1: We saw in our last lesson that man is a four dimensional being. Do you remember what the dimensions are? They are the physical, mental, social, and spiritual.
Your body does not have compartments in which these are divided. These are all interrelated to make you a complete person. And your physical life is the foundation of your mental, social and spiritual life.
In other words, you cannot have a mind without a body. You cannot have a social life without a body and mind. You cannot have a spiritual life without a body and mind. So the importance of keeping your body in good health cannot be too strongly stressed if you want to think right, worship right, and live at peace with God and man.
2: Now we are going to find some answers to a question that is often asked: "From where does sickness and disease come?" Perhaps you remember the time when you woke up feeling rather tired and dizzy. Soon you realized that you had a fever, and you decided that you had better stay in bed. What happened inside your body to cause your illness? You may have known of people who appeared to be strong and healthy but who suddenly became very ill. Why? Perhaps a child develops a runny nose and a slight cough for a few days, Then, suddenly, the child becomes very ill with a high fever and vomiting. Why?
3: The cause of most illness can be traced to the breaking of the laws of nature. Along with this, there are many germs that we should be careful of. Most germs are invisible, but God has provided us with ways to avoid sickness, and we can be thankful for this.
4: Do you know how quickly germs can multiply? It takes one germ about fifteen minutes to divide and make two germs just like itself. With each new germ dividing into two more germs in this manner, that first germ can become over two million germs in just six hours. No wonder a famous physician once remarked that it is a miracle that we are not all dead from these invisible enemies. Now comes the important question. How can we fight germs? What can be done to prevent health-destroying invasion of germs?
5: There are two very important things which can be done. Both of these have to do with recognizing and obeying the laws of health. First of all, you can help to control the number of germs that get into your body by obeying the rules of keeping clean, and simple first-aid. For example, all wounds should be treated immediately, because you can be absolutely sure some germs will enter any wound.
6: In many areas of the world, drinking water should be boiled unless it is known to be safe and free from germs, and all fruit and vegetables that are eaten raw should be thoroughly washed with soap and rinsed well with clean, clear water before they are eaten. Your hands should always be washed with soap before you eat. Dishes should always be clean. Since insects carry germs, our food should be protected from flies and cockroaches and such pests as mice and rats. All garbage should be buried or burned. Carefully follow all rules for cleanliness and sanitation. Beside these, there are many other things you can do to keep well.
7: You must also learn to keep a high body resistance. You see, your body is constantly on guard for a fight against germs. We speak of this as resistance against disease. A high rate of resistance means good health. A low resistance means that we are easily attacked by infection. You can help keep your body in a state of good resistance against germs by obeying the laws of health that we mentioned in the last lesson, getting sunlight, fresh air, exercise, rest, the use of dean water, proper diet, abstemiousness (temperance), and trust in divine power. We shall be learning more about these laws in coming lessons.
8: When harmful bacteria or germs enter the body, they are met by bacteria fighters which immediately go to work. With the common cold, extra mucous is formed for the purpose of washing out the bacteria. You can see why you should be careful to blow your nose and wash your hands when you have a respiratory infection. Germs from a sneeze travel up to fifteen feet. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.
9: When harmful germs invade our digestive tract, the acids in the stomach help to kill them. Sometimes the germs get into the intestinal tract. It is important to keep flies away from both feces and food. You should always keep food covered from flies and dust. Always wash your hands after relieving yourself.
10: Other important fighters against germs are the antibodies which your body manufactures. No doubt you have noticed that certain diseases rarely attack with success more than once. This is because our bodies build up antibodies and the next time those germs enter, the antibodies are ready to attack and destroy them.
11: You should remember that a fever is not sickness. Fever is a sign that the body is fighting the invisible enemy. Let us say a germ invasion or infection has started in the body. Immediately signals are sent out that the body must fight. The sweat glands of the skin are closed and the blood is driven deeper into the body. The blood makes more white blood cells which are the germ killers of the body. After a fever, the sweat glands release their fluid through open pores, and the heat is lost in perspiration.
12: If you could look into the inner part of your bones you would find different kinds of blood cells being made. One kind are those policemen of the body-soldiers who fight the invaders. They are the white blood cells we have mentioned, and are able to pass in and out of the thin walls of the blood vessels. Let us consider an example of how these policemen of the body work. Now let us say that you are working one day, handling a piece of wood, and you accidentally get a sliver in your finger. If you are a wise person, you will immediately remove the splinter and you will clean and disinfect the place where it went in. But no matter how quickly you do that, you can be sure of one thing, there were some germs on that splinter, and some of them went into your skin. Those germs are quicker that you are. So, now what happens? The moment that splinter went into your skin, the white blood cells from blood vessels nearby hurry to the site of invasion and damage. They come from all around and literally surround and overpower the germ.
13: Many of the white cells may give their lives in the battle. You have had infections in which pus has formed. That pus is actually millions of dead white cells that fought your infection. The white cells not only surround and destroy the germs they also keep working to clean the wound and help it heal. You can see that God has given us a wonderful defense system. How do these white cells know to hurry to the exact spot where they are needed? What tells them? The greatest scientist cannot tell the answers to some of these marvels. But we know the answer is with God who planned every part of these wonderful bodies of ours.
14: My friends, there is a cause for sickness. Pain, suffering, disease and death do not just happen by chance. Is God responsible for suffering, sickness, and death?
15: Let us go to God's great book, the Holy Bible, to find the answer to our question of why people suffer and die. The answer to man's question about how this world came into existence, where man came from, what is life, and why we get sick, or grow old and die, can be found in the Bible.
16: When God finished making the world, He looked at the birds and fish and animals and the two people He had made and He said that it was very good. It was His intention that they should always be healthy and happy and never die. As the splinter opened a way for germs to enter the body and bring sickness and death, so sin came into this world, bringing with it sickness sorrow, disease and death. The wages, or natural result of sin, is death. Life comes from God. Death comes from sin.
17: Sin is anything contrary to the principles of Life. When God made man and woman, He loved them and He wanted them to love Him. In the garden where He had placed them, He put a tree and told them not to touch it nor eat the fruit of it. He said they would die if they ate the fruit. This was a test for them to find out whether they really believed God and loved Him. If they ate of the fruit, it would show that they did not really believe Him nor love Him.
18: When God was making the angels, who are His personal messengers, He made one to be a leading angel. His name was Lucifer. Later this angel became proud of his great beauty and wisdom, and forgot that God had given these to him. He wanted to be like God. He wanted to rule the universe. He thought there was some secret power inside himself that would enable him to do this. He talked to the other angels and got some of them to follow him. Then there was war in Heaven, the home of God and the angels. Lucifer and the angels who followed him were cast out of Heaven.
19: Lucifer came to this world to persuade Adam and Eve to follow him. If he could get them to obey him, instead of God, they would become his followers and his servants, then this world would become his kingdom. We read this in Genesis 3. The only way he could tempt the man and the woman was concerning the tree. One day, when the woman wandered away from her husband, Lucifer waited near the tree. He did not show himself, but he tricked the woman into believing that a beautiful snake in the tree was talking.
20: "Did God say you should not eat of all the trees in the Garden?" the snake seemed to ask. "We may eat of all the trees, except this one," the woman replied. "If we eat of it, we shall die." The woman had never seen anything die, so she did not know what death was. Then Lucifer told the first lie. He said, "You will not surely die."
21: The woman believed Lucifer instead of believing God. She took some of the fruit and she ate it. Then she took some to her husband who also ate. So they both became the servants of Lucifer and rebelled against God. This was the first sin in the earth.
22: Sin always brings fear. Adam and Eve began to be afraid of God because they had disobeyed Him. Before they had disobeyed Him, beautiful light shone from their bodies, but after their disobedience the light left them. In their naked condition they were afraid to see God, so they tried to make some clothing for themselves. They tried to cover themselves with some large soft fig leaves.
23: When God visited Adam and Eve in the evening, as He usually did, they were afraid so they hid themselves. When God called them, they came to Him fearfully. They were afraid they would die right then. They would have died at once had God not loved them so much that He made a plan whereby sin could be taken from them, so they would no longer be rebels with Lucifer, who was now called Satan. God did not explain all His plans to Adam and Eve but He told them a little. He told them that from among the people who would later be born into this world would come one who would crush Satan and put an end to his wicked rulership of the earth.
24: Because Adam and Eve had obeyed Satan and thus allowed him to become ruler of this world in their place, God could not allow them to continue living in His beautiful garden, so they had to leave it. They had to go out into the world to till the soil in order to get their food.
25: Before He sent them away, God taught them through something special, how they could expect some time in the future to lose all their sin, and to become once more perfect in character so that they could live in the garden.
26: In the next lesson, we shall show you the service which God gave to them, which brought to them the hope of a future eternal life of health and happiness. And this hope was not only for them. It is for us too.
"Thou [Lucifer] wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee." Ezekiel 28:15.
"Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness." Ezekiel 28:17.
"Thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north .. I will be like the Most High" Isaiah 14:13-14.
Lucifer, in rebelling against God and His holy Law, became Satan the adversary. After leading many other angels into rebellion (2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6) he was cast out of heaven with a third of the angels (Revelation 12:4).
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." Revelation 12:7-9.