Satan’s rebellion in heaven centered around his dissatisfaction with the principles and organization of the heavenly domain (Isa 14:12–14). In his first recorded interchange on earth after his expulsion from heaven, Satan inferred there was a moral defect in God’s character in the words “You will not surely die” (Gen 3:4) in response to Eve’s repetition of God’s advice that death would follow disobedience (v. 3). Eve was deceived by his persuasive reasoning. After Adam’s choice to follow Eve in rebellion, God’s portrait (image) commenced to be erased in humanity through disbelief and disobedience. This process has continued with the vast majority of the race. In his perfect state, Adam was given dominion or rulership over the recently created earth. How long he retained this role is uncertain, but as soon as he joined Eve in disobedience he “betrayed his sovereignty” to Satan,1 who thereby became prince of this world (John 14:30). In exchange Adam and Eve became slaves of Satan (Rom 6:16–18)—a poor trade for gaining the knowledge of evil. There is one area Adam did not relinquish dominion over through disobedience, the human mind. Today, God’s stewards—those who are having His image remade in them through the ministry of the Holy Spirit—will display certain characteristics, for they are acting as God’s representatives or ambassadors. They also will have a driving motivation to be sharers in the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:20). The primary areas of emphasis through which they endeavor to witness are highlighted in the three angels’ messages. The ministry of reconciliation given to believers first and foremost involves sharing the good news of eternal salvation with others (Matt 28:19–20; Rev 14:6). However, their responsibility does not end there. Clear thinking is required in the stewards of God’s reconciliation ministry. The brain circuits need to be functioning optimally. 2 Such an outcome reflects advanced ideas about healthful living, for care of creation starts with the steward. The apostle Paul concisely states that we are to bring glory to God in our eating, drinking, and doing (1 Cor 10:31). The outworking of this instruction is most readily achieved by adopting a vegetarian life style, for such an approach is patterned after the original (Gen 1:29) and has been found to promote health. Such a life style not only serves to protect the magnificent machinery of the human body, but also preserves the interests of the animal world too. They should not suffer from cruelty and death on account of our perverted appetites (cf. Exod 20:10). 3 Care of the animal world comes from ideas of stewardship of God’s creatures and empathy concerning their feelings, but also from an understanding that an ecosystem cannot function efficiently without the preservation of all its biological components. The efficient functioning of this system requires an appreciation that human activities influence the sustainability of the planet and one might reasonably extend this to an understanding of climate change on disease incidence among the human population. The emphasis in Revelation 11:18 bears on this subject, which speaks about God’s attitude towards those who show a cavalier attitude towards His works. Instructions on preferred human practices sometimes are mentioned directly in Scripture and at other times can be inferred. These instructions are for our benefit. For example, the placement of the progenitors of the human race in a garden setting and God’s attitude towards the first city dwellers (Gen 2:15; 11:1–8) is revealing. The moral and physical pollution often associated with cities is well known and the inference from our texts is that country living is the ideal. During the exodus experience, Moses instructed the people in the principles adopted in a supplemented version of our modern Newstart health program (cleanliness and genetic diversity added). 4 Aspects that I initially will emphasize here are personal cleanliness including animal waste disposal, the living conditions to be maintained in their dwellings, and nutrition (cf. Gen 1:29; Exod 19:10, 11; Deut 23:12, 13; Lev 11:24–36; 14:33–45). All this information was given by God in order to promote holistic health. Ellen White expanded on these principles and modern science has provided extensive further insights. As the discussion proceeds, I will attempt to indicate the understandings entertained by forward thinkers when White wrote. However, the reader should bear in mind that her primary inspiration came from the Scriptures.
Shipton, Warren A.
"Ellen White, Health, and the Third Angel’s Message: Part 3– Recognizing Environmental Hazards and Minimizing Their Impact,"
Journal of the Adventist Theological Society: Vol. 29:
1, Article 13.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/jats/vol29/iss1/13
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