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The Moment of Truth - Lesson 39

Our Body: a User’s Manual
 

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Let’s pray together before beginning this lesson:

Father,

Your Word has revealed to us so many wonderful things about You, Your immense love demonstrated through Jesus Christ, and Your will for each one of us.

This set of lessons is now drawing to its close, but we know that You still keep in store many truths which will enlighten our hearts and minds.

May Your Holy Spirit reveal these truths to us, as we open Your Word. In Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.




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1 Corinthians 6:19,20

What? Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?

For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

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Redeemed from sin by the blood of Jesus Christ, we now belong to God. The Holy Spirit dwells within us, making each of our bodies His temple.

This is why God asks us to take care of our bodies.




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1 Corinthians 3:16,17

Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

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Romans 12:1

I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

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God asks us to take care of our bodies, so that we may present ourselves to Him in the best possible health.




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3 John verse 2

Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.

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1 Thessalonians 5:23

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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The Lord wants our whole being, the body as well as the spirit, to be in good health.

He wants us to have a sound mind in a sound body.




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Deuteronomy 6:24

The Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.

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Exodus 23:25

You shall serve the Lord your God, and He shall bless your bread, and your water.

And I will take sickness away from the middle of you.

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Desirous of seeing us in good health, God has given us many practical guidelines.

If we follow them, we can avoid many diseases.




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Genesis 2:15

The Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

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Proverbs 6:6,9

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. (...)

How long will you sleep, O sluggard? When will you arise out of your sleep?

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God prescribed activity for Adam and Eve, asking them to take care of their garden home.

He knows that regular exercise is the way to maintain optimal health, both physical and mental.




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Ecclesiastes 5:12

The sleep of a laboring man is sweet.

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Mark 6:31

And [Jesus] said to them, «Come you yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while.»

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Exodus 20:9,10

Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.

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A good day’s work will be followed by a refreshing sleep.

God also gave us the Sabbath, our weekly rest in which we put aside all our worries, to draw near Him.




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Isaiah 5:11,22

Woe to them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! (...)

Woe to them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink.

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Ephesians 5:18

Be not drunk with wine.

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God also asks us to avoid alcoholic beverages, which are responsible for so many broken homes, accidental deaths, and so much poverty here on earth.




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Drinking alcohol prevents us from having sound judgment:

«Do not drink wine nor strong drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest you die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: and that you may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them.» (Leviticus 10:9-11)

«It is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.» (Proverbs 31:4,5)

«Wine and new wine take away the heart.» (Hosea 4:11)




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Proverbs 23:29-35 : A sad description of the effects of alcohol...

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has babbling? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

Look not you on the wine when it is red, when it gives his color in the cup, when it moves itself aright. At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder.

Your eyes shall behold strange women, and your heart shall utter perverse things. Yes, you shall be as he that lies down in the middle of the sea, or as he that lies on the top of a mast.

«They have stricken me,» shall you say, «and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not. When shall I awake? I will seek it yet again!»




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Luke 1:15

[John] shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink.

And he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

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God invites us to follow the example of John the Baptist who was «great in the sight of the Lord».




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Deuteronomy 29:9,18

Keep therefore the words of this covenant, (...) lest there should be among you a root that bears gall and wormwood.

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Isaiah 55:2

Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? And your labor for that which satisfies not?

Listen diligently to Me, and eat you that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

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The wise Christian should avoid everything that is harmful to his health.

Nowadays, many innocent-looking beverages, like coffee, tea, colas, and energy drinks, contain drugs like caffeine.

And let’s not forget tobacco, which contains a lot of poisons.




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Exodus 20:13

You shall not kill.

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Use of alcohol, tobacco, and all kinds of drugs, shortens our life expectancy.

Those things kill us by inches.

Now, in the sight of God, to kill oneself is as reprehensible as to kill others.




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1 Corinthians 10:13

There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able.

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Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

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Philippians 2:13

For it is God which works in you both to will and to do.

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Whatever bad habit we want to get rid of (tobacco, alcohol, or others), we can rely on God’s help to succeed.




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1 Corinthians 10:31

Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

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God has also given us practical advice about the diet we should adopt.

Let’s not forget that God is our Creator: He perfectly knows how the human body works, and knows which kind of food is suitable for it.

Don’t we pay attention to the advice of our car manufacturer, about the kind of gasoline we should use? Isn’t our body more valuable than a car?




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Luke 21:34

Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life.

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Proverbs 23:2

Put a knife to your throat, if you be a man given to appetite.

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God recommends us to make use of wisdom as to the quality as well as the quantity of our food.

Overeating can only be harmful to our health.




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Genesis 1:29

And God said,

«Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.»

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Genesis 2:16

The Lord God commanded the man, saying,

«Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat.»

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The first diet God planned for man consisted of grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables, offering the right nutritional ingredients for good health.




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Genesis 9:3

Every moving thing that lives shall be meat for you.

Even as the green herb have I given you all things.

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After the Flood, since all vegetation was destroyed, God introduced flesh as food.

However the introduction of flesh into man’s diet was followed by a dramatic decrease in his life expectancy, as we will see in the next table.




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Decrease in longevity, after the introduction of flesh into the diet




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Leviticus 20:25,26

You shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and you shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creeps on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.

And you shall be holy to Me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that you should be Mine.

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Although God allowed man to eat flesh, He indicated which kinds of animals are and aren’t appropriate for consumption.

Which are they?




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«You shall not eat any detestable thing.» (Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14)




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«These are the animals which you may eat.» (Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14)




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Genesis 7:1,2

And the Lord said to Noah,

«Come you and all your house into the ark; for you have I seen righteous before Me in this generation.

Of every clean beast you shall take to you by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.»

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Some people claim that the distinction between clean and unclean animals belongs only to Moses’ law, and was therefore abolished at the Cross.

But here we see that Noah, long before Moses, was already aware of this distinction.

Noah had in the ark only one couple of each unclean animal. So, if he had eaten, for example, a swine, there would be no more swine today!




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John 6:11,12

And Jesus took the loaves; and when He had given thanks, He distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.

When they were filled, He said to His disciples, «Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.»

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Mark 5:11-13

Now there was there near to the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils sought [Jesus], saying, «Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.»

And immediately Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

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When we draw a parallel between these two passages, we see that, although Jesus never wasted any food, He attached no importance to the loss of an entire herd of swine.




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Psalm 84:11

No good thing will [the Lord] withhold from them that walk uprightly.

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If swine, hare, shellfish, seafood, were suitable to eat, God would not forbid them.

But, from discovery to discovery, science confirms that God is right when He declares that these animals are unclean.




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Deuteronomy 7:12,15

It shall come to pass, if you listen to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the Lord your God (...) will take away from you all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you know, on you.

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The Jews are still keeping God’s distinction between clean and unclean animals.

Now, science has demonstrated that heart diseases, some kinds of cancer and some infectious diseases are more frequent in the general population than in Jewish communities.

Most of these diseases have been linked with diet, even with consumption of unclean animals.




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Isaiah 66:15,17

For behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. (...)

«[Those] eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together,» said the Lord.

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2 Corinthians 6:17

«Come out from among them, and be you separate,» said the Lord, «and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.»

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What God tells us must receive due consideration.

Therefore, the distinction between clean and unclean animals must be taken seriously.




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Daniel 1:8,10

Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. (...)

The prince of the eunuchs said to Daniel,

«I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort?»

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This story shows the benefits of following the diet prescribed by God.

Led into captivity to Babylon, Daniel refused to eat the king’s unclean dishes, even if these were considered to be the best food available then.




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Daniel 1:11-13,15,20

Daniel said (...),

«Prove your servants, I beseech you, ten days; and let them give us vegetables to eat, and water to drink. Then let our countenances be looked on before you, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat.» (...)

And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. (...)

And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better.

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After only ten days, the effects of the two diets were already obvious.




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Acts 10:11-15,17

[Peter] saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending on him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: wherein were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

And there came a voice to him, «Rise, Peter; kill and eat.»

But Peter said, «Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.»

And the voice spoke to him again the second time, «What God has cleansed, that call not you common.» (...)

Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean.

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Does this passage prove that the distinction between clean and unclean animals is abolished?

Peter himself wondered what this vision meant.




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Acts 10:28

And [Peter] said to them,

«You know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come to one of another nation.

But God has showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.»

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As he was thinking about the vision, Peter heard that Cornelius, a Gentile (that is, a non-Jew), wished to meet him to listen to the Word of God.

Now, according to the Hebraic law, a Jew was not allowed to associate with a Gentile.

Peter then understood the meaning of the vision: God was inviting Gentiles too to salvation, and Peter was not to consider them as unclean.




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Romans 14:14,20

I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteems any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. (...)

All things indeed are pure.

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Now, what about this passage?

We must read the whole chapter 14 to understand that Paul wasn’t trying to abolish the distinction between clean and unclean flesh. He was rather speaking about the purity of food offered to idols.

Paul taught that a pure flesh remains pure, even if it has been offered to idols (see 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 and 10:23-33).




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Matthew 15:11,19,20

Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man. (...)

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.

These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashed hands defiles not a man.

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Verse 11 is often used to prove that the distinction between clean and unclean flesh has been abolished.

However, verses 19 and 20 clearly reveal that Jesus was actually speaking of washing hands before eating.




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1 Timothy 4:1,3-5

In the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, (...) commanding to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

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And what about this last passage? Does it allow us to eat unclean flesh?

Let’s think about it: will «them which believe and know the truth» eat unclean flesh? Can we eat swine «with thanksgiving»? Is seafood «sanctified by the word of God»?

The Bible says: No.




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Deuteronomy 6:24

The Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.

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Proverbs 4:20-22

Attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not depart from your eyes; keep them in the middle of your heart.

For they are life to those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

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What more could we say?




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Let’s pray together:

Father,

How can we thank You for all these valuable instructions You have given us, so that we may be in the best possible health! You have created us, and You know what is good for us.

Through the power of Your Holy Spirit working within us, please help us to put aside right now our bad habits, whatever they may be, and to adopt the healthy way of life You have taught us today.

In Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.


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