Healing Secrets from the Bible
God wants us to be healthy, and the Bible tells us how.
by Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, CNS
the A, B, Cs of healing your "temple of the soul"
GOD WANTS YOU TO BE HEALTHY.
MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED FROM LACK OF KNOWLEDGE (Hosea 4:6)
God wants you to be healthy. Throughout the Bible, there are numerous references to God's love for His people.
John 10:10 I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
1Corinthians.2:9 However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"
Luke 12:32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
The New Testament is, indeed, a "good news" book. One of the major focal points of Jesus's ministry was to heal the sick and even raise the dead.
Matthew11:5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.
Yet, millions of good Christians suffer unnecessarily with poor health and die prematurely. Why? Because we are not following the basic principles of health that are taught in the Bible.
We slice, dice, chop, blend, hydrogenate, refine, and dismember God's food until there is precious little nourishment left in it. Through years of neglect, we turn bodies that are built for activity into bodies that can barely get off the couch. We pollute our food, air, and water supply with a frightening array of man-made poisons. We subject ourselves to an unending parade of stressful events on TV and movies.
Then, when our starving and poorly maintained bodies begin to breakdown, we use potent drugs to subdue the symptoms of the illness, rather than dealing with the underlying causes of the disease. Our prideful and arrogant medical system has gone well beyond the prudent use of God-given intelligence for healing--we repeatedly violate the body with drugs and surgery when prayer, rest, and good food are often the needed remedies.
Many people undergo painful, expensive, and debilitating back surgery when all they needed was some chiropractic manipulation and some exercises to strengthen the region. Many people undergo open heart bypass surgery, which has been proven to offer no life extension, when they merely needed to change their lifestyle to clear out their arteries for good. Many people undergo surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome (a painful condition in the wrist) when vitamin B-6 cures 97% of these people. Many arthritis sufferers take dangerous steroid drugs for decades to subdue the swelling when fish oil and a diet to eliminate food allergens could cure the problem. Many people stagger around with no energy or ability to concentrate when a little magnesium and ginseng could give them a much more enjoyable and productive life. These are just a few examples of the safe, inexpensive, and effective healing principles that use God's methods of nourishing our own ability to heal within, rather than jamming symptoms with drugs and surgery. For those who think that man's food is better than God's food and that man's medicine is better than God's medicine there has been a painful lesson.
There is a humorous and very relevant story told of Reverend Jones, who was working in his garden one bright summer day, when along came a parishioner and commented: "My, my Reverend, doesn't God make a nice garden?" And the Reverend replied: "Yes, but you should have seen it before I got here." The point is, God does His work, and we are expected to do our work. This Junior (man) and Senior (God) partnership works out to bring exuberant health and long life. Could it be that much of the suffering, illness, tears, pain, and early death are because we are not doing our part?
We tamper with the human body like a 10 year old boy working on a new Ferrari--we really don't know what we are doing and oftentimes do more harm than good. We violate all the principles of health taught in the Bible. Then, when we get sick, we look pleadingly to the skies and ask God: "Why me?" Perhaps our health problems are self-inflicted because we are not following God's word.
1John 3:22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases Him.
An old country slogan goes: "God feeds all the birds, but He doesn't throw the food into their nest--the birds have to go get it." We have the potential of being vibrantly healthy, yet we have to earn it through our own lifestyle practices. Many Christians are like the person standing on a ledge of a tall building, saying "God, I am going to jump off this roof top and I want you to repeal the laws of gravity and save me." God can do that, but more likely that person will go splat on the pavement below. When tempted by the devil during His forty days in the desert, even Jesus did not "step off the cliff".
Matthew 4:1-7 If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone." Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test."
With all the best of intentions, too many Christians are, literally, stepping off the cliff; expecting God to repeal the laws of gravity and biochemistry which were created by God. It doesn't work that way. Even Jesus, the Son of God, ate good food. Jesus fed the multitudes with fish and barley loaves, not with pizza and soft drinks--which He could have done.
God wants you to live a long and exuberant life. If you are still here on earth reading this book, then you have a valuable "mission" to accomplish. But you cannot enjoy life, as God intended, nor accomplish your mission if your body wears out too soon.
True story. Jack LaLanne and Norman Vincent Peale were having lunch one day, when Dr. Peale asked Jack, "Why are you so obsessed with fitness?". Too which Jack replied, "Let me just bend your thumb back in a painful position and let's keep talking." Dr. Peale protested, but tried to continue the conversation. Eventually, Dr. Peale pleaded, "Jack!! That hurts!! What is your point??" The fitness guru responded, "If you don't feel good, then nothing else matters!" Health is very important!!
CARING FOR YOUR "TEMPLE OF THE SOUL"
1Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?
Many of us are not properly caring for this "temple of the Holy Spirit". For some of us, at the rate we are going, that "temple" is soon going to become a "cathedral". The Old Testament tells us that many of God's people lived to a very advanced age, many living to over a 100 and some to 900 years. Older women were fertile and older men were virile.
In the past 30 years, scientists have been accumulating data which proves the merits of the Biblical diet and lifestyle. We are created by God to have certain physical requirements. If we do not meet these needs, then the body does not function well. After years of struggling to perform in spite of poor conditions, the body eventually gives out in disease and early death. But don't blame God. God gave us free will to make our own choices in life.
2Corinthians 3:17 "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
Yet how many of us misuse our freedom and choose the wrong foods and the wrong lifestyle?
1Corinthians 8:9 "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak."
More Christians suffer from lack of education than inspiration. Too few of us know the guidelines provided in Scripture to nourish the mind and body toward a zesty and fulfilling 80 to 120 years of life. We assume that by giving thanks over the food, God will bless it to nourish our bodies. But when we take God's nourishing food, then strip it of any vestige of nourishment; giving thanks will not turn that adulterated and bankrupt food into something nourishing. By heeding the wisdom in the Bible, we can elevate ourselves out of the routine illnesses that plague Americans.
Joshua1:7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.
FOOD AS A COVENANT WITH GOD
In Abraham's times, food was a visible means of knowing that there is a God. Plants provided all of the medicines, most of the food, most of the clothing, dyes for painting and writing, and more. Animals provided food, a unique means of converting unproductive shrub land into high quality protein, protection, transportation, hunting companions, clothing and shelter from the hides, and more. All too often, ancient people became so enamored with the miraculous life-giving properties of plants and animals that they worshipped these false idols.
Thanksgiving was offered at meal time because food was the intimate link with God, a sign of God's generosity, a symbol of God's miraculous power. Jesus was represented in the symbol of a fish. Jesus converted water into wine for His first miracle. Jesus used bread and wine in the Passover Feast as symbols of His Body and Blood to be sacrificed at Calgary.
Mark14:22. "While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take it; this is my body." This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them."
Food was a show of strength, of a covenant between God and His people. When the Israelites were wandering the desert, God sent them "manna", which is now widely recognized to be coriander seed.
Exodus 16:31 The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.
The manna nourished them, but was not part of their previous diet. God used manna as a lesson, to tell the Israelites a lesson.
Deuteronomy 8:3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
Today, we look at food as a hedonistic pleasure, something to fill up the hole in the stomach, something to soothe our troubled nerves after a harried day, something to bring back fond memories of happier times. These are all okay. Food should bring pleasure. But when pleasure is the only criteria that we use to chose our food, then we have ignored God's purpose for providing food; which is to nourish the body with essential nutrients found in plants and animals, and to provide a physical connection with a seemingly invisible God.
Modern man takes God's food and heavily sprays it with pesticides, then removes valuable nutrients in the refining stage, then adds questionable agents like salt, fat, sugar, and 2800 different Food and Drug Administration approved food additives. Then we wonder why our health is failing.
OUR HEALTH CARE "ARMAGEDDON" (Rev.16:16)
America spends over $1 trillion each year on what we euphemistically call "health care", which is more "disease maintenance" than anything else. We spend twice the money per capita as any other nation on earth for health care. And our "health state of the union" is less than spectacular:
-58 million Americans have high blood pressure
-half of us die from heart disease and one fourth from cancer, both diseases were relatively unknown in Abraham's time
-24 million have insomnia
-50 million have regular headaches
-55 billion aspirin consumed yearly
-9 million alcoholics
-40% are overweight
-40 million have mental illness
-9.6 million older adults each year suffer drug-induced side effects, including 659,000 hospitalizations and 163,000 with memory loss
When the doctor sets a broken bone, he or she does not heal the patient, but rather sets in place the tissue so that God can heal us from within. Same thing happens in stitching up a cut, or when you recovered from your last bought with the flu. The only way you stay well or heal from a health challenge is by nourishing that "God-given life force" within us. When we stop trying to play God and start cooperating within the framework of God's natural biochemical laws, then we will find a quantum leap in our health and improved results at the doctor's office.
America is near the top (worst) in the world for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, mental illness, osteoporosis, and other diseases which were unknown in Abraham's time. We have a worse infant survival record than such undeveloped countries as Venezuela and the Phillipines. Essentially, we have ignored our roots and the commandments from God and have suffered the consequences. But God wants us to be healthy, and the Bible tells us how.
MALNUTRITION IN AMERICA--THE GREAT NUTRITION ROBBERY
Isaiah 55:2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
America is the most agriculturally productive nation in the history of the world. We grow enough food in this country to feed ourselves, to make half of us overweight, to throw away enough food to feed 50 million people daily, to ship food overseas as a major export, and to store enough food in government surplus bins to feed Americans for a year if all farmers quit today. With so much food available, how can Americans be malnourished? The simple answer is: poor food choices.
People in Western Society chose their food based upon taste, cost, convenience and psychological gratification--thus ignoring the main reason that we eat, which is to provide our body cells with the raw materials to grow, repair and fuel our bodies. We take God's elegantly designed nutritious foods and:
1) use drugs, hormones, and antibiotics to raise animals faster, while spraying 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides over our food crops
2) fail to properly fertilize the soil with organic matter and trace minerals and allow fields to lie fallow, as was done in Biblical times
3) remove vitamins, minerals, and fiber during extensive food processing
4) add over 2800 Food and Drug Administration approved additives, including salt, fat, sugar, and unsafe food additives, like saccharin and MSG
5) dramatically increase the cost of the food, which compounds the problems for the poor.
The fact is: the nutrients were in that food for a very good reason. God is the ultimate "Engineer" in designing and building the human body and providing us with all of our needs. When we tamper with the food supply, we usually wreak havoc on the food's nutritional content. The most commonly eaten foods in America are white bread, coffee and hot dogs, which have little to offer the body. Based upon our food abundance and affluence, Americans could be the best nourished nation on record. But we are far from it.
In the late 1930s, Dr. Weston Price, a dentist, and his wife, Monica, who was also a nurse, were intrigued by the possible link between diet and health. In true "Indiana Jones" adventuresome fashion, they traveled the world logging over 100,000 miles on primitive aircraft to investigate 17 different cultures. What they found was startling to scientists then, but had already been written in the Bible thousands of years ago. The more refined (read: adulterated) the food supply, the worse the health of the people. Those people who ate their God-given diet had excellent health, teeth structure, energy, and appearance. Those who deviated from their God-given diet suffered everything from mild symptoms, such as acne, skin and hair problems, and poor dental formation to the severest forms of mental retardation and even paralysis.
Another group of researchers in1988 from Emory University in Atlanta followed up on Dr. Price's work and found similar results. They stated that the "paleolithic" diet was very different from our current refined diet, and that difference may contribute to many of our ailments. Our ancestors from Abraham's time, the hunter and gatherers, ate a superior diet and enjoyed superior health. See the chart below which compares our modern diet to that of Abraham's era.
Overwhelming evidence from government surveys of 200,000 Americans and numerous respected universities shows that many Americans are low in their intake of:
-VITAMINS: A, D, E, C, B-6, riboflavin, folacin, pantothenic acid
-MINERALS: calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, chromium, selenium; and possibly molybdenum and vanadium.
-MACRONUTRIENTS: fiber, complex carbohydrates, plant protein, special fatty acids (EPA, GLA, ALA), clean water
Meanwhile, we also eat alarmingly high amounts of: fat, salt, sugar, cholesterol, alcohol, caffeine, food additives and toxins.
This combination of too much of the wrong things along with not enough of the right things has created epidemic proportions of degenerative diseases in this country. The Surgeon General, Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control, National Academy of Sciences, American Medical Association, American Dietetic Association, and most other major public health agencies agree that diet is a major contributor to our most common health problems, including cancer and heart disease.
The typical American diet is high in fat while being low in fiber and vegetables. "Meat, potatoes, and gravy" is what many of my cancer patients lived on for decades. Data collected by the United States Department of Agriculture from over 11,000 Americans showed that on any given day:
-41 percent did not eat any fruit
-82 percent did not eat cruciferous vegetables
-72 percent did not eat vitamin C-rich fruits or vegetables
-80 percent did not eat vitamin A-rich fruits or vegetables
-84 percent did not eat high fiber grain food, like bread or cereal
The human body is incredibly resilient, which sometimes works to our disadvantage. No one dies on the first cigarette inhaled, or the first drunken evening, or the first decade of unhealthy eating. We misconstrue the fact that we survived this ordeal to mean we can do it forever. Not so. Malnutrition can be blatant, as the starving babies in third world countries. Malnutrition can also be much more slow and subtle; first bringing the vague symptoms of chronic fatigue, constipation, mood swings, poor wound recovery, and frequent colds; followed by a decade of struggling with incontinence, poor memory, pain in the chest, poor digestion, and visual problems. Malnutrition in America is a progressive and silent saboteur from within the body, not an instant knockout punch.
It was the Framingham study done by Harvard University that proclaimed: "Our way of life is related to our way of death." While many Americans are overfed, the majority are also poorly nourished. The typical American, statistically speaking, is overweight, has six colds per year, is regularly plagued with lethargy, mild depression, and constipation, gets dentures by age 45, begins a marked decline in function and vitality by age 50, and dies in their 60s or 70s from heart disease or cancer. Another scientist has stated the problem more bluntly: "We are digging our graves with our teeth."
USE AND ABUSE OF MODERN MEDICINE
Proverbs16:18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
America has the most expensive and technologically advanced health care system in the world. For acute critical care, no medical system in the world can match ours. Yet, oftentimes we fight the symptoms of degenerative diseases with drugs and surgery in a futile losing battle, when the real answer to the patient's health problems might have been something as simple as diet improvement, or gentle herbal healers, or a sympathetic ear. Think of a sink overflowing with a mess of water all over the floor. Our medical system spends an incredible amount of time and money trying to wipe up the mess on the floor when the easiest solution is to turn off the faucet that produces the diseases.
*insert artwork nurse & doctor wiping floor
Dr. Christiaan Barnard, the pioneering heart transplant surgeon, claims that the greatest progress in health care in the last 500 years came from, not a drug or surgical procedure, but the invention of the indoor flushing toilet, thus eliminating the many plagues caused by contaminated water supplies. The World Health Organization has reported that 70% of the world's population uses herbs and foods as their primary healing instruments, many of which are in jeopardy of being lost as the tropical rain forests disappear. Hippocrates, the Greek father of modern medicine told us 2400 years ago "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food." and "...in nature there is strength."
Throughout the world and recorded history, natural healing agents were the main tools of the physician, with herbs serving as the favored medicines. Avicenna was an Arab herbalist who lived in the 11th century and traveled extensively throughout the known world to catalog the medical uses of herbs. He eventually wrote 100 books on this subject, culminating in his 1 million word tome: CANON OF MEDICINE. This book was considered a standard for medical education throughout Europe and Asia until the 17th century.
Genesis1:30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground--everything that has the breath of life in it--I give every green plant for food." And it was so.
The big shift in medical outlook began with a Swiss physician, Theophrastus von Hohenheim, who became discontent in the early 16th century with his training and began wandering Europe. While in the mines in Italy, Hohenheim was intrigued by the refining of minerals. He took this knowledge and began using mercury to treat his patients. He further dabbled in the use of strong minerals for medicines. His methods were widely criticized and he died after being tossed from a window by his adversaries while only 50 years old.
Around 1850, a French chemist, Louis Pasteur, found that heat could kill the tiny organisms that caused infections. Pasteur also worked on weakening the bacteria and injecting them into healthy people to prevent the disease--a process we now accept widely as vaccination. In 1910, Abraham Flexner wrote his famous report, MEDICAL EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA, which highly criticized all forms of healing except allopathy, which uses strong drugs to treat conditions. Practitioners of herbal or naturopathic medicine were ushered out of town, and the era of monopoly control by drug and surgery-oriented medical doctors began.
By 1928, Alexander Fleming had taken penicillin from bread mold and injected it into a patient with an infection. The recovery process was astoundingly quick and the era of antibiotics was born. By the end of World War II, the development of chemicals were coming faster than they could be cataloged or tested for safety. The chemical age was born, and with it came the mixed blessings of miracle materials and the immoral contamination of God's green earth. In the 1950s, Jonas Salk brought us the polio vacccine, and helped to end one of the worst scourges of mankind.
There is a difference between using our knowledge to improve our lot and abusing our knowledge through ego to worsen our lot. Drugs and surgery have their places in the healing arts, especially as short term fixes to get an acutely ill patient through a crisis phase. There are times when no other form of healing will work. But when we rely on these invasive therapies to heal a problem which can only be healed by following God's laws, we end up worse off. We need to be more restrained with medical therapies and more liberal with God's healing therapies. The intelligent combination would leave us with astoundingly good health. Below, I have listed steps to take when a health problem arises. First, try the "cell restoration" therapies of God, and only as a last resort should we use the symptom-treating therapies of drugs and surgery.
INTERVENTION STRATEGIES FOR PREVENTION AND CURE OF DISEASE
1st line strategies, cell restoration, non-invasive
nutrition concentrates: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, food extracts, phytochemicals
organ replacement therapy: DHEA (adrenals), thyroxin (thyroid), hydrochloric acid (stomach), enzymes (pancreas), insulin (pancreas beta cells)
body maintenance: chiropractic manipulation, acupressure/puncture, reflexology, shoe arch, bed support
other: magnets, aroma therapy, homeopathy, etc.
2nd line strategies, symptom relief, invasive
I have worked with many patients who were defying all of God's laws: poor food, smoking, no exercise, stress, no prayer, and a body loaded with toxins. Without a thought for changing this semi-suicidal lifestyle, the doctor will put the patient on an endless array of prescription drugs, which all have dastardly side effects, until the patient eventually develops a really serious disease, like cancer. We arrogantly assume that drugs can reverse the abuse caused by decades of poor nutrition and toxic burden. We are not respecting God's laws of nature.
MY PERSONAL STORY--rediscovering God
I was raised in an Irish, Catholic home with parents, priests, nuns, and teachers who did their best. Yet, I was brought up amidst fear, guilt, manipulation, and hypocrisy. I did what I thought it took to achieve peace of mind. I followed the rules of the Catholic church, was an altar boy, studied hard and went to the University of Notre Dame. As a student, we dissected dead animals, depressing existentialist writings, and the Word of God. For many reasons, I was miserable and did not return for my junior year of college, but instead traveled and worked at various trades. My dying faith went into a long coma.
Eventually, I realized my interests in nutrition. I went back to college at San Diego State University and found the wonders of biology to be very intriguing. I found out that several studies had been published showing how poor nutrition was a primary factor that ignited many diseases among Americans. I once believed in a vindictive God who randomly struck His people with devastating diseases and could care less about their misery. This misconception was beginning to melt as the facts about self-induced diseases surfaced. I saw harmony and beauty in how God orchestrated life, how intricately the human body works, how God has provided us with the "raw materials" in food to sustain good health, and how tenacious we are built.
Scientific reports about the benefits of "whole food" (read: God's food) began to confirm a suspicion I was developing: "God wants us to be healthy". Though science has evolved to an advanced state, even my brightest professors could not explain how a single-celled fertilized human egg becomes a complex 50 trillion celled functional human within a brief 9 months. No one could fully explain cell differentiation, or enzyme kinetics, or "spontaneous regression of cancer", or the aging process. I began developing a deep appreciation for God's ability to orchestrate life. As laboratory equipment kept getting more sophisticated, scientists continued finding more therapeutic ingredients in God's food. I went back to the Scripture that I had long ago read, but this time the Holy Spirit brought life, love, and meaning to the words of the Bible.
I came to know the Word of God and the love of His Son, Jesus Christ. And it was the Divinely orchestrated healing power of nutrition that renewed my interest in the Bible. What I now see in the Bible is a manual for living a full, healthy, and exuberant life in body, mind, and spirit. The Bible is the complete guide for earning a good living, working with others, marrying the right mate, raising children, staying healthy, solving problems, and dying in peace knowing that we will be with God in the afterlife. Everything in the Bible is true, including the precepts on health and eating. God wants you to be healthy, yet for every promise from God, there is a condition. You must follow God's Biblical laws of healing in order to claim your Divine inheritance of good health and long life.
BALANCED GROWTH: SPIRITUAL, INTELLECTUAL, PHYSICAL, FINANCIAL
The headlines are full of stories about sports and entertainment celebrities who developed financially, but in no other ways. These people end up very unhappy or in some early tragic death, like Elvis. Other people might develop only in their intellectual path, and end up equally unhappy. We need balanced growth for a "smooth ride" in life. Note the illustration below. If a wheel is lopsided, it does not turn well. If we develop in all aspects of our life, then we are developing our talents in a balanced fashion, as God wants us to.
*insert graphic, wheel, balanced growth
SCRIPTURE & THE HEALING ARTS
More than coincidentally, the Bible and modern science have independently developed a collection of "lifestyle" influences on health, including: nutrition, exercise, attitude, physical environment (light, toxins & bacteria), and body maintenance.
Not that God needs anyone to endorse His words found in Scripture, but I do find it comforting when science and the Bible arrive at the same endpoint: that the diet and lifestyle of our Biblical ancestors was enviably healthy and that we can claim the same health if we follow the same rules. Below are the interdisciplinary examples of "healing principles from the Bible". In the following chapters, there will be more examples of healing foods from the Bible.
Stress. Thousands of years ago, authors of the Old and New Testament told us to relax and be at peace. In addition to the 128 references to "rejoice" in the Bible, Jesus told us:
John14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
For centuries, the country doctor has known the influence of stress on health. Yet only recently have scientists been able to measure and weigh the chemicals produced by the brain during stress. Endorphins are "rivers of pleasure" that flow when we are happy, such as the expression "whatever melts your butter." Catecholamines are the "rivers of stress" that flow when our car gets stuck on a railroad track, or our boss wants us to do something that cannot be done. Through both animal and human studies, scientists know that when these stress hormones flow too much, we get:
-elevated blood pressure; hypertension is the most common condition in America
-erosion of the stomach lining, such as ulcers; the most profitable drug in America is Tagamet for ulcers
-shrinkage of the thymus gland, which directs the protective action of our immune system. The 1990s, more than coincidentally, has become the decade of immune suppressive disorders, with cancer, AIDS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Candida, auto-immune disorders, allergies, Legionaire's, and Lou Gehrig's disease becoming increasingly prominent.
Drug addicts artificially prod the brain to produce more endorphins, which often leaves drug abusers with "pleasure center burnout"-- they have used up today's and tomorrow's endorphins and now cannot feel any pleasure, like rubbing a spot on your skin until it is numb. When we are under stress, such as fear, hate, resentment, sarcasm, to much to do in too little period of time, or low self-esteem; then less endorphins flow and more catecholamines flow.
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health spent 10 years and many millions of dollars investigating the origin of the number one cause of death in America: heart disease. They found many variables that influenced this disease, including obesity, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, fat, fiber, chromium, and more. But the most predictive risk factor for heart disease was "loneliness"; which is nothing more than a deficiency of love.
1Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Dr. Candace Pert, researcher at the National Institutes of Health who discovered endorphins, tells us that "our mind is a 24 hour pharmacy and is always making chemicals, which are either good or bad for us." Norman Cousins brought notoriety to the field of the "mind-body connection" in his book, ANATOMY OF AN ILLNESS, in which he used vitamin C and laughter to heal himself from a painful and untreatable skeletal disorder. His pet theories were later proven at the University of California at Los Angeles. There are personality types that are more at risk for developing cancer or heart disease. Dr. Hans Selye, father of the modern theories on stress, concluded his brilliant scientific career more as an armchair philosopher, telling us to "lean on a Higher Power" to minimize the impact of stress on the body. Stress is one of the more important risk factors that can cause bone demineralization and osteoporosis. And 3,000 years ago the Bible told us:
Proverbs14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
Belief systems. Modern psychologists have found that what we believe at the core of our being, is what will be manifest in our lives. If we think we are losers, then our lives will go accordingly. If we think we are winners, then so be it. If we think that a job is possible, then it will get done. If we think we are destined to be fat, then no diet will be able to help us.
Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he
Jesus tells us that a consciousness of love, health, and prosperity will give us a life of abundance, while a consciousness of hate, sickness, and poverty will take everything away.
Matthew13:12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
Dr. Maxwell Maltz, a famous plastic surgeon, coined the term "psycho-cybernetics", meaning that we are goal-oriented creatures. Once we have an image firmly entrenched in our sub-conscious, we will spend all of our energies making the image come true--for better or for worse. Once we understand this simple but powerful principle, we can change our beliefs and change our lives for the better.
Luke17:21 ...because the kingdom of God is within you."
Matthew 8:13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that very hour.
Drunkenness. There are 38 warnings against drunkenness in the Bible. Wine was the downfall of many good people in ancient times, but the real hazard came with distilled spirits which concentrate the alcohol content by 4 to 6 fold. In the 16th century, when gin was first introduced to Europe, England was nearly brought to its knees with the damage done to society from alcohol abuse. In the 1920's, unsuccessful efforts were made to ban alcohol during the Prohibition era in America.
Scientists now tell us that alcohol abuse causes damage to the liver, cancer, heart disease, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), birth defects, marital breakups, spousal abuse, and at least half of all car and boating accidents. And the first authority to caution against drunkenness was God.
Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.
Then we come to the subject of moderate wine use versus alcohol abuse. Jesus's first miracle was to turn water into wine for a group of people who were already on the third day of a drunken wedding bash. Jesus drank wine often, including as part of the Passover ritual in which He spoke of wine as a symbol of His blood. There are 222 references to wine in the Bible, including some which praise its value.
1Timothy 5:23 Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
Interestingly enough, there is an abundance of scientific evidence showing that 1 to 2 glasses of wine daily actually lower the risk for heart disease and gallstones and increase lifespan. This is no contradiction. Small amounts of wine provide "phytochemicals" or substances from red grapes that can help slow down the disease and aging process. Small amounts of alcohol raise the "good cholesterol", HDL.
Yet, abuse of wine or any other liquor is strictly forbidden by God. Women who are pregnant, people prone toward alcoholism, and people operating vehicles and equipment should consider abstinence as their best guidelines on alcohol.
Detoxification. Through our unrestrained and misguided plunge into the modern age of chemistry, America has become the land of toxic wastes. We now dump 90 billion pounds of toxins into our 55,000 garbage dump sites across the country. We add 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides to our fresh produce. The Environmental Protection Agency has stated that 40% of our fresh water is unfit for any use, much less drinking. 50 million Americans live in air that is hazardous for their health. Through lawn herbicides, oven cleaners, home pesticides, and paint cleaners, private homes actually contribute just as much pollutants to the environment as big business and farming.
2Corinthians 7:1 Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
Even in a perfectly clean environment, waste products accumulate in our cells as a normal by-product of living. That's why we age. But Americans are exposed to extremely poisonous and non-degradable poisons that create a two fold problem:
1) toxins blunt the immune system, which leaves us open to infections, cancer, and aging
2) toxins bind with our DNA cell blueprints to create cancer and premature aging.
What do we do? We use God's cleansing herbs to purge the system of impurities. Modern herbalists consider hyssop to be one of the more outstanding herbs for detoxification of the colon. While detoxification was important in Abraham's day, it is a crucial issue for us. We need to improve our body's ability to purge both natural and synthetic poisons out of the body through sweat, urine, and feces. We need to seriously limit our intake of toxins: don't smoke, if you drink do so only in moderation, use only the minimum prescription drugs, avoid "recreation" drugs, drink filtered water, breathe clean air. More on this in the A,B,C chapter.
Psalms 51:7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Fidelity vs. promiscuity. The Bible does not take a frigid or Puritanical viewpoint on sex. In the context of marriage, sex is seen as a beautiful expression of Christ's love for the Church.
Isaiah 62:5 As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.
Sex feels good, and God intended it to be that way. But He did not intend for us to have sex with everyone. The laws are strict on fidelity to one's mate. Today, we know that all sorts of diseases are transmitted through unrestrained sexual contact, from the well known gonorrhea and syphilis, to the new nemesis AIDS, to the common but unpublicized problems with venereal warts and chlamydia. Some venereal diseases not only affect the man and woman, but their offspring, such as blindness in a newborn infant caused by syphilis contact through the mother's birth canal.
*insert graphic of man & woman
Modern science now tells us that promiscuity not only shakes the foundations of a marriage, prevents spiritual bonds from forming between partners, but also is a dangerous "roulette" of infectious diseases. Women who have too many sexual partners too early in life run a higher risk of ovarian cancer. One of the more common cancers in the world is cervical cancer, which can be triggered by the Human Papilloma Virus, which can be spread through sexual contact.
Ezekial 23:29 They will deal with you in hatred and take away everything you have worked for. They will leave you naked and bare, and the shame of your prostitution will be exposed. Your lewdness and promiscuity
Exercise. Our bodies are built for activity. Without regular exercise, we build up toxins in the body, allow fat to accumulate in the tissue and arteries, and generally age faster. Exercise is one of the more valuable and inexpensive therapies you can give your body. 90% of Americans suffer from some type of back problem, much of which is due to poor muscle tone. Muscles and cartilage hold the bones together. If the muscles atrophy, then the bones develop problems in alignment.
40% of Americans are overweight. Humans and our domestic pets are the only creatures on earth who suffer from obesity. Much of this is due to sedentary lifestyle. Bring out the leash to take your dog for a walk and the dog becomes ecstatic. Animals feel better when they exercise. Given a chance, so do humans.
Exodus 20:9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work
A Stanford professor has written a detailed scientific article in which he proposes that "dis-ease likely comes from dis-use of the body". Scientists find that regular exercise helps relieve depression, improves regularity, improves heart muscle tone, lowers body fat, allows people to eat more without getting fat, stabilizes blood sugar, and more.
The Israelites worked very hard as slaves under the Egyptians, yet, the Israelites enjoyed very good health during this period. Women gave birth to healthy children before any midwife could arrive on the scene. I can summarize thousands of scientific studies on exercise in two short phrases:
1) You've got to move it to lose it (weight).
2) Use it or lose it--the body atrophies without exercise.
Exodus 2:11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor.
Circumcision. Four thousand years ago, Abraham was told to circumcise the young male infants. We now know that circumcision practically eliminates cancer of the penis, since uncircumcised men have over a 100 fold increase in their risk for penile cancer.
Genesis17:10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.
More to come. These are just a few of the examples of scientifically-proven healthy ideas presented in the Bible. You will find many more pearls of Scriptural wisdom in later chapters regarding specific foods to eat and avoid. God designed humans as well as our food supply. God knows what is best for us. If we do not follow the "factory specification diet" then our body's warranty is null and void.
IF GOD REALLY LOVES US, THEN WHY IS THERE SICKNESS?
If we follow the principles taught in the Bible and condensed in this book, 9 out of 10 illnesses would be prevented and most people would live several decades longer. However, some people would get sick in spite of following these truths. Why? Though I am not a Theologian and certainly do not have all the answers, my many years of working with sick and dying cancer patients have offered some insight that I would like to share with you. Benefits and insights gained through sickness:
1) Need to need each other. By being sick or helping the sick, one gains an incredible appreciation for our inter-connectedness. While many people are reluctant to help a healthy person, few people can resist the need to help a sick person. Helping others teaches us love and our oneness through Christ.
Ephesians 4:25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
2) We learn best from Nature when things go wrong. By studying errors in the body, we better appreciate the astounding majesty of God's creations. Scientists study the difference between sick and well people and can better understand how we function, thus making it possible to develop gentle cures. In my own health challenges, I have been forced to "seek and you shall find" solutions, which I then have shared with my patients, readers, and others. Through my sickness, others found relief.
3) We learn humility in disease. Nothing is more humbling than to be confined to a bed or wheelchair. "There are no atheists in a foxhole" goes the famous World War I expression. I might add, there are no atheists in a cancer hospital. Sometimes, it takes a life-threatening disease to teach us humility.
4) Better appreciate life when we recognize our mortality. I have learned more about savoring life from my cancer patients than anywhere else. We are all mortal, but we rarely take this into consideration in daily life. People facing a life-threatening illness are forced to examine their priorities in life. Believe me, you don't sweat the small stuff when you have a few months to live; and most of what we sweat is small stuff. We can all learn a lesson in savoring life from sick people.
5) Illness as an avenue toward enlightenment. Sometimes, rather than begging for healing, we should pray for insight to better understand this health challenge. Johnnie, was a lovely young lady who was paralyzed in an accident, yet found:
Philippians 4:7 the peace of God, which transcends all understanding
Her physical crippling led to her spiritual unfolding. Alexander Graham Bell used the deafness of his mother and wife deafness as inspiration to invent the telephone, by patterning the integral parts of the telephone after a sheep's ear. How many drug and alcohol counselors started off their brilliant and productive careers face down in a gutter?
A diamond is nothing more than a piece of coal that was put under extreme pressure for a long period of time. We now begin this journey of healing together.
Healing Secrets from the Bible
Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, CNS