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The Reformation Herald Online Edition

Christ in His Sanctuary

The Pot of Manna
By the Reformation Herald Staff
The Pot of Manna

Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant” (Hebrews 9:1–4, emphasis added).

The history behind the pot of manna is found in Exodus chapter 16 and Numbers 11. Beside the ten commandments and Aaron’s rod, the pot of manna was to be kept in the ark of the covenant to symbolize God’s plan for His people as it pertained to health reform.

“The Lord brought His people out of Egypt in a victorious manner. He led them through the wilderness to prove them and try them. He repeatedly manifested His miraculous power in their deliverances from their enemies. He promised to take them to Himself, as his peculiar treasure, if they would obey His voice and keep His commandments. He did not forbid them to eat the flesh of animals, but withheld it from them in a great measure. He provided them food which was the most healthful. He rained their bread from heaven and gave them purest water from the flinty rock. He made a covenant with them if they would obey Him in all things, He would preserve them from disease.

“But the Hebrews were not satisfied. They despised the food given them from heaven and wished themselves back in Egypt where they could sit by the flesh-pots. They preferred slavery, and even death, rather than to be deprived of meat. God, in His anger, gave them flesh to gratify their lustful appetites, and great numbers of them died while eating the meat for which they had lusted.”1

Since the children of Israel never heartily accepted God’s plan of a nonflesh diet, the Lord removed the pot of manna from the ark of the testament to reflect their spiritual state (2 Chronicles 5:10). In fact, the entire ark was eventually removed from them.2

What is the pot of manna for today?

The light that God has given and will continue to give on the food question is to be to His people today what the manna was to the children of Israel.”3 Therefore, what is the responsibility of God’s church today?

The servant of the Lord explained, “It has been clearly presented to me that God’s people are to take a firm stand against meat eating. Would God for thirty years give His people the message that if they desire to have pure blood and clear minds they must give up the use of flesh meat, if He did not want them to heed this message? By the use of flesh meat, the animal nature is strengthened and the spiritual nature weakened.”4

“Is it not time that all should aim to dispense with flesh foods? How can those who are seeking to become pure, refined, and holy, that they may have the companionship of heavenly angels, continue to use as food anything that has so harmful an effect on soul and body?”5

“When the animal part of the human agent is strengthened by meat eating, the intellectual powers diminish proportionately. A religious life can be more successfully gained and maintained if meat is discarded, for this diet stimulates into intense activities lustful propensities, and enfeebles the moral and spiritual nature.”6

The duty of church leaders

“A reformation is needed among the people, but it should first begin its purifying work with the ministers. . . .

“One important part of the work of the ministry is to faithfully present to the people the health reform as it stands connected with the third angel’s message as part and parcel of the same work. They should not fail to adopt it themselves, and should urge it upon all who profess to believe the truth.”7

“God’s true commandment-keeping people will be instructed by Him. The true medical missionary will be wise in the treatment of the sick, using the remedies that nature provides. And then he will look to Christ as the true Healer of disease. The principles of health reform brought into the life of the patient, the use of nature’s remedies, and the cooperation of divine agencies in behalf of the suffering, will bring success.

“Satan will try to place barriers in the way of the true medical missionary. He will seek to bring discouragement upon those who recognize the commandments of God and are determined to obey them. We must be careful not to carry our views of health reform to extremes, thus making it ‘health deform.’ Our food should be plain and free from all objectionable elements, but let us be careful that it is always palatable and good.”8

The true medical missionary physician

“A physician who has the moral courage to imperil his reputation in enlightening the understanding by plain facts, in showing the nature of disease and how to prevent it, and the dangerous practice of resorting to drugs, will have an uphill business, but he will live and let live. He will not use his powerful drug medication, because of the knowledge he has acquired by studying books. He will, if a reformer, talk plainly in regard to the false appetites and ruinous self-indulgence, in dressing, in eating and drinking, in overtaxing to do a large amount of work in a given time, which has a ruinous influence upon the temper [and on] the physical and mental powers.

“Knowledge is what is needed. Drugs are too often promised to restore health, and the poor sick are so thoroughly drugged with quinine, morphine, or some strong health-and life-destroying medicine, that nature may never make sufficient protest, but give up the struggle; and they may continue their wrong habits with hopeful impunity.

“Right and correct habits, intelligently and perseveringly practiced, will be removing the cause for disease, and the strong drugs need not be resorted to. Many go on from step to step with their unnatural indulgences, which is bringing in just as unnatural a condition of things as possible.

“Diseases of every stripe and type have been brought upon human beings by the use of tea and coffee and the narcotics, opium and tobacco. These hurtful indulgences must be given up, not only one, but all; for all are hurtful and ruinous to the physical, mental, and moral powers, and should be discontinued from a health standpoint. The common use of the flesh of dead animals has had a deteriorating influence upon the morals as well as the physical constitution.

“Ill-health in a variety of forms, if effect could be traced to the cause, would reveal the sure result of flesh eating. The disuse of meat with healthful dishes nicely prepared to take the place of flesh meats, would place a large number of the sick and suffering ones in a fair way of recovering their health without the use of drugs.

“But if the physician encourages a meat-eating diet to his invalid patients, then he will make a necessity for the use of drugs. Nature will want some assistance to bring things to their proper condition, which may be found in the simplest remedies, especially in the use of nature’s own furnished remedies—pure air, and with a precious knowledge of how to breathe; pure water, with a knowledge of how to apply it; plenty of sunlight in every room in the house, if possible, and with an intelligent knowledge of what advantages are to be gained by its use. All these are powerful in their efficiency, and the patient who has obtained a knowledge of how to eat and dress healthfully, may live for comfort, for peace, for health, and will not be prevailed upon to put to his lips drugs, which, in the place of helping nature, paralyze her powers. If the sick and suffering will do only as well as they know in regard to living out the principles of health reform perseveringly, then they will in nine cases out of ten recover from their ailments. . . .

“The health institutions for the sick will be the best places to educate the suffering ones to live in accordance with nature’s laws, and cease their health-destroying practices in wrong habits in diet, in dress, that are in accordance with the world’s habits and customs, which are not at all after God’s order. They are doing a good work to enlighten our world. . . .

“There is now positive need even with physicians, reformers in the line of treatment of disease, that greater painstaking effort be made to carry forward and upward the work for themselves, and to interestedly instruct those who look to them for medical skill to ascertain the cause of their infirmities. They should call their attention in a special manner to the laws which God has established, which cannot be violated with impunity. They dwell much on the working of disease, but do not, as a general rule, arouse the attention to the laws which must be sacredly and intelligently obeyed to prevent disease.

“Especially [is this true] if the physician has not been correct in his dietetic practices, if his own appetite has not been restricted to a plain, wholesome diet, in a large measure discarding the use of the flesh of dead animals, [if] he loves meat, [and] he has educated and cultivated a taste for unhealthful food. His ideas are narrow, and he will as soon educate and discipline the taste and appetite of his patients to love the things that he loves, as to give them the sound principles of health reform. He will prescribe for sick patients flesh meats, when it is the very worst diet that they can have. It stimulates, but does not give strength.

“They do not inquire into their [patients’] former habits of eating and drinking, and do not take special notice of their erroneous habits which have been for many years laying the foundation of disease. Conscientious physicians should be prepared to enlighten those who are ignorant, and should with wisdom make out their prescriptions, prohibiting those things in their diet which he knows to be erroneous.

“He should plainly state the things which he regards as detrimental to the laws of health, and leave these suffering ones to work conscientiously to do those things for themselves which they can do and thus place themselves in right relation to the laws of life and health. When from enlightened conscience they do the very best they know how to do to preserve themselves in health, then in faith they may look to the Great Physician, who is a healer of the body as well as of the soul.

“We are health reformers. Physicians should have wisdom and experience, and be thorough health reformers. Then they will be constantly educating by precept and example their patients from drugs; for they well know that the use of drugs may produce for the time being favorable results, but will implant in the system that which will cause great difficulties hereafter, which they may never recover from during their lifetime. Nature must have a chance to do her work. Obstructions must be removed and opportunity given her to exert her healing forces, which she will surely do if every abuse is removed from her and she has a fair chance.

“The sick should be educated to have confidence in nature’s great blessings which God has provided; and the most effective remedies for disease are pure, soft water; the blessed God-given sunshine coming into rooms of the invalids; living outdoors as much as possible; having healthful exercise; eating and drinking foods that are prepared in the most healthful manner.”9

“Vegetables, fruits, and grains should compose our diet. Not an ounce of flesh meat should enter our stomachs. The eating of flesh is unnatural. We are to return to God’s original purpose in the creation of man.”10

Should the principle of health reform be a test of fellowship?

We are well familiar with the statement, “We are not to make the use of flesh food a test of fellowship.”11 Yet let us look at the chronological sequence as the servant of the Lord was given the advancing light:

1884: “Use less and less meat, until it is not used at all. If meat is discarded, if the taste is not educated in that direction, if a liking for fruits and grains is encouraged, it will soon be as God in the beginning designed it should be. No meat will be used by His people.”12

1890: “Again and again I have been shown that God is trying to lead us back, step by step, to His original design—that man should subsist upon the natural products of the earth. Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat eating will eventually be done away; flesh will cease to form a part of their diet. We should ever keep this end in view, and endeavor to work steadily toward it. I cannot think that in the practice of flesh eating we are in harmony with the light which God has been pleased to give us. All who are connected with our health institutions especially should be educating themselves to subsist on fruits, grains, and vegetables. If we move from principle in these things, if we as Christian reformers educate our own taste, and bring our diet to God’s plan, then we may exert an influence upon others in this matter, which will be pleasing to God.”13

1898: “There is no safety in the eating of the flesh of dead animals, and in a short time the milk of the cows will also be excluded from the diet of God’s commandment-keeping people. In a short time it will not be safe to use anything that comes from the animal creation. Those who take God at His word, and obey His commandments with the whole heart, will be blessed. He will be their shield of protection. But the Lord will not be trifled with. Distrust, disobedience, alienation from God’s will and way, will place the sinner in a position where the Lord cannot give him His divine favor.14

1899: “The light given me is that it will not be very long before we shall have to give up using any animal food. Even milk will have to be discarded.”15

Why was the decisive step not taken?

Why didn’t the question of abstaining from flesh already become a test of fellowship back in the days of Sister White, when the warnings were first issued? Simply because the leaders of her day refused to surrender themselves fully to practicing health reform. Therefore the people could certainly not be expected to do so!

“God gave the light on health reform, and those who rejected it rejected God. One and another who knew better said that it all came from Dr. Kellogg, and they made war upon him.”16

“If church members do not act the part God has assigned them, the movement of health reform will go on without them, and it will be seen that God has removed their candlestick out of its place.”17

“The ministers must be converted before they can strengthen their brethren. They should not preach themselves, but Christ and His righteousness. A reformation is needed among the people, but it should first begin its purifying work with the ministers. . . .

One important work of the ministry is to faithfully present to the people the health reform as it stands connected with the third angel’s message as part and parcel of the same work. They should not fail to adopt it themselves, and should urge it upon all who profess to believe the truth.”18

When the third angel’s message is received in its fullness, health reform will be given its place in the councils of the conference, in the work of the church, in the home, at the table, and in all the household arrangements. Then the right arm will serve and protect the body.”19

“Can we possibly have confidence in ministers who at tables where flesh is served join with others in eating it?”20

Christ is going to have a perfected people when He comes back again, “that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27).

In order to be perfected, what must happen to the church?

“Those who have received instruction regarding the evils of the use of flesh foods, tea and coffee, and rich and unhealthful food preparations, and who are determined to make a covenant with God by sacrifice, will not continue to indulge their appetite for food that they know to be unhealthful. God demands that the appetites be cleansed, and that self-denial be practiced in regard to those things which are not good. This is a work that will have to be done before His people can stand before Him a perfected people.21

Sobering thoughts

“It is just as much sin to violate the laws of our being as to break one of the Ten Commandments.”22

“When God shall work His strange work on the earth, when holy hands bear the ark no longer, woe will be upon the people.”23

“Satan has laid every measure possible that nothing shall come among us as a people to reprove and rebuke us, and exhort us to put away our errors. But there is a people who will bear the ark of God. Some will go out from among us who will bear the ark no longer. But these cannot make walls to obstruct the truth; for it will go onward and upward to the end. In the past God has raised up men, and He still has men of opportunity waiting, prepared to do His bidding—men who will go through restrictions which are only as walls daubed with untempered mortar. When God puts His Spirit upon men, they will work. They will proclaim the word of the Lord; they will lift up their voice like a trumpet. The truth will not be diminished or lose its power in their hands. They will show the people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins.”24

1 Selected Messages, bk. 2, p. 412. [Emphasis supplied.]
2 See Prophets and Kings, p. 453.
3 Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 269. [Emphasis supplied.]
4 Medical Ministry, pp. 278, 279.
5 The Ministry of Healing, p. 317.
6 Medical Ministry, pp. 277, 278.
7 Testimonies, vol. 1, pp. 469, 470.
8 The Medical Evangelist, April 1,1912.
9 Manuscript Releases, vol. 15, pp. 276-280.
10 Medical Ministry, p. 229.
11 Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 159.
12 Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 407. [Emphasis supplied.]
13 Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, p. 119.
14 Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 411. [Emphasis supplied.]
15 Ibid., p.384.
16 The General Conference Bulletin, April 6, 1903.
17 Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, p. 339.
18 Testimonies, vol. 1, pp. 469, 470. [Emphasis supplied.]
19 Ibid., vol.6, p. 327. [Emphasis supplied.]
20 Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 402.
21 Testimonies, vol. 9, pp. 153, 154. [Emphasis supplied.]
22 Ibid., vol.2, p. 70.
23 Ibid., vol.5, p. 77. [Emphasis supplied.]
24 Testimonies to Ministers, p. 411. [Emphasis supplied.]