THE PATH TO HEALTH
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... affect men
We can clearly see that illness is on the increase among men and animals. What is the cause of all these diseases?
Both men and animals live, in general, in a more artificial way than they used to. Animals are kept in their stalls for the greater part of the year, and chew protein-rich food to ensure a great carcass weight. People sit in front of their work place computers, and in front of their TV sets at home. They consume ready-made convenience dishes high in fat and protein, colas, crisps, sugary products, and they smoke and drink. When we go a distance, we normally use our cars. One's entire body loses its fitness and strength, illnesses are seen at an early age.
What Do We Do When We Become Ill?
What action do we take, when we get ill? Do we attempt to take care of the situation ourselves, or do we allow others to decide concerning our bodies? Most will immediately see a doctor, letting him determine how to tackle the dilemma. The physician happily carries out an examination to find out the ailment. However, more often than not, the patient is given a recipe for artificial salves or pills carrying many side effects. Others are given injections, which also may cause side effects. In many instances, the patient is put on the sick list. They go home, often increasing their TV viewing. If they do not improve shortly, they may be handed even stronger and more pills. Eventually the side effects of the pills present themselves, followed by more pills to combat the original side effects. This launches a dangerous spiral downward. The exact amount of poisons or narcotics actually in circulation or that enter already weakened human bodies, nobody knows, but we are talking huge amounts. And the use of even more poisonous medicines is being encouraged from the highest levels, one of those being the World Health Organisation (WHO). The WHO has never openly criticised medicinal businesses for their voracity. On the contrary, WHO chief (until 2003) Gro Harlem Brundtland has hailed pharmaceutical manufacturers for their "praise-worthy efforts". So it looks like the production and circulation of poisonous pharmaceuticals will reach new heights in the years ahead.
Insufficient Information on Nature's Own Remedies
Many conscientious doctors do put forth efforts to do a good job, and to take good care of their patients. Regrettably, many (not all) almost fail in their duty to inform and guide concerning how patients can regain their health in a natural manner.
Of course, we must not forget that certain individuals have organic ailments. Their bodies may lack some substances, in which case injections or pills can be vitally important, unless it can be resolved through nature's own medicines. Generally speaking, though, we can safely say that today's treatments with the aid of pills, salves, and injections are no solution to the health problem.
We wish to reiterate that individuals first and foremost have a responsibility to look after their splendid bodies themselves. When that is done, and no cure can be found, your doctor ought to advise you on soundness and health, by primarily referring you to nature's own remedies.
There is, moreover, a great need for reform in state-run schools. Children and youth are supposed to learn mathematical and chemical formulas, but they are taught not nearly enough about their own bodies.
Health the Cheap Way?
Health food stores began fairly well, offering plenty of raw products from nature. Today, shelves are increasingly being filled with pills, salves, and the like. Men prefer attaining health the easy way, but there is no quick fix to any ailment. You cannot just take a pill for your condition, and go on living like before. First, you need to determine the cause of your ailment, followed by a new life style. This will allow you to regain your health in a natural way, as far as can be done.
We now know that foodstuffs are low in vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. This is due to today's artificial methods of farming. The ground is left impoverished because of fertilisers and spraying with pesticides. So we realise people's desire to supply the lack of these substances in a cheap way by purchasing pills. But one's body may not necessarily absorb all of these man-made vitamins. It has been established that enzymes, minerals and vitamins work in your system when present in the foodstuff itself (the raw product). However, if you fail to obtain fresh, non-sprayed fruits and vegetables, as well as herbs, and you do suffer bodily because of a lack of nutrients, you may use artificial supplements for the time being, until a solution is found to your problem.
The trouble is that most feel it is so simple to take a pill, and that is why they go on doing so. Their bad lifestyle and habits of eating remain. These type of people simply fool themselves. Sickness and discomfort will most likely occur as a result of their unbalanced diet and bad lifestyle. A supplement in the shape of a pill may hide the effects, causing other problems later on, but the optimal solution is a change of lifestyle.
Find Out the Cause of Your Ailment
If you are to be cured of an illness, you must first ascertain its cause. This can in many cases prove difficult, though it is vital to trace the root of one's ailment. With this we mean the physical, the mental, the social or mental/spiritual levels. If someone is suffering on the physical level, he is normally affected on the other levels, too. The same applies to the mental and other levels. If one is noticed as being affected, the others will most likely be affected as well. A verse from the Bible says that when one limb is suffering, all limbs suffer (they compensate for the lack in the suffering limb by working harder, thus putting a strain on the whole body). Thus we understand that the body is a whole, and that we are obliged to consider an all-inclusive therapy when treating disease.
Your Body - A Temple
As committed Christians, we have discovered the best advice on health in the Bible. This is not being considered as it should. Indeed, most people have almost completely neglected these portions of advice. Now it is about time that they should make a comeback, because they are needed in our artificial world.
The Bible commands us to safeguard our health. "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth", writes the Apostle John (III John 2). "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body", writes Paul (I Corinthians 6:19-20). Then we arrive at the question, How do I glorify God in my body? Well, by keeping your body in the best of shape, and living according to the will of God. Both one's mind and body need to be balanced. We ensure optimal health when in balance physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. How may we reach this balance? The answer is simple. We should follow the guidelines for health that the Creator has supplied us with. The Creator knows best how creation is to function optimally, just like a certain car manufacturer knows best how to look after the car he made, so we go to him for advice.
Eight Keys to Good Health
The path to good health is simpler, and yet more complex, than most people care to think about. We are now going to analyse nature's own pharmaceuticals a bit more. Health and strength is gained by returning to nature, where God's remedies are simple. Fresh air, activity, sunshine, clean water, abstemiousness, rest, inner peace through trust in God - these are the true medicines of life.
The majority of people and animals breathe unhealthy air. They spend too much time indoors, where the air is stale and has too little oxygen. In these conditions you easily become pale, depressed and sickly. Those dwelling in towns and cities have it even worse. There, they have bad air both indoors and outdoors. Life in the country is, beyond question, a sounder solution. We hope that, as we analyse nature's simple means, you will realise the unique investment it would be for you and your family's health by moving to more rural surroundings, with fresh air and well ventilated houses. There, one's body works better, because you are more at ease and your thoughts clearer.
It is not merely a matter of access to fresh air, for if the oxygen is to do the most good in one's physical system, it is important to learn the correct breathing technique. Do not draw shallow breaths of air, but allow the air to stream deep down into your lungs. You will be able to feel/see your abdomen expanding with every inhalation. This is called the abdominal breathing technique. By breathing this way, we get more oxygen into our lungs, and old, stale air is expelled. A proper manner of breathing soothes one's nerves, promotes digestion, and ensures sound, good sleep.
Preferably, you should sleep with a window more or less open!
Use no tight garments, or you will inhibit your breathing!
Exercise should be carried out in the fresh air!
In the old days there was much hard work, which rapidly wore people out. Nowadays our bodies tend to decay because of inactivity. Telephones, faxes, the Internet, cars, trains, planes and other modes of communication contribute to the majority moving about less. At the same time, stress has increased in the work place due to free competition. We are to be more efficient, but we can only manage this for a period of time. One-sided working postures are also a factor behind ailments and sick-leave.
Although people used to work hard in days gone by, their jobs were usually multifaceted, with much of it carried out in the fresh air. They became strong, coping with many strains. We need to go back to this method of work to regain body health and vitality.
Today we see several nations making policies, where small farms are forced out of business. Many families relocate to towns and cities for employment. There, they do not even have one small green spot to grow anything on. Should they have some land, it is normally used as a lawn, or for flowers or decorative bushes. Garden areas such as these are a delight to the beholder, but what will happen to those living this way in a coming crisis? They will not have learned to manage on their own. That is why we once more wish to encourage those of you living in towns and cities: Time is ripe to move out into the country! There you can teach yourself and your family to grow your own produce, not using poisonous sprays. While tilling the soil, you will get excellent physical activity. You will stop thinking about yourself, as you become active in various endeavours, and you can work at your own pace.
When families till the ground, their social intercourse also develops. Besides, you learn to know nature, stocking up on many fine products in your cellar, before the winter storms set in. Be not a prey to today's trend, whereby you should go to the store for almost every necessity. When the crisis strikes, you will have nothing to get by on. You are caught in a trap.
The Bible says there will come a time when those refusing to accept the "mark of the beast" will not be allowed to buy or sell. On what will you get by then? (Read more about this in our flyer, Liberty in Danger!)
Physical Activity - Mental Therapy
Back to the subject on activity. Regular physical activity, either in the form of work in the garden or bicycling, walking, jogging and such like makes you sweat and short of breath. This is nature's best means to combat stress, tense muscles, insomnia and depression. Today, various health centres employ physical activity as a therapy for patients suffering from depressions and bad nerves, instead of medication. Thus, it is better to prevent than to heal.
Physical activity also makes you dispel waste products by perspiring. This ensures that your body functions better.
Regular physical activity is a good way of preventing brittleness of the bones, too, as well as a fine therapy for those with diabetes, a lowered metabolism, or heart and vascular disease.
Some people are in danger of imagining that their health is worse than it actually is. In cases like this, the source of the problem is the mind. They believe their health is so poor it prevents them from doing any useful work. Such people will most often have locked themselves up inside their own minds. They think so much about their own feelings, and talk so much about their personal ailments, trials and sorrows, that they focus all their attention on themselves. They are unable to think about anyone else beside themselves, no matter their need for sympathy and assistance. There is a cure for those of this mindset. We can find it in the Bible. In the book of Isaiah, chapter 58, we are called upon to "loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house " (verses 6-7). If we do this, we have been promised a rich blessing: "Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily " (verse 8). When we stop focusing on ourselves, beginning to concentrate on helping others worse off than ourselves, we have found a tremendous cure in the fight against disease.
There are also many that imagine, that even the slightest exertion will cause an illness, and, of course, bad effects do appear, because we expect them. Many die from some illness, when its cause is solely imagined. For those harbouring such problems, here is some encouragement: Courage, hope, sympathy and love provide soundness and prolong life. Satisfaction and happiness are soundness to the body, and strength for the soul. Thankfulness, gladness, well doing, and belief in God's love and care: these are the strongest defences of good health.
Anyone experiencing ailments can turn to God, for He has promised He will answer. "thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not" (Isaiah 58:11).
Many of the best things in life are free. Sunshine is one such example. Sunshine and warm weather are necessary for plants, men, and animals. Unless it is too hot, most enjoy the sunshine. To make good use of the sunshine, we should spend as much time as possible outdoors. As the sun shines on your skin, vitamin D is made inside your body. This vitamin is vital for the body's absorption of calcium. A lack of calcium causes brittle bones. A lack of sunshine may make things even worse.
Those living in places with little sunshine should get vitamin D supplements, especially in winter.
Sunshine and warm weather do something to you. You feel refreshed, more cheerful and your whole existence is made easier. Many mull over things, they experience much hardship in their neighbourhood, or perhaps in their family. Then it is high time to step outdoors, where they can find fresh air, sunshine and warm weather. That will improve our outlook on life.
Once again we say to each individual, spend as much time as possible outdoors, it does good to your entire organism.
Clean water is a scarce commodity in many a land. Living in the country, owning a well with plenty of water, makes you rich. Water is used in therapies both on your body and in your body. It carries with it no side effects. Water is useful in many instances. In summer, a lot of people are invigorated by a brisk swim, either in fresh water or in a lake. Towelling down well afterwards, is a fine type of therapy. Alternately warm and cold baths also benefit your circulation.
As one's lungs require fresh air, so the cells of one's body must have pure water. A person may live for several weeks without food, but only for a few days without water. Clean water and enough water does wonders, the whole body works much better as a result.
Those seeking a good start to their day should begin it by drinking 2-3 cups of slightly lukewarm water about (half) an hour before breakfast. This should be repeated before each meal. It makes your stomach prepared to receive more foodstuffs, and the water will have been absorbed before the solid food arrives there. When you chew your food well (turning it into a "porridge"), mixing it with the saliva from your oral cavity, it will be well digested in your stomach.
In case you intend to drink more than has been suggested, which one should, please consume that amount of fluid between meals. Allow at least one hour to pass after a meal, before drinking.
In addition to water, pure, unsweetened herbal teas are good for you.
Your body contains approx. 65% water, and your brain about 80% water. That shows you it is important to drink much for each individual cell and part of your body to work at their optimum.
Many illnesses will loose their grip on you, when you cleanse your body by fasting. Poisonous and waste substances are eliminated through your kidneys, and you soon feel like a new and better person following a fast. Start the first day of your fast by eating easily digested food, such as citrus fruits, and biscuits, ending your fast the same way. On the second day commences the fluid part of your fast. Drink much water, herbal tea, freshly made fruit juices and a decoction of vegetables (containing the active substances of the vegetables). However, keep the meal times for fruit juices and decoctions of vegetables apart. Enjoy these separately, a few hours should pass between them. You will be wise to observe four meal times for drinks a day, in addition to the intakes of water.
Should you fast for many days, you ought to have an enema to cleanse your intestines, or excrements may rot, causing poisonous effects in your body. Have your first enema the day after opening your fast. Put into your rectum 1-2 litres of water at a time. Feel free to add camomile tea to the enema water. Keep the water inside your rectum for as long as you are able, before going to the toilet. Unless you fast for more than 1-2 days, this, too, will invigorate your system. Fasts like these may well be conducted 3-4 times per year.
If your metabolism is troublesome, take care when fasting. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables in that case.
A Sound Diet
Nowadays many ruin their health by unsound ready-cooked convenience food containing far too much sugar, fats and proteins, artificial additives, etc. International regulations force upon us colouring agents in food, some of which are highly detrimental to your health. They allow business to take precedence over health. The result will be more disease.
In this booklet, we are encouraging each individual to return to the original menu, whereby humans were to subsist on the plants of the ground. We call this a vegan diet today. This underscores again the advantage described earlier - living in the country. There you can grow your own fruits, berries, and vegetables, without spraying them, and prepare your food with no E additives and other health-ruining additives. We should also learn about herbs for healing, because they, too, are part of this menu. Nuts, legumes and seeds constitute other important ingredients of an all-round diet.
Meat, Milk and Sugar
In our time disease is increasing among animals, and many have discovered the advantage of quitting eating meat. Cattle are stalled too long in stale air. They are allowed little exercise, making their blood bad. Cattle are, moreover, fed with much
protein to produce more milk and quickly gain in weight before being slaughtered. Their concentrated protein feed becomes too hard a strain on their bodies, and unless slaughtered at an early age, they frequently become ill. Neither the milk, nor the flesh, of such animals can be recommended. There is much to suggest that meat eating today causes a lot of cancers.
A lot can be said about milk. From youth up, we have been spoon-fed a very one-sided milk propaganda. Luckily, we are now gaining more and more insights into the destructive workings of milk. Probably the best-known fact is that milk is a strong allergen. Add to this, that the protein of milk hinders the assimilation of magnesium and calcium. The large amounts of these minerals present in milk help little, as long as your body cannot make any use of them. They are simply flushed out. In this context it is worth pointing out that many Norwegians suffer from brittleness of the bones, despite the populace as a whole consuming a lot of milk.
Something not often considered is the popular mixing of sugar with milk prevalent in a normal diet. Sugar and milk combined are prone to cause fermentation in the stomach, which is negative to your whole body.
Sugar is a pure carbohydrate, without any vitamins or minerals. It lessens your body's immunity to disease. Use it as sparingly as possible! Much rather select natural sweeteners, such as dates, raisins, papaya, mango, banana, etc. These products are rich in fibres and enzymes, which assist in digesting/converting the sugars in the products themselves correctly.
For those adhering to a vegan diet: Ensure getting enough vitamin B12. Symptoms of a lack of B12 are tiredness in various parts of your body, and irritability. If you suspect this has occurred to you, see a doctor and have a blood sample taken. Extra B12 can be administered to one's body by eating, for instance, B yeast B12. You buy this at a health food store. Some fail to assimilate B12, and may be required to have this injected.
Provided vegetables are cultivated with much compost earth or grass, many feel their diet will have enough B12. You may sprout various seeds at your home. These sprouts contain enormous amounts of vitamins.
Cultivating your own produce, without spraying it provides the soundest food. You will soon learn to cook tasty dishes, varying them greatly. Have your meals regularly, twice or thrice daily, and eat moderately. Then you will not feel so tired in your mind or your body.
"Often intemperance begins in the home. By the use of rich, unhealthful food the digestive organs are weakened, and a desire is created for food that is still more stimulating. Thus the appetite is educated to crave continually something stronger. The demand for stimulants becomes more frequent and more difficult to resist. The system becomes more or less filled with poison, and the more debilitated it becomes, the greater is the desire for these things. One step in the wrong direction prepares the way for another. Many who would not be guilty of placing on their table wine or liquor
of any kind will load their table with food that creates such a thirst for strong drink that to resist temptation is almost impossible. Wrong habits of eating and drinking destroy the health and prepare the way for drunkenness.
There would soon be little necessity for temperance campaigns if right principles in regard to temperance could be implanted in the youth, which form and fashion society. Let parents begin a campaign against intemperance at their own firesides, in the principles they teach their children to follow from infancy, and they may hope for success.
There is work for mothers in helping their children to form correct habits and pure tastes. Educate the appetite; teach the children to abhor stimulants. Bring your children up to have moral stamina to resist the evil that surrounds them. Teach them that they are not to be swayed by others, that they are not to yield to strong influences, but to influence others for good.
Great efforts are made to put down intemperance; but there is much effort that is not directed to the right point. The advocates of temperance reform should be awake to the evils resulting from the use of unwholesome food, condiments, tea, and coffee. We bid all temperance workers Godspeed; but we invite them to look more deeply into the cause of the evil they war against and to be sure that they are consistent in reform
In relation to tea, coffee, tobacco, and alcoholic drinks, the only safe course is to touch not, taste not, handle not. The tendency of tea, coffee, and similar drinks is in the same direction as that of alcoholic liquor and tobacco, and in some cases the habit is as difficult to break as it is for the drunkard to give up intoxicants. Those who attempt to leave off these stimulants will for a time feel a loss and will suffer without them. But by persistence they will overcome the craving and cease to feel the lack. Nature may require a little time to recover from the abuse she has suffered; but give her a chance, and she will again rally and perform her work nobly and well" (The Ministry of Healing, by E. G. White, pgs. 334-335).
Both narcotics and alcohol have wrecked many homes. They are enemies both of society and of each individual. Alcohol and narcotics (as well as many pills prescribed by doctors) make your thinking dull. One becomes apathetic, the mind being clouded and the person unable to make sound judgements. The part of the brain, where the centre of our decision making is located, is arguably the worst affected area. When this section is beclouded, many strange choices and decisions can be made. God has fashioned us in a manner allowing us to make our own choices in life. However, to choose wisely, your brain must be alert, and not affected by intoxicants or other stimulants.
Intoxicants and other stimulants are not at all necessary for life, so if we are to skip something to ensure a better existence, these must be among the first things to avoid.
The wise man Solomon provides us with plenty of good advice. Here is one example: "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder" (Proverbs 23:31-32).
A sound piece of advice: If you know someone, who is battling with alcohol or other stimulants, help them onto the right path through goodness and love, being lenient and considerate. "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21).
It is a well-known fact that you reap what you sow. Nobody must think they will be able to pass through life without reaping what they are sowing. You cannot sow one thing, and expect to reap another. The same applies to our lives. When we cultivate good habits and a sound life style, the result will follow. If we cultivate bad habits, we will reap illness and misery.
Cause and effect are intimately related. Hence we need to endeavour to cultivate good habits and a sound life style as early in life as possible, and stick to them. The results will surely follow. Wholesomeness, fitness and vitality will be seen in the life of the individual, enriching their life.
The Right Use of the Will
Actions that are repeated will create a habit. We do things without thinking about them. If we are going to alter our habits, knowing something about the workings of the brain will make it easier. In the brain are various centres. There is the centre of hearing, the centre of smelling, the centre of taste, the centre of speech, the centre of vision, the centre of feeling, and the centre of habits. But there is also what might be termed a "centre of command", a superior centre able to override the other centres. This is located at the front end of the brain (the frontal lobes). Through this centre we reason, judge and make our conscious decisions. Once we are aware of this superior centre, we should use it consciously. A couple of examples will show us how to do it:
1. Suppose you are used to snatching an extra slice of cake from your refrigerator at night, with the resulting overweight. You had better do something about it. The next time you are tempted to grab a piece of cake, use your superior centre consciously, saying, "I choose to not take this piece of cake". Then it is not your sense of taste or sense of vision governing you, but actually you governing them - consciously.
2. Perhaps you are a smoker, and have vascular spasms or failing lungs. A health worker has told you to quit, but the craving overpowers you. You have become a slave to nicotine. Do you wish to be set free? Most people do, but fail in their bids. However, knowing about this superior centre in your mind, you can tell yourself: "I choose not to smoke!" Then it is no longer the nicotine governing you, but you governing the nicotine and your sense of taste. Of course, this is no simple process, and a certain struggle is required. Apart from consciously employing your God-given ability to choose, it is often advantageous to break habits connected to one's nicotine slavery. An example: Do not sit down where you normally smoke, when the craving presents itself, rather go somewhere else - preferably outdoors.
Help From the Outside
We are all equipped with the ability to make conscious decisions in life. As health workers, we often experience patients' failure to change their bad habits. Then we will refer them to a power outside of ourselves, to the God of heaven, the Creator. Whether we believe it or not, we depend on Him to defeat bad habits. He knows us and can help us. Jesus puts it this way: "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." And: "I am the LORD that healeth thee" (Matthew 28:18 and Exodus 15:26). God, who has created us and sustains our lives, knows us best. Each and every one of us may go to Him in prayer, tell Him of our troubles and find help at the right moment.
You see, we have experienced that the key to success in quitting bad habits, is recognising there is a Creator. As we direct our thoughts towards Him - believing He is and can assist us - we may receive all the power we require to break bad habits.
It is so easy to think; "I will fix it myself". But this is selfish thinking. We must constantly be aware of the fact that every good thing comes from God. As we direct our minds and thoughts towards God in prayer, we collaborate with God. This way, we get an extra resource for carrying through our intents. God has made us so, that we would be able to make our own choices in life. By the connection between an infant and its parents, though, He wants to teach us to be as dependent on Him for realising our ambitions, as an infant is on its parents for survival. When you do, everything runs much more smoothly. This way you give glory to God by your wise decisions. By this co-operation with God you will receive power to govern your decision making concerning what to watch, what to eat, what music to listen to, etc.; and you will also dictate your feelings, so that they will not dictate you. With God's assistance, you will control your senses and make conscious, well thought out choices.
Your Appetite and Strength of Character
The laws regulating our physical wellbeing and the punishment for breaking these laws, have, through God's providence, been made as clear as to be understood by intelligent beings. All face the most solemn duty of studying this subject and to live in harmony with natural law. Principles for wholesomeness should be propagated and the general populace be awakened to investigate them. Correct physical habits promote mental strength. Intellectual power, physical endurance and longevity of life depend on unchanging laws. The God of nature will not intervene to shield a person from the consequences of overstepping the demands of nature. Those aiming at high attainments must be moderate in all things. Daniel's clear mind and his fixed objectives, his strength to gather knowledge and to withstand temptations, were to a great degree the result of his simple diet in addition to his habits of prayer. (Read the book of Daniel, chapter 1.)
Because of God's help, Daniel managed to tame his appetite. Eve and Adam failed on this account in the Garden of Eden. They succumbed to their appetites, and partook of the forbidden fruit, because it looked so beautiful. Christ was obliged to gain the victory where Adam and Eve fell, to save us. Jesus succeeded. When He encountered the temptations of Satan in the wilderness - including the temptation to gratify His appetite - He did not start arguing with Satan. He replied using the words of Scripture: "It is written". Thus He showed firmness against the Evil One. He resisted Satan's terrible temptations, and on behalf of mankind He defeated appetite to show that man, too - with the help of God - is able to conquer appetite.
We need to learn that the gratification of appetite is only a symptom of a weak character. Thereby it is a hindrance to advances in the life as Christians. Despite our viewing ourselves as "sound", many of us eat that which we should not. The gratification of appetite is the chief cause of physical and spiritual decline, and contributes vastly to insufficient strength and death at too early an age. Let those striving for a pure mind, remember, that in Christ we receive power to control appetite.
Practise Your Knowledge
We need to pay closer attention to the laws, in which the Israelites were trained. God gave them specific guidelines regarding their ways of living. He acquainted them with laws concerning both their physical and spiritual wellbeing. Obedience, He promised them, would ensure that "the LORD will take away from thee all sickness" (Deuteronomy 7:15).
God has revealed to us the principles for living in His written word, as well as in the big book of nature. It is up to us to take in knowledge about these principles and, through obedience, co-operate with Him in restoring soundness to both body and soul.
We humans should learn the fact that the blessings conferred because of obedience become ours only by accepting Christ's grace. It is His grace, which provides people with the might to adhere to God's laws. It is the same grace, which enables us to break off the chains, whereby evil habits keep us prisoner. It is the only power able to lead us into and along the safe path.
Cause and Effect
All illness is basically caused by the sin problem. God's enemy, Satan, is the root cause of all illness and wretchedness (Ezekiel 28:13-17 and Genesis the 3rd chapter). Now, illness does not necessarily come because of sin. No, in today's world, where pollution of the air, the water and food abounds, we are all subject to suffering. Nevertheless, going against God's laws, i.e. those of nature or His Ten Commandments, means dire consequences. If you, therefore, know it is crazy to smoke, and still do, the effect will eventually arrive. The human body can manage a number of strains, but if one both smokes, drinks coffee and colas, consumes a lot of fat and sugar, carries out very little physical work and puts on weight, then illnesses will surely strike at a fairly young age. When a doctor is seen by a patient suffering from an illness acquired because of incorrect eating or drinking or other bad habits, but fails to inform the patient about this, the physician makes a grave error. Those who understand about the main principles of living should work tirelessly to fight the causes of disease.
We have already mentioned that physical activity - preferably in the open air - ensures better sleep and rest. During the French Revolution they abolished the seven-day week, introducing a ten-day cycle. That proved a failure. People were too exhausted, so they had to re-introduce the seven-day cycle.
Free competition has contributed to forcing people into a stressful pace. Work must be done more effectively, to increase profits. So rest is more necessary than ever before. You get the best kind of sleep in quiet, rural surroundings, where there is fresh air. You would do well to have your bedroom window slightly open, temperature permitting. Try to get into bed early, to sleep long enough. That will allow you to rise early in the morning, and get more things done.
Learning to relax is also vital. As you realise the difference between tensing and relaxing, you will avoid tensions lingering in your body. Learn to breathe with your abdomen. You may then rest on your back, with a pillow supporting your head and one or two pillows under your knees. Put your hands on your belly. You will feel that you are breathing correctly. As you inhale, your abdomen will protrude. This allows more oxygen into your lungs, and you will relax more thoroughly. A short period of relaxation like this you can enjoy at mid-day, to unwind now and then. Your sleep will also be improved by breathing calmly and deeply.
Not only has the Creator given us the night to sleep in, but He has also reserved a day a week for rest. The rest day was first instituted at creation. It says: "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made" (Genesis 2:1-3).
In one of God's Ten Commandments, the fourth, it is spelled out, why we should rest and who ought to rest. It is written: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:8-11).
Here we are told that God has put everything in order. He has put aside the seventh day, the Sabbath, as the rest day (long before there were any Jews), not the first day in the Bible, Sunday, which most keep today. God has special blessings in store for us, if we worship Him on the Sabbath day. After all, it says He has hallowed and blessed that day. It means He has reserved that day for hallowed (holy) use. Individuals are to make sure this is respected "within thy gates".
God has seen our need for both physical rest and spiritual refreshing, and we can have it by making use of the rest day the way He has determined. Hence the necessity to take time to search for God in prayer and to study His word. This makes us better acquainted with the Creator and His will concerning us.
The rest day should, moreover, be used to behold creation. Even if our Earth is being destroyed in many ways, there is still a lot of beauty to observe. The birds, the fish, all manner of small and large animals in the fields, the trees, the flowers, the water, the rapids, the mountains; everything is intended to make men happy. As we take time to behold this, our minds are lifted up to the Creator. Creation is simply marvellous. Beholding creation means rest to mind and body.
Although God has put the rest day aside, for resting, we can, of course, come to Him for rest - always. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest", Jesus says (Matthew 11:28). When we humbly turn to Him, He will help us carry our burdens, so that they do not get too heavy for us. All of us require such a helper and servant and Saviour.
How to Get Peace of Mind
In our age, so many people are weighed down by a sense of guilt. They have not learned, how to get rid of their burden of sin, and are constantly worried. This condition is later followed by illness. Here is the remedy: Go to God in prayer. Put your burden of sin before Him. Only He can help you find quiet and peace of mind. In the Bible we read:
1. "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (I John 4:10).
2. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9).
If we use this remedy, how much sin will then remain in our lives? None. Having done this, we may pray for power to live according to the principles laid down by God in His word, the Bible (Philippians 2:5-13). This way we will find rest. We will have peace of mind - God's peace! Resting in Christ, we shall obtain spiritual vigour to continue along the path of life.
"When the gospel is received in its purity and power, it is a cure for the maladies that originated in sin. The Sun of Righteousness arises, `with healing in His wings.' Malachi 4:2. Not all that this world bestows can heal a broken heart, or impart peace of mind, or remove care, or banish disease. Fame, genius, talent - all are powerless to gladden the sorrowful heart or to restore the wasted life. The life of God in the soul is man's only hope" (The Ministry of Healing, pp. 114-115).
The Creator and the Sustainer
The God of heaven is the Creator. We are His creatures. He is the source of life, light and happiness for the universe. That is why we should thank the Creator for life. "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist" (Colossians 1:16-17). Imagine, all things consist by Him! Being alive, cannot be taken for granted. All parts of the human organism have been put into operation by Him; the heart, the pulse, the veins, the tongue, the hands, the feet, the senses and the intellectual faculties. The fact that your pulse beats, and one breath is followed by another, is not because once your organism was put in operation, it would by default carry on working. It is in God that we live, and move (Acts 17:28). The heart that throbs, the pulse that beats, each nerve and muscle in the living organism is being kept in order and activity by the power of the ever-present God. He it is who has set up the rules for human happiness and success in all spheres.
Through nature's own means and resources God works every day, every hour, every moment to keep us alive, to build us up and to heal us. Whenever some part of your body is harmed, there quickly ensues a healing process; nature's aids of assistance are put into operation to regain wholesomeness. However, the power working through these means, is the power of God. All life-giving power stems from Him. Whenever a person recovers following disease, God is the Healer. Therefore we owe Him gratitude for everything!
Trust in God
As mentioned earlier in this booklet, it is not solely a question of having a sound body. For the entire human to be well, peace of mind is also required (the spiritual dimension). To achieve this, we need to learn to know the Creator and Saviour of mankind.
After all, we are born into a sinful world. We have all "sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), and "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). That is why Jesus Christ came to Earth to save us. The Bible puts it this way: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:5-8). So Jesus was God, but He came here as a man, to prove that men, in close contact with God, can gain victory over every temptation assailing them. This Jesus managed Himself. In the end, He gave His life on the cross for you and me. He is, therefore, fully able to save all, who receive Him in faith.
The fact that Jesus humbled Himself to this extent, is confirmed in several places. In the Gospel of John it says this in the first three verses of the first chapter, plus in verse 14: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us". The Word, we read, was made flesh. It was Jesus Christ, the Creator, who demeaned Himself and came here as a human being to save us. John describes it thus: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). We must believe in the Creator for eternal life. And Jesus says: "no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). Everybody is not happy in his own way, as some suggest. We must all accept salvation in Jesus Christ through faith, to be saved, be we Scandinavians, Americans, Israelis or Muslims. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:28-29).
The prerequisite for gaining eternal life is, therefore, accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour, in faith. We have to confess our sin, put it before Jesus'* feet, and accept His forgiveness. He will then take our sin. We will be clad in His righteousness, by grace, through faith. Unless you have taken this step yet, the following words are addressed to you this very day: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). Accept this offer in faith. That will set you on the path to salvation.
Real Freedom - Soundness on the Inside
The Creator determined the guidelines for how we might live life to the full, both physically and spiritually. The Creator offers us the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. We ought, therefore, to worship and serve the Creator. He made us. He knows us inside and out. Nothing in us is hidden for Him. Even our thoughts and the tiniest sin which may disrupt our lives, He is aware of. He sees us in our gravest need, He hears us when we
call on Him in earnest. He can help us, He can save us. We should show Him our total trust. Do precisely that! Accept His offer of salvation and care, and peace will fill your heart. Because "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (II Corinthians 3:17). May you, too, experience this peace on the inside, which a person receives when he/she accepts the gift of salvation. This peace transcends all understanding. God's peace the world cannot provide. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17). May this experience be yours and ours, may we cling to the Saviour for as long as we live. If we _ through the grace and help of God _ remain faithful to the end, we will at last be saved in God's kingdom. This should be the goal of every person. May we meet you there, when Jesus soon comes to gather His people.
Bente and Abel Struksnæs
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