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Standards Part 6b

Jim Howard
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  • June 25, 2021
    3:00 PM
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In you are about to enjoy a presentation recorded at the 2021 michigan conference camp meeting held at cedar lake michigan. We pray that the Lord will bless you as you listen proverbs 20 verse one. The question in the bible study is what popular body and soul destroying substances. The bible forbid use of it quotes from proverbs 20 and verse one. This is just one passage on alcohol and certainly is a clear one. But undoubtedly, when you study the topic of alcohol, if you're talking to people who are, you know, have been christians, most eliminations are just fine with a moderate use of alcohol. And what did a point to or what reasons would they give for a moderate use about all Because noah was drunk. Ok. Let's talk about no being drug. Why would we not believe that that was reason enough to support modern use of alcohol? consequences. Ok for one, the consequences like I don't want to do that. Right? Because what happen, but what do we know about how we read the bible? How we interpret the bible that should help us not to use that as a justification during alcohol. Would you explain to somebody Perhaps something like this? Not everything that the bible describes. Does it prescribe? Did you follow me? So not every description is a prescription. So the bible is full of, of just the life lived by the people of god, with all of its positives and negatives, all of its good deeds in wicked days. And it often often does not comment on it. In other words, it does not comment on whether it was good or not. It just says what they did. You cannot use what someone in a historical narrative did as support for doing it. Otherwise, you know, we could look to polygamy and we can look to david's transgressions and all kinds of things and start to justify ourselves through historical narratives. You cannot use historical narratives to justify. That's how we would respond to that. Yes. Okay, so the sister is bringing out the apostle paul, who told the young minister timothy to do what take a little wine for his stomach thing. Now, how would you respond to that? There's nothing wrong. My spelling, so I'm not, I don't need to do. Ok. Anybody else With that as well to Yeah. What kind of wine there? Are you going to say OK i they're 65 verse a is a helpful verse when it comes to the topic of wine and people I there 65 verse 8. He says thus says the Lord, as the new wine is found in the cluster and one says, do not destroy it for a blessing is in it. So will I do for my servants saying that I may not destroy them all. Now, in the bible, both the hebrew and greek, there is only one word for wine, whether fermented or unfair meant it. Ok. How do we know that? Because of isaiah 658 is one of the best ways because where is this wine is still in the cluster. Ok? So this is clearly not fermented wine, but it's calling it wine. Right? So now we know from either 658 that the bible refers to pure grape juice as wine. And we have to then look at the context to be able to know if it's talking about fermented or uncommitted. Now, admittedly, ok, i'm not going to stand up here and say this is just such an obvious issue. Admittedly, this is not a totally black and white issue. And it does take some, you know, common sense and some interpretation. But the bible is clear that one is a mocker. Strong drink is raging and whoever is full by it is not wise. And there, you know, other passages and proverbs that you have in your lesson that point to the dangers of drinking alcohol, weather and, and I, the thing about it is there are some explanations and I'll share with you a couple. They may not have a 100 percent heard. I want to say positivity. Ok. Because I hear different scholars who have slightly different takes on. But I've heard some pretty powerful positions put forward. I know that back in the day, baki okey was a scholar who talked a lot about how you know about the fermentation process and how you went back into the history and, and how they preserve the, the jews. So that would not for me and, and a variety of different things. So that's what it takes as people go back and try to look at what they did back then. Ok. I just was discussing this with another scholar who said that the real issue was they had something back in antiquity where basically the issue with the water. If you look in, if you look in the holy land, that water was not like everywhere. Ok, it was very difficult to get pure clean water. It was very difficult. So what they did oftentimes to purify water was what they call 313 parts water, one part wine. And they would do that to actually purify the water. You have to keep in mind they did not have what we have today. So if somebody were to drink 3 parts water and one part wine and that were to remove the contaminants from the water, would that be somebody drinking for intoxication? No. So why would we not do that today? We can get our coffee in a right. I mean like, this is not unnecessary. So the point is even if they did drink a little bit because they had to use it to purify water. If it's not a problem and this particular scholar i was talking to said that is the explanation of paul. It's not that he was saying to take grape juice, which that's kind of always in my view, is that have a little wind for your stomach. Was talking about your juice because it has positive elements to it. But what he was actually saying was to to make sure that you decontaminate purify the water, you know, historically it's kind of hard to wrap your mind around which way it is. But I will say that we have enough very clear statements in scripture against the drinking of wine for intoxication. If you will, that we know that it's forbidden by scripture, exactly why there were certain times where they had to or you know, in some cases as a pain killer before they're dying or something. I mean, that's a different use. Ok. It's not talking about recreational use of alcohol to totally different situation to the bible is opposed to recreational use of our call. And we can say that pretty clearly that you are us. Ok. Right? Because they are judgment would be would be messed up. Right. And when it's already turning water into wine again, you have to look at the context, the context purely, you know, from what you see the, of these. I mean, if you look at the amount, the quantity that was there was jesus. Part in like is that what they're saying that this is all alcoholic wine. They're just you want to just get everybody drunk. We know that that could not be the case. And so, because we have to look at context because we now we know from I the 658 that it can be both fermented or unfair mentored. Then they can't prove that. And they that the burden of proof is on them to prove it because it makes no sense for jesus to create that type of or that quantity of alcohol. Why the bible is clear, we have those those examples. But we also have some clear statements in proverbs. So let's, let's move past that, but I, I did want to talk about it for a little bit because it is something that you will when you give a bible study, people will ask the questions. So let's look at number 5, what kind of diet did god get to me? Kind of getting, i'm not going to go real deep end of it because we have too many things to cover. So I'm just going to zip through some of this. Now. Can you tell me what we read about here in genesis chapter one, what kind of died? It was Ok for it's nothing grained plant based and then and then later vegetables. But ultimately it was, it was totally vegetarian. And when did god instruct man and eating of animals? Number 6. Ok after the flood. And what do we? What do we see? That's very important in the story of noah for our understanding of meat eating and unclean meats. What's a very important part of an noah flood story that we need to remember when we're talking to people about unclean cruise? OK, so there are more clean animals when the art by far than unclean. And we can, we can infer from that that obviously if there was just one pair than god was not allowing them to eat either of those would have been there would be extinct. So the clean animals were both for sacrifice and for food. And if you read in the book, patriarchs and prophets, it makes the very logical assumption that because the vegetation was destroyed through the flood, that was why god had to allow the eating of flesh me. Of course we know that there were some prohibitions against certain things, even with the eating of clean meat. And what were those no fat, no blood right. Makes me think back to the day when I eat me many, many years ago you go in the grocery store and those white, you know, styrofoam plates that they put the meat on and but bleeding or you know, now I think about it with much disdain, but now people like that, and the truth is there is an element in me eating that is related to that element. That is kind of part of what people like. And so you know, but the Lord made it very clear. Now some people will say that means that the only way to clean me is if you know you're sure that that thing has been squeezed, so dry and they get a little bit crazy about it. Cuz you understand that there are a lot of people who become 70 amis. History lead me to ok, and we do not say that you, you know, the bible does not say that mean is permitted or is not permitted, just as uncle me. So that being the case, we don't want to put on people some unnecessary strain or burden that really was not even put on the children of israel. We like to think that when they drained them, that that meant squeeze every possible drop of anything but no, no, it doesn't mean that, you know, they ignored it, but it certainly we don't want to strain at a nap. Ok, people eat clean meat and they are making that decision in their, their discarding, unclean. Me. We should be thankful for that. Tell him the prohibition about blood and fat and leave it there and that there, there are well on their way to a more healthful life. So the wise mother in israel here is explained to us that that we might approach things differently if somebody is newly studying the truth to somebody who has been some of them for a long time and has been familiar with certain things. We can maybe have a little more advanced conversation. I will say this when I'm starting with people who are not 7th day adventists and I'm just going through studies the 1st time. I don't just relinquish the vegetarian idea. I cannot just only talk about unclean made from liberty because 11 and then not talk about that attorney. I talk about registering it because I think that we can biblically support that a vegetarian diet is the optimal, di and I would tell you how I how I normally do that. I'm not sure if it's in this thanks, but I go to matthew 19 birth 7 ferris's here a speaking a jesus and says they said to him, why then did moses command to give a certificate of divorce and to put her away. He said to them, moses, because of the hardness of your heart, permitted you to divorce your wives. But from the beginning, what was not. So the reason I read that text is for this reason. What was jesus in this text saying about the beginning? garden of eden. Ok. But what was the point he was making? Why didn't even say but from the beginning it was not so who cares whether it was not so from the beginning, why did he say that? What was the point he was, why was he using the beginning? How is he using the beginning for his argument? That was god's ideal right? This is before sin and jesus points back to the beginning to say OK moses may have permitted this. But from the beginning it was not so in other words, if you really want to know god's ideal for humanity, you go all the way back to the beginning and there you have it. And so we have in the beginning, the sabbath, right? We have in the beginning marriage, we have in the beginning of during died and it was how god intended for humanity to live. Yes. When we're talking about a biblical argument that I and I do share this with people, I go to that text, matthew 19. I talk about the diet in the beginning, which we have the text here. And then I also talk about heaven. Because what do we know will not be in heaven death in some he will never thought to through, gimme no death in heaven. And that means there will be no, now will there be eating and haven't another be eating in heaven and the Fruit on the tree right? I work with my colleague and sams cooper's ministry, the director is from the dominican Republic and he loves mangoes. So he says that the 12 fruit on the tree are 12 different kinds of manga. That's what we're going to get on katie. We're wondering what is going to be, and we're going to speak Spanish, by the way. Anyway, but the point is in heaven, there will be no meeting in the beginning. There was no meeting. So hey, why not start now? Like that's a good argument. That's a biblical argument. We're not mandating, but we are saying it is the ideal. And that's clearly shown, and it will be that way again when we get to heaven. So yes, you can eat need. That's clean according to the bible, that it's not a sin to do so. But it would be for your good and for your benefit to work toward an ideal died and that's where you start just educating on the benefits of vegetarian, di. Anyway, that being said, let's, let's keep moving along. This particular lesson goes into how long the bible says these health laws were to be in effect. Does anybody know what this says? And isaiah 66 versus 15 to 17 and specifically checkout vers well, 1st 15 says the Lord will come with fire with his chariot. So what event are we talking about? Second coming in verse 17 speaks about those who will not farewell at this time. He speaks about those who go to the Gardens after an idle, in the midst eating swines flesh and the obama nation and the mouse and they shall be consumed together. So here we have a reference to an unclean meet. That is still a prohibition all the way at the 2nd coming. So it's very clear that these laws will be in effect all the way to the end. So the rest of this study is, is very good. But I'm not going to go through it because we have other things together. But I do want to touch on briefly caffeinated beverages is not in the bible. Right. So why do you support biblically, the 7th day adventist view that we should not drink caffeinated beverages, K body as a temple of the holy spirit. Whether you eat or drink, whatever due to all to the glory of god. For the year, you prosper, just as your soul prospers. Yes. Your health, this is your soul. Yes, yes. So this is kind of the distinction that I make when I give a bible study and you can, you know, use whatever persuasion that means the most to you when I explain to people is we have in the scripture this prohibition of alcohol. Right? And this prohibition is based on the addictive nature and the destructive nature of alcohol, right? The why? One of the same thing about smoking, but I wouldn't say anything about cocaine or drugs or whatever. But most christians understand that these things are destructive to your body. And when you read these texts, the principal very clear that we should not be destructive to our body. So then we just point out to people what they often do not know which is that caffeine is a drug. Now what about caffeine? Is word structure gives you the sense that it's a drug. Okay, the dick and tom at the word itself, got it as a clue. If the aim at the end, right? Do you think of any other drugs that end with an I N E. Nicotine, coding heroin or cocaine? Right. It's a drug. Everybody understands that it's a drug, it may be a milder drug, but it is a drug because of that, it also is not just behaviorally addictive, but it is physically addictive. Ok, you have withdraws from it. Now I know this because I used to drink a lot of coffee. I was, you know, I worked before I was a pastor, i worked in the corporate world and I was plan controller. And there was a manufacturing facility right behind us. And so there work room where we could go and we had all free coffee machine. So I would go to that free coffee machine and just hit the button. You can hit any button you wanted sugar cream hot chocolate mix it all together. It was like dessert and I would do that 1st thing in the morning. And then after, wow, I saw that I needed to do it again, like mid morning. You know, because you get that little law. And then of course, after lunch, oh, you know, you gotta do something and then you get late in the day. And of course, you know, you're getting worn out by, by the end of the day, you have to have a you know, jumpstart, a kick of caffeine. 4 to 5 times do the work day. And I at that same time while I was doing that, I began to study my bible. I began to become familiar with the 7th day adventist method and I began to learn what 7 AM and stage about kathy. I also learn what 7th avenue teach about water. No, we, we don't think that you have to give up water. We make you mean you drink a lot of it and I did not drink water like I did not drink. Hardly any water. So I made a decision. Yeah, it was water. My coffee was already water. So I made a decision that I was going to stop, drink coffee and drink water in place. And it's what I did was in the morning when I went to work and I would normally get coffee. I'd drank a large glass of water, right, right from the Start the beginning my day. You're not going to believe it. But I actually had more energy from that big tall glass of water than I ever got from the coffee or maybe in the beginning, i from the coffee, but certainly not for a long time had I had that. And you understand now, caffeine works right. You, you drink, you know, you're moving like this in your life, not needing coffee, you're fine. And then you start to do it who picks you up. And then when you drop down, you drop down a little lower than you were before. So it gets to the point where you need coffee to get where up here. No, just get back here and it becomes like you need more and more and more of it just to get back to, to functioning some I normally. And so instead of where I had gone to where I was just kind of tired, it was really helping any more. I had bad breath all the rest. Now I had water had energy and I found that it was not changing me anymore. I didn't have to drink it, and that's a beautiful thing. Is a beautiful thing to not be addicted to something. And my personal conviction is that the bible is helping us to see. The apostle paul says we should not be mastered by anything that there is no reason that a christian should ever partake of something that is physically addictive. Recreationally that is playing with fire and is not a wise or a christian practice. So we as some of the owners believe that if it is mind altering and addictive, then we will not use it for recreational that alcohol, tobacco, calf, caffeinated beverages, et cetera. And by putting it in that same category, help him to understand it's because it's mind altering an addictive, and we're talking about it's recreational use. Then people at least begin to see and appreciate it. So we, we have drugs instead of them as church. We call them You know, nutrition, exercise, water, sunlight, fresh air, right? They, doctors. So anyway, and we, we talk prevention and health and what have you. So when I started the bible with somebody, I give an overall view of that. Ok. But I just want to make sure, you know, you're here to learn these topics, but you're also, I hope here because you're wanting to study these things with people. And if you're wanting to study with people, just know that the issue of caffeine is not an easy issue to study with people. So as I'm talking to you, you need to think it through what you would, what you would say, because you don't want to be just, hey, it's not good for you. It's what are their reading stuff. It says it's good for you. You know, they're reading it, I have articles whenever you find an article now that you're thinking I give bible study, you need to be looking when you find an article that says, you know, I have a couple of them that point out that there is no good that comes from caffeinated beverages, the big the, some of the tests that they do with people who, you know, get a little slightly higher test score or something. They did not control for caffeine drinkers. So a caffeine drinker is going to need caffeine in order to operate at a more optimal level. But I have some fantastic articles that I read on caffeine and I keep them because when I'm starting with people I want them to understand. There are a lot of things that are very destructive that are not in the bible because the bible didn't really speak to those issues. They weren't, they weren't the primary issue at that time. We can look at different cultures and have different types of drugs and drinks and things that we could be talking about. But the bottom line is the principles are there and we believe that the principle stands. And if you have a logical, clear argument, then you'll be successful and persuading people to do what's best for their health. All right, let's our refresh father and heaven. Thank you for the study on health. We pray that these especially challenging areas that we study with people about unclean foods, but specifically the vegetarian diet and the optimal diet as well as substances that can be addictive and destructive florida. As we seek to persuade people that their health is a significant part of their spiritual lives, we pretty give us wisdom and help. Now bless us as we have a short break and continue with one more session and jesus naming. To listen to more of these presentations, you may visit the audio archives at M. I S T A dot org slash audio 2021 or search for michigan conference camp meeting wherever you get your podcast.

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