The Battle Against Intemperance
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Proverbs 20:1.
We as Christians should stand firmly in defense of temperance. There is no class of persons capable of accomplishing more and effecting the object more readily than the God-fearing Bible youth. In this age the young men of our cities should unite in a firm, decided army to set their faces as a flint against every form of selfish, health-destroying indulgence. What a power they might be for good! How many they might save from becoming demoralized because they visit the halls and gardens fitted up with music and every attraction to allure the youth! Intemperance and licentiousness and profanity are sisters. Let every God-fearing youth gird on the armor and press to the front. Put your names on every pledge. . . . Let no feeble, weak excuse be offered to refuse to put your name to the temperance pledge. . . .
Through intemperate appetite Adam and Eve lost Eden. If we gain the Paradise of God we must be temperate in all things. Shall any blush with shame to refuse the wine cup or the foaming mug of beer? Instead of this being a dishonorable work, they are doing service to God in the matter of refusing to indulge appetite, resisting temptation. Angels are looking upon both tempter and tempted. While sin is unmanly, indulgence of appetite is weak, cowardly, and debasing; the denial of appetite, honorable. The highest intelligences of heaven watch the conflict going on between the tempter and the tempted. And if the tempted turn away from temptation and in the strength of Jesus conquer, then angels rejoice, and Satan has lost in the conflict. . . . All who understand the great conflict of Christ upon the point of appetite in the wilderness of temptation will never lend one iota of their influence to brace up intemperance.
Jesus endured the painful fast in our behalf and conquered Satan in every temptation, thus making it possible for man to conquer in his own behalf, and on his own account, through the strength brought to him by this mighty victory gained as man’s substitute and surety.
That I May Know Him p. 314
—–Please pray for my grand-niece Amanda. She is having terrible pain because of three blood-filled cysts and is unable to urinate probably from the pressure of the cysts. She is being sent to the university hospital to see if they can figure out what is going on. Please pray for her mother as she travels on Wednesday to be with her. Rose
—– Mike got sick again with severe mania. He got finally into hospital on the 19th of November. He was put into a psycho – emergency dep. for individuals that are very sick. Can you put him on your worldwide prayer list. Iris
—–Please pray that God’s will be done in my son’s job search. A
When I was a little girl, I loved to go to the museum in my hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan. The museum was housed in an old, Victorian-style mansion, which added to the mystery of the place. My favorite exhibit was an Egyptian mummy. It was partially unwrapped and there was a little mummy baby beside her. As I would gaze at that blackened, leather-like face, I would try to imagine what she was like when she was alive. Was she beautiful or ugly? Was she kind and loving, or selfish and cruel?
Eventually, that old Victorian mansion became unsafe. The stairs to the top floors began to sway under our feet. One by one the floors were closed down and those exhibits moved to the first floor. The city built a new library/museum complex. Some of the mystery was gone, still, it was a treat for me to go there. Always my favorite exhibit was that mummy. After Ron and I were married, I took him there to see it. The new museum had an Egyptian room that made her seem all the more mysterious.
Ron and I moved farther and farther away from my hometown and eventually had children. The memory of the museum and its exhibits was pushed far into the back of my mind. Then, one day, as my children were watching a program on TV, the memories came flooding back. I heard the host saying, “I am standing outside the museum in Kalamazoo, Michigan…..”
I stopped what I was doing and joined my children. As we watched, I became excited. They were taking the very mummy that I had seen all of my life to Bronson Hospital for an MRI and CAT scan. They found that she had been a mother and that she had dental problems from all of the sand that would get into her food. They took the pictures from that scan to a forensic expert. He studied them carefully. Then, photo by photo, he copied the woman’s bone structure. Next, he added glass eyes. With clay, he reconstructed her facial muscles. Artificial “skin” covered the muscle layer. For the finishing touch, eyebrows, lips, ears, and a wig were added. There, before my eyes, was a likeness of the woman who had lived so long ago. It was a special moment for me.
Someday soon, our Dear Saviour will “reconstruct” those people throughout the ages who believed in Him. He does not need an MRI, CAT scan, or a forensic expert for this task. He knows each of us as if there were no other person in the world. Indeed, “the very hairs of [our] head are all numbered.” Matt 10:30 Our Great Creator assures us, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” Isa 49:15,16
Isaiah prophesied of the resurrection time, “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” Isa 26:19 Paul also looked forward to that grand and glorious event, “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Cor 15:51-55; 1 Th 4:16,17
Think of it! We will see our loved ones again! Precious promise! They will come forth from their graves as did Lazarus when he was awakened by the voice of the Lifegiver. (John 11) Even better than that long-ago event will be the resurrection of the just. Lazarus was awakened only to die again years later. Not so with the righteous. They will come forth from their graves with a glorified body, a renewed mind: they will never die again. Joy and happiness will be upon each face, they will radiate with perfect health. As they look into the face of their Redeemer, songs of praise will spring forth from within.
As we travel together to His Glorious Kingdom, we will praise the One Who gave His life so that we could live. “And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there….And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him.” “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Rev 21:1-7;23-22:3,14
May that time come soon. May we bring God’s great message of grace to those around us, that they, too, may be raised in the resurrection of the just. (Luke 14:14; Rev 20:6) May we all look up and exclaim, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Isa 25:9