Old Paths Masthead

Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16

The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant. Psalm 25:14

Vol. 26, No.9 Straight and Narrow September 2017

Denali Alaska.jpg

If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain,
Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. — Matthew 17:20

In this issue:

The Efficacy of Christ's Death

2017 WV Camp Meeting Sermons

The Most Important Connection

Health Reform in Early America

Youth’s Corner

The Efficacy of Christ’s Death

One of the most emphatic statements ever written by the apostle Paul is found in Galatians 6:14:

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

In humanity we have nothing to glory in except our evil minds and wicked works but through the cross of Christ, the sinner may become a saint. Is this transformation due to our goodness, our efforts, or our desires? No, only by the death of Christ can we become changed into the image of the Lord. We have been told:

Christ’s death proves God’s great love for man. It is our pledge of salvation. To remove the cross from the Christian would be like blotting the sun from the sky. The cross brings us near to God, reconciling us to Him. With the relenting compassion of a father’s love, Jehovah looks upon the suffering that His Son endured in order to save the race from eternal death, and accepts us in the Beloved.

Without the cross, man could have no union with the Father. On it depends our every hope. From it shines the light of the Saviour’s love, and when at the foot of the cross the sinner looks up to the One who died to save him, he may rejoice with fullness of joy, for his sins are pardoned. Kneeling in faith at the cross, he has reached the highest place to which man can attain. (Ellen White, The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 209, 210)

Jesus instituted a special service for his people which was, in part, to help them remember his death upon the cross. We call this simple service Communion, or the Lord’s Supper. Writing about this service, Paul noted:

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. (1 Corinthians 11:23–29)

Jesus said that we are to do this in remembrance of his death (verse 26). In verse 27, Paul says that some eat unworthily. What would make one unworthy to eat? Bad works? Yes. Sin? Yes.

But there is something else even worse, and we need to consider what could be worse than our bad works and worse even than sin. To understand this, let us ask what would make us worthy to eat at the Lord’s table. In what way can we be worthy? It is certainly not any goodness or strength on our part.

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips. (Romans 3:10–13)

The basis for our sonship and salvation is grace by faith, which works by love.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

Jesus had said to Mary, “Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace” (Luke 7:50) and in Luke 18:42, Jesus told a blind man the very same words—“thy faith hath saved thee.” Unlike Mary or Bartimaeus, we have a more complete view of Jesus and of his life and death! We have the writings of the New Testament and the testimony of Jesus. We have so much to help us build saving faith. If faith saves us and makes us whole, we can be sure that unbelief, or a lack of faith, will cause us to be lost and to be brought into the bondage of sin. Unbelief, or a lack of faith, will make one unworthy to partake of the table of the Lord. Specifically, it is unbelief in Calvary, or in the Lord’s death, and in all that it encompasses that makes one unworthy to partake of the Lord’s Supper.

Again the basis of salvation is faith, not works.

This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (Galatians 3:2)

While true faith produces good works, these works are not the basis of our salvation but, rather, the fruit of salvation.

Genuine faith will be manifested in good works; for good works are the fruits of faith. (Ellen White, Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 397)

The good tree will produce good fruit. If the fruit is unpalatable and worthless, the tree is evil. So the fruit borne in the life testifies as to the condition of the heart and the excellence of the character. Good works can never purchase salvation, but they are an evidence of the faith that acts by love and purifies the soul. And though the eternal reward is not bestowed because of our merit, yet it will be in proportion to the work that has been done through the grace of Christ. (Ellen White, The Desire of Ages, p. 314)

Satan has a way of very subtly attempting to substitute some form of works for faith. For example, I met a brother who believed that the 144,000 were literally virgins or at least virgins by faith by living a life of celibacy. Intimate human relations were only for procreation and even that was discouraged due to the lateness of the times in which we are living. While he did not have many followers, he had some, and I wondered what the appeal was for the people. I believe that it is the appeal of works, whereby people can demonstrate to God their loyalty and faithfulness to him. These people have decided to deny self in this extreme manner in order to prove to God that they are giving all up for him.

Then there are those who keep the lunar Sabbath. While keeping the commandments of God is necessary, they twist and pervert the fourth commandment. To keep the fourth commandment certainly puts one out of sync with the rest of Christianity and certainly with the world. The lunar Sabbath takes this a large step further. Those who keep it may be led to believe that by keeping the lunar Sabbath they become a special group within the special remnant people. They are believers who are willing to be at the extreme end of fanaticism to prove to God their faithfulness but like the ones who advocate celibacy, they are also, by their non-biblical teachings, trying to add something to faith in Christ for salvation.

Thus far we have noted one deception that has a few adherents and another that is somewhat more successful, but the deception I want to focus upon now is used by Satan to gain many adherents from the outside edges of mainstream Adventism. That deception is the teaching that states that it is now necessary to keep the feast days. This teaching has the effect of diminishing the death of Jesus upon the cross to something not sufficient for salvation. The keeping of the feasts, which originally pointed to the cross, must be added. This subterfuge of Satan has ensnared many who wish to be loyal to God and who now keep the feasts as a means to demonstrate their faithfulness to God.

Beloved, while I will never question the sincerity of those involved in this deception, and call it that I must, I must loudly proclaim what inspiration states about this matter.

An important text

A text that is used by people, from about every viewpoint, on the feasts is found in Colossians 2:14–17. Both those who speak about the necessity of keeping the feasts and those who speak against it will quote these verses. It is different interpretations of these verses that cause the variance. Let us read these verses:

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (Colossians 2:14–17)

Whatever the handwriting of ordinances was, it was taken out of the way and nailed to the cross. Certainly the Ten Commandments were not these handwritten ordinances, for they were not written by men but by God. Furthermore, the law has never been against humanity.

The Greek word translated ordinances in verse 14 is δόγμασιν (dogmasin), from which we get our word dogma, meaning teaching, decrees, or statutes. A form of this word is used in Ephesians 2:15:

Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances (δόγμασι); for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace.

This word dogma or any of its forms is never used in the New Testament to represent the Ten Commandments. What Colossians 2:14 is making reference to is the different laws and decrees of the Jewish legal and ceremonial system. These were symbols that pointed to Jesus. They were needful and helpful to the Jews before the cross, but now we have the reality, which is far better than the symbol. For example, suppose you have a loved one—a child, spouse, or parent—from whom you are separated and with whom you are longing to be. A picture would be nice to have as a reminder and as something to cheer the spirits, but once you are reunited with that loved one, the picture is not needed or relevant anymore because you have something better than a picture. You have the reality, the flesh and bones, of the person. You have the person!

In verse 16, Paul says: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.” What does he mean by this? Some think that he is saying that you can believe whatever you wish on these matters, and nobody can judge you on them, but this cannot be true. What if we inserted the Ten Commandments into the picture, and what if we did not wish to keep them? Would it be fair to say that we cannot be condemned for not being obedient to God’s law? Remember that while we are saved by grace through faith alone we can be lost through disobedience. We are clearly told that the works of the flesh will cause us to be lost:

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:21)

Going back to Colossians 2:16, to whom is Paul speaking and what does he mean? Judaizing teachers had been following Paul, declaring: “. . . that in order to be saved, one must be circumcised and must keep the entire ceremonial law” (White, The Acts of the Apostles, pp.  188,  189). In Colossians, Paul is directing verses 14–17 to believers who were being told that to be saved they must keep the ceremonial law. Paul is saying to the new Jewish Christians that nobody can judge them for NOT keeping the ceremonial sabbaths[1] and the meal and drink offerings. Why? It is because all of these ceremonies pointed to Jesus Christ and his death and now the symbols were no longer needed, as the reality had
come. The testimony of Jesus confirms this:

There is a law which was abolished, which Christ “took out of the way, nailing it to His cross.” Paul calls it “the law of commandments contained in ordinances.” This ceremonial law, given by God through Moses, with its sacrifices and ordinances, was to be binding upon the Hebrews until type met antitype in the death of Christ as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. Then all the sacrificial offerings and services were to be abolished. Paul and the other apostles laboured to show this, and resolutely withstood those Judaizing teachers who declared that Christians ought to observe the ceremonial law. (Ellen White, Bible Echo, April 16, 1894; all emphasis supplied unless otherwise noted)

Writing to the Galatians, Paul waxed bold and said:

Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. (Galatians 4:10, 11)

Paul knew that to continue the observance of the different days and services which were types was certainly counterproductive to Christianity and even to salvation!

Let us go back to our picture illustration. Can you talk to a picture? I suppose people have, but the picture cannot answer back. It cannot communicate with intelligence or bring a warm touch to the skin. There is no power of fellowship within the picture itself. It is simply a reminder of the actual person. The picture has no power to love or to share. That only comes from the real person. When the person portrayed in the picture is present, then you may have true communication and fellowship. There was never any efficacy in the picture, but there is in the real person. In like manner, there never was any efficacy for salvation in these ceremonial services. Paul writes:

Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. (Hebrews 9:6–10)

Note that in verse 9 Paul speaks of the ceremonial services as “a figure for the time then present.” It was for a time in the past but not for the present or the future. He says these things were to be “imposed on them until the time of reformation” (verse 10).

Furthermore, Paul states that these offerings and services “could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience.” These services could not perfect the mind, or spirit, of the believer. Beloved, the mind, or the spirit (the conscience), is the territory that Satan is trying to control. This is why we are told to have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). Paul says that you will be “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). We are to bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

We cannot have the mind of Christ through the keeping of feast days. We cannot be transformed by the renewing of our minds and we cannot bring every thought to the obedience of Christ through the shadows and types. We can have the mind of Christ, we can be transformed through our mind, and we can bring every thought into the obedience of Christ by faith in the shed blood of Jesus. Paul continues in Hebrews 9:

But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. (Hebrews 9:11–15)

The blood of Christ can “purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” This alone can make us whole and can save us from our sins. It is not the things I do that make me worthy to fellowship with Jesus. It is faith alone that brings me to the loving Saviour who can save me. This alone has the power we need. Ellen White is clear on this matter:

As referring to the temple at Jerusalem, the Saviour’s words, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up,” had a deeper meaning than the hearers perceived. Christ was the foundation and life of the temple. Its services were typical of the sacrifice of the Son of God. The priesthood was established to represent the mediatorial character and work of Christ. The entire plan of sacrificial worship was a foreshadowing of the Saviour’s death to redeem the world. There would be no efficacy in these offerings when the great event toward which they had pointed for ages was consummated.

Since the whole ritual economy was symbolical of Christ, it had no value apart from Him. When the Jews sealed their rejection of Christ by delivering Him to death, they rejected all that gave significance to the temple and its services. Its sacredness had departed. It was doomed to destruction. From that day sacrificial offerings and the service connected with them were meaningless. Like the offering of Cain, they did not express faith in the Saviour. In putting Christ to death, the Jews virtually destroyed their temple. When Christ was crucified, the inner veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to bottom, signifying that the great final sacrifice had been made, and that the system of sacrificial offerings was forever at an end. (White, The Desire of Ages, p. 165)

After the death of Jesus the sacrificial offerings and the services connected with them were meaningless. In an effort to support the keeping of feasts without the sacrifices, it is pointed out that, in Daniel 9:27, the Messiah would “cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” It is said that only the sacrifices and oblations (Hebrew: minchah, non-bloody offerings) were to cease but when Jesus died, the veil of the temple was rent in two, signifying that all the services, as well as the sacrifices, were to be done away. As we read in The Desire of Ages, Ellen White makes it clear that not only the sacrifices but “the service connected with them [had become] . . . meaningless.” It was not only the sacrifices but “the system of sacrificial offerings . . . [that] was forever at an end.”

Most people know that during the Protestant Reformation the principle of sola scriptura, or the Bible only, became the norm for Protestant teachings, but another hallmark of the Reformation was sola gratia (only grace).[2]

Salvation is not of works, lest any man boast (Ephesians 2:9), but it is by grace alone. Paul states that if salvation is of works and grace, then it cannot be from grace at all:

Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (Romans 11:5, 6)

Ellen White noted:

Divine grace is needed at the beginning, divine grace at every step of advance, and divine grace alone can complete the work. (Ellen White, The Review and Herald, March 2, 1897)

Divine grace alone is needed at the beginning, at the middle, and at the end of our experience. How could it have been written any plainer?

Those who wish to require others to keep the feast days or those who even teach that they may be optionally kept need to consider the following.

Christ was standing at the point of transition between two economies and their two great festivals. He, the spotless Lamb of God, was about to present Himself as a sin offering, that He would thus bring to an end the system of types and ceremonies that for four thousand years had pointed to His death. As He ate the Passover with His disciples, He instituted in its place the service that was to be the memorial of His great sacrifice. The national festival of the Jews was to pass away forever. The service which Christ established was to be observed by His followers in all lands and through all ages. (White, The Desire of Ages, p. 652)

The national festival of the Jews was the Passover. In this quotation we are told it “was to pass away forever” and that Jesus would “bring to an end the system of types and ceremonies.” Ellen White continues:

The Passover was ordained as a commemoration of the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage. God had directed that, year by year, as the children should ask the meaning of this ordinance, the history should be repeated. Thus the wonderful deliverance was to be kept fresh in the minds of all. The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was given to commemorate the great deliverance wrought out as the result of the death of Christ. Till He shall come the second time in power and glory, this ordinance is to be celebrated. It is the means by which His great work for us is to be kept fresh in our minds. (Ibid., pp. 652, 653)

Through the communion service, Christ’s “great work for us is to be kept fresh in our minds.” Not my works but Christ’s great work is to be kept in my mind.

Perhaps these statements from Inspiration have caused you to see the matter more clearly, but there is still a point that we need to nail down even further. Some will attempt to keep the feasts but deny that they are necessary for salvation. The feasts are great tools of learning we are told and through keeping them, we have extra enlightenment we would not have otherwise, but is this the way God sees it? Not at all! Please read the following carefully:

This ordinance does not speak so largely to man’s intellectual capacity as to his heart. His moral and spiritual nature needs it. If his disciples had not needed this, it would not have been left for them as Christ’s last established ordinance in connection with, and including, the last supper. It was Christ’s desire to leave to his disciples an ordinance that would do for them the very thing they needed,—that would serve to disentangle them from the rites and ceremonies which they had hitherto engaged in as essential, and which the reception of the gospel made no longer of any force. To continue these rites would be an insult to Jehovah. Eating of the body, and drinking of the blood, of Christ, not merely at the sacramental service, but daily partaking of the bread of life to satisfy the soul’s hunger, would be in receiving his word and doing his will. (Ellen White, The Review and Herald, June 14, 1898)

The testimony of Jesus says that the service that Christ left with his disciples would help do something needful. It “would serve to disentangle them from the rites and ceremonies which they had hitherto engaged in as essential, and which the reception of the gospel made no longer of any force.” To continue these rites is not an option in God’s sight but is, rather, “an insult to Jehovah.”

Beloved, I do not wish to do anything to insult Jehovah, and I am sure you do not with to either, but to continue these feasts insults Jehovah. What does the word insult mean? In the dictionary used by Ellen White, we read insult means:

To treat with gross abuse, insolence or contempt, by words or actions; as, to call a man a coward or a liar, or to sneer at him, is to insult him. (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)

Surely we would not wish to treat God with gross abuse, would we? We would not wish to sneer at God, would we? Interestingly, the making of the golden calf was an “insult to Jehovah” (Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p.  17). This helps us know that insulting Jehovah is a serious matter. In the case of keeping the feasts, it is like sneering at God and like treating him with gross abuse, for it is saying that the death of God’s dear Son was not enough and did not have all the efficacy needed for our salvation.

Beloved, I love God and Christ. I have no desire to insult them but, rather, to honor and exalt them, and I pray you do, too. Remember, it is in kneeling at the foot of the cross that you have obtain the highest position you can as a sinner. You may look to Jesus alone for pardon, and his grace alone is sufficient for your salvation. His grace alone will enable you to be a partaker of the divine nature and to grow in his grace day-by-day.

Allen Stump

[1]. Not the seventh day Sabbath, for it was never a shadow or a type

[2]. The other important principle was sola fide (only faith).

2017 WV Camp Meeting Sermons

Last month we noted that we have been delayed on working on posting the sermons from the 2017 WV camp meeting. While we are still behind, we have been able to post the following sermons, which can be found on our YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/swiftkayak.

Give Gory to Him                                             Allen Stump

The Most Important Connection                     Allen Stump

The First Angel’s Message             Jean-Christophe Bolotte

The Second Angel’s Message         Jean-Christophe Bolotte

The Third Angel’s Message             Jean-Christophe Bolotte

What Were the People To Do
on the Day of Atonement?                                     S. T. Lewis

The Three Angels’ Messages
in Type and Antitype                                                S.T. Lewis

The Historical Background to Healing before
and during the Life of Ellen White                     Onycha Holt

Health Reform in Early America                         Onycha Holt

Good Health and the Brain                        Michael Woodward

Adventist Dress Reform                                 Demario Carter

Physiology of Dress Reform                         Demario Carter

These messages are also available on DVD and/or audio CD, upon request. We hope to have the rest of the presentations done soon, but, due to the meetings in Europe this month, they will not be ready for at least another month. Thank you for your patience. Editors

The Most Important Connection

A modern computer has millions of transistors and components that all have to be joined together perfectly for the whole machine to function properly. Clearly, all of these components could not have come together by accident but, rather, by design. It takes teams of people thousands of hours to design a computer so that all the parts work harmoniously together, with usefulness.

Our human bodies are much more complex than computers, and they reveal a master design, a design that allows all the parts to work harmoniously together. In this study we want to look at the spiritual harmony between the body and the spirit, or mind.

When the apostle Paul stood before Felix, he presented what I like to think of as the greatest three point sermon.

And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. (Acts 24:24, 25)

As you might know, preachers often try to put their main sermon theme into three subparts, or points. What we have in the Bible is, of course, only the basic outline of what Paul preached. Commenting upon Paul’s visit with Felix, Ellen White noted, in part:

He [Paul] clearly showed that it is man’s duty to live a life of sobriety and temperance, keeping the passions under the control of reason, in conformity to God’s law, and preserving the physical and mental powers in a healthy condition. (Ellen White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 423)

Temperance is a part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23) and a part of Peter’s ladder of Christian perfection (2 Peter 1:6).

Interestingly, the Greek word translated temperance, ἐγκράτεια (egkrateia) may not mean what you think it does, strictly speaking. We may all be familiar with the definition:

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

Egkrateia is more limited than what Ellen White notes. Egkrateia means mastery or self-control. It is from two words that mean in strength or in control of strength.

Another text where a form of this word is used is in 1  Corinthians:

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1 Corinthians 9:24–27)

Commenting upon these verses, Ellen White noted:

The apostle compared himself to a man running in a race, straining every nerve to win the prize. “I therefore so run,” he says, “not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” That he might not run uncertainly or at random in the Christian race, Paul subjected himself to severe training. The words, “I keep under my body,” literally mean to beat back by severe discipline the desires, impulses, and passions. (White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 314)

Another important verse we should consider is Titus 2:2, where Paul says: “That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.” Here temperate is from σώφρων (sōphrōn), meaning a well mind or heart. It is also translated sober in 1 Timothy 3:2.

Over what am I to have mastery? Over what will I have self-control? I recently was working on an exercise and health program, where I was trying to meet certain health goals each day. I completed five hundred fifty-seven continuous days of exercise and activity. During the summer I would exercise late in the evening after Sabbath. Sometimes on very busy days, I would be running at 11:30 p.m. to be sure I met my daily goals. Whether this was good or bad could be debated. Was it too much without more rest? The point is I was controlling self. After making a decision to meet my goals, I worked to see that they weaccomplished. That might be temperance in the strictest sense of the biblical term egkrateia, but that is not all that Ellen White included in her comment on the temperance that Paul taught. We can have the greatest of self-control, but it might not be healthy or temperate. For example, I might decide not to bathe for five hundred fifty-seven straight days. It might take self-control for that, but it would not be true temperance. The true temperance Christians are to strive for is that self-control or mastery that leads to the right physical and moral choices. Again, we have been told:

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

As Christian, over what are we to have mastery? Where is the battle really fought? Paul writes:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1, 2)

We will be translated by the renewing of our flesh, but we must first be transformed by the renewing of our minds! The Greek word for transformed is μεταμορφόω (metamorphoō). We have the English word metamorphosis today from it. We use metamorphosis today to represent the dramatic change that a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly. For the Christian, the new birth is a radically new life, a dramatic change, and this change is to be focused upon our minds.

Paul is clearly presenting that the true battle for the Christian is the control of the mind. He emphasizes this in his second epistle to the Corinthians:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:3–5)

The Greek root word translated flesh is σάρξ (sarx). A word derived from sarx is sarkikos, and it is the word translated carnal in the above text. It means that which pertains to the flesh. Another translation of the text reads:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3–5 NASB)

While we live in the flesh and are commanded to carefully take care of the body, the real war going on is for the mind. We are never told to have or to take the flesh of Jesus because we already have that same fallen flesh, but we are told to have the mind of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:5).

God wants the mind to rule the body, or flesh. Satan, on the other hand, wants to use the lusts of the flesh to control the mind. Adding to our classical definition of temperance, we have the following:

True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with everything hurtful and to use judiciously that which is healthful. There are few who realize as they should how much their habits of diet have to do with their health, their character, their usefulness in this world, and their eternal destiny. The appetite should ever be in subjection to the moral and intellectual powers. The body should be servant to the mind, and not the mind to the body. (White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 562)

So, while the mind is to control the body, we must also realize that there is a deep connection between the mind and body. We are told:

The relation which exists between the mind and the body is very intimate. When one is affected, the other sympathizes. The condition of the mind affects the health of the physical system. If the mind is free and happy, from a consciousness of right-doing and a sense of satisfaction in causing happiness to others, it creates a cheerfulness that will react upon the whole system, causing a freer circulation of the blood, and a toning up of the entire body. The blessing of God is a healing power, and those who are abundant in benefiting others will realize that wondrous blessing in both heart and life. (Ellen White, Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, p. 13)

Here is one of the great reasons for health reform! It is only as the body is in the best condition possible that we can have a healthy, properly working mind to understand the great work of salvation.

Some have sneered at health reform, and have said it was all unnecessary, that it was an excitement which tended to divert minds from present truth. They have said that matters were carried to extremes. Such do not know what they are talking about. While men and women professing godliness are diseased from the crown of the head to the sole of the feet; while their physical, mental, and moral energies are enfeebled through gratification of depraved appetite and excessive labor, how can they weigh the evidences of truth, and comprehend the requirements of God? If their moral and intellectual faculties are beclouded, they cannot appreciate the value of the atonement or the exalted character of the work of God, nor delight in the study of his word. (Ibid., pp. 153, 154; emphasis supplied)

The real crux of the matter is here. We will not be able to properly discern deep spiritual matters, if we are not following health reform, as it is our pleasure to do so. Interestingly, I have found a few people who have accepted the truth about God who still eat meat, but most of those who accept the truth about God are vegans and are conscious about all aspects of their health.

The critical nature of health reform is seen in this statement:

The light God has given on health reform is for our salvation and the salvation of the world. (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 136)

Wow! Is that not a wow statement? How does that square with Paul’s description of salvation as outlined in Ephesians 2:8, 9? While salvation is by grace through faith, if our minds are cloudy because of intemperance, we will not be able to believe, or to have faith, in the truth. Satan is a cunning snake, and his deceptions are strong and dangerous. We need all the help available to us so that we will not be caught off guard by his traps, pitfalls, and swindles! This takes on greater significance, when we consider the following:

I have been shown that Satan has not been stupid and careless these many years, since his fall, but has been learning. He has grown more artful. His plans are laid deeper, and are more covered with a religious garment to hide their deformity. The power of Satan now to tempt and deceive is ten-fold greater than it was in the days of the apostles. His power has increased, and it will increase, until it is taken away. His wrath and hate grow stronger as his time to work draws near its close. (Ellen White, Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, p. 277)

As crafty as Satan was during the time of the apostles, he is now able to “tempt and deceive . . . ten-fold greater.” But this statement was published in 1860, over one hundred fifty years ago. It is safe to say that since then Satan has continued learning in the school of deception and that he has even greater power to tempt and deceive today than when Spiritual Gifts was published. We need the discernment that health reform can provide for us.

In order to preserve health, temperance in all things is necessary,—temperance in labor, temperance in eating and drinking. Our heavenly Father sent the light of health reform to guard against the evils resulting from a debased appetite, that those who love purity and holiness may know how to use with discretion the good things he has provided for them, and that by exercising temperance in daily life, they may be sanctified through the truth. (White, Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, p. 52)

Beloved, the laws of cause and effect cannot be denied. When we disregard health reform, not only the body but the mind and spirit suffer, as well. Plainly put, when we do not live properly, evils result!

In summary, we can see that the biblical concept of temperance is to be in control and that those who are living in these last days especially need self control in all things. Since the mind and body sympathize with each other, the only way to have a clear healthy mind, one that can understand the vital spiritual issues for today, is to be in the best physical health possible.

Now what about those who have health issues and are restricted in some way from having even normal health? Do they get left out? No, no, no, no. A thousand times no. God knows our frame. He knows we are dust, and he is not a tyrant and does expect something for which he has not, and will not, provide! God is able and willing to help make up supernaturally for us what we cannot do for ourselves, so that we can have minds that understand his truth. This does not, however, leave us to use God’s mercy as an excuse to ignore health reform. Grace presumed upon is disgrace. Today the need and the reasons to live health reform are clear. Will you begin anew today to clean up old habits and problems and bring them to Jesus, so he can help you in both body and spirit?

Allen Stump

Health Reform in Early America

Last month we considered the practice of medicine in America during the 1800s, which included the use of poisonous drugs, such as arsenic, strychnine, and mercury, as well as the use of blistering agents, cathartics, and blood-letting. This month we will address the grass roots movement that arose, protesting the use of such harsh methods of treatment. This reform movement utilized hydrotherapy, plant substances, and lifestyle changes to treat illnesses, and several individuals developed their own therapies of healing. Samuel Hahnemann developed homeopathy and Samuel Thomson botanic medicine. Sylvester Graham stressed exercise, the free use of water, and temperance in eating and drinking. Dr. James Jackson in Dansville, New York, combined Graham’s principles with his own methods of hydropathy. Osteopathy, chiropractic, reflexology, phrenology, and the mind-body connection of Christian Science all began during this time of reform and into this diverse mix, stepped Ellen White and John Harvey Kellogg.

Samuel Hahnemann

Portrait_of_Dr._Samuel_Hahnemann_Wellcome_L0047458.jpgWe begin our study of reform with Samuel Hahnemann, a physician who lived and practiced in Germany during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He advocated proper diet, fresh air, and exercise as modes of treatment; however, he also advocated the principles of like cures like, less is more, and dynamization in medical treatment. Like cures like means something that causes an illness will also cure it; less is more means the more diluted a healing substance is, the more strength it has to cure; and dynamization means shaking a substance increases its power to heal. It is true that many people may call natural remedies or natural products homeopathic and mean only that the product has been produced by nature. They do not mean that the product has been severely diluted or that they ascribe to other principles of homeopathy, so we need to avoid judgment of them, but, at the same time, we need to be knowledgeable about what homeopathic principles really are and to understand that the foundation of homeopathy is spiritualism.

Hahnemann states:

If two drops of a mixture of equal parts of alcohol and the recent juice of any medicinal plant . . . be diluted with ninety-eight drops of alcohol . . . and the whole twice shaken together, the medicine becomes exalted in energy . . . The process is to be continued through twenty-nine additional vials, each of equal capacity with the first, and each containing ninety-nine drops of spirits of wine; so that every successive vial, after the first, being furnished with one drop from the vial or dilution immediately preceding, (which had just been twice shaken,) is, in its turn, to be shaken twice. . . . These manipulations are to be conducted thus through all the vials, from the first up to the thirtieth or decillionth development of power . . . (William G. Rothstein, American Physicians in the Nineteenth Century, p. 156; quoting Hahnemann, Organon, p. 217; all emphasis supplied unless otherwise noted)

Rothstein then states:

It is important to realize that only one drop of the juice of the medicinal plant (in its original concentration) was used in this whole process. After the first dilution, the one drop of the plant was diluted to 1/100 of its original strength; after the second to 1/10,000 of its original strength; after the third to 1/1,000,000 of its original strength. This constituted the third dilution; Hahnemann recommended the thirtieth dilution. (Rothstein, p. 156)

Something at the thirtieth dilution is one drop (according to Rothstein; Hahnemann says two drops) of the original plant juice mixed in a substance composed of drops equal to the numeral one with sixty zeros added to it! In other words, one or two drops of a plant juice have been diluted in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 drops of a carrier substance! At this dilution, which was considered an optimal dilution by Hahnemann, the homeopathic drug is supposed to cure disease. Now, how can anyone logically believe that the more any supposedly nontoxic plant substance is diluted (up to the thirtieth dilution) the stronger the substance becomes in its ability to heal? It is completely illogical, and that is where the fantastic and the marvelous come in to play. People are often drawn to the supernatural. Experiencing something beyond reason thrills and entrances many. Such was true for Eve and also for the extremists in Martin Luther’s day:

The fanatical teachers [in the time of Luther] gave themselves up to be governed by impressions, regarding every thought and impulse as the voice of God; consequently they went to great extremes. Some even burned their Bibles, exclaiming: “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.” Munzer’s teaching appealed to men’s desire for the marvelous . . . His doctrines were received by thousands. (Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. 191)

Hahnemann also developed other ideas of healing which were just as fantastic, such as the belief that the action of one dose of a homeopathic solution could last up to one hundred days (Rothstein, page 154). Homeopathy is spiritualism, brothers and sisters, pure and simple, and it appealed to the people. They were tired of the harsh and often fatal methods of heroic medicine. The fact is, homeopathic solutions were (and are) so diluted they could hardly do any harm or any good. What the solutions did do (and do today) was to give the body time to heal itself. They also instilled a hope for healing and offered the thrill of experiencing something supernatural, for homeopathy involves spiritualism. Hahnemann, himself, spelled out this spiritualism:

. . . medicines act upon our well-being wholly without communication of material parts of the medicinal substances . . . (Hahnemann, Organon, Section 11, note 7; as quoted by Coulter, Ibid., p. 19)

Hahnemann stated that the trituration [dilution] and succussion [shaking] release “the spirit-like medicinal power” of the medicine. (Coulter, p. 57; quoting Hahnemann from Organon, Section 270)

At the thirtieth dilution of one drop (or two) of a plant substance there could hardly be any material parts left, but if there were, Hahnemann is saying even they do not affect a person’s well-being. So, if the plant substance is not promoting healing, what is? Any healing, other than what naturally occurs through the body healing itself, is obviously the work of an unholy spirit.

Hahnemann also considered disease itself to be a spiritual manifestation:

Hahnemann maintained . . . that the only source of the physician’s knowledge was sense-perception and that whatever knowledge was not attainable in this way was inaccessible to the physician. He stated that the body’s internal processes were not analogous to anything observed in other branches of science and were not subject to the laws of logic; they follow their own laws. He expressed this by calling disease a non-material, spiritual phenomenon. (Coulter, p. 8)

Sense-perception is what can be observed. In Hahnemann’s view, anatomy and physiology were of no value because God has hidden what goes on inside a man. No one can look inside another, so the physician can only work with what he or she observes on the outside:

What honest man not endowed with clairvoyance could boast of possessing a mental eye which should enable him to penetrate through flesh and bone into that hidden essential nature of things that the Creator of mankind alone understands, of which mortal man would have no conception, for which he would have no words if it were laid open to him? (Samuel Hahnemann, The Lesser Writings of Samuel Hahnemann, Collected and translated by R. E. Dudgeon, p. 714, n. 1; as quoted by Coulter, p. 13)

It is true Hahnemann’s Lesser Writings were published in 1852 and medical knowledge was young at the time, but it was growing. By 1850 the stethoscope had been invented; ether was used for surgery; appendectomies were performed, although antiseptic surgery was not a reality until 1867; treatment of scurvy had long been known; and the smallpox vaccine was in use. In the latter half of the nineteenth century knowledge grew even faster, but the point is a certain amount of anatomy and physiology was already known to physicians, but Hahnemann rejected this knowledge because disease, ultimately, is of a spiritual nature, and healing is also of a spiritual nature.

In 1825, his system of homeopathy was introduced to the United States. His principles of treatment were in opposition to those of heroic medicine (which admittedly were bad), beginning with the process of diagnosis. Up to this time, diagnosis started with what the doctors could perceive with their eyes and other senses and progressed, using the best logic they knew to use, to what was going on internally, but homeopathy diagnosed by sense-perception only (by what could be understood with observation only and not with any logic) and treated disease with extreme dilutions of natural substances, along with other modalities, such as proper diet, fresh air, exercise, and physical cleanliness.

Ellen White and homeopathy

Ellen White.jpgEllen White understood both aspects of homeopathy—its use of extremely diluted substances and its promotion of a healthy lifestyle. Concerning the diluted medications, she wrote:

When Dr. A came to the Health Retreat, she laid aside her knowledge and practice of hygiene, and administered the little homeopathic doses for almost every ailment. This was against the light God had given. Thus our people, who had been taught to avoid drugs in almost every form, were receiving a different education.—Letter 26a, 1889 (To a prominent physician in institutional work). (Ellen White, Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 282)

Ellen White supported hygienic principles, as well as eclecticism, and noted that Dr. Maxwell referred to homeopathy as eclecticism, so there obviously was a confusion of terms:

I told Dr. Maxson we did not erect an institution at such immense cost to have people educated to resort to drugs, but to instruct them how to cure without drugs. I told them what the Lord had been pleased to show me nearly thirty years ago in regard to the old-school practice of drug medication upon the miserable wrecks of humanity, made so by the use of drugs. I told him of the two systems; the old-schools system had killed thousands and its tens of thousands, while the eclectic, or, as he called it, homeopathy, had done no such deadly work. (Ellen White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, p. 364)

But what is the knowledge and practice of hygiene that she said Dr. A. had laid aside? The use of natural remedies is one part of the practice of hygiene:

The use of drugs has resulted in far more harm than good, and should our physicians who claim to believe the truth, almost entirely dispense with medicine, and faithfully practice along the line of hygiene, using nature’s remedies, far greater success would attend their efforts. (Ellen White, The Place of Herbs in Rational Therapy, p. 29; emphasis in original)

Correct habits of living are another part:

The advocates of reform who are laboring with the glory of God in view will plant their feet firmly upon the principles of hygiene; they will adopt a correct practice. . . . Physicians have a work to do to bring about reform by educating the people, that they may understand the laws which govern their physical life. They should know how to eat properly, to work intelligently, to dress healthfully, and should be taught to bring all their habits into harmony with the laws of life and health, and to discard drugs. (Ellen White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, p. 177)

She also noted that Dr. Gibbs was not a homeopathic physician but an eclectic one and inferred that eclecticism is the better of the two practices because eclecticism utilizes the good of all:

Now, Dr. Gibbs is not a homeopathic physician but he takes the good of all. He obtained his education in the regular school and has his diploma from that school. (Ellen White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, p. 374)

Taking the good of all is another way of describing how eclecticism operates. It takes of the best of the various schools of treatment and combines those treatment modalities into one approach to treat illness.

Sylvester Graham

Sylvester-Graham-1794-1851.jpgSylvester Graham was the seventeenth child of his parents and was frail during much of his youth. He suffered with consumption as a teenager and with mental health issues during his youth and also later in life, and he died at the early age of 57 (in 1851). During his lifetime he worked hard to promote healthful living, even writing a book in 1837 about making bread, Treatise on Bread and Breadmaking and devoting a long section in his Lectures on the Science of Human Life (1839) to the subject of the preparation of bread. He also co-established the American Vegetarian Society in 1850.[1] One reason people were drawn to Graham was because he stated his dietary principles could help prevent cholera, a deadly disease claiming many lives in America at the time:

Graham . . . became an in-demand lecturer, preached that his recommendations on diet could help stave off cholera, which was having a major outbreak in the 1830s. (https://www.biography.com/people/sylvester-graham-21194545)

Not only did Graham state his dietary principles would help prevent cholera, but he preached that reining in all forms of excess, not just dietary excess, would help with cholera. He became deeply involved in “hygienic instruction” (Whorton, p. 44; reference in footnote #1), and one’s hygiene involved all aspects of one’s life, including:

. . . wearing loose-fitting clothing (with the belief that garments should be utilitarian and not constrictive), taking cold baths, sleeping on hard bedding, having three scheduled meals without snacks, unheated food, dancing, exercising and relaxing—though there were strict parameters on making sure everything was balanced. (www. biography.com; reference in footnote #1)

Obviously Graham was a reformer. He opposed using drugs in general and advocated exercise, frequent bathing, temperance, and proper choices in food and drink. He taught that right living was a more certain means to health than resorting to the advice of doctors and to the use of drugs. Eventually his tenets of reform merged with those of Dr. James Jackson, who advocated some of the same lifestyle changes and who also promoted the benefits of hydropathy. It was to Dr. Jackson’s health institute in Dansville, New York, that James and Ellen White went for treatment of the lingering effects of James’s stroke.

Samuel Thomson

Samuel_Thomson.jpgSamuel Thomson[2] is known as the father of the botanical movement of health reform. In his theory of disease, he believed that a fever was nature’s effort to throw off the disease, so his treatments “sought to raise the body temperature and promote the flow of perspiration with his steam baths and his botanical remedies. He began treatment with lobelia, his Preparation No. I, which cleansed the stomach, raised the temperature, and induced perspiration.”[3] Lobelia was used to induce vomiting. The problem is the amount of lobelia needed to induce vomiting is in the unsafe range:

The reason you’ve heard lobelia described as a toxic herb is that high doses cause serious effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, profuse sweating, tremors, rapid heartbeat, mental confusion, convulsions, hypothermia, coma, and possibly death. (Andrew Weil, M. D., “Is Lobelia Safe To Use?”; https://www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/herbs/is-lobelia-safe-to-use/)

After the stomach was emptied, Thomson sought to heat the stomach with a preparation of spicy plants, eventually preferring the use of cayenne pepper. Whorton explains that Thomson advocated “a demanding course of spicy and emetic botanicals, steambaths, and enemas laced with cayenne pepper” (Whorton, p. 23) to treat disease. Thomson’s next step was to “remove the canker from the stomach and bowel” (Weinstock, p. 9) by using teas and tonics made from roots, leaves, barks, and berries. Thomson then used brandy and wine mixed with herbs and also used more teas to strengthen the stomach and bowel. The great appeal of his program was that the patient could make his or her own remedies, without having to understand Latin or the large words used by the physicians of the time, in order to try to obtain health. In fact, a people’s movement began in the treatment of disease that used plain and simple language and used what they considered to be medicinal plant products.[4]

Thomson explained his philosophy of healing in this way:

There are three things which have in a greater or less degree, called the attention of men, viz: Religion, Government, and Medicine. In ages past, these things were thought by millions to belong to three classes of men, Priests, Lawyers and Physicians. The Priests held the things of religion in their own hands, and brought the people to their terms; kept the scriptures in the dead languages, so that the common people could not read them. Those days of darkness are done away; the scriptures are translated into our own language, and each one is taught to read for himself. Government was once considered as belonging to a few, who thought themselves “born only to rule.” The common people have now become acquainted with the great secret of government; and know that “all men are born free and equal,” and that magistrates are put in authority, or out by the voice of the people, who choose them for their public servants.

While these, and many other things are brought where “common people” can understand them; the knowledge and use of medicine, is in a great measure concealed in a dead language, and a sick man is often obliged to risk his life, where he would not risk a dollar; and should the apothecary or his apprentice make a mistake, the sick man cannot correct it, and thus is exposed to receive an instrument of death, instead of that which would restore him to health had he known good medicine. . . .

It is true that much of what is at this day called medicine, is deadly poison; and were people to know what is offered them of this kind, they would absolutely refuse ever to receive it as a medicine. This I have long seen and known to be true; and have labored hard for many years to convince them of the evils that attend such a mode of procedure with the sick; and have turned my attention to those medicines that grow in our own country, which the God of nature has prepared for the benefit of mankind. Long has a general medicine been sought for, and I am confident I have found such as are universally applicable in all cases of disease, and which may be used with safety and success, in the hands of the people.

After thirty years study and repeated successful trials of the medicinal vegetables of our country, in all the diseases incident to our climate; I can, with well grounded assurance, recommend my system of practice and medicines to the public, as salutary and efficacious. (Samuel Thomson, as quoted in The People’s Doctors, A Review, by the People’s Friend, pp. 13, 14)

We can certainly be thankful for the many remedial agents God offers in his created works, and we can also be thankful for the great strides he has given us in the understanding of our bodies and in how disease occurs and is best treated.

The body[5]

The body consists of trillions of cells, and each cell is a tiny chemical factory. In each cell specifically designed protein molecules called enzymes perform highly specialized tasks. Each enzyme is dedicated to one specific task. Since it requires several steps to manufacture a product, such as insulin or hemoglobin, the cell has the various enzymes arranged in a well-organized assembly line. Each enzyme performs its single operation and then passes what it has produced on to the next enzymatic step. This process continues until the substance is complete.

Around each cell is a cell membrane. This membrane has ports, or gates, controlled by enzymes, which open and close and through which pass substances. Receptors are found on the surface of the cell and act like locks. Only a regulator that exactly fits the lock can activate the receptor. Once the regulator connects with its matching receptor, the regulator can control a particular process within the cell.

Regulators are important because they act like brakes and accelerators. This affects the speed at which the enzyme system works to accomplish its mission. Regulators can be hormones, neurotransmitters, certain minerals, and many other chemical compounds. They speed up, slow down, or stop a specific action within the cell. Drugs are regulators—they speed up, slow down, or stop certain chemical or enzymatic activities of the cells. Drugs alter the rate at which the cellular functions proceed. What this means is the chemical—whether it be a hormone, mineral, medicinal herb, a medicine, or a drug—does not change how the enzyme works, only the rate, or speed, at which it operates.

Enzymes and enzymatic systems are vitally important because they do the body’s work, and cells are the factories that house these enzymes. So, the chemical in a medicine, whether it is in an herb or in a drug and whether it is synthetic or natural, must influence an enzyme or enzymes in order to have an effect. For example, penicillin blocks the enzyme that many bacteria use to make their cell walls. Pneumococcus, responsible for a common form of pneumonia, has a membrane, or capsule, surrounding it that protects it against our body’s attack on it. Penicillin attacks the enzyme systems of the pneumococcus that make the capsule, resulting in a weak or sometimes in an incomplete capsule, and then our phagocytes can more easily destroy the bacteria. DDT is a poison to us because it inhibits key enzymes in our nervous system. Digoxin affects certain enzymes in the cells of the heart muscle, causing the muscle fibers to shorten in length. This shortening allows the heart to contract better and to pump blood more efficiently.

All enzymes are proteins. The word protein comes from the Greek word proteios, which means first place. Enzymes are instrumental in almost everything organisms do. They are used for structural support, storage, transport of other substances, signaling from one part of the organism to another, movement, defense against foreign substances, regulation of metabolism, and digestion.

Humans have tens of thousands of different proteins, each with a specific structure and function and all constructed from the same set of twenty amino acids. Each type of protein has a unique three-dimensional shape. Humans lack nine essential amino acids, which must be supplied by our foods. Are we not fearfully and wonderfully made?

Now you understand how our drugs today, whether they be from the natural world or are chemicals synthesized in a laboratory, work. They are often designed to inhibit or to disrupt a certain enzyme or enzymes of the invading organism in order to prevent its replication and the resulting negative consequences they would have in our bodies. The drugs used in Ellen White’s day, however, almost always were harmful to the human body, not just to the invading organism!

Let us next consider how Ellen White defined the word drug.

Ellen White defines the word drug

Edgar Caro, a medical student, asked Ellen White if when she used the word drug she meant only the stronger medicines, such as mercury, strychnine, arsenic, or if she also meant simpler things, such as potassium, iodine and squill [a plant with a large bulbous root like an onion, which was used as a medicine].

From our study of the Testimonies and the little work, How to Live, we can see that the Lord is strongly opposed to the use of drugs in our medical work....Several of the students are in doubt as to the meaning of the word ‘drug’ as mentioned in How to Live. Does it refer only to the stronger medicines as mercury, strychnine, arsenic, and such poisons, the things we medical students call ‘drugs,’ or does it also include the simpler remedies, as potassium, iodine, squills, etc.? (Edgar Caro’s question as published in Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 278)

Ellen White’s response:

Drug poisons mean the articles which you have mentioned. The simpler remedies are less harmful in proportion to their simplicity; but in very many cases these are used when not at all necessary. There are simple herbs and roots that every family may use for themselves and need not call a physician any sooner than they would call a lawyer. . . . And yet it would not be wisdom to engage in controversy over this subject. (White, Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 279)

In addition to the words drug, drugs, and poisons, Ellen White also used the terms remedy and remedies. Above she used the phrase simpler remedies, and by simple remedies she meant remedies that are “not complicated, and that are easy to use” (Mervyn Hardinge, Drugs, Herbs, & Natural Remedies p. 153), and she probably also meant a substance that came from only one plant source. Please note her use of the term remedies in the following:

Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power—these are the true remedies. (Ellen White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 127)

We had hoped to finish our study of drugs and of the history of health reform this month, but because of Pastor Stump’s soon-coming trip to Europe, publication of this issue of Old Paths had to be accelerated. We will have to wait until next month to consider the remedies Ellen White used and advocated, and to consider a current application of her counsel on the use of drugs.

Onycha Holt

[1]. See Crusaders for Fitness:The History of American Health Reformers by James C. Whorton and https://www.biography.com/people/sylvester-graham-21194545.

[2]. Spelled Thompson in Drugs, Herbs, & Natural Remedies by Mervyn G. Hardinge

[3]. Joanna Smith Weinstock, “Samuel Thomson’s Botanic System: Alternative Medicine in Early Nineteenth Century Vermont”; Vermont History, Winter 1988, Vol. 56, No. 1, p. 9

[4]. One example is a book published in 1849, The People’s Doctor Containing the Treatment and Cure of the Principal Diseases of the Human System, in Plain and Simple Language: Including the History and Various Modes of Treatment of the Cholera, to which is added, Facts in Domestic Matters: Being a Complete Family Book.

[5]. Portions condensed and organized from Dr. Mervyn Hardinge, Drugs, Herbs, & Natural Remedies, pages 59–62.


Youth’s Corner — Cannibals and
Head-Hunters of the South Seas

(This month we begin a new book, Cannibals and Head-Hunters of the South Seas, written by Charles H. Watson and published in 1926 by the Review & Herald Publishing Association. Elder Watson was president of the General Conference from 1930–1936. This month we offer the introduction and the first chapter.)


Far away in the waters of the South Pacific Ocean are the islands on which the brown people of the South Seas live.

Rising out of the sea, which is always lovely near its tropical shores, many of these islands are very beautiful indeed. Some are mere dots lying flat on the surface of the water. Others are large and mountainous, with high peaks and deep valleys, through which large rivers run swiftly; or clear, cool streams hurry along to the wide, flowing sunlit sea.

Oranges, bananas, mangoes, and many other of the luscious tropical fruits, grow in abundance. Bright flowers and brilliant shrubs peep through the tender green of the forest trees, while birds of gay plumage flit to and fro through the lofty branches.

The earth yields a rich variety of nourishing roots, such as yam, taro, and sweet potatoes; while all along the shores the beautiful cocoanut palms, laden with their store of golden nuts, gracefully wave their long, green plumes to the music of the sea.

Beyond the gleaming white coral sand which fringes the shore, and beyond the green waters of the lagoon, is the great reef where the mighty ocean thunders and roars. There, deep down beneath the clear ocean water, are gorgeous “flowers” and brilliant “shrubs,” all formed by the tiny creatures that made the reef.

There, too, are splendid shells and curious creatures that creep over the floor of the sea, while fish of many colors sport through the submarine shrubbery of these wonderful reef-gardens.

Grand and beautiful at all times are the coral reefs of the South Seas, but when the hurricane roars in its anger over the sea, the great reef becomes savage and furious.

The rivers and ocean yield an abundance of fish, and thus land and water continually supply the people with food in abundance. Only when the fierce tropical storms blow through the land, destroying their trees and wrecking their houses, do they suffer for food.

But though surrounded by so much of beauty, and in the midst of plenty, the people of the South Seas are among the most degraded of the earth’s in habitants. Through many centuries they have indulged in the most hideous and revolting savagery, and almost without exception cannibalism in its most disgusting forms has been practised by them.

In some of these fair islands, tribes have been completely destroyed by the wars which raged almost continuously to provide victims for the feasts of cannibal savagery. And everywhere the common people were held under the tyranny of the chiefs by the law of the spear and the club.

Their houses were rude and comfortless. Made of grass and bamboo, without floor and furniture, they offered no more than shade from the sun and shelter from the storm. Their tools were few and clumsy. Having neither iron nor steel, they made axes of stone and knives of shell or bamboo. Their oven was a hole in the ground lined with stones. It was heated by kindling a fire on the stones till they were very hot, when food covered with fresh green leaves was placed on the heated stones and covered with earth. When left for several hours in this crude oven, the food is always well cooked and appetizing.

While the children were still small, they were forced to submit to the cruelty of tattooing, an operation which was performed in the crudest possible way, but by which their bodies and limbs were marked with the fantastic drawings of their heathen imaginations. This ordeal often extended through weeks of agonized endurance; but after the pain was gone, the victims were always very proud of their decorated forms. As the boys grew older, they were taught to paint their faces and use their weapons, and then they went forth as warriors to fight and kill. No young man was thought to be courageous till he had killed some one.

Worshipers of idols or of unseen devils, though surrounded by the rarest charms of land and sea, they were not happy, for their hearts were filled with hatred and cruelty and fear.

Not more than one hundred years ago all the people of the South Seas were like that. Now, through the efforts of brave missionaries, it can be truly said that in many of the islands “the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined: Isaiah 9:2.

But in a great many places where the sky is just as blue as the sea is just as full of charm, the people’s hearts are still dark and their practices are still dreadfully cruel. The light of the gospel of Christ has never shone upon their way. They still bow down to their ugly idols or worship their demon gods. The law of the club is still their only law, and cannibal feasting is still their pastime.

Much has been endured by the missionaries of the cross of Christ in their efforts to Christianize the brown races of the South Seas, but the work is not yet completed.

This book is written to tell the young people of our country about the great work that has been done for Christ in those far-away lands of the South. And we shall see in its stories that while much has been suffered for the gospel of Christ in those dark places, great have been the victories gained in the name of Him for He dearly loves those savage but most interesting people.


It was Sunday morning. The tropical sun shone brilliantly, sending forth its dazzling rays upon the sparkling sea. League-long rollers came sweeping in from far away to break upon the reef and tumble in fleecy confusion into the pale green waters of the quiet lagoon.

Darkly wooded mountains rose from their fringes of bright green cocoanut palms, and hid their crests in the white, fleecy clouds four thousand feet above the restless sea. Stealing in from the wide ocean waste, the soft winds made music in the woods and on the pebbly shore, and on their wings, like a bird returning from its long sea flight, the good ship “Duff” was borne in 1796 to the shores of beautiful Tahiti.

The voyage had been long and stormy, but as the sea bird settles quickly after the long flight is over, so the storm-driven vessel folded her white sails in the safety of the reef-ringed harbor. With the flag of gospel peace flying bravely from her top gallant peak, she had come to proclaim liberty to the brown races of the South Seas.

Long and deep had been the degradation to which the islanders had been brought by their many centuries of heathenism. Dense had been their darkness; but as they listened that morning to the first gospel song ever sung in their island world, they were brought all unconsciously to the dawn of a new day. In the light of that day, the dark ways of their hideous past were to be forgotten, and a new life was to begin.

Fifteen years—years of loneliness, of sorrow, of dangerous toil and bitter disappointment—passed by. The gospel had been preached. Jesus had been constantly uplifted before the people, but the missionaries who sang in faith and Christian courage on that Sunday morning long ago, were still compelled to witness deeds of savagery.

But at last the light of understanding broke in upon the hearts of those savage islanders, and soon after flooded the shores of beautiful Tahiti as did the surging waters that rolled in over its reef. And their her brown sons went forth as bearers of gospel light to still darker lands beyond their own coral reef.

At the present time the savagery of more than a century ago is but a hideous memory in fair Tahiti, while the happy recollections of her people, redeemed from savagery, return to that quiet morning when the good ship dropped anchor in the quiet waters of their lagoon, and gave them missionaries as the messengers of Heaven.

The_Reverend_John_Williams_on_Board_Ship_with_Native_Implements,_in_the_South_Sea_Islands.jpgTwenty years after the “Duff” sailed from England, a young man named John Williams reached Tahiti. He had heard in his English home of the dreaded savages of the South Seas, and determined to spend his life among them as a missionary of the cross. Through the difficulties and dangers of a life of wonderful daring, he was destined to win his way to the foremost rank of famous missionaries. And though long years have gone by since he met his death at the hands of the cruel savages of Erromango, he still lives in the hearts of Christian peoples as John Williams, the great missionary shipbuilder.

Soon after reaching Tahiti, Mr. Williams found his way to an island lying off in the ocean to the northwest of Tahiti. This island is called Raiatea, and there the people worshiped Oro, one of the most cruel of the gods of the heathen.

On that beautiful island Mr. Williams made his home, and from its shores he led many of his converts to strange and savage lands where the gospel story had never been told.

One day, as he looked over the sea, the sail of a strange canoe was seen coming over the water. Soon it was at the land, and its brown crew had leaped upon the shore. The story of strange adventure that their chief told greatly exercised Mr. Williams, and led him to sail far beyond the horizon to lands that white men had seldom seen.

“We come,” said the chief, “from an island distant many days. Its name is Rurutu. Some time ago a terrible sickness visited us, and many people died. We therefore said one to another, ‘Let us fly from the angry gods, or they will destroy us all.’ So another chief and I prepared two large canoes, and in them we sailed over the ocean till we came to an island named Tabuai, and there ran into the lagoon to take food.

“We remained on that island till we thought the anger of the gods in Rurutu had been appeased, and then we launched our canoes once more and sailed away over the deep.

“But the first day was not yet gone when a great storm arose, and the men in the other canoe were all drowned. We were driven before the wind for many days, but all this time we were unable to see land. Then without food to eat or water to drink we were driven onto the reef of an island which we saw one morning rising like a mountain out of the sea. This was the island of Maurau. Our canoe was dashed upon the reef with such violence that we were all thrown into the sea, and so weak were we from the privations we had undergone that we were unable to help ourselves in the water.

“When the people on the shore saw our plight, they took us from the sea, and gave us food to eat and water to drink. After a time we gathered strength, and were able to tell those friendly islanders that we had come from Rurutu, where the gods had smitten the people with a terrible sickness.

“They said, ‘We, too, once worshiped the gods, and thought that all evil came from them; but now white men have come from a country far away, and from them we have learned that there is but one true God, Jehovah, and we all worship Him. He loves us as a father, and does not require that men be killed for Him. See, we have burned our temples, destroyed our idols, and abandoned our former savage ways.’

“At this we were greatly astonished, and asked where the white men might be found. They pointed away toward the rising sun, where the mountains of Raiatea were faintly seen to rise against the sky, and so we have come, and we are here at your feet.”

Twelve weeks later a passing ship took this chief from Raiatea back to his home island, Rurutu, and with him two of the brown sons of Raiatea went as the first missionaries to Rurutu. Erelong there was not an idol left in the land of the Rurutuans, their savage wars had ceased, and human sacrifices were no longer offered to the gods. The people had all given themselves up to the worship of Jehovah, and idolatry was a practice of days that were forever gone from Rurutu.

When tidings of this great victory for Christ were brought to Raiatea, the Christians there shouted for joy, exclaiming, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ.”

To be continued


Old Paths is a free monthly newsletter/study-paper published by Smyrna Gospel Ministries, 750 Smyrna Road, Welch, WV 24801–9606 U. S. A. The paper is dedicated to the propagation and restoration of the principles of truth that God gave to the early Seventh-day Adventist pioneers. Duplication is not only permitted, but strongly encouraged. This issue, with other gospel literature we publish, can be found at our website. The url is: http://www.smyrna.org. Phone: (304) 732–9204. Fax: (304) 732–7322.

Editor Allen Stump—editor@smyrna.org
Associate Editor Onycha Holt—onycha@smyrna.org