting increasingly difficult to avoid unclean foods. Even clean foods are being polluted by our Satanically-inspired society. Recently, at a Church potluck after Sabbath services, someone brought pink grapefruit juice. They did not read the label, and if they had, probably would not have known, that the coloring which makes the grapefruit juice look red comes from squashed cochineal bugs, the best natural red food coloring that exists! The label calls it cochineal or carmine. Amoral scientists are now putting pig genes into corn to improve yields. We must expand our thinking to consider the possibility that even fruits and vegetables can be unclean! We must not only read the label, but also do research to find out what the listed ingredients are. “Fish oil” may likely be “shark oil,” which is unclean. We need to be continually vigilant to insure we do not consume unclean substances.
The best solution to getting good, wholesome, foods is to grow your own food, and/or obtain food from trusted sources. Did you realize that God’s first instruction to Adam was to tend, and care for, the Garden of Eden? Genesis 2:15. Raising a garden is definitely the Bible way. Do you know where your vegetables and meat come from? Put forth effort to locate good sources of food, and your health will benefit.
One of the most polluted substances, even in America, is our water. Many Americans drink chlorinated wastewater. The very idea of urinating and defecating in our water and flushing it down the toilet to go downstream for other people to drink is primitive, revolting, and anti-Biblical. Deuteronomy 23:13 tells us to cover up our excrement, not throw it into the river! We can hardly escape unsanitary sewage systems extant throughout most of the world. Not everybody follows the good example of some Swedes by using dry, self-contained chemical toilets. We should put forth effort to obtain good drinking water. Much disease comes from polluted water. Whether it is your own well, bottled water, distillation, or filtering with reverse osmosis (our preference), be sure that you obtain the best water you can. When Christ returns, one of the first things He will do is to cause living waters to go out from Jerusalem to cleanse the world of pollution, Zechariah 14:8-9.
Bread is the staff of life, Leviticus 26:26. Is your staff of life strong or weak? Do you think that by taking good whole grain, as God created, removing the wholesome outer bran shell and the wheat germ, then adding artificial chemical vitamins, and baking the resulting white bread, that the product would be better than whole grain bread? If so, I have a bridge I’d like to “sell” to you!
Compare the ingredients of your store-bought bread with my wife Shirley’s whole grain recipe: 9 Cups of freshly ground whole wheat flour, 5 Cups very warm water, 1/3 Cup vegetable oil, 1 Cup applesauce, or pumpkin, 1/3 Cup blackstrap molasses, 1/3 Cup honey, 3 Tbsp. granulated yeast, 3 Tbsp. Salt. Typical store bought bread has difficult-to-pronounce-chemicals.
Which bread do you think brings better health and life? For more recipes see the article by Shirley Nickels, “Whole Grain Breads, and Proven Whole Grain Recipes,” in our book, Biblical Health and Healing.
You may be able to obtain good quality whole-grain bread from your local grocery store. Otherwise, bake it yourself. Obtain high-protein Montana red wheat (our preference), Deaf Smith County Texas wheat, or another good variety. Use a Bosch Whisper Mill to grind your wheat and other grains. Use a Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine to knead the dough. In a Sunday afternoon, Shirley can make and freeze enough bread and bread products to feed our family for a month or more. The best grain is not wheat. Millet and rice are probably the best all-around grains. White rice is tasteless; whole grain rice is delicious and nutritious.
God gave the herbs (vegetables, plants) for the service of man, along with wine, oil, and bread, Psalm 104:14-15; Genesis 1:29. The basis for health and medicine is found, not in meat (although God does allow us to eat clean meats), but in herbs. The Bible mentions herbs such as garlic, onions, olive oil, aloe vera, mint, etc. Other good herbs are rosemary, golden seal, echinacea, and many more. When used properly, herbs can be invaluable tools to maintain good health and aid the recovering process when we are sick.
Now, God is our healer, not artificial drugs, or even natural herbs. But, He has given us herbs to serve us, and we are foolish not to avail ourselves of herbal service to our health. As the ancient Egyptians engaged in “sewer pharmacology,” by concocting medicines out of filthy putrid substances, so today does modern medicine derive drugs from questionable unclean substances, and even human fetal tissue. There are certain medical practices that we should avoid on grounds of cleanliness.
God tells us what to eat and what not to eat, and this bothers some people. Even more, He gets into our bedroom and tells us what sexual practices are healthful and right, and which are wrong. He has the right to do this because He created our bodies and wrote the instruction book, the Bible.
Incest, homosexuality, and bestiality are abominations to the Eternal, Leviticus 18. But sexual health laws do not end there. Another prohibition is having sexual relations with a woman during her menstrual period, Leviticus 18:19, 20:18, 15:24.
Today, there is a war going on against the Biblical health practice of circumcision, Genesis 17:12; Leviticus 12:3. The Jerusalem council of Acts 15 did not do away with circumcising male babies eight days old. The decision was that circumcision was not a requirement for baptism and entering the Church. See our free article, “The War Against Circumcision,” Study No. 176. Circumcision is an important law of health, both for the man, and for his wife. Any person with the Holy Spirit of God will naturally want to conform to His laws of health, including circumcision. A loving relationship in the marriage of one man and one woman for life, is the best recipe for sexual, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. God made it that way!
Water is God’s tool for cleansing and giving life. The carnal washings involved in the sacrifices and ceremonies of the Levitical priesthood should teach us the value of water to cleanse and purify. The famous American Civil War General, Stonewall Jackson, knew the value of hydrotherapy. He traveled far and wide to obtain good quality water. A bath can be a relaxing and refreshing way to cleanse your body.
Don’t forget the value of fasting occasionally to rid the body of toxins, as well as to get closer to God. “Afflict your soul [body]” and clean up your body.
Today, we have become lax on basic health habits, and if we continue on our wayward ways, such habits will lead to disease and an early death. Many men do not wash their hands after going to the toilet. Forgetting basic health laws puts us at risk.
Avoiding polluted chemical “foods” is probably the number one thing we can do to keep us clean. To do this requires research and diligence. The Nutrition Action Health Letter is an excellent source to help you do this. In everything we do, let us glorify our bodies, the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
In spite of our best efforts, we occasionally get sick. We are all going to die sometime, but our actions will usually have a major role in determining the manner and timing of our death. We have a wonderful Savior, who shed His blood that we might have forgiveness of sins. He also was beaten so that with His stripes we are healed, I Peter 2:24. Do we avail ourselves of healing from the Divine Healer?
Herbert W. Armstrong’s excellent booklet, “Does God Heal Today?” contained in our book, Early Writings of Herbert W. Armstrong ($9 suggested donation), is a classic on the subject of divine healing. The 241-page book, Christ the Healer, by F. F. Bosworth covers many aspects of healing from the Bible. It is available free, as funds are available, from Giving & Sharing, Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849.
The day of miracles is not past. Hebrews 13:8 and John 14:12 show that Christ will continue to perform miraculous healings, in our day. It is not true that God has changed, and works through medical science today.
Diving healing began with God’s Old Testament Church. Divine healing is a miracle from Almighty God, as a result of believing prayer. The same conditions of obedience and faith for divine healing existed during the Exodus, and still do today, Exodus 15:23-26; I John 3:22. God is our healer, the doctors are not. Any honest doctor will admit that drugs, medicines, or knives cannot heal. Only God can heal!
Scripture labels other modes of “healing” IDOLATRY. For centuries, Israel’s only means of healing was faith in God. Later, they departed from God, and turned to heathen medicine. King Asa of Judah forsook God, and sought the physicians instead. He died, II Chronicles 16:12-13. Herbert Armstrong’s son, Garner Ted Armstrong, wrote in a Good News magazine article (June, 1964, pages 4, 22), “To rely on any foods, supplements, medicines, drugs, knives, or even on fasting, for healing (and none of these can, ever have, or ever will heal!) is to break the commandment against idolatry!”
Modern medicine originated in paganism. Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, was a pagan deity of medicine. King Ahaziah of Israel fell through a lattice, was injured, and sought Baal-zebub whether he would recover. Elijah rebuked him for not seeking the God of Israel, and told him he would die. So, he died, II Kings 1:1-17. God did not raise up medical science today, and bless it and work through it. The example of Hezekiah in II Kings 20:1-7 again shows that faith and obedience are required for healing from God. It also shows that upon seeking God, one should also perform whatever physical therapy is required to assist the healing process. Isaiah told Hezekiah’s servants to make a fig poultice to lay on Hezekiah’s boil.
It IS God’s will to heal; healing is forgiveness of physical sin. Just as God forgives all our iniquities, so will He also heal all our diseases, Psalm 103:2-3. It is God’s will to heal, Ephesians 5:17; Luke 5:12-13. Sickness is generally the penalty of violating physical laws of health. Healing is the forgiveness of this kind of sin, removing the penalty for the sin. None but God can forgive sin, so none but God can heal. When Jesus healed, He showed that He was forgiving sin, Luke 5:18-26; Matthew 9:2-8; Mark 2:3-12. Jesus heals because He paid the penalty for our sin, in our stead, John 3:16; Romans 5:8; Matthew 8:16-17; I Peter 2:24. Jesus suffered scourging to pay the price for our physical transgressions, John 19:1.
We “break bread” at Passover to symbolize our faith in Christ’s body, beaten for our healing. We take the broken bread unworthyily, if and when we put our trust in doctors and medicines, instead of in Christ, thus putting another god before Him. See I Corinthians 11:23-30.
There is a need for doctors, to help us to prevent sickness and get in harmony with nature’s laws. Doctors should concentrate on helping us eat right. Naturopaths and chiropractors are more in line with what doctors should be. Medical doctors, all too often, resort first to drugs and surgery. It is wise to use a doctor to assist in childbirth, setting broken bones, and helping to repair damage. Doctors cannot heal, and often take all of their patient’s money, Luke 8:43-48. Healing is out of their line, and doctors should not be looked to in faith for healing.
Healing is part of the Gospel Commission, Matthew 9:35; Luke 9:1-2, 10:1, 9; Mark 16:15-18.
The New Testament Church believed in, and practiced, faith healing. See Acts 3:1-11, 4:29-31, 5:15-16, 19:11-12; James 5:14-15.
We should leave the way and the time to God. God promises to heal you. Accept His promise, stand on the promises, expecting an answer, knowing you will get it. But, leave the “how” and “when” to God in His way and His time. The Scripture cannot be broken! “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth ALL thy diseases!”
What if there were a few simple things you could do to lengthen your life and/or improve your health and quality of life? Would you do it? I have given you a few simple Biblical guidelines that our Creator instituted to give us a good life. Will you follow these rules?
Many people are like the Syrian, Naaman, II Kings 5:1-19. When Naaman came to be healed of Elisha, he thought Elisha would do some grandiose act. Naaman wanted a big public miracle. He was willing to pay a lot of money for such a miracle to heal him of his leprosy. Instead, Naaman was disappointed when Elisha didn’t even meet him, but told Naaman to go dip in the Jordan seven times, and his leprosy would be healed. That was too simple for a great military man like Naaman. At first he balked, but at the urging of his servants, Naaman finally did as he was told, and he was instantly healed. His servants said, “if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? How much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?” verse 13.
God’s way to good health is simple. It takes a little work, but there is no great price to pay. Let’s learn the lesson of Naaman.
Purpose of Good Health
Why should you be healthy? Only to feel good and have a good time in life? Only to eat, drink, and be merry? Certainly, good health produces these things. But, the real purpose for a long and healthy life is for us to be better servants of the Almighty. Each called and chosen child of God has been given spiritual gifts, which enable them to fulfill their part in God’s Work, and to spread the good news of the Kingdom of God to others. Jesus came that we might have a more abundant life (zoe), John 10:10, here and now, and for all eternity. So no matter what kind of physical body you have to work with, follow God’s principles, live life the fullest, always abounding in the work of the Lord, I Corinthians 15:58.
— written by Richard C. Nickels W