1: May I invite you to the lovely Garden of Eden right after the wonderful act of creation was completed? There we see our first parents, Adam and Eve. What a handsome couple they are made in the image of God! Listen! God is giving them their first instructions. "Be fruitful and multiply," He is telling them, "and replenish the earth, and subdue it." They are to be father and mother of the human race! How exciting!
2: And now what else is God saying? "Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit." Genesis 1:29. A nutrition lesson! Right at the very beginning of our world on the very first day when our parents were created!
3: Since God had formed man, He knew just what his needs were and what he must eat in order to live in perfect health. How God must have enjoyed planning all those luscious fruits, those delicious grains, those wonderful nuts. There were so many varieties and so many flavors and they were all so good.
4: In the definite instructions God gave, you notice that all the foods He intended for man to eat are of plant origin. They were not to eat cows, sheep, goats, birds, fishes etc. The original diet was so perfect that even after sin came in, we find that people lived for hundreds of years. One man lived to be 969 years of age!
5: But, you remember, wickedness increased until God had to cause a great flood to destroy the world, leaving only the family of Noah. After the flood, there was a shortage of plant foods for some time, and we are told that God finally permitted man to eat flesh foods. From then on, flesh foods became a regular part of the human diet, and as a result, two major changes have taken place in man.
6: First of all, his life span became much, much shorter than before the flood. Abraham lived only up to about 170 years. King David and most of the other kings lived only from 60-80 years. And at present the trend is the same. Secondly, the size of man went down from 10-12 feet to 5-6 feet in height. Quite a difference, you will agree.
7: We are told that the native diet of the Eskimos consists of about 90% flesh foods. Due to the cold climate throughout most of the year, there is very little vegetation for food. In a study conducted by Dr. John R. Heller, director of the National Cancer Institute, some interesting facts were discovered about these people. Most of the Eskimos are healthy until they are about 25 years of age. Then they very quickly begin to lose their enthusiasm and strength as well as their skill in hunting. They also start looking old. They become very lazy. They develop arteriosclerosis and die at a very early age even before they are 30. It was thought that their organs became diseased very early in life.
8: Dr. Heller contrasted the Eskimos with the Hunza people who live in the northern part of Kashmir. These people eat simple foods consisting of fruits, cereals, and nuts. He noted that they are strong and healthy until the age of 90-100 years and even beyond. These two races present quite a contrast, do they not?
9: When God permitted man to use flesh foods, He warned very carefully against two things. He said that they were not to use the fat in the meat, and that they were to carefully remove the blood.
10: Why was God so specific about these two items? Let us see. We will consider the blood first. As you know, it is by means of the blood that fuel and building materials are transported to every cell of the body. And it is also through the blood that the waste products from every cell are carried to the lungs, skin, and kidneys. Now when an animal is killed, of course, most of the blood is there in the tissues. This means, that not only the food materials such as vitamins and minerals are there, but also the waste products. Even today, strict Jewish people are very careful to follow the instruction of God. They bleed the animal and then add salt to the flesh to remove as much blood as possible. By the way, the flesh treated this way is almost tasteless because it is the waste products that are responsible for the flavor.
11: Most people would rather have their meat full of flavor! But when meat is eaten, these waste products are added to the body's waste products and must be excreted through the kidneys thus adding more work to those organs.
12: Why was fat forbidden? Animal fats are not the best source of fuel for body heat. Animal fat is very high in cholesterol:that substance which so often clogs up the arteries and causes so much trouble.
13: There is also a tendency for people to eat more than they need when served cuts of meat loaded with extra fat! You know what the result of overeating is? A great burden is put onto the heart and other organs of the body of the overweight person. Through the centuries, and especially in recent years there is growing another very important reason for God's original diet.
14: That reason is the terribly diseased condition of animals. There is hardly a chicken that does not have cancer. Even fish that are caught in what we consider clean waters have tumors and serious diseases. It is impossible for meat inspection laws to prevent sick and diseased animals from being slaughtered and sold for food. As the land, air, and water are being more and more polluted, the animal kingdom is being greatly affected.
15: Poison is poison. Even though a bottle of poison is sterile:it is still poison! Cooking flesh foods very well helps some, but it cannot remove the poisons of disease.
16: Many of you may be asking, "Is it really possible to get the kind of protein we need from vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains?" May I assure you that it most definitely is. You may feel slightly weak at first as you leave off flesh foods, but that is because your body is no longer receiving the harmful stimulants that are a part of the waste products of meat, just as when a man stops smoking, his body misses the nicotine for a while, but how much better off you are without it!
17: No one should change his diet by simply eating the same and leaving off the meat. He should learn to add wholesome foods in the place of flesh foods and eliminate refined empty calorie foods as well. Usually the change, over should be somewhat gradual, but nevertheless, steady and progressive. Let us learn how to use the many good foods God has given in order to keep these wonderful bodies of ours and these wonderful minds of ours well and strong.
18: God wants to give us the gift of eternal life very soon. He wants to give us His Holy Spirit daily, moment by moment, to bring us happiness and continual victory over the devil. Our bodies must be clean homes for this great presence and experience.
19: If I had a very costly and precious present for you and you held out two containers to me, one filthy and broken, the other clean and whole, into which do you think I would place my gift? The clean one, of course. This is how God wants our bodies to be. There is much more about this important subject in the Holy Scriptures. I know you would like to hear what God has to say.
20: No doubt, vegetarianism is God's ideal for us, but for those who have not yet been able to follow it, God has specified in the Bible what to eat and what not to eat. This is because He wants to have the best health possible.
21: Another reason is because we are His children and He says, "For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto Himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." Therefore He says, "Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing." Deuteronomy 142,3.
22: The following are among the dean animals: "The ox, the sheep, and the goat, the hart, and the roebuck and the fallow deer and the wild goat, and the pygar, and the wild ox, and the chamios. And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat." Deuteronomy 14:4:6.
23: The following are among the unclean animals: "Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud but divided not the hoof; therefore, they are unclean unto you. And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass. Deuteronomy 14:7, 8. From the water animals these are clean:"All that have fins and scales shall ye eat." Deuteronomy 14:9. "Whatsoever hath not fins and scales, ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you." Deuteronomy 14:10. "Of all clean birds ye shall eat." Deuteronomy 14:11. "But of all clean fowls ye may eat." Deuteronomy 14:20.
24: "But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the osprey and the glades, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind, and every raven after its kind. And the owl and the night hawk and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind. The little owl and the great owl and the swan. And the pelican, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. And every creeping thing that flieth is unclean unto you; they shall not be eaten. ." Deuteronomy 14:12:19. These are all flesh eaters and scavengers. "Ye shall not eat anything that dieth of itself." Deuteronomy 14:21.
25: No doubt there is a purpose for creating all these creatures like vultures, crows, kites, swine, etc. They are created for cleaning. They serve as scavengers. All are not created for eating purposes.
26: Man's ideal food as prescribed by God is fruits, nuts, grains and vegetables. He is leading us step by step to man's original diet. In Heaven there will be no death of any of His creatures. We can start enjoying that atmosphere here by God's grace. Even though among us there might be those who are not quite vegetarians, make sure that you are eating the clean ones and try to replace it permanently by a good nutritious vegetarian diet.
27: God loved us to the extent that He gave His son as a sacrifice for our sins. May He help us so that we will not consider any thing too great a sacrifice to meet God's desires: for us. If we are only willing to follow Him here, He will enable to fulfill all His desires. As we go, along we will understand that all His desires for us are for our good in this world and to prepare us for a home with Him when Jesus comes.
Here is additional information on healthful living:
"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth:" :3 John 2.
"And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and He shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.":Exodus 23:25.
"If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee." Exodus 15..26.
"For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.":1 Corinthians 6:20.
"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon 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" Genesis 1:29.
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31.
"I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
"I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12.