The Last-Hour

The accompanying article was originally published in the Review and Herald dated 11-12-1901

God desires that now, as never before, the minds of the people shall be deeply stirred to investigate the great temperance question and the principles underlying true health reform.

The physical life is to be carefully educated, cultivated, and developed, that through men and women the divine nature may be revealed in its fullness. Both the physical and the mental powers, with the affections, are to be so trained that they can reach the highest efficiency.

That perfection of character which the Lord requires is the fitting up of the whole being as a temple for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. God will accept of nothing less than the service of the entire human organism. It is not enough to bring into action certain parts of the living machinery. All parts must work in perfect harmony, or the service will be deficient. It is thus that man is qualified to co-operate with God in representing Christ to the world. Thus God desires to prepare a people to stand before Him pure and holy, that He may introduce them into the society of heavenly angels.

Perfection of character cannot be attained when the laws of nature are disregarded; for this is transgression of the law of God. His law is written by His own finger upon every nerve, every muscle, every fiber of our being, upon every faculty which has been entrusted to man. These gifts are bestowed, not to be abused and corrupted, but to be used to His honor and glory in the uplifting of humanity.

But how far have men departed from fulfilling God's purpose! Wherever we look, we see defilement and corruption. The world is full of disease and misery, deformity and sin. Life is regarded as of little value. Crime is increasing on every side. By many, sins of the very darkest dye are lightly regarded, or even justified. The violation of physical law, with its consequent suffering, has so long prevailed that the terrible results of such violation are now regarded as the appointed lot of humanity: God is not pleased to have this suffering exist. This is not His work. It is the work of man. The wretchedness and misery, poverty and woe, that exist all around us are brought about by wrong habits, - by violating the laws that God has made to give health and happiness.

What can be done to press back the inflowing tide of evil? The people must be led to understand its cause. With unerring certainty the seed sown produces a harvest of its kind. He who sows to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption. He who sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. In order that men may be more careful how and what they sow, they must be led to realize that they make their own harvest. This is the great need of the masses of mankind at the present time. The blessing that God gives as the result of obedience to the laws of health, is a healing power, a balm for many of the evils that are cursing the world to-day. Satan's strongest hold on man is through disobedience to these laws.

The relation that exists between mind and body is very intimate: when one is affected, the other is always more or less in sympathy. It is impossible for men, while under the power of sinful, health-destroying habits, to appreciate sacred truths. When the intellect is clouded, the moral powers are enfeebled, and sin does not look sinful. The most ennobling, grand, and glorious themes of God's word seem but idle tales. Satan can then easily snatch away the good seed that has been sown in the heart; for the soul is in no condition to comprehend or understand its true value. It is thus that selfish, health-destroying indulgences are counteracting the influence of the message which is to prepare a people for the great day of God.

We are living in a most solemn, awful moment of this earth's history. Not a soul whose life is one of careless self-degradation, through transgression of physical laws, will stand in the great day of trial just before us. There is a terrible account to be rendered to God by those who have but little regard for the human body, and treat it ruthlessly. Transgression of God's law is sin, and the punishment is death. "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."

Reform, continual reform, must be kept before the people, and by our example we must enforce our teachings. True religion and the laws of health go hand in hand. It is impossible to work for the salvation of men and women without presenting to them the need of breaking away from sinful gratifications, which destroy the health, debase the soul, and prevent divine truth from impressing the mind. Men and women must be taught to take a careful review of every habit and every practice, and at once put away those things that cause an unhealthy condition of the body, and thus cast a dark shadow over the mind.

If the word of God were studied as it should be, we would better understand the value which the Lord places upon men and women, whom He has purchased at infinite cost. Many of these are in great distress because they know not the truth in regard to these things. They are perishing for lack of knowledge. Our Heavenly Father sees the deplorable condition of these poor souls who, ignorant of the result, are disregarding the great foundation principles of nature's laws. And it is in love and pity that He has caused light to shine upon this subject, showing the blessings that are sure to reward obedience, as well as the terrible punishment that will follow transgression.

The Saviour has told us in plain language what would be the condition of the world just before His second coming. And to-day we cannot fail to see that His prophecy is rapidly fulfilling. "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." We are told that in the days of Noah before the flood, "God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

Christ has given a warning message that the fearful destruction so soon to come upon the inhabitants of the world may not find them unprepared. "Take heed to yourselves," He says, "lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." This message is to be given at this time. We are without excuse in failing to give it to the world with power.

God desires His people to be light-bearers to a world lying in midnight darkness. But if they refuse to go forward in the light which He causes to shine on their pathway, the light will finally become to them darkness; and instead of being light-bearers to the world, they themselves will be lost in the blackness that surrounds them. God desires His light-bearers ever to keep a high standard before them. By precept and example they must hold this perfect standard high above Satan's false standard, which, if followed, will lead to misery, degradation, disease, and death for both body and soul.

Those who act as teachers are to be intelligent in regard to disease and its causes, understanding that every action of the human agent should be in perfect harmony with the laws of life. The light God has given on health reform is for our salvation and the salvation of the world. Men and women should be informed in regard to the human habitation, fitted up by our Creator as His dwelling-place, and over which He desires us to be faithful stewards. "For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." Our bodies are wonderfully made, and the Lord requires us to keep them in order. All are under obligation to Him to keep the human structure in a healthful, wholesome condition, that every muscle, every organ, may be used in the service of God. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind." God, who formed the wonderful structure of the body, will take special care to keep it in order, if men co-operate, instead of working at cross-purposes with Him.

These grand truths must be given to the world. We must reach the people where they are, and by example and precept lead them to see the beauties of the better way. The world is in sad need of instruction along these lines. The time has come when each soul must be firm and true to every ray of light God has given, and begin in earnest to give this gospel of health to the people. We shall have strength and power to do this if we practice these truths in our own lives. If we all followed the light we have received, the blessing of God would rest on us, and we should be anxious to place these truths before those who know them not.

Those who are enjoying the precious blessings which come to them through obeying this message of mercy, will do all in their power that others may share the same blessings. But we may rest assured that Satan will do all in his power to prevent anything like a message of reform from being given to the world at this time. Shall God's people be found on the enemy's side, either by failing to heed it themselves, or by neglecting to give it to others? "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." If we would be safe, we must not fail to know on whose side we stand.

The people are in sad need of the light shining from the pages of our health and temperance journals. God desires to use these journals as mediums through which flashes of light shall arrest the attention of the people, and cause them to heed the warning of the message of the third angel. Our health journals are instrumentalities in the field to do a special work in disseminating the light which the inhabitants of the world must have in this day of God's preparation. They wield an untold influence in the interests of health and temperance and of social purity reform, and will accomplish great good in presenting these subjects in a proper manner and in their true light to the people.

In all our work, caution should be used that no one branch be made a specialty, while other interests are left to suffer. There has not been that interest taken in the circulation of our health journals that there should be. The circulation of these journals must not be neglected, or the people will suffer a great loss.

Let none think that the circulation of the health journals is a minor matter. All should take hold of this work with more interest, and make greater efforts in this direction. God will greatly bless those who take hold of it in earnest; for it is a work that should receive attention at this time.

Ministers can and should do much to urge the circulation of the health journals. Every member of the Church should work as earnestly for these journals as for our other periodicals. There should be no friction between the two. Both are essential, and both should occupy the field at the same time. Each is the complement of the other, and can in no wise take its place.

If men do not let their own minds and their own feelings come in to rule and change the Lord's design, there will be perfect harmony between these lines of work, and a most wonderful success will crown the efforts put forth to advance them. Unity will bring into the work a power that we have not yet seen. This will be the evidence to the world that the work is of God. The circulation of the health journals will be a powerful agency in preparing the people to accept those special truths that are to fit them for the soon coming of the Son of man.

Ellen Gould White
Review and Herald


`In preparing a people for the Lord's second coming a great work is to be done through the promulgation of health principles. We are to relieve suffering by the use of the natural agencies that God has provided. We should teach the people how to prevent sickness by obedience to the laws of life, and while we work for the healing of the body we should seize every opportunity to work for the healing of the soul.' (AUCR06-01-00)

The health message is broad and wide and all-embracing, yet every layman can understand it and, with this understanding, can be used of God to make a huge difference in his or her community. It is of vital importance, however, that we appreciate the philosophy of disease that underpins this message. The reader is thus referred to the Natural Health Foundation website at On a more practical note, we also cannot speak too highly of the website, Here you will find hundreds of natural food recipes and a wealth of good advice.


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