Prosper in All Things and be in Health
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"Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers." (3 Jn. 2)

 

Here we see the apostle John was concerned for his friend Gaius' physical and spiritual condition. At that time there was a popular heretical movement that crept into the Early Christian Church known as Gnosticism (Knowledge) that denied God's manifestation in the flesh. This is the original Anti-Christ Movement (1 Jn. 2:18-19). This doctrine also despised the physical side of life.  The Christians in those days had placed a lot of emphasis on their spirits and souls, but cared very little for their bodies and material needs.  Hence many of them not only suffered from poor health but also poverty as well. 

 

It is important to recognize the whole person has three components, namely body, spirit and soul.  Here is how God created the first man Adam. 

 

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground (body), and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (spirit), and man became a living being (soul).” (Gen. 2:7)

When God first shaped Adam’s body out of the dust there was no life in it.  After God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (spirit), and man became a living being (soul).”  The “soul” is the life of the person.  It is the combined existence of the body and the spirit.  When the spirit stays in the body the person lives, and when it leaves the body the person dies (Jas. 2:26; Ecc. 12:7).  For a person to be alive and healthy all three components – body, spirit and soul – must exist together.  The apostle Paul prayed: 

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess. 5:23)

The word “sanctify” means consecrate or set apart for God’s use.  Spirit-filled believers who are sanctified in their spirits and souls can also have healthy bodies as well.  Just as the apostles John and Paul prayed, we can “prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers," and also be “sanctified completely the whole spirit, soul, and body.” 

Before God created man He had prepared this planet to be inhabited (Isa. 45:18).  The Holy Bible gives us the key to seven principles for healthful living.

1   Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

2      Keep God’s Commandments.

3   Breathe Fresh Air.

4   Drink Pure Water

5.  Eat Biblical Foods

6   Exercise Regularly

7   Rest and Relaxation 

 

1.   Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator of mankind.  He knows everything about the body, spirit and soul of man.  In His ministry as the Messiah He was “anointed to preach the gospel to the poor, heal the broken-hearted, preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight  to the blind, and set at liberty those who are oppressed . . ..” (Lk. 4:18)  

“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” (Mt. 9:35) 

As the unblemished Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world Jesus Christ, who has no sin, is the supreme sacrifice.   He is the perfect specimen of man who has never been sick a single time in His entire earthly life otherwise He could not be the sin-bearer for mankind. 

“And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:  He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” (Mt. 8:16-17)

Saints are to be certain of the Lord’s willingness to heal (Mk. 1:40-45). The Bible records many who were certain and persistent and thereby were healed (Mk. 5:24-34).  Jesus Christ’s healing of a demon-possessed man shows God’s concern to restore every part of man – body, spirit and soul – and to save him from ultimate death (Lk. 8:36)

2.   Keep God’s Commandments

In Exodus 15:26, God promised to give good health to those who keep His commandments, "If you will diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all his statutes...." Then God would keep you healthy.

Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 5:16 and Ephesians 6:1-3 link long life with your honoring of parents.

In Exodus 23:25-26 God promised those who serve Him. 

 “So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.”

In Deuteronomy 5:33, God said: "You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you...that you may prolong your days . . ."


Proverbs 3:1-2 is yet another passage promising long life if you "do not forget my law; but let your heart keep my commands."

3.   Breathe  Fresh  Air

When God created the first man Adam He “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life”.  Adam became alive when he breathed the oxygen that was produced by the sun’s rays on the green plants in the Garden of Eden.  Fresh pure air is an essential part of life.  We can live for weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without air.  Every cell in our body requires oxygen in order to function well, so if the air we breathe is polluted then our body cells will malfunction and we become sick.  Pure air helps to produce good blood that is the river of life in our bodies.  The Bible states very clearly:  “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, . . .” (Lev. 17:11). The blood is the fluid though which the body is nourished, waste is removed and repairs are made.  In order to have good blood, we must breathe well.  Fresh air is God’s free blessing that vitalizes the whole system.  Full, deep breathing of pure air will fill the lungs with oxygen, and help to purify the blood that is sent to every part of the body.  A good breath of fresh air soothes the nerves; it stimulates the appetite and renders digestion more perfect; and it also induces sound, refreshing sleep.

 

Thus if an insufficient supply of oxygen is received the blood moves sluggishly. The waste, poisonous matter, which should be thrown off in the exhalations from the lungs, is retained, and the blood becomes impure. This not only affects the lungs, but the stomach, liver and brain are also affected. The skin becomes sallow, digestion is retarded; the heart is depressed; the brain is clouded; the thoughts are confused; gloom settles upon the spirits; the whole system becomes depressed and inactive, and peculiarly susceptible to disease.

 

The American Lung Association has declared that up to half of all illnesses are either caused or aggravated by polluted air!  Tiny particles of pollutants emitted by automobiles, power plants and factories significantly increase the risk of dying from lung cancer in the United States,   According to the Environmental Protection Agency for the fourth consecutive years the four smoggiest cities in America are in California.  They are Los Angeles, Fresno, Bakersfield and Visalia.   Houston is the fifth, followed by Sacramento and Atlanta.

 

In addition to air pollution we now have the threat of bio-terrorism.  If not for jobs, family and other social reasons, living in crowded cites with high pollution is not the best way to achieve good health.  If you have to live in the city find a property that has plenty of trees, grass and plants in which the sunlight can interact with the plant leaves to produce oxygen. This is God’s natural way to give His children good health.

 

4.   Drink  Pure  Water

 

The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” (Isa. 58:11)

 

We can go without food for weeks but without water we die of dehydration in a few days. The human body is roughly composed of 25 percent solid matter and 75 percent water. Brain tissue is said to consist of 85 percent water and the blood is 90 percent water.  Water is necessary for the digestion of food, for the transport of food to the tissues, for the elimination of body wastes, for the circulation of body fluids (like blood and lymph), for a lubricant in the joints and internal organs - keeping them moist permitting the passage of substances between the cells and blood vessels - and for the regulation of body temperature.  Water Is part of the blood system holding dissolved minerals, like calcium and magnesium in solution, making them available to the body tissues when they are required for proper health.

 

When pure water is plentiful in the body the blood circulation system, bone joints, spinal column and digestion system all work in an efficient, easy manner.  However when water is lacking the body robs some areas to protect different tissues and organs that results in pain, tissue damage, and a variety of common health problems.

 

Health problems such as asthma, allergies, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, headaches, migraines, low back pain, rheumatoid arthritic joint pain and cramps are treated by drinking plenty of water. 

 

Your body needs 8 glasses (8 ounces each) of pure water each day for optimal health.  Thirst should be satisfied at all times with water. Many medications actually dehydrate the body leading to more severe problems.

 

Water – pure, properly filtered water – is an overlooked and essential nutrient and may be your missing ingredient to a healthier, more vibrant, and longer life.

 

5.   Eat  Biblical  Foods

 

Food plays an important part in the health of man.  It is by making the wrong choice of food that the first man and woman became sinners, resulting in pain, suffering, sickness and death.  At the very beginning of time God had given man the concept of eating the right foods.

 

“And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food." (Gen. 1:29)


The first man and woman are further instructed and warned that eating improperly will cost them their lives:

 

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Gen. 2:16-17)


Here God has ordained a perfect eating plan for human beings – one that, when followed, will give us good health, vitality, strength, long life, and yes. . . even wisdom (Dan. 1:8-21).  Eating the wrong foods can lead to unnecessary illnesses and even a premature death.

God wants us to seek out these biblical principles of nutrition and diet as conveyed in the Holy Scriptures and then apply them into our daily lives.

By eating properly we enable our bodies to truly become the temple of the Holy Spirit and thus establish a closer bond with the LORD.  Hence, Biblical Nutrition is not only about the physical needs of man, it is closely linked to our spiritual well being as well.

 

What Foods to Eat

 

         Clean, lean meat from certain animals (Lev. 11:2-3).

         Fish with scales (Lev. 11:9; Deut. 14:9).

         Cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic (Num. 11:5).

        Wheat, barley, grapes, pomegranates, olive oil, and honey (Deut. 8:8).

         Honey is known to have several healing ingredients -especially royal jelly which comes from the queen bee (Pro. 24:13; Deut. 8:8; Gen. 43:11).

         Dark grainy bread is high in fiber and gives protection from both heart disease and cancer (Ex. 12:8,15; Ezk. 4:9).

         Yogurt, milk of cows, sheep, goats (Isa. 7:15,22; Pro. 27:27).

         Beans (Ezk. 4:9).

         Garlic contains cancer-fighting chemicals and also raises good cholesterol levels (Num.11:5).

         Olive oil which can "clean" the artery walls and strengthen the immune system (Deut. 8:8).

 

 

A well-balanced diet that comprises both raw and cooked vegetables, fresh fruits, whole-meal grain products, nuts, seeds, beans, cold-pressed oils and a modest consumption of free-range eggs, meat, poultry and fish, prepared and cooked in the proper way is the Biblically-correct way to eat and ensures optimum health, if all the other lifestyle factors are also in place.

 

Link to another site on Nutrition: Healthy food is critical for Your health!

 

 

What Foods Not to Eat

 

                   Animals that do not have all of these: part the hoof, cloven footed and chews cud namely: Pig (pork), Rabbit, Raccoon, Squirrel, Monkey, Dog, Coyote, Fox, Wolf, Lion, Tiger, Horse, Mule, Zebra, Bear, Camel, Elephant, Llama, Hippo, Kangaroo (Lev. 11:4-8)

                    Water creatures that do not have fins and scales:  Catfish, Eel, Marlin, Shark, Abalone, Clam, Crab, Crayfish, Lobster, Oyster, Shrimp, Jellyfish, Squid, Dolphin, Seal, Whale (Lev. 11:9-12).

                    Unclean Birds:  Bat, Eagle, Osprey, Raven, Duck, Swan, Vulture (Lev. 11:13-19)

                    Unclean creeping animals:  Frog, Toad, Crocodile, Lizard, Snake, Turtle, Salamander, Newt, Snail (Lev. 11:29-31)

 

Although Christians are now under grace and not under the law yet they are still strongly advised not to eat these “unclean” creatures because of health risks (Ex. 15:26).  It is still important to note that God (in His infinite wisdom) placed certain restrictions on the foods deemed "unclean" due to their lack of nutrient density as well as possible contaminants. After all, God made our bodies and knows what foods make them run at their optimal levels. That is why He gave us an instruction manual to follow - the Bible.

 

Please visit our web site:  Can Gentile Christians eat any meat they want? and other web sites concerning the dangers of eating unclean meats.

SARS linked to 3 Small Animals

SARS Disrupts China’s Wild Game Business

 

Food Tips that Improve Health

        Eating organic food will give you improved health because it is grown without chemical pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers.  It is not irradiated or genetically modified.   Of the 25 most commonly used pesticides in conventional agriculture, 18 irritate the eyes, skin and lungs, 17 cause genetic damage, 11 cause cancer, 10 are harmful to the reproductive system and 5 damage the nervous system.

        A healthy diet of natural foods will provide your body with all the vitamins and nutrients it requires.  Whole foods contain within in them all the different nutrients and enzymes that our bodies require to utilize them properly.  Eat foods in the manner in which they have been created naturally. Avoid packaged, processed, pasteurized, and synthetic products; anything that comes in a box, can, or carton is suspicious. 

        Some nutritionists promote a vegan diet for optimal health but this is not biblically correct.  A Vegan is one who eats a diet that DOES NOT contain any animal products. Animal products include flesh and other body parts from cows, chickens and other birds, pigs, fish, etc.  Animal products also include milk and milk products, and eggs.  Our Lord Jesus Christ ate cooked lamb (mutton) and fish. 

        Eating raw vegetables is better than cooked ones because they are the source of valuable enzymes that are crucially involved in nearly all body processes.  Cooking destroys some important vitamins and enzymes that contribute to good health.  Meats are cooked to destroy bacteria that are harmful to humans.  The healthiest form of cooking is steaming.

 

6.   Exercise Regularly

 

“The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.” (Gen. 2:8)  “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” (Gen. 2:15)

 

The Garden of Eden serves at least three purposes.  First, It provided fresh air (oxygen).  Second it provided nutritious plant food.  Third, it provided much physical activity that is good exercise.  Even after the Fall God said to Adam, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, . . .” (Gen. 3:19)  Sweating or perspiration has three significant health benefits.  First, it regulates the body temperature.  Second, it eliminate toxins from the body.  Third, it improves the skin condition.

 

People in the early biblical time have some form of exercise and sweat a lot through their chosen occupation.  “. . . Now Abel was a keeper of the sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.” (Gen. 4:2)  Both shepherding and farming are outdoor activities that have physical movements.  Noah and his sons must have sweated a lot while building the ark that is one and half times the length of a football field.  Looking after the animals inside the ark is laborious work.  Noah must be very healthy to live up to 950 years (Gen. 9:29).  Moses was a very healthy man.  He was 80 years old when God called him to return to Egypt to deliver his people from slavery (Acts 7:23, 30).  He had to climb up Mount Sinai twice to receive the two tablets of the Ten Commandments.  Walking, hiking and mountain climbing are good exercises for the body.  Our Lord Jesus Christ was a carpenter whose vocation required physical exercise for all parts of His body.  When He preached He walked to every village, town and city.  Our Lord Jesus Christ is the best example and model of a healthy person.

 

It is good to have regular exercise by walking 30 minutes a day.   Walking stimulates and helps control appetite, aids digestion, aids circulation of blood and lymph.  The heart rate is elevated and the blood pressure is reduced.  Brisk walking produces sweat and improves the muscle tone.  Walking in fresh air increases the efficiency of the lungs.  Exercise slows down the aging process and restores zest for life.

 

Another godly form of exercise is dancing before the LORD that is practiced in many Messianic Jewish congregations.

 

“Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.” (Ex. 15:20)

 

“Then David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod.  So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.” (2 Sam 6:14-15)

 

Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.  Let them praise His name with the dance; let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp. For the LORD takes pleasure in His people;  He will beautify the humble with salvation.” (Psm. 149:2-4)

 

Praising the One True God with “the timbrel and dance . . . in His sanctuary”  is also one of the most joyful forms of worship in the House of God. (Psm. 150:1-6). 

 

7.   Rest  and  Relaxation

Stress touches every fiber of our society and at one time or another we can come under its influence.  Christians need to realize that God did not promise them a life free from problems and difficulties.  Our Lord Jesus Christ said: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33)  With these words He told His disciples to take courage.  In spite of the inevitable struggles they would face, they would not be alone.  Jesus does not abandon us to our struggles either.  If we remember that the ultimate victory has already been won, we can claim the peace in Christ in the most troublesome time.

God's answer to our personal problems and the stress we face is found in His admonitions and promises to us of holy living. (I Thess. 4:1-12; Rom. 12:1,2; Eph. 4:1-3; Heb. 4:16; I Pet. 5:7; 2 Cor. 1:3,4; 7:1; Psm. 42:11). By following His principles and promises, we can handle the stress of life, without it overwhelming us.

The Bible has a great deal to offer us on how to handle stress with rest and relaxation.   First, we see that even Jesus grew tired and needed to rest from His work, and He also urged His followers’ to do the same (Mark 6:31).  Second, Jesus promises us rest in the midst of our chaotic world (Mt. 11:28-30).  Third, as Christians, we believe that balance is only possible when we base our life on the Lord Jesus Christ.  In John 10:10 we read, “. . . I have come that they might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”  Only Jesus can give us the full and complete life in the body, spirit and soul.

 

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.” (Phil. 4:6-8)

 


May God bless You

A sermon based on this article was preached

by Paul Wong to a congregation in

Houston, Texas on September 6, 2003.

The article is transferred to this Website on July 9, 2009

 

For comments please write first to arkpw@sbcglobal.net


Paul Wong is a Christian minister and the President of ARK International.
His ministry also serves as an architectural service company in Houston.
The ARK Forum on the Internet is international and non-denominational.


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