Commentary on 1 Timothy 4:2, 3

 

1Timothy 4:2, 3: Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3: Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

 

Forbidding to marry]  These hypocritical priests pretending that a single life was much more favourable to devotion, and to the perfection of the Christian life.  This sentiment was held by the Essenes, a religious sect among the Jews; and we know that it is a favourite opinion among the Romanists, who oblige all their clergy to live a single life by a vow of continency.

 

To abstain from meats]  Both among the heathens, Jews, and Romanists, certain meats were prohibited; Some always, others at particular times.  This the apostle informs us was directly contrary to the original design of God; and says that those who know the truth, know this.

 

 

Inspiration on that Passage

 

Integrity Among Workers [SPECIAL TESTIMONIES TO PHYSICIANS AND HELPERS, PAGES 59-65 (1879).]

 

 

The helpers at the sanitarium should not feel at liberty to appropriate to their own use articles of food provided for the patients. The temptation is especially strong to indulge in things allowed to newcomers, who must be induced gradually to correct pernicious habits. Some of the workers, like the children of Israel, allow perverted appetite and old habits of indulgence to clamor for victory. They long, as did ancient Israel, for the leeks and onions of Egypt. All connected with this institution should strictly adhere to the laws of life and health, and thus give no countenance, by their example, to the wrong habits of others, which have made it necessary for them to come to the sanitarium for relief.  {CH 408.1}

 

Employees have no right to help themselves to crackers, nuts, raisins, dates, sugar, oranges or fruit of any kind; for, in the first place, in eating these things between meals, as is generally done, they are injuring the digestive organs. No food should pass the lips between the regular meals. Again, those who partake of these things are taking that which is not theirs. Temptation is continually before them to taste the food which they are handling; and here is an excellent opportunity for them to gain control of the appetite. But food seems to be very abundant, and they forget that it all represents so much money value. One and another thoughtlessly indulge the habit of tasting and helping themselves, until they fancy that there is no real sin in the practice.  {CH 408.2} 

 

All should beware of cherishing this view of the matter, for conscience is thus losing its sensitiveness. One may reason, “The little I have taken does not amount to much;” but the question comes home, Did the smallness of the amount lessen the sin of the act? Again, the little which one person takes may not amount to much, but when five act on the same plan, five littles are taken. Then ten, twenty, or even more, may presume in the same way, until every day the workers may, to their own injury, appropriate many littles that they have no right to touch. Many littles make much in the end. But the greatest loss is sustained by the ones who digress, for they are violating the principles of right and learning to look upon transgression in small matters as no transgression at all. They forget the words of Christ. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” Luke 16:10.  {CH 408.3} 

 

When an effort is made to correct these practices, it is generally received as an evidence of stinginess on the part of the managers; and some will make no change, but go on hardening the conscience, until it becomes seared as with a hot iron. They rise up against any restriction and act and talk defiantly, as though their rights had been invaded. But God looks upon all these things as theft, and so the record is carried up to heaven.  {CH 409.1} 

 

All fraud and deceit is forbidden in the word of God. Direct theft and outright falsehood are not sins into which persons of respectability are in danger of falling. It is transgression in the little things that first leads the soul away from God. By their one sin in partaking of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve opened the floodgates of woe upon the world. Some may regard that transgression as a very little thing; but we see that its consequences were anything but small. The angels in heaven have a wider and more elevated sphere of action than we; but right with them and right with us are one and the same thing.  {CH 409.2} 

 

The managers of the sanitarium are not actuated by a mean, penurious spirit in reproving the wrongs that have been mentioned, and requiring what is due to such an institution. It is no stepping down from proper dignity to guard the interests of the sanitarium in these matters. Officers who are faithful themselves, naturally look for faithfulness in others. Strict integrity should govern the dealings of the managers and should be enforced upon all who labor under their direction.  {CH 410.1} 

 

Men of principle need not the restriction of locks and keys; they do not need to be watched and guarded. They will deal truly and honorably at all times–alone, with no eye upon them, as well as in public. They will not bring a stain upon their souls for any amount of gain or selfish advantage. They scorn a mean act. Although no one else might know it, they would know it themselves, and this would destroy their self-respect. Those who are not conscientious and faithful in little things would not be reformed, were there laws and restrictions and penalties upon the point. . . .  {CH 410.2}

 

Those who do not overcome in little things will have no moral power to withstand greater temptations. All who seek to make honesty the ruling principle in the daily business of life will need to be on their guard that they “covet no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.” While they are content with convenient food and clothing, it will be found an easy matter to keep the heart and hands from the defilement of covetousness and dishonesty. . . .  {CH 410.3}

 

I hope that the case of N. Fuller will awaken you, fathers and mothers, to see the necessity of thorough work in your houses, among yourselves and your children, that not one of you may be so deluded by Satan as to regard sin as this poor, much-to-be-pitied man has done. Those who have participated with him in crime would never have been left to be deceived and ruined had they possessed a high sense of virtue and purity, and cherished a constant and lively horror of sin and iniquity. While living under and proclaiming the most solemn message ever borne to mortals, presenting the law of God as a test of character and as the seal of the living God, they are transgressing its holy precepts. The consciences of those who do this have become seared and terribly hardened. They have resisted the influences of the Spirit of God until they can use sacred truth as a cloak to hide the deformity of their corrupted souls. This man has been terribly deluded by Satan. He has been serving vicious passions while professing to be consecrated to the work of God, ministering in sacred things. He has considered himself in health while there was no soundness in him.  {2T 468.1} 

 

I have felt deeply as I have seen the powerful influence of animal passions in controlling men and women of no ordinary intelligence and ability. They would be capable of engaging in a good work, of exerting a powerful influence, were they not enslaved by base passions. My confidence in humanity has been terribly shaken. I have been shown that persons of apparently good deportment, not taking unwarrantable liberties with the other sex, were guilty of practicing secret vice nearly every day of their lives. They have not refrained from this terrible sin even while most solemn meetings have been in session. They have listened to the most solemn, impressive discourses upon the judgment, which seemed to bring them before the tribunal of God, causing them to fear and quake; yet hardly an hour would elapse before they would be engaged in their favorite, bewitching sin, polluting their own bodies. They were such slaves to this awful crime that they seemed devoid of power to control their passions. We have labored for some earnestly, we have entreated, we have wept and prayed over them; yet we have known that right amid all our earnest effort and distress the force of sinful habit has obtained the mastery, and these sins have been committed.  {2T 468.2} 

 

Through severe attacks of sickness or by powerful conviction the consciences of some of the guilty have been aroused and have so scourged them that it has led to confession of these things with deep humiliation. Others are equally guilty. They have practiced this sin nearly their whole lifetime and, in their broken-down constitutions and sievelike memories, are reaping the result of this pernicious habit; yet they are too proud to confess. They are secretive, and have not shown compunctions of conscience for this great sin. My confidence in the Christian experience of such is very small. They seem to be insensible to the influence of the Spirit of God. The sacred and common are alike to them. The common practice of a vice so degrading as the polluting of their own bodies has not led to bitter tears and heartfelt repentance. They feel that their sin is against themselves alone. Here they mistake. Are they diseased in body or mind, others are made to feel, others suffer. The imagination is at fault, the memory is deficient, mistakes are made, and there is a deficiency everywhere which seriously affects those with whom they live and who associate with them. Mortification and regret are felt because these things are known by others.  {2T 469.1} 

 

I have mentioned these cases to illustrate the power of this soul-and-body-destroying vice. The entire mind is given up to low passion. The moral and intellectual faculties are over-borne by the baser powers. The body is enervated, the brain weakened. The material deposited there to nourish the system is squandered. The drain upon the system is great. The fine nerves of the brain, being excited to unnatural action, become benumbed and in a measure paralyzed. The moral and intellectual powers are weakening, while the animal passions are strengthening and being more largely developed by exercise. The appetite for unhealthful food clamors for indulgence. When persons are addicted to the habit of self-abuse, it is impossible to arouse their moral sensibilities to appreciate eternal things or to delight in spiritual exercises. Impure thoughts seize and control the imagination and fascinate the mind, and next follows an almost uncontrollable desire for the performance of impure actions. If the mind were educated to contemplate elevating subjects, the imagination trained to reflect upon pure and holy things, it would be fortified against this terrible, debasing, soul-and-body-destroying indulgence. It would, by training, become accustomed to linger upon the high, the heavenly, the pure, and the sacred, and could not be attracted to this base, corrupt, and vile indulgence.  {2T 470.1} 

 

What can we say of those who are living right in the blazing light of truth, yet daily practicing and following in a course of sin and crime? Forbidden, exciting pleasures have a charm for them and hold and control their entire being. Such take pleasure in unrighteousness and iniquity, and must perish outside of the city of God, with every abominable thing.  {2T 470.2} 

 

 

Chap. 43 – Power of Appetite

 

One of the strongest temptations that man has to meet is upon the point of appetite. Between the mind and the body there is a mysterious and wonderful relation. They react upon each other. To keep the body in a healthy condition to develop its strength, that every part of the living machinery may act harmoniously, should be the first study of our life. To neglect the body is to neglect the mind. It cannot be to the glory of God for His children to have sickly bodies or dwarfed minds. To indulge the taste at the expense of health is a wicked abuse of the senses. Those who engage in any species of intemperance, either in eating or drinking, waste their physical energies and weaken moral power. They will feel the retribution which follows the transgression of physical law.  {3T 485.3} 

 

The Redeemer of the world knew that the indulgence of appetite would bring physical debility, and so deaden the perceptive organs that sacred and eternal things would not be discerned. Christ knew that the world was given up to gluttony and that this indulgence would pervert the moral powers. If the indulgence of appetite was so strong upon the race that, in order to break its power, the divine Son of God, in behalf of man, was required to fast nearly six weeks, what a work is before the Christian in order that he may overcome even as Christ overcame! The strength of the temptation to indulge perverted appetite can be measured only by the inexpressible anguish of Christ in that long fast in the wilderness.  {3T 486.1} 

 

Christ knew that in order to successfully carry forward the plan of salvation He must commence the work of redeeming man just where the ruin began. Adam fell by the indulgence of appetite. In order to impress upon man his obligations to obey the law of God, Christ began His work of redemption by reforming the physical habits of man. The declension in virtue and the degeneracy of the race are chiefly attributable to the indulgence of perverted appetite.  {3T 486.2} 

 

There is a solemn responsibility upon all, especially upon ministers who teach the truth, to overcome upon the point of appetite. Their usefulness would be much greater if they had control of their appetites and passions, and their mental and moral powers would be stronger if they combined physical labor with mental exertion. With strictly temperate habits, and with mental and physical labor combined, they could accomplish a far greater amount of labor and preserve clearness of mind. If they would pursue such a course, their thoughts and words would flow more freely, their religious exercises would be more energized, and the impressions made upon their hearers would be more marked.  {3T 486.3} 

 

Intemperance in eating, even of food of the right quality, will have a prostrating influence upon the system and will blunt the keener and holier emotions. Strict temperance in eating and drinking is highly essential for the healthy preservation and vigorous exercise of all the functions of the body. Strictly temperate habits, combined with exercise of the muscles as well as of the mind, will preserve both mental and physical vigor, and give power of endurance to those engaged in the ministry, to editors, and to all others whose habits are sedentary. As a people, with all our profession of health reform, we eat too much. Indulgence of appetite is the greatest cause of physical and mental debility, and lies at the foundation of the feebleness which is apparent everywhere.  {3T 487.1} 

 

Intemperance commences at our tables in the use of unhealthful food. After a time, through continued indulgence, the digestive organs become weakened, and the food taken does not satisfy the appetite. Unhealthy conditions are established, and there is a craving for more stimulating food. Tea, coffee, and flesh meats produce an immediate effect. Under the influence of these poisons the nervous system is excited, and, in some cases, for the time being, the intellect seems to be invigorated and the imagination to be more vivid. Because these stimulants produce for the time being such agreeable results, many conclude that they really need them and continue their use. But there is always a reaction. The nervous system, having been unduly excited, borrowed power for present use from its future resources of strength. All this temporary invigoration of the system is followed by depression. In proportion as these stimulants temporarily invigorate the system will be the letting down of the power of the excited organs after the stimulus has lost its force. The appetite is educated to crave something stronger which will have a tendency to keep up and increase the agreeable excitement, until indulgence becomes habit, and there is a continual craving for stronger stimulus, as tobacco, wines, and liquors. The more the appetite is indulged, the more frequent will be its demands and the more difficult of control. The more debilitated the system becomes and the less able to do without unnatural stimulus, the more the passion for these things increases, until the will is overborne, and there seems to be no power to deny the unnatural craving for these indulgences.  {3T 487.2} 

 

The only safe course is to touch not, taste not, handle not, tea, coffee, wines, tobacco, opium, and alcoholic drinks. The necessity for the men of this generation to call to their aid the power of the will, strengthened by the grace of God, in order to withstand the temptations of Satan and resist the least indulgence of perverted appetite is twice as great as it was several generations ago. But the present generation have less power of self-control than had those who lived then. Those who have indulged the appetite for these stimulants have transmitted their depraved appetites and passions to their children, and greater moral power is required to resist intemperance in all its forms. The only perfectly safe course to pursue is to stand firmly on the side of temperance and not venture in the path of danger.  {3T 488.1} 

 

 

The great end for which Christ endured that long fast in the wilderness was to teach us the necessity of self-denial and temperance. This work should commence at our tables and should be strictly carried out in all the concerns of life. The Redeemer of the world came from heaven to help man in his weakness, that, in the power which Jesus came to bring him, he might become strong to overcome appetite and passion, and might be victor on every point.  {3T 488.2} 

 

Many parents educate the tastes of their children and form their appetites. They indulge them in eating flesh meats and in drinking tea and coffee. The highly seasoned flesh meats and the tea and coffee, which some mothers encourage their children to use, prepare the way for them to crave stronger stimulants, as tobacco. The use of tobacco encourages the appetite for liquor, and the use of tobacco and liquor invariably lessens nerve power.  {3T 488.3} 

 

If the moral sensibilities of Christians were aroused upon the subject of temperance in all things, they could, by their example, commencing at their tables, help those who are weak in self-control, who are almost powerless to resist the cravings of appetite. If we could realize that the habits we form in this life will affect our eternal interests, that our eternal destiny depends upon strictly temperate habits, we would work to the point of strict temperance in eating and drinking. By our example and personal effort we may be the means of saving many souls from the degradation of intemperance, crime, and death. Our sisters can do much in the great work for the salvation of others by spreading their tables with only healthful, nourishing food. They may employ their precious time in educating the tastes and appetites of their children, in forming habits of temperance in all things, and in encouraging self-denial and benevolence for the good of others.  {3T 489.1} 

 

Notwithstanding the example that Christ gave us in the wilderness of temptation by denying appetite and overcoming its power, there are many Christian mothers who by their example and by the education which they are giving their children are preparing them to become gluttons and winebibbers. Children are frequently indulged in eating what they choose and when they choose, without reference to health. There are many children who are educated gourmands from their babyhood. Through indulgence of appetite they are made dyspeptics at an early age. Self-indulgence and intemperance in eating grow with their growth and strengthen with their strength. Mental and physical vigor are sacrificed through the indulgence of parents. A taste is formed for certain articles of food from which they can receive no benefit, but only injury; and as the system is taxed, the constitution becomes debilitated.  {3T 489.2} 

 

 

Satan Controls the Conscience Numbed by Alcohol. –The drunkard sells his reason for a cup of poison. Satan takes control of his reason, affections, conscience. Such a man is destroying the temple of God. Tea drinking helps to do this same work. Yet how many there are who place these destroying agencies on their tables, thereby quenching the divine attributes.–MS 130, 1899. (Te 79, 80.) 322  {1MCP 321.5} 

 

Diet Affects Conscience.–Gross and stimulating food fevers the blood, excites the nervous system, and too often dulls the moral perceptions so that reason and conscience are overborne by the sensual impulses.–CTBH 134, 1890. (CD 243.)  {1MCP 322.1} 

 

Not only does God require you to control your thoughts, but also your passions and affections. . . . Passion and affection are powerful agents….Positively guard your thoughts, your passions, and your affections. Do not degrade these to minister to lust. Elevate them [passions and affections] to purity, devote them to God.–2T 561, 564 (1870).  {1MCP 218.6}

 

All animal propensities are to be subjected to the higher powers of the soul.–Ms 1, 1888. (AH 128.)  {1MCP 219.1} 

 

 

IN THE SAME CONTEXT IN WHICH SOME OF THE STRONG TERMS REFERRED TO ABOVE ARE USED, SHE URGES THAT THE PASSIONS ARE TO BE CONTROLLED BY WHAT SHE CALLED “HIGHER, NOBLER POWERS,” “REASON,” “MORAL RESTRAINT,” AND “MORAL FACULTIES.” SHE WRITES OF TEMPERANCE AND MODERATION AND AVOIDING EXCESS. IN MARRIAGE THOSE PASSIONS COMMON TO ALL HUMAN BEINGS ARE TO BE SUBJECT TO CONTROL, THEY ARE TO BE GOVERNED. NOTE AGAIN:  {1MCP 219.2} 

 

Those who regard the marriage relation as one of God’s sacred ordinances, guarded by His holy precept, will be controlled by the dictates of reason.–HL, No. 2, p. 48.  {1MCP 219.3} 

 

Very few feel it to be a religious duty to govern their passions. . . . The marriage covenant covers sin of the darkest hue. . . . Health and life are sacrificed upon the altar of base passion. The higher, nobler powers are brought into subjection to the animal propensities. . . . Love is a pure and holy principle; but lustful passion will not admit of restraint and will not be dictated to or controlled by reason.–2T 472, 473 (1870).  {1MCP 219.4}

 

SHE WRITES OF THE MARRIAGE RELATION AS A “SACRED INSTITUTION” WHICH MAY BE “PERVERTED.” SHE SPEAKS OF “SEXUAL PRIVILEGES” WHICH “ARE ABUSED.” AGAIN, IT IS NOT PASSION THAT IS CONDEMNED, BUT “BASE” AND “LUSTFUL” PASSION. AND IT IS WORTH OBSERVING THAT ELLEN WHITE PICTURES THE INTIMACY OF MARRIAGE AS A “PRIVILEGE.” THOUGH SHE WARNED AGAINST GROSS SEXUAL BEHAVIOR IN MARRIAGE, SHE WROTE OF A TIME WHEN AFFECTIONS HELD IN PROPER RESTRAINT CAN BE “UNFETTERED.” ANOTHER ENLIGHTENING STATEMENT IS WORTHY OF CLOSE EXAMINATION:  {1MCP 219.5} 

 

In regard to marriage, I would say, Read the Word of God. Even in this time, the last days of this world’s history, marriages take place among Seventh-day Adventists….We have, as a people, never forbidden marriage, except in cases where there were obvious reasons that marriage would be misery to both parties. And even then, we have only advised and counseled.–Lt 60, 1900.  {1MCP 219.6}

 

Leviticus 6:19, 30 no sin offering shall me eaten but other offerings of the holy place which the blood had not come within the veil were to be eaten in the courtyard  6:26, 10:18, 19. We are not in the courtyard or Holy Place since 1844.

 

Also read the meals we shall be brought by angels to  eat in time of trouble Isaiah 33:16, plant based food. Bread and water

 

Lastly the progression of Elijahs diet to heaven is our type

 

  1. He is fed on meat by an unclean animal 1Kings 17:2-6. This is a period before Sunday law when we are still mingling with the world

 

  1. Fed on oil and cakes by the church 1Kings 17:23. When rumors of Sunday Laws starts and we start sharing what we have with others, small gardens in the countryside feeding ourselves

 

  1. Oils are eliminated and he is now fed by angels 1Kings 19:5-8. Time of trouble, wondering in the deserts. No gardening at all. Isaiah 33:16

 

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