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First Things First

"True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with everything hurtful and to use judiciously that which is healthful." Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 562.

These are my own notes and are not a word-for-word transcript of the message. However, by listening multiple times to the sermon and filling in what was missed previously, I have attempted to get as close as I can to what was shared. Quotations have, in many cases, been expanded to the sentences around what the speaker quoted to enable the reader to gain the full impact of what was shared in the sermon. Where the speaker referred to quotations without giving a reference, I have attempted to find the quotation that most closely reflects what was being shared. - © Cheryl Hosford


 

1 Corinthians 10:31
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

This is the last session of our series. It is my prayer that what has been shared here will take root and grow into a beautiful flower. I know that if it does, it will bear fruit and the fruit will be spread all over. That is exactly what we believe must happen before the Lord Jesus Christ can do what He wants to do in His church and through His church.

By way of a quick review, go to Romans 5:1, 2

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

We learned that God's grace is God's character. He says we are standing in God's character. That is granted to us at justification. Stand therefore. Stand there. Don't let youselves be moved from this position. As long as you do not rebel against God and turn your back on God, God will never turn His back on you. You may make a mistake, but God has made provision for that. His plan is that we do not sin, but He says, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: " 1 John 2:1

If we sin, we have an advocate - Jesus Christ. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." He keeps the record clean. That is the plan. We still stand in justification all the time. For it is in justification that we are qualified for eternal life. It is justification that grants to us a perfect record, just as if I had never sinned. There is nothing you can add to that, so don't try. You can do all the work you want to, but there is nothing you can add to perfection. Perfection is "just as if you had never sinned." That is the character of the Lord Jesus Christ that He worked out in the thirty-three and a half years that He was on this earth. He says, I will take your sinful nature and give you My sinless nature, my perfect character that I credit to you. That is the position that we stand in throughout sanctification. Throughout the whole process of sanctification, we are standing in that position of justification.

Then we ask, "In justification, are there struggles and problems?" Yes, we are told that God's workmen are troubles and trials and problems that He uses to perfect the character. These must come, but He only allows these to come in just the right proportion and at the right time to point up the areas that need to pointed up and to chisel out the rough spots.

Acts of the Apostles, p. 565

The reason many in this age of the world make no greater advancement in the divine life is because they interpret the will of God to be just what they will to do. While following their own desires, they flatter themselves that they are conforming to God's will. These have no conflicts with self.

"While following their own desires, they flatter themselves that they are conforming to God's will. These have no conflicts with self." Surely that doesn't include anyone here. If you have been trying to walk the Christian life, you have probably had some battles with self. You may not have recognized it then, but I hope that since this series of meetings is, you have recognized that the real battles are with self.

(AA 565, cont.) There are others who for a time are successful in the struggle against their selfish desire for pleasure and ease. They are sincere and earnest, but grow weary of protracted effort, of daily death, of ceaseless turmoil. Indolence seems inviting, death to self repulsive; and they close their drowsy eyes and fall under the power of temptation instead of resisting it.

Don't let yourself get tired. Paul says, "I die daily." (1 Corinthians 15:31). Paul actually says it is worse than that. "Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. " (2 Corinthians 4:10.) It is with me every moment, that the life of Christ might be revealed in me. Death works in Me (Christ) and life in you. There is only one way that life can be caught. The Christian life is caught - not fought. Do you understand? It is caught. That is why Jesus says He wants us to have reflectors on. We catch the vision of that person as something that is attractive. When we are reflectors we can be what Jesus says He is longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His people - then He can come. When His people perfectly reflect His image, then the work will be finished rapidly. Why? Because people will take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus.

(AA 565, reviewed.) "They are sincere and earnest, but grow weary of protracted effort, of daily death, of ceaseless turmoil. Indolence seems inviting, death to self repulsive; and they close their drowsy eyes and fall under the power of temptation instead of resisting it."

We will learn about this in this session.

7 Bible Commentary, p. 908

Sanctification means habitual communion with God.


God's plan is to rehabitute
the life so that we naturally,
when we face a problem,
the answer is death, surrender.

Why? Because that
is the way Jesus lived.
Jesus always and continually said, "Not my will, but Thine be done."

God wants you and me to be habitually reoriented. Our habit patterns are away from God. God wants to bring our habit patterns back so that they are naturally in communion with God. He will not be satisfied until that is complete. In fact His plan is to rehabitute the life so that we naturally, when we face a problem, the answer is death, surrender. Why? Because that is the way Jesus lived. Jesus always and continually said, "Not my will, but Thine be done." That is the way He wants to bring us. When He brings us to that point, he then says, "I can trust that individual throughout all eternity, because their habit pattern is always to turn to me, and always to surrender. We say, "Is that a sign of weakness? No. That is a sign of strength. It is a sign of strength because we know our weakness. We recognize our nothingness, our inability. When we do not, we have a false sense of security, thinking we can do that which we cannot do. We have no capacity at all to meet the enemy, but Jesus will take care of that if we will let Him.

We learned last session that the process of sanctification is found in 2 Peter 1. I would like to summarize that.

"Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:"

Peter is talking to individuals who have been justified, who are Christians, and have yielded their lives to Jesus Christ. They have obtained like precious faith through the righteousness of God and Jesus Christ. There is only one thing he can be talking about - that is justification. He may not have called it that himself, but that is exactly what he is talking about.

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.

Grace, we learned, is the character of Christ. It is only through knowing God that we learn to love Him and to participate and to share. That is the only way. "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." John 17:3.

We read on in 2 Peter :

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.

God has given us all things in Jesus. He is the answer to everything. He is the solution to everything. It is in the gift of giving Christ to us He has given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness - never forget it - through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

You are standing in justification. Now the process is to go on into sanctification and be a partaker of the divine nature. In justification we are a partaker judicially, legally - it is credited to us, imputed. Now it is God's job to impart it to us. This is absolutely essential for a number of reasons, the greatest of these is that the human family has degenerated to such a point that it is almost impossible for the human being to understand God.


We cannot trust in our own wisdom. We have to trust in Him. He builds the character up. Sanctification is the process by which He builds the character back up.

When Ellen White looked down even at the time of Jesus when He came to earth, the angels and inhabitants of other planets looked down at this earth and waited to see God wipe away the specimens of humanity. We are so degenerated from what God created originally, and human perfection failed then. Now what is God going to do when it is in this condition. We cannot trust in our own wisdom. We have to trust in Him. He builds the character up. Sanctification is the process by which He builds the character back up.

Peter gives us the steps:

5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

God's plan in justification is to credit you with a perfect character, and then start you walking with Him in a new nature, a completely new nature, because Romans 8 says that the old nature is incorrigible.

Romans 8:7 - "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." It is hatred against God. No way can it come into harmony with God. God can't do it; you can't


What is the likeness of His death? Willingness.

Jesus had one goal:
A willingness to carry out His
Father's will. His Father sent Him to
the world to die, that we might live.

do it; nobody can do it. It is good only to die. When it dies, Romans 6 tells us that it is literally and absolutely dead. When it is dead, it must be buried.

Romans 6:5 - "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:" What is the likeness of His death? Willingness. Jesus had one goal. A willingness to carry out His Father's will. His Father sent Him to the world to die, that we might live. To die that He might earn the right to give to us the character that He lived out here on earth. Jesus said that His death earned the right to forgive your sin and mine, and to credit to you a character that He worked out.

In order for Him to give us His death, it is necessary for us to be willing to share with Him in His death. He cannot do this unless we are willing to be buried with Him in the likeness of His death. Paul emphasizes this over and over.

Romans 6: 7, 11

7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

I reemphasize, that when God gives us a new nature as He tells us that He does in 2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.


There is no such thing as having two natures in the new life, nor in the old life. In the old life you have a nature that is at enmity against God, in the new life you have a new nature given to you by God that is redirected toward God.

In the new walk with Jesus, you do no have two natures. There is no such thing as having two natures in the new life, nor in the old life. In the old life you have a nature that is at enmity against God, in the new life you have a new nature given to you by God that is redirected toward God. That is God's gift to you. We need to really appreciate it.

If you have any part of the old nature, it is incorrigible. It is utterly impossible for God to work with, and He would only be able to work with half of your heart, and you would only expect to have half conversion. No. God works with you completely. The whole man. That is why Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." He wants our whole spirit and soul and body to be sanctified. Not just a part of you. If there is any way that you can have a leftover of that old nature and yet that be sanctified, there was no need of Him dying in the first place. It is perfectly clear without any question that the old nature has to die and then God gives you a new nature with which He can work with. That is what He is working with in sanctification.

In sanctification, we began with the ladder. (See online handout.) It is a very interesting chart. We will take an overview first.

On the left side, you have the ladder pictured in 2 Peter 1:5-7. Faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity. On the side rails of the ladder, you will notice it says,

"The Christian grows in grace, not into grace, thus Sanctification is progressive."

God has given him His character (grace is God's character) in justification. He stands in that character of God or God's grace. (Romans 3:2, "By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. ") The Christian grows in grace, not into grace. That must be clearly understood. Thus, sanctification is progressive in grace, not into grace. You don't progress into a greater grace. The grace of God, God's character, was granted to you full, complete and is perfect. You can't add anything to it in sanctification. There is nothing you can add to it. Sanctification is intended for one purpose. It keeps justification current. That's all. It validates it every step of the way.

On the other rail, we read,

"We climb by faith, not human effort; recognizing our inability, we trust Christ."


Sanctification is a work of faith -
not human effort.
Recognizing our inability,
we trust Christ.

Sanctification is a work of faith - not human effort, recognizing our inability, we trust Christ. Every step of this brings us to a dead end. That is exactly how progress is made in the Christian life. It was to Nicodemus that Jesus pointed when Nicodemus tried to complement him and earn a fancy type of relationship, like we often do. Jesus came right out and said to Nicodemus, "You aren't even going to see the kingdom of heaven unless you are born again." (John 3:3 - "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.")

He put him right up against an impossible situation. Remember that victory is born out of catastrophy. When Nicodemus saw this, it was a total catastrophy, and he said, "It can't be. There is no way. I can't enter the second time into my mother's womb. You are talking rediculous things."


Victory is born out of catastrophy.

Jesus replied, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (verse 6) Nicodemus still couldn't comprehend it. Finally Jesus had to say, "Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? (verse 10) I think Jesus would have to say the same thing to us today. We scarcely understand it the way that God works;. Only through a glass dimly can we see.

 

 

The ladder on the other side, is Satan's counterfeit. On the rails of that ladder you read the following:

Inherited and cultivated tendencies keep us from developing Christ's character.

 

Last time, we read that we are supposed to remove the hindering factors and the obstacles. We can only recognize them.

We cannot overcome these hinderances -
only recognize, surrender and trust Him for victory.


God's work for you in this
Christian growth is to
see, recognize and willingly submit or surrender the hindering factors in your life for His working.

God's work for you in this Christian growth is to recognize what is a hindering factor in your life for His working. He will not force the will. You must see that, recognize it, and willingly submit or surrender. You have to do this. He will not take away from you that which you want to hang on to. He will never remove anything that you want to hang on to, if you want to hang on to it. He will plead with you to see, but He will not force you. He will not force you. He brings you to the point where you will see yourself. Your responsibility is to recognize it and see yourself. We don't see for someone else; you see yourself. It is much easier to see the faults in someone else. But for me to see for myself where my own troubles are, where my own weaknesses are, is much more difficult. God wants us to see.


Instead of retaliating or protecting ourselves, we need to admit each weakness and say, "Thank you, God, for revealing it to me. It hurts, but I still thank you for it. Please take it away.
I choose not to have it."

Last time we talked about how we complain about the medicine, but we complain about the bottles. God uses all types of methods to reveal ourselves to us. As long as we don't be filled with retaliation and protectiveness, but rather see it, admit it, and say, "Thank you for revealing it to me. It hurts, but I still thank you for it. Please take it away. I choose not to have it." God will do that.

In the middle of the two ladders is the process of faith. Every step is a work of faith. First, we began in justification. Justification is by faith. By faith in justification, we have our foot on the first rung. In justification we have taken our first step on this progression ladder.

On the other ladder, it is not a matter of by faith dying. It is a matter preserving our old natural life.

That is why Ellen White gives us this reference in Bible Commentary, vol 6, p. 1075, where she says that self did not die - it was buried alive..

Many, so many, who assume the name of Christ are unsanctified and unholy. They have been baptized, but they were buried alive. Self did not die, and therefore they did not rise to newness of life in Christ.

Why? Self did not die. Unless we die to self, we cannot take that first step of faith.

From the first step, Peter says that we go to the second step, Virtue. The greek word for Virtue simply means a strong, powerful faith. It has a strong overtone of originality in it. It is talking about power that originates with God.

The hindering factor for this step that we need to recognize is that of doubt. You say, is that a problem? Yes. It is an extremely real problem.

Great Controversy, p. 528

There is but one course for those to pursue who honestly desire to be freed from doubts. Instead of questioning and caviling concerning that which they do not understand, let them give heed to the light which already shines upon them, and they will receive greater light. Let them do every duty which has been made plain to their understanding, and they will be enabled to understand and perform those of which they are now in doubt.

God says, walk in the light. Don't worry about doubting what you don't understand. The tendency in the human life is to worry about that which they can't understand. Mark Twain wrote, "Many people worry about texts that they can't understand. But those which bother me, are those which I do understand." We need to concern ourselves with the ones that we do understand, but believe those which we don't understand even though we can't comprehend them. You believe them anyway. Why? Because it is God's Word. Even though you don't understand it, it still is God's word - believe it. Don't let doubt come in, because doubts originate with Satan. He is the one who instilled doubt. He did it with Eve. He has done it with every solitary human being. He tries to create doubt against God's word, the Spirit of Prophecy, against God's plan all the way along. His great plan is to put in insidious little doubts. He doesn't put a great big challenge before you. He puts little insidious thoughts that creates doubt. We tuck them away and protect them. God would have us face this matter of doubt squarely and honestly and let our minds reach out and believe.

In the middle, we have faith. FAITH to trust Him in all of life's experiences, good or bad. We trust Him whether it is good or bad. We trust Him in all of life's experiences.

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 71

The Father's presence encircled Christ, and nothing befell Him but that which infinite love permitted for the blessing of the world. Here was His source of comfort, and it is for us. He who is imbued with the Spirit of Christ abides in Christ. The blow that is aimed at him falls upon the Saviour, who surrounds him with His presence. Whatever comes to him comes from Christ. He has no need to resist evil, for Christ is his defense. Nothing can touch him except by our Lord's permission, and "all things" that are permitted "work together for good to them that love God." Romans 8:28.

In reality, this is essential for us to understand, that everything that comes to you - good or bad - comes to us from the Lord Jesus Christ, if you are a child of God. If you are standing in justification, there is not one thing that can touch your life except by God's permissive will. So, thank Him for it, trust Him, believe Him.


Probably the greatest fallacy of higher education today is centered in doubt. We doubt everything until it is proven.

Now, we take the next step, the step of knowledge. As we take the step of knowledge like all others, we recognize the hindering factors, recognize that we can do nothing about it. Like we cannot remove the doubts from our mind. We can't remove them. Doubting is habitual. It is learned from our youth up. Probably the greatest fallacy of higher education today is centered in doubt. This is a problem. We doubt everything until it is proven. This is an unfortunate experience that we expose our young people to today. We have a tendency to apply the same thing to religion. You can't prove all things as far as religion is concerned, because the just shall live by faith.

Add to your virtue, knowledge. In this, we must have faith to trust inspiration even if we do not understand.

My Life Today, p. 293

The knowledge of God as revealed in Christ is the knowledge that all who are saved must have. It is the knowledge that works transformation of character. This knowledge, received, will re-create the soul in the image of God. It will impart to the whole being a spiritual power that is divine. . . .

Now, we have read a number of times that God's plan is to work from the inside out and Satan's plan is to work from the outside in. God does exactly what He tells us is the ideal plan. He is working from the inside out. A stronger faith, virtue, and knowledge are all internal in their nature. They are conditions of a mental condition. God is preparing us before He asks us to demonstrate anything, he prepares us inside by working with us on the inside, in the mind.

The hindering factor to knowledge is fear. Why? Everything that we do is generally sieved through the way we feel about it. We read something, and we know someone else has read it, and we say to them, how do you feel about it? Their response to it is almost without exception how they feel about it. This is true of every one of the five senses which the devil uses as avenues to the soul. Touch, taste, touch, seeing hearing, and are almost all reduced to the one common denominator, fear. It depends entirely on how the sense of touch is affected, how I feel about what I actually touch, as to what my brain tells me what to do. If it is hot, I pull my hand away. If it feels smooth and lovely, it gives me a sense of comfort. For example a baby's blanket or the top of a baby's head. There is something about it that we don't want to move our hand away.

The way we feel determines the action of the brain. That is why Ellen White says to guard well the avenues of the soul. ("All should guard the senses, lest Satan gain victory over them; for these are the avenues of the soul." Adventist Home, p. 401) They are the five senses.

Feelings verses faith constitute almost as great a part of the writings of Ellen White as almost any other subject that she writes about.

2 Selected Messages, p. 243

We should daily dedicate ourselves to God and believe He accepts the sacrifice, without examining whether we have that degree of feeling that corresponds with our faith. Feeling and faith are as distinct as the east is from the west. Faith is not dependent on feeling. We must earnestly cry to God in faith, feeling or no feeling, and then live our prayers. Our assurance and evidence is God's word, and after we have asked we must believe without doubting. I praise Thee, O God, I praise Thee. Thou hast not failed me in the performance of Thy word. Thou hast revealed Thyself unto me and I am Thine to do Thy will.

We pray, and we commit ourselves to God and then we check up on our feelings to see how we feel about it. If we feel comfortable about it, we sense that God has heard our prayer. Have you ever heard anyone say, "My prayers don't seem to go any higher than the top of my head?" They trust their feelings. We are to pray, and then trust that God has heard it. Feeling or no feeling. Don't even take a check-up to see if your feelings correspond with the thing. We doubt our faith simply because we mix faith with feeling. How much do we do it? We do it so much that we do it almost beyond understanding.

1 Testimonies, p. 167

Confound not faith and feeling together. They are distinct. Faith is ours to exercise. This faith we must keep in exercise. Believe, believe. Let your faith take hold of the blessing, and it is yours. Your feelings have nothing to do with this faith. When faith brings the blessing to your heart, and you rejoice in the blessing, it is no more faith, but feeling.

Wow! Did that wake you up. "When faith brings the blessing to your heart, and you rejoice in the blessing, it is no more faith, but feeling. " You see, this is something to challenge your thinking. Can you see how subtle it is between faith and feeling, how easy it is to slip from one to the other? When we pray, we receive the blessing, it is no more faith, but feeling. Does this mean that we are not to rejoice? No. It can't mean that. I struggled with this for a long, long time, until God led me to a few verses of Scripture.

Luke 10:17 - "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name."

They came back with joy and excitement. But Jesus answered, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." Can you imagine how they felt when He said this? They must have said, "I don't think He heard us. I don't think He knew what we said. I don't get it." I don't think the disciples could possibly comprehend that there was anything wrong with what they had done. Jesus said, "I saw this same spirit in Lucifer, and He was cast out of heaven." What was it? These disciples had had a little taste of power. Where did it go? It went right to their head. Lucifer had a little taste of power up there also, and it went to his head and it blew it up. He simply would not be satisfied with that which God had to given him. God had made him in relationship with God next to God Himself. But he wasn't satisfied with that. He said, "I will be like the most high." He wanted to be equal with God - and he wasn't going to be satisfied with anything less.

Here the disciples were out there and they came back. Jesus said, "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." Luke 10:19, 20

The greatest blessing that God can possibly give to a human being is to record their name in the lamb's book of life. It cost Him His very life. Did it cost anything to give them power to cast out demons? No. That is a simple thing. He is acquainted with absolute power. He can create a world more easily than He can write your name in the Lamb's book of life. We have a tendency to look at things because of their impression that they make upon us. But God says, "Please, don't you realize what it cost to make you a member of the family of God?" The disciples would set this in a lesser point of importance and put the greatest blessing in their ability to cast out devils. Besides this, they said that the devils were subject to who? Us. Were they? No, not at all. They tacked on "through Your name", just as we do when we say that God helps us.

We need to be very careful lest we slip over into the same thing. Feelings. Satan is the master controller of our feelings. He will cause us to do that which is diabolically opposed to the Lord Jesus Christ because of the way that we feel. "The just shall live by faith - and not by feelings. (Romans 1:17)

In the next step that Peter gives us, we find the first step that takes us to the first demonstration of that which God has already done in the life. Add to your knowledge temperance. This is interesting because the hindering factor to this is appetite. Someboty says immediately, "you have quit preaching and gone to meddling." If I have, I am going to meddle a little bit. Because appetite is a real problem. God requires of His people continual advancement. We need to learn that indulged appetite is the greatest hinderance to mental improvement and soul sanctification. It is the greatest hinderance to mental improvement and soul sanctification.

God gave us a health message not to give us healthy bodies, but rather to give us a clear mind. When I realized this, it changed my whole concept. That was about 30 years ago. He has been revealing this ever since. When He brought the Israelites out of Egypt, He told them to gather up all their food and bring it with them out of the land of Egypt. In two weeks time, their food had run out. They came crying to Moses, complaining, "Did you bring us out here to the wilderness to die? It would be better if we had stayed in Egypt. Moses had never faced anything like this before, and didn't know what to do, so He went to the Lord. That's always a good place to go.

The Lord said, "Don't worry about it. I will take care of it. I will feed them on manna. "

"Good, What's that?"

"I will rain this manna down, I want the people to go out there and gather it in a certain way."

Moses told the people to quiet their fears and that God would take care of them. He told them how to gather it.

The next morning the ground was covered with it. They went out and gathered it. Do you know what they said? "Yuk. We don't like it. We would rather have the flesh pots of Egypt." Appetite was so perverted that the human family didn't even enjoy angel food.

You say, "If I had been there, I would have enjoyed it." No you wouldn't. You would have said "I want some Loma Linda Linketts, or some vegalinks, or something else. Appetite? We have never even touched the appetite. Why? For anything that is taken away, we make a substitute. We keep the flavor, we keep the appearance, we keep everything and appetite is not affected in the slightest bit. We say, "It's wholesome and good, so eat it." We think we are preparing for a time of trouble. Who is going to do prepare it out there? Who will do it? Let's face it. We have never touched appetite. That is why the devil has such a hold upon us. It is through appetite that the devil has his greatest hold upon the human family.

The children of Israel did not go into the promised land because of repeated indulgence of appetite. Why? God couldn't prepare them so that He could get their minds to function so that they could even understand Him. That is the tragedy of appetite. Their minds were not able to reach the level that He could even talk with them. They did the wrong thing. They said the wrong thing. They thought the wrong thought.

God has brought His people back again - the same thing again. I want to prepare you because you are a special people. You need to understand me. You need to know me. In order to know me, your minds must function properly. We should be entirely different. We have the scientific knowledge today that tells us that any lessening of the faculties of the brain affects the frontal lobe. That is where value decisions, religious, and spiritual decisions are made. Anything that affects the brain affects that part. I'm not going to spend a long time on this. Brothers and sisters, God has sent great light to shine upon God's people. Now in these closing days of earth's history, God caused the light to shine on His people over 100 years ago.

There was a doctor that God gave special insight to, named John Harvey Kellogg, way back in 1870. He preached a message that is now becoming the most earthshaking news of all dietary truths.

We should eat no refined sugar of any kind, including honey. We should eat no free fats, not even olive oil. That was John Harvey Kellogg 100 years ago. Ellen White said of him that God had given special insights into understanding health laws. Then she said that he was the greatest doctor in all the world. Of course, this went to his head and he left about 1900 (?). God had tried to awaken His people back then, but they wouldn't accept it. We went on. About 20 years ago we finally began to believe that sugar consumption was so bad - that was after the daily US consumption had reached 32 teaspoons per day. I had it read a number of times, but the first time I heard a preacher preach about it at campmeeting in Oregon about 4 years ago. He said "The national average of sugar consumption is 32 teaspoons a day, but Seventh-day Adventists are consuming more than that." Do you know what the people in the audience did? They shook their heads and said, "Not me. Somebody is eating a lot more than that because I don't eat that much." Don Jacobson went on and showed slides showing how much a soft drink had. Behind me, I heard "hum." Then he showed a piece of pie with ice cream that had 25 teaspoons in it. Again I heard, "huh." By the time he had finished showing all these hidden sugars, there wasn't a peep. Do you know that the national average is more today? The consumption among Seventh-day Adventists hasn't decreased. How do I know? My son is the one who has been supervising this survey of 100,000 Seventh-day Adventists for 10 years. I get it first hand. It is a tragedy. A tragedy indeed.

John Harvey Kellogg said that there are those who are trying to make artificial butter out of vegetable. They didn't know it would be called margerine. He said that if they ever succeed, it won't be any better than the original. Now we have conditioning centers all over the country teaching people not to use sweets or any fats in their diet. The result? Miracles are taking place. I had a young boy in one of my churches who was going blind from diabetes at 24 years of age. It was so bad that they had to put him in schools to reorient him to an entirely different trade. He could no longer see the bead to weld. I began to talk about not using sugar and fats. I had no idea that he was in this serious condition. He decided to try going off of all sugars and fats entirely. He didn't tell anyone except his wife what he was going to do except for his wife. He was taking huge amounts of insulin, and had from the time he was six years of age. After three months, his doctor asked him what he was doing. "Just doing a little dieting," he replied.

"That can't be doing anything. What else are you doing?" the doctor replied.

"I'm not doing anything else."

The doctor prescribed less insulin than before. Every month, he prescribed less insulin. Finally after about 6 months, the doctor said, "What are you doing? You don't need any more insulin. Your need for insulin is gone." That has been 5 years ago. He has not taken any more insulin since. His diabetes is completely gone. I have seen it work time after time in men and women.

There is a very dear friend of mine, an MD who began practicing this type of medicine. There was another Seventh-day Adventist physician, another good friend of mine who was practicing in the same clinic. This physician refused to go along with this program. About a year and a half later had both leg arteries operated on. He had difficulty walking around. A year and a half later, while working on a patient he saw that his vision was not very good. He closed up shop - told his secretary to cancel all appointments and not take any more patients. He didn't tell anyone where he was going. He went to his cardiologist for a check-up. The cardiologist told him that he needed to go to the hospital immediately. He went to St. Vincent's hospital. He called his wife and told her that they were going to do surgery. By the time she arrived, he was already in surgery.

Both of the arteries going to his brain were plugged, one of them was completely plugged and the other was 80% plugged. He was operating on 20% of the oxygen that should have been feeding the brain. No wonder he was going blind. They worked on him but were only able to partially relieve the blockage. I saw him three weeks later in his home. He looked like death warmed over. He was completely discouraged and despondent with no hope. They had done everything they could do - there was nothing more that they could do. He was a very dear friend of mine.

I had a little booklet that we use in our series of meetings, a transcript of a series of lectures that a physician named, Dr. James Hines (?) from Calistoga, CA. I took it to him. He had refused to read it previously. I said, "We have been friends for a long time. Would you please read this book. Just read it." He said, "I'll read anything." He read the book. I left on my busy activity. I didn't get back for about 4 weeks. When I drove up to his house, no one was there. They had a big home with a lot of acreage. He wasn't at the office - I had already called there. I heard a saw at the back of the property and went back there. I went back there and there he was falling trees, cutting logs, splitting wood. I said, "What happened to you?" He replied, "You should know. I'm on a program." I saw him the day before I left to come here. He looks twenty years younger than he did. He said, I never ever dreamed that this could happen to me.

Brothers and sisters, God has given to this church special light. Please don't sell it short. Why? Because God wants you to have a healthy mind. Because it is only when the mind is functioning clearly that you will be able to understand the plan of salvation and the atonement. How do I know? That is what God tells us. He tells us in clear, concise terms in many, many terms.

Medical Ministry, p. 275

By the inspiration of the Spirit of God, Paul the apostle writes that "whatsoever ye do," even the natural act of eating or drinking, should be done, not to gratify a perverted appetite, but under a sense of responsibility; "do all to the glory of God." Every part of the man is to be guarded; we are to beware lest that which is taken into the stomach shall banish from the mind high and holy thoughts.

Review and Herald, March 18, 1880

In order to render to God perfect service, we must have clear conceptions of his will. This will require us to use only healthful food, prepared in a simple manner, that the fine nerves of the brain be not injured, making it impossible for us to discern the value of the atonement, and the priceless worth of the cleansing blood of Christ.

Not just difficult, but impossible to understand the value of the atonement. The atonement is the heart of this. The brain cannot function properly if we are not eating properly. A plus factor for eating healthfully is that we have good health. I have told people for the last many years that I can't remember when I have had a common cold. I have been exposed to colds, held sniffling babies. I can't remember when the last time was that I had one. I don't know when the last day when I had a sick day. Now God gives you good health - but that's not the purpose. God actually delivers you from this. The real purpose is that the mind will function properly and God can give to you an understanding of His message. Isn't that what you want. There is only one way that He can do it.

Ministry of Healing, p. 128

Indulgence in any unhealthful practice makes it more difficult for one to discriminate between right and wrong, and hence more difficult to resist evil. It increases the danger of failure and defeat.

Can you see why God wants us to follow His plan? I have a thousand statements on this sheet, but I am not going to take time to read them. Don't sell this program short. You will find those who say "Don't take it too seriously." My wife and I have been on this program for nine years - no added fats and sugars. It has changed our lives physiologically tremendously. God's plan works. But of course it isn't just diet. Ellen White speaks of true temperance as avoiding anything that hinders the body.

Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 562

True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with everything hurtful and to use judiciously that which is healthful.

Now, we need to couple this with the statement in Ministry of Healing, p. 127

Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power--these are the true remedies.

Seventh-day Adventists all believe it - but do we practice it? Let me tell you that there are some things you can do starting tomorrow morning. First thing when you get out of bed. Turn on the warm water and drink three big glasses of water. If you do it for three weeks, you will never quit it. We've done this for forty years. You will find it a great blessing in your life. She says, water on the inside and outside. When you finish this, go out and jog around the block, get on an exercise bike, do something - exercise for about a half hour.

"I don't get up that early." Get up a half hour earlier. The water stimulation and the exercise will do more for you than another half hour of rest. It will do tremendously more - incomprehensibly more. Excuse me if I get a little excted about it. I am excited about it. When you finish exercising, come in and take a hot shower. When you are enjoying the hot shower, turn the shower to cold. Let the cold water pour on you until you get pink all over. You can rub yourself and it will hasten it a bit sooner. When you get out of there, you feel like you can do a day's work. You feel like it.

Stimulation? What does it do? Stimulates your circulation. The problem with sugar and fats is that it clogs the circulation. The circulatory system is made up of 3 parts. Arteries, veins and a connecting unit called capilaries. The capillaries are actually hundreds of miles long. They are so small that the blood has to go through one cell at a time. Your blood vessels takes the blood all over the body, but it is the capillary system that feeds the cells. That is why the capillaries are so essential. The capillary walls is so thin that when the blood cell enters in on the pressure system and feeds the body, it then enters the low pressure side and picks up the waste and enters the veins to return to the heart.

This is disrupted when either sugar or fat is eaten. They cause the blood cells to stick together. When the blood hits the capillary, if two blood cells are stuck together, they can't go through. They stop there. Not until the body absorbs that which is causing the cells to stick together is absorbed are the cells free to go on. It may take 3-4 hours. In some places of the body, if the blood flow is stopped, the cells die because of lack of oxygen. The brain is one of those places. Thank God for all that He has given us. Nevertheless we need all that we have.

(Tape ends before the sermon was complete. Refer to the manuscript for more information on climbing the ladder of sanctification.)

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