After eternal salvation, the first thing to understand in relation to physical health is that the Holy Bible is the manual of life, inspired by God. It is not merely a manual that teaches wisdom in regard to eternity; or merely a manual that teaches how to be healthy in our spirits. The Holy Bible also has much to say about this present life, and how to be healthy in our physical bodies.
Unlike ancient Gnosticism, true Christianity calls for holiness in spirit, soul and body. Likewise, physical health is a responsibility. We should take care of our bodies so that we may serve the Lord and help others as much as possible, and enjoy the fullness that the Lord's blessings and wisdom have for us.
Notice the words of the following Psalm:
Psalms 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
There are two errors that many make. The first is to not remember all the Lord's benefits. For example, some may believe the Lord and His Word in regard to the first, and most important benefit mentioned - the forgiveness of sins (John 3:16). Yet, they may neglect the healing, redemption and other loving mercies God has for us. And what about the last one listed? We are told that God gives us good things to eat so that our youth may be renewed.
This is not absolute in this life. However, Caleb, Moses, and others experienced a renewal of strength in old age. We should claim this promise as much as God in His mercy and providence permits.
If the first error is to accept spiritual benefits, but neglect anything physical, the second error is made by those who do believe in Divine healing. They disconnect verse 5 from healing and renewal. They believe that God must always heal by prayer alone, apart from any means of food or medicine. But Paul himself told Timothy to drink a little wine (grape juice) for his stomach's sake and often infirmities (1 Timothy 5:23). Grape juice is a picture of the Blood of Jesus, and God often uses it to bring forth great healing. Likewise, Isaiah used a lump of figs to heal the boil of the king (2 Kings 20:17).
Even in the future Millennial Kingdom, with the Lord Jesus ruling the earth and walking among men in His glorified body, the leaves of the trees will be for medicine and healing (Ezekiel 47:12, Revelation 22:2). That is an amazing thought. If this will be true then, when the Lord of glory is manifested, how much more is it true today, in His absence?
Have you ever seen people pray to the Lord for healing, and believe, only to then fellowship around a dinner with almost nothing God ordains in His Word for food? And not only is there a lack of "good things," there are multiple things that His Word warns against on their plates. And the people continue to suffer the diseases of the Egyptians. Why?
There may be multiple reasons. But it is possible that the following verse is being fulfilled:
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Parents curse their children with harmful practices, refusing to believe that God has any wisdom in His Word for our physical bodies. Generation after generation, weakness and destruction abound.
Psalms 103 is telling us that God has provided good things for us to eat, so that our youth may be renewed. This does not merely refer to God providing food by giving us good work, etc. It also refers to the wisdom of the Lord's Word, that reveals to us what foods are good for us, and what to avoid! This "benefit" of the Lord has been forgotten and ignored. God's people are often not experiencing the fullness of "all" the Lord's benefits. They are destroyed for lack of knowledge. They have counted the great things of the Lord's law as a strange thing (Hosea 8:12).
There is no other book like the Christian Bible. And there is no other version of this Christian Bible like the Authorized Version (i.e. KJV)!
Notice the following promise:
2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Here we see that we have been given "all things" that pertain - not only to godliness - but to life! That is, eternal life, Millennial life, and life in this present time!
If God calls us to death, weakness, or infirmity, for whatever reason (e.g., chastisement, as in 1 Cor. 11; or testing, as in Job 1 and 2; etc.), that is one thing. But to suffer because we do not use the life-manual that God has inspired and preserved, is sad!
Why should the world continue to discover and praise the "Mediterranean Diet," while so many Christians are silent, never even pointing out that it is really a Biblical diet that is blessing people - a diet rich in olive oil, and such like (which pictures the Holy Spirit).
Many Christians will respond that the Bible has not been written as a health or nutrition manual, but only as a book containing spiritual truth. That is nonsense. Whatever subject the Bible addresses, it speaks with perfection and shows it has God as its Author.
For years, science textbooks stated that eagles, and such like, smell their prey from far away. But the Book of Job states clearly that they see their prey from afar:
Job 39:29 From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off.
The Bible was correct. There are hundreds of examples where the Bible not only predates all branches of "science," but continues to correct them! This foresight is said by God to be a major proof that the Bible is His inspired Word:
Isaiah 42:9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.
We could speak of the hygiene laws of the Bible, and so much more that predates modern discoveries. But the point at hand is that the Bible is always far ahead of the modern "experts" in the area of nutrition and medicine.
For decades in the 20th century, butter and olive oil were replaced with Crisco, margarine, and such like. How did that work out?! The Bible praises butter and olive oil as healthy (when raised without pesticides, etc.).
To list the examples of how God's Word corrects (and has corrected) modern science would take a whole book. There is no other Book like our Christian Bible!
The purpose of this introduction is to stir you to seek out ALL the Lord's benefits that He has for us in His Word.
A preacher was once giving a funeral sermon. He read a Psalm about olive oil, and he stopped to say, "Men in that day believed olive oil was healthy, but we now know it was only a picture of the Holy Spirit." What confusion! It is indeed a picture of the Holy Spirit. But notice how far many modern Christians have drifted into Gnostic ideas. At the very least, many are suffering needlessly because they lack FAITH in all of God's Word:
Hebrews 4:2...but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
When people experience the physical blessings of the Lord through things like grape juice and olive oil, they can then be led to see what these things symbolize, and what spiritual blessings they can likewise enjoy.
With renewed faith, verses like the following will have more power in our lives:
Genesis 43:11 And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds:
These things are mentioned in the Bible for a reason. Do some quick research on almonds, honey, etc! See what amazing benefits they have. So many people are missing some amazing benefits!
Finally, the KJV, compared to versions such as the NIV, etc., teaches different things in regard to diet and nutrition. The reader may examine some books for sale on this website to discover the hand of God in preserving His Word in the KJV.
A quick example is found in Mark 7:19. Notice the NIV, etc., for this verse:
"For it doesn't go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)"
Now notice the KJV:
"Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?"
In the KJV, monkey brains, rat intestines, frogs, and buzzards, etc., are not clean. The Book of Revelation still calls them unclean, years after the Lord walked the earth (Revelation 18:2).
It is true that this physical life is brief. What is good health without eternal life?
But it is wrong to think that it is somehow godly to be a poor steward of the temple of our bodies! Long life and renewed strength are set before us as blessings of God's wisdom manifested in our lives through obedience:
Proverbs 3:1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
We will close this introduction with a verse from the NT:
3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
May the reader discover renewed health and strength from God's Word!