Health Ministries Letter Overcoming the Greatest Obstacle to Physical, Mental and Spiritual Health-Part 2 Volume 1 | Issue 4 May 26, 2018
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“He that overcometh, I will give to him to sit down with me in my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne”. Revelation 3:21 (ASV)Greetings Emmanuel Brinklow Church Family In our last issue, we concluded with Christ’s victory over perverted appetite. Christ faced the devil in the worse possible environment, with the greatest disadvantage, at the weakest point, against Satan’s most successful and irresistible temptations. Why was this necessary? Christ did this to break the power of perverted appetite, so that the weakest, most enslaved could be set free. Why so long a fast? Christ wanted to convince man of the sinfulness of indulging perverted appetite and the cost of victory. In this conflict, Satan was sure he would take Christ down with the first temptation on appetite. Notwithstanding his confidence, he had two more cunning temptations just in case. However, Satan was surprised beyond measure to see Jesus resist his most powerful temptation. Since subtilty did not work, with bold assertion and desperation, he came right out with who he was and what he wanted. However, Jesus authoritatively cast him out of His presence. Satan, having exhausted his power, was forced to retreat defeated and bewildered. As he gathered himself and regrouped, he realized that Jesus was indeed Jacob’s ladder. Christ had fully planted His feet on the earth and reached His arms all the way to the throne of God. How Jesus Overcame Perverted Appetite Jesus was not exempt from the laws of heredity. In fact, the Bible revealed the extent of His heritage. He indeed took our infirmities, felt the pangs of hunger, and experienced the overwhelming cravings amplified just before the death of starvation. His humanity alone could never have endured this test. However, His humanity combined with divine power, gained an infinite victory that raised us in the scale of moral value with God. With His human arm, He reached down to our deepest woe, but with His divine arm He held fast to the omnipotent power of God. He knew He was in the wilderness at God’s command, carrying out the foundation of the plan of salvation. He trusted in the Father to intervene at the appropriate time. He never allowed any of the doubts and suggestions of the deceiver to take root in His heart. As a conqueror, He came forth ready to infuse man with the Power of God to make him victorious.
“Satan sees that he cannot have so great power over minds when the appetite is kept under control as when it is indulged, and he is constantly working to lead men to indulgence” … Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene P. 79.4What Christ’s Victory Means to Us Christ’s victory was not only an example, but it qualified Him to reach down to our deepest woe and to powerfully rescue us from the slavery of perverted appetite. By experiencing in Himself our infirmities and weaknesses and the full might of Satan’s temptation, Jesus knows how to help those struggling to overcome. Now, there is no one so weak and enslaved that He cannot reach and help. He has made it possible for us, in all future time, in His name, to overcome the strength of appetite on our own behalf. Satan does not want us to realize this. Why? Consider the gravity of this quote. “Satan sees that he cannot have so great power over minds when the appetite is kept under control as when it is indulged, and he is constantly working to lead men to indulgence. Under the influence of unhealthful food, the conscience becomes stupefied, the mind is darkened, and its susceptibility to impressions is impaired. But the guilt of the transgressor is not lessened because the conscience has been violated till it has become insensible” … Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene 79.4. Therefore, it is Satan’s plan to minimize the significance of Christ’s victory over perverted appetite, and to silence the conviction that it is possible and necessary that we control perverted appetite. He knows that his power would be broken in our lives if the conviction is firmly implanted in the heart and flourishes into personal action. How We Are to Overcome Perverted Appetite However great and permanent Christ’s victory was in the wilderness, it will not benefit us unless we also gain the victory on our own account. How do we gain the victory? Jesus has won the right to impart the riches of divine grace, to restore integrity, determined effort, will, and moral power. He can make us partakers of the divine nature so that we can escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. Jesus has placed us on vantage ground so in His name and through His power our efforts will be successful. We have the disobedience of Adam to warn us, the victory of Christ to empower us, and the powerful promise of Christ to encourage us that “to him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcome, and am set down with my father in His throne.” Where Do We Go From Here When God created man, He gave him a natural appetite that was servant to his morals and intellect. Natural appetite helped him make wise choices from God’s bounties and preserved health and prolonged life. Sin perverted man’s appetite, but Jesus conquered perverted appetite. He can and will restore the natural appetite if we will cooperate with Him. For us to enjoy the natural appetite, God is leading us now to deny perverted appetite and be temperate in all things. In Peter’s ladder of progress, we are told to add to faith, virtue and knowledge, temperance. In our next issues of the Health Ministries Letter, we will explore temperance in several aspect of our lives. There is bright hope to every striving soul. Until next issue, may the riches of God’s grace empower you to experience victories where it matters most in your life. Robert V Sigh MD, MPH Health Ministries Director Emmanuel Brinklow SDA Church]]>