SEVEN PROOFS of God's True Church - Proof Four
God's True Church knows the RIGHT WAY OF LIVING the BALANCED, ABUNDANT life! The right WAY of life with solid, balanced TRUTH about diet, exercise, foods, finances, marriage. This RIGHT LIFE is another vital PROOF of the true Church of God! YOU can't become a superman, and live forever, by gulping pills, swallowing supplements, and avoiding white sugar like the black death of London!
God's True Church KNOWS it.
You CANNOT get into God's Kingdom by judiciously drinking apple juice, taking a shot of rose-hip tea, avoiding white crackers at all cost, or chewing twenty times before swallowing!
God's True Church KNOWS it.
And God's true Church knows the soundly based, Biblical TRUTH about right diet, right amounts of exercise and recreation, right approach to marriage, and the whole panorama of how to live a happy, useful, abundant, yet spiritually dedicated life!
A WAY of Life One of the major impressions which made itself felt upon my mind when originally beginning to study into WHETHER this was just "Armstrongism" — my father's personal religion — or not, was whether Christianity was a WAY of life or just an empty, formal, hollow "belief."
I have related before how a major national magazine, back in about 1952 or 1953, was running a series of articles on the leading religions of the world. They were covering Buddhism, Shintoism, Judaism, and others, as well as "Christianity." A leading representative, or several, of each type of religion was asked his views.
In one article propounding the "views" of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, a leading Protestant clergyman in the United States, he was quoted as saying, in effect: "First, let's discover what Christianity IS NOT." "IT IS NOT," he continued confidently, "a WAY of life." I was attending the Church History class at Ambassador — and we were covering the Book of Acts. We were just finishing the 18th chapter. When we came to verse 25, following the history of Apollos' powerful preaching, my ears perked up. My father was emphasizing the words strongly. "This man was instructed in the WAY of the Lord," he quoted, and dropped down to verse 26 where the scripture said, "... and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly."
Over and over again, in chapter 19, the Book of Acts insisted Christianity was a WAY of life! "But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of THAT WAY..." (Acts 19:9), "And the same time there arose no small stir about THAI' WAY..." (Acts 19:23), he read.
And so here was a dilemma. Right before my eyes were words which had been preserved long before my great, great grandfather was ever born — words needing no human interpretation — words which my human father had not invented, or secretly inserted into the Bible! My HUMAN father seemed to BELIEVE these words — strongly asserting them to be TRUTH. He showed how early Apostles expounded a whole WAY OF LIFE to early converts — how others were directly affected by that way of life to the point they would persecute because of the outstanding example they saw. But here, on the other hand, was a leading clergyman, with the weight of all Protestant "Christianity" behind his words, insisting Christianity WAS NOT a WAY of life!
Of course, Dr. Peale had not QUOTED any scripture. He had merely ASSERTED this to be true. But "all these churches couldn't be WRONG," could they? — surprisingly to some of our new converts, perhaps, these words had long previously entered my own mind.
It came as a shock. I right there and then made the first mark I had ever made in a Bible. I made a red check mark beside the first verse (Acts 18:25) and underlined the others. Those marks are still faintly visible.
Since that time I have been deeply involved in that way of life. It is all-encompassing, totally inclusive. It means LIVING by every word of God, NOT in self-righteous, pseudo-sanctimonious, hyperspiritual HUMAN VANITY like the Pharisees, and many modern religious "nuts" — and even some few in God's congregations who MISS THE POINT of the whole thing — but living the wholesome, balanced, abundant life filled with the daily challenges of God's calling. His calling to each of us is to receive salvation. His calling to each of us is to DO His urgent WORK here below for this time — it means putting into daily practice the RIGHT WAYS of life — IN EVERY FACET OF LIFE!
Over the years, I have seen the areas where most people go a little "overboard" are, primarily, picky little "strivings about words" in cases of doctrines; and HEALTH, DIET and EXERCISE when it comes to daily living.
Of course, there are MANY PROBLEMS brethren need desperately to overcome — problems in the home, among families, and in methods of rearing children. Myriad, it seems, are the "old wives' tales" about everything from corn removal to weight loss — from special diets during pregnancy to what is and what is not leavened (some even refused to drink effervescent beverages) during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
One outstanding problem is misunderstanding, and narrow, unbalanced thinking on the subject of health, diet, and healing. Look around you in the world, and you'll see why.
It's a SICK, SICK, SICK, SICK WORLD! Ever wonder why it is the hangers — on around health food stores are so sick? Did you ever wonder why health-food fanatics appear so weak, so sickly, and are usually mentally unbalanced?
It's a terribly SICK world you're living in!
Today, more than NINETY-TWO MILLION people in the United States alone are suffering with one or another of the terrible chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, tuberculosis or polio.
It is a RARE thing to see a really HEALTHY person, today.
Look at a few of the shocking facts.
Sickness is a gigantic financial burden! Several years ago, the average American — meaning every man, woman and child in the nation — actually paid $137 a year for hospital and doctors' bills. This was a monstrous sum of more than 25 BILLION dollars for the whole nation. This was DOUBLE the amount paid as recently as 1950.
It was proved, by the statistics of a major insurance company, that half a million American families had medical bills larger than their total incomes for that year!
And, while the cost of getting sick has tripled in the past decade, the average American family is spending five times as much! It was found that the average family of four in the United States spends about $400 a year on medical expenses alone. Said one 69-year-old, receiving $33 per month from Social Security, "I could get along fairly well on my savings and Social Security but the cost of medicine is so great that I can barely make ends meet. Sometimes I think I must stop taking the medicine and just die." A fantastic crowd of more than 60,000 Americans enters into our clinics and hospitals every day!
And, remember — these figures represent what is occurring within the United States done, the "healthiest" nation on the face of the earth. Yes, brethren, our peoples are SICK!
Sickness is a terrible drain on the strength and vitality of our peoples, and is a fulfillment of one of the major prophetic CURSES God pronounced upon our peoples for breaking His laws.
Dr. W. Coda Martin, former chief of Geriatrics Clinic Metropolitan Hospital, New York, says that only 6.5 percent of Americans are free from physical defect.
More than a third of the nation is suffering from one of the 18 main illnesses and handicapping conditions, and MENTAL DISORDERS are right at the top of the list!
Currently, it is estimated that one out of ten Americans is suffering from a mental disorder. The statistics are endless, brethren. I will not take further space in this article to quote the monstrous statistics available from our Ambassador College News Bureau.
The point can best be illustrated by having YOU look at YOURSELF! What about your own health? Do you feel full of zest, vitality, zip and drive? Are you the picture of radiant health? Does your hair shine, do your cheeks glow with a robust vitality? Does your body feel full of life and energy? Do you feel physically STRONG, mentally alert, vibrantly ALIVE?
I hope and pray many of our brethren DO — but let's face it, most probably DON'T!
Then, look around you. What about your own loved ones, your friends and relatives? Undoubtedly you know personally of MANY — perhaps in your own family — who have died of one or another of the major chronic diseases afflicting such vast segments of our population.
Yes, it truly IS a sick world.
Broken Laws Result in Broken Lives God's True Church knows the reason WHY the world's most "advanced" civilizations are suffering from such hideous curses! We have been shown the TRUTH that God Almighty is our HEALER. God is the great Lawgiver and Judge. And God has also laid down certain physical laws involving our physical well-being and good health. However, these physical laws, though applying basically to our diet and how we act when we are sick, are also very definitely SPIRITUAL in principle.
When God laid a choice before our forefathers, He promised wonderful blessings for obeying His laws! He promised we would be a people FREE from the botch and blight of Egypt, from the "childhood" diseases, from mental fear, anxiety, tension and worry. He promised we would have healthy children!
Today, a God-rejecting world seeks to the god of pies, Baalzebub, for deliverance from its physical and mental afflictions.
But God reveals He will not only bless us by giving us good health, through obedience to His laws — but IF we make mistakes and commit a physical sin against our own bodies, HE is our Healer!
God's True Church recognizes bow the world got this way — knows the exact reason for the staggering amount of physical affliction in our nation, and understands what God intends to do about it in the future!
KNOWLEDGE, Not Nonsense God's True Church also recognizes the overboard, unbalanced, FANATICISM that is attached to a search for magical "good health" in the world today.
Yet many brethren do not know how to properly select, prepare and utilize right foods; many do not know, in this age of sprays, fertilizers, dyes, "vitamins," "supplements," etc, etc, WHAT is "food" and what is NOT.
The True Church of God knows His health laws, as spelled out in plain language about what is CLEAN and what is not — what is FIT for the human stomach and what is not — but oftentimes people GO OVERBOARD on various METHODS of preserving, cooking and eating foods — and about various kinds of diets.
We have never attempted to "spell out" in great detail whole daily "diets" for all brethren in all climates in all parts of the world — but sometimes, rather weird, unusual practices get started.
God's Church is NOT a Church of bug-eyed food faddists, plumb bobbers and pill swallowers. God's Church should NOT be made up of those who search through others' cupboards trying to spy white bread or white sugar!
God's Church should NOT be composed of those who must ladle wheat germ, bone meal, cod liver oil or compressed alfalfa onto every meal! God's Church should not be a collection of food fanatics who dearly LOVE to pass on the proverbial "old wives' tales" about how to get rid of this or that childhood rash, fever, or disease — about how to cat this or that during pregnancy — about how to diagnose and treat anything from bunions to bruises!
And yet, brethren, some of YOU absolutely DO fall into these categories!
There literally HAVE BEEN, in times past, those who "plumb bobbed" their food. I mean — they actually pulled out a little weight and a ball of string, held the weight suspended by the string over their plate of food — and tried to "determine" (or should I say "divine"?) whether or not the food was good and fit to eat by the direction in which the plumb bob swung back and forth!
Others have thought the excrement from ducks was an excellent salve for the removal of corns! Still others have become convinced you should drink gallons of grape juice during pregnancy; eat yogurt religiously; cook all meat until it is roughly the consistency of last year's shoe leather; and above all things, never use anything but sea salt!
But WHY, brethren?
Some have thought it wrong to purchase canned or frozen foods, or COOK in aluminum for fear of "poisoning." If some of these ludicrous rumors were not so WEIRD — smacking of twisted, off-balanced, wild-eyed, FANATICISM, they would be hilariously funny.
I suppose it doesn't deprive anyone of anything really vitally important if they cook everything they ever eat in a dutch oven; if they NEVER eat a can of chili (without pork, of course) or a can of spinach with "store-bought" meats. But on the other hand, GOD WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY FANATICS WEIRDO'S, FREAKS, ODD-BALLS, FADDISTS OR ADDLEHEADS INTO HIS KINGDOM
God Almighty gives man the basic LAWS of physical health and well-being. But He does not spell out each significant little dietary possibility. He leaves man a broad, beautiful earth, filled with animals, fish and fowl; with herbs, fruits, nuts, vegetables and almost limitless varieties of spices and flavorings. But He also gives His Church HIS SPIRIT, which is the Spirit of a SOUND MIND (II Tim. 1:7) to avoid overboard fanaticism.
Paul encountered some newly converted ones whose life-long habits (as a result of a horribly distorted, false RELIGION) had become so twisted, they could not immediately learn to eat all things which God allows. Paul explained how it is NOT WRONG for a WEAK one (probably weak physically as well) to deny meat to himself. But the context of this chapter of Romans (Romans 14) is concerning admitting a newly converted one who is WEAK IN THE FAITH — and not demanding he change immediately. Meats, (foods of any kind) after all, are NOT the main subject of the Kingdom of God (Romans 14:17).
But the Church exists to EDIFY — to build up and EDUCATE its members (Eph. 4:12-13) UNTIL ALL ARE AGREED, AND IN TOTAL UNITY in the faith — which is [he basic, truthful, sound DOCTRINE. This is the primary substance of the second commission to the Church; the first commission being the preaching of the Gospel to the world as a witness.
Perhaps there are some weak ones in God's Church today who believe they may NOT eat tinned foods, or cook in this or that type of pot or pan — or ever, ever, ever ingest "rancid oil." God will not expel them if they are TRYING to achieve balance, soundness, and spiritual maturity. But He WILL NOT ACCEPT unsound minds into His Own Family!
God does not want His own sons engrossed in picayunish, childish, "petty" little things such as the exact and specifically proper care of each eyelash, fingernail, and hair on your head. Yet some people will fanatically assume they must avoid all contact between their precious protein (hair) and a plastic brush — preferring a "natural" which is to say pig bristle (which is not wrong, incidentally.) Some insist you must never let wool and nylon come in contact with your skin, and must always studiously avoid white sugar, which, they are certain, will cause dogs to go crazy! Some treat pasteurized milk like a poison — and is there anyone you have ever yet heard of who is so unbelievably, incredibly, astoundingly weird as to drink only dandelion tea and coffee, or extol the healthful virtues of sleeping while hanging upside down?
Weird, isn't it?
Try as you may — whether you find a formula for diet never heard of in the remotest reaches of the nether valleys of Nepal — YOU SIMPLY CANNOT FIND A SHORTCUT TO HEALTH!
MEMBERS OF GOD'S TRUE CHURCH OUGHT TO KNOW THAT!
Healing The True Church of God KNOWS the most basic of dl laws of health — the revealed laws about clean and unclean foods!
One of the most important proofs of ALL is the right knowledge about HEALTH, and about HEALING! Here's the vital reason.
God is our Healer. That's one of His very NAMES!
And God reveals plainly, in His Word, that healing is the forgiveness of physical sin. Only GOD can forgive sin! ONLY GOD CAN HEAL!
The FIRST of the Ten Commandments says, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me!" This great law, together with the FOURTH commandment comprises the great TEST commandment God laid before our ancient forefathers.
The Sabbath law is the identifying SIGN of every true Christian! And, equally, the SECOND commandment — against IDOLATRY — points out WHERE ARE THE TRUE PEOPLE OF GOD.
To rely on ANY foods, supplements, medicines, drugs, knives, OR EVEN ON FASTING, for HEALING (AND NONE OF THESE CAN, EVER HAVE, OR EVER WILL HEAL!) IS TO BREAK THE COMMANDMENT AGAINST IDOLATRY!
Let's understand the real differences between God's TRUE Church and all the others.
"Healing" Miracles — Or Are They? Satan has literally strewn the pathway to God's True Church with the red herrings of FAKERY and DEMONISM! Today, myriads believe in an emotional frenzy as being the only evidence of the Spirit of God.
Millions have been deceived by FALSE signs and "wonders," just as God said they would be (Matt. 24:24). Simon Magus fakery has reached no greater refinements than in the "healing revivals" under huge tents in the United States today!
The claims are many and varied, the ads lurid, the preaching is hoarse-voiced ranting and unintelligible gibberish, as the "sick and afflicted" file down a sawdust trail of perspiring hopefuls toward the so-called "evangelist" on the stage.
But God's True Church will NEVER be engaged in such a travesty: a carnival-like sideshow of sheer human EMOTIONALISM and DEMONISM, which makes a mockery of the really WONDERFUL truth of healing!
Instead, God's TRUE Church will be found to be following Christ's practices — exactly!
When Jesus healed, He said, "See that you tell no one!" He NEVER ONCE tried to drum up a huge crowd in order to put the power of God ON DISPLAY! He NEVER advertized "healing services," NEVER "put on" braggadocio, such as seizing an infirm person's crutches and breaking them, or throwing them away! Instead, He quietly, but firmly, in a voice of real authority and FAITH, said, "Thy sins be forgiven thee!"
God's True Church will be those who recognize the difference between the REAL power of God and the FAKE WITCHERY of today, masquerading as the power of God.
Members of the TRUE Church of God will be following and obeying the command of James 5:14-15: "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of FAITH shall save the sick...."
If you could look behind the scenes, OUT of sight, into the private lives of members of God's True Church, you would see the sick and afflicted kneeling, with the ministers of Christ laying hands on them, and quietly, but firmly, and in FAITH — yet knowing we are NOT heard for our "much speaking" anointing them with oil — and asking God in PRIVATE, IN SECRET (Matt. 6:6 ) to heal them of their sickness.
What a striking DIFFERENCE between God's way and the way of the FAKERY of Satan the Devil! And what a difference in the RESULTS! God's people ARE BEING HEALED — while those who claim to be "healed" in a tent-camp sideshow are NOT really healed!
The Laws of Health God's True Church realizes an ounce of prevention is literally worth a "pound of cure," and LOTS MORE!
We know it is far better to obey the LAWS OF HEALTH and avoid getting sick in the first place, than it is to be guilty of many physical sins, and be calling constantly on the ministers and elders for anointing and prayer.
God is a God of BALANCE! He has put a tremendous system of counterweights, checks and balances into nature. Even the little insects, the fish, the frogs and snakes, the birds and bats, the rabbits and coyotes — all play an important part in keeping our environment in BALANCE!
When man destroys that delicate balance in nature — he finds nature on the rampage!
And when you destroy an EQUALLY complex balance in YOUR BODY and MIND, you find your body and mind on a rampage!
Let's understand, briefly, the use of certain foods or "supplements" in the RIGHT BALANCE!
First: YOU NEVER NEED A SUPPLEMENT AT ANY TIME EXCEPT WHEN YOUR SYSTEM IS TEMPORARILY OUT OF BALANCE! Many LOAD their bodies with various food additives and supplements, hoping to find the proverbial "fountain of youth," I suppose — or trying to find that nebulous "shot in the arm" that will be the final cure-all to all physical ailments!
For some, it's fasting. For others, it's this or that brand name of vitamin. Brethren — THERE IS NOT ONE SINGLE EXAMPLE IN THE ENTIRETY OF THE BIBLE OF A FAST FOR PHYSICAL HEALTH!
But let's keep our balance. If a scale tips one way — you correct it by adding weight on the lighter side, and bring it back toward normal. If your body begins to feel a cold coming on, for example; you have allowed your system to become hyperacidic. That is, you've probably been a little OVERBALANCED in the direction of sweets, fried foods, starch, or fats. You've been neglecting enough fresh fruits and vegetables, citrus, and lean broiled meat, instead of fatty and fried meat. Make no mistake! If you have already GOTTEN the cold — EATING LOTS OF FRESH FRUIT WILL NEVER IN ONE MILLION LIFETIMES CURE YOU OF IT! There is ONLY ONE CURE FOR ANY SICKNESS OR ANY DISEASE — and that is GOD
But if your body gives you a beginning warning sign, like a little stuffiness in your nose, or a chill in your spine — if you IMMEDIATELY stop adding any weight to the HEAVY side of the scale, and IMMEDIATELY begin piling on to the LIGHT side of the scale — it is possible to bring back your bodily BALANCE!
Let's never forget that word BALANCE! Let's KEEP our balance!
Summing It All Up Gods True Church KNOWS the value of physical exercise. We KNOW the Divinely revealed laws of foods, of health, of exercise, of sleep. And we know the tremendous value of RIGHT THINKING and PRAYER to keep a SOUND BALANCED MIND!
Does this mean we are physical exercise ADDICTS? Food FADDISTS? HEALTH-FOOD SLAVES?
God says there are some — even in His True Church, which He describes as being really WEAK in the faith (Rom. 14:1) who "believe" various things about diet. If you observe someone sitting in the corner, or carrying his sack about with him — seemingly a little "furtive" about it — a little "strange" and "different" in his dietary habits; then realize there may be a spiritual WEAKNESS there — but don't harshly CONDEMN him for it. "For one believeth that he may eat all things (that is, things which are clean, and LAWFUL to eat): another, WHO IS WEAK (spiritually — and, usually — PHYSICALLY as well), eateth herbs" (Rom. 14:2).
If you see a person with his proverbial sack of dates, nuts and grapes, or with his bottle of fresh carrot juice, or with his little sack of herbs — then DON'T DESPISE HIS DIETARY HABITS. Just realize he feels this is best for HIM! And, it may be. At least, it is best for the sake of his personal conscience if he really, as the Bible says, "believeth" he should eat that way.
You can PRAY for him, realizing he can, later, become STRONGER (as he MUST, if he is to enter God's Family!) in the faith, and no longer WEAK in his knowledge of God's whole WAY OF LIFE. You can realize he is NEW, and that he can grow out of narrow-minded food fanaticism. Remember, Paul was not describing a whole segment of the Church — assuming there will ALWAYS be those who are "diet nuts" in the Church — even after they have heard about and seen the right way of life for YEARS — but Paul was describing a newly converted one who was still weak!
You know how God's Church lays GREAT stress on the FAMILY unit — knowing it to be a perfect picture of the God relationship, and our training ground to help us achieve God's own family. We publish booklets, articles, and even complete books on marriage, dating, the family, and the home. Our local ministers are continually exhorting the flocks in their charge about these very things.
This, then is one of the main SEVEN PROOFS of the true Church of God.
We have been given the RIGHT WAY TO LIVE. NOT because we're "better" than anyone else. We may be humanly speaking, a LOT WORSE (after all, God bas called the WEAK of this world) — but God has given us His own BALANCE and SOUNDNESS as an EXAMPLE to the world.
Eventually, they shall have to say, "If these people — a motley collection of sinners of every stripe, truck drivers, farmers, clerks, laborers, carpenters, businessmen, technicians, pensioners, jobless — could achieve such wonderful BALANCE — could learn to live such warm, happy, full and ABUNDANT LIVES — then it had to be the knowledge and the inspiration of God that made it possible."
The truth of God is NOT just a series of "beliefs." It is a WAY OF ACTION — TOTAL commitment; total involvement, a WHOLE WAY OF LIFE!
Note: It does not appear Proof 6 and 7 were ever completed in this group, but the series was published again starting in 1974 which was completed. Here is the link to the complete series: Seven Proofs of God's Church