"The fact that God has revealed His will to men through His Word, has not rendered needless the continued presence and guiding of the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, the Spirit was promised by our Savior to open the Word to His servants, to illuminate and apply its teachings" (The Great Controversy, p.vii).
Seventh-day Adventists started the Natural Health movement as a result of the divine revelations given by God to Ellen G. White between 1863 and 1866. The Western Health Reform Institute opened in September, 1866 under the inspiration of this SPECIAL MESSENGER. Other Adventist workers contributed largely to the health movement. Jethro Kloss was a patriarch of the herb industry long before encapsulated herbs. The Wholistic movement is familiar with his book Back to Eden. Dr. Kellogg is well known for his pioneering of breakfast cereals. The very first health food stores were opened by Seventh-day Adventists.
Ellen G. White was the foremost leader in the Seventh-day Adventist movement, and her writings are still revered today as direct revelations from God. She was a woman of impressive spiritual gifts, writing 55,000 pages of manuscript, and that with only three grades of formal education. She is the most translated woman writer in the entire history of literature, and the most translated American author of either gender. Her writings cover a broad range of subjects, including religion, education, health, social relationships, parenting, evangelism, prophecy, publishing, nutri-tion, and management. It is believed by Adventists that Sister White was appointed by God as THE SPECIAL MESSENGER for her generation, to illuminate the Holy Scriptures and give counsel to a people preparing for the Second Advent of Christ. From the time she was 17 years old until she died 70 years later, she experienced approximately 2,000 visions and dreams. From these revelations the majority of her counsel originates. The fruits of her labors in public ministry have impacted millions of people around the world in the twentieth century alone.
Mrs. White taught that we should use natural means to achieve health such as herbs, hydrotherapy, rest, sunshine, fasting, fresh air, etc. She was decades ahead of the AMA in condemning the use of tobacco. She spoke out strongly against the use of caffeine in coffee and tea. She also advocated the proper combinations of food, the elimination of free oils and grease, the reduction of sweets, and she promoted fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains as the all-sufficient diet for man.
Even though Ellen's education stopped in the third grade because of a disfiguring accident, dozens of her books are still used as literary standards in colleges around the world. The book Education has been highly esteemed by college and university professionals in departments of education in America.
The National Health Federation named her for The President's Award posthumously in 1986 because of her pioneering efforts in Natural Health which the National Health Federation is valiantly preserving against tremendous opposition. There are Adventists who continue in the spirit of Ellen White's natural health message within the ranks of the NHF. They feel that they are part of the "right arm" which introduces society to a higher quality of life.
The following are excerpts from Ellen G. White's writings concerning drugs used as medicine versus natural methods. For those who are unfamiliar with the counsels of Mrs. White, this exposure will give you an introduction to her insights. References are given so you can read them in their complete context, if desired.
"Poisonous drugs should not be used" (Medical Ministry, p.16). "Physicians exalt science above God" (Healthful Living, p.265).
In a letter to Dr. Kellogg, "...in no case are you to stand as do the physicians of the world to exalt allopathy above every other practice, and call all other methods quackery and error; for from the beginning to the present time the results of allopathy [using drugs as medicines to suppress symptoms] have made an objectionable showing...Drug medication has broken up the power of the human machinery, and the patients have died." (Letter 67, 1899).
"The medical fraternity would call the Lord's prescription for Hezekiah quackery [putting figs on a boil]" (Letter 67, 1899).
Drug practice "is a delusion and a farce." (Letter 59, 1898). "Drug medication has its origin in perverted knowledge" (Temperance, p.75).
"...Let us give up [the use of] drugs" (19MR, p.51). "A wrong course of eating or drinking destroys the health..." (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, p.69).
The only remedy for disease is Christ's method of cleansing. (2 SM, 288-89). We cannot make our bodies clean by concealing or cloaking symptoms with Satan's productions.
Drug taking is a fraud practiced on the public by ill-informed practitioners (Medical Ministry, pp. 221-231). It is man's attempt to make himself physically whole while violating God's laws. It is Satan's deceptive sorcery to divert the mind from God. (see: Medical Ministry, p. 221; Healthful Living, p. 23; Counsels on Diets and Foods, p. 17; and Temperance, p. 129).
"Our people are going far from the light which God has given on this subject. The methods of drug medication have created the bitterest animosity in feeling, wicked jealousies, evil thinking, and evil speaking of their brethren.
"Such a spirit may be expected in the world, but when it becomes a controlling power among Christians, it is an offense to God. It is a shame when manifested among those who profess to be followers of Jesus. There must be a reform among the medical fraternity or the church will be purged from those who will not be Bible Christians. It is altogether too late in the day for such exhibition of Spirit as is revealed among medical drug practitioners. God abhors it" (Letter 48, 1892).
"We must leave drugs entirely alone" (Letter 67, 1899). "Drugging should be forever abandoned; for while it does not cure any malady, it enfeebles the system, making it more susceptible to disease" (Healthful Living, p. 244). "Drugs never cure disease; they only change the form and location... When drugs are introduced into the system for a time they seem to have a beneficial effect. A change may take place, but the disease is not cured. It will manifest itself in some other form..." (Healthful Living, p. 243).
"Institutions should be established for treating the sick without drugs" (Medical Ministry, 229). "It is the Lord's purpose that His method of healing without drugs shall be brought into prominence in every large city through our medical institutions" (Counsels on Health, p. 393).
"I do not think I can give you any definite line of medicines compounded and dealt out by doctors that are perfectly harmless and yet it would not be wisdom to engage in controversy on this subject...
"Many of those who practice the prescribing of drugs would not take the same or give them to their children...
"The matter was laid open before me and the sad burden of the results of drug medication. The light was given me that Seventh-day Adventists should establish health institutions disregarding all these health-destroying inventions. Physicians should treat the sick upon hygienic principles" (Letter 17a, 1893).
"The intricate names given to medicines are used to cover up the matter so that none will know what is given them as remedies unless they obtain a dictionary to obtain the meaning of their names" (Letter 82, 1897).
"The true method of healing the sick is to tell them of the herbs that grow for the benefit of man. Scientists have attached large names to those simplest of preparations but true education will lead us to teach the sick they need not call in a doctor anymore than that they would call in a lawyer. They can themselves administer the simple herbs necessary" (MS 105, 1898).
"Shall physicians continue to resort to drugs which leave a deadly evil in the system, destroying that life which Christ came to restore? Christ's remedies cleanse the system , but Satan has tempted man to introduce into the system that which weakens the human machinery, clogging and destroying the fine, beautiful arrangements of God. The drugs administered to the sick do not restore, but destroy. Drugs never cure; instead, they place in the system seeds which bear a very bitter harvest.
"Our Savior is the restorer of the moral image of God in man. He has supplied in the natural world remedies for the ills of man, that His followers may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. We can with safety discard the concoctions which man has used in the past. The Lord has provided antidotes for disease in simple plants, and these can be used by faith...for by using the blessings provided by God for our benefit we are cooperating with Him. We can use water and sunshine and the herbs which He has caused to grow for healing maladies brought on by indiscretion or accident" (MS 65, 1899).
"A cup of tea made from catnip herb will quiet the nerves"... "Hop tea will induce sleep. Hop poultices over the stomach will relieve pain.
"If the eyes are weak, if there is pain in the eyes, or inflammation, soft flannel clothes wet in hot water and salt, will bring relief quickly.
"When the head is congested, if the feet and limbs are put in a bath with a little mustard, relief will be obtained.
"If we neglect to do that which is within the reach of nearly every family, and ask the Lord to relieve pain, when we are too indolent to make use of these remedies within our power, it is simply presumption. (Psalms 19:13 reads as follows: 'Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me; then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.')" (Letter 35, 1890).
"The Lord has given some simple herbs of the field that at times are beneficial: and if every family were educated in how to use these herbs in case of sickness, such suffering might be prevented, and no doctor need be called. These old-fashioned, simple herbs, used intelligently, would have recovered many sick, who have died under drug medication" (Letter 82, 1897).
"Those who make a practice of taking drugs, sin against their intelligence and endanger their whole after life. There are herbs that are harmless, the use of which will tide over many apparently serious difficulties...But if all would seek to become intelligent in regard to their bodily necessities, sickness would be rare instead of common. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" (MS 86, 1897).
"One of the most beneficial remedies is pulverized charcoal in a bag and used in fomentations. This is a most successful remedy. If wet in smartweed, boiled, it is still better" (Letter 82, 1897).
"I will tell you a little about my experience with charcoal as a remedy. For some forms of indigestion, it is more efficacious than drugs. A little olive oil into which some of this powder has been stirred, tends to cleanse and heal" (Letter 100, 1903).
"No people are saved because they have great light and special advantages, for these high and heavenly favors only increase their responsibility. The more and increased light God has given make the receiver more responsible" (Letter 55, 1886).
"If church members do not act the part God has assigned them, the movement of health reform will go on without them, and it will be seen that God has removed their candlestick out of its place" (MS 78, 1900).
[NOTE: The foregoing paragraphs were adapted from an article "Reprinted by permission from the March 1986 National Health Directory" by the National Health Federation. In that article the following editor's note appeared: "The original Greek word for sorcery is 'pharmakeus' which means a mixer of poisons (see Strong's Concordance); also Webster's 1986 New World Dictionary defines Pharmaceutical as 'the practice of witchcraft.'"]
It should be noted here that the last two quotes by Ellen White above are most significant. What happened is that the General Conference church members did not "act the part God . . . assigned them"; and therefore, "God has removed their candlestick out of its place." We see that the health message has been taken up by virtually every imaginable group and to varying degrees. The New Age Movement is active in modern health reforms, along with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and various other Eastern thinkers. It has been recognized that "the world" has seized the health message from the Church. Unfortunately, the General Conference denomination, so blessed with "great light and special advantages", did not progress to "finish the race." The "eleventh-hour workers" are now in the vineyard to raise up the standard and repair the breach. If you are inclined to doubt our concluding judgment, just visit any General Conference Seventh-day Adventist Hospital and witness the method of treatment, or attend a church on "pot-luck Sabbath". You will quickly perceive liberality in the use of free oils, bleached flour, and processed sugar, not to mention the introduction of large quantities of rich desserts with chocolate. Even though they have the following counsel, the table will be dressed with much more cooked and processed food than raw and natural.
"Let them teach the people to preserve the health and increase the strength by avoiding the large amount of cooking that has filled the world with chronic invalids. By precept and example make it plain that the food which God gave Adam in his sinless state is the best for man's use as he seeks to regain that sinless state." (Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 460).
The writings of Ellen G. White are for the most part published and controlled by The Ellen G. White Estate, Inc., General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; 12501 Old Columbia Pike; Silver Spring, Maryland 20904. According to a note in The Publishing Ministry (page 234), "After her death in 1915, royalties on the Ellen White books were used to reimiburse the General Conference for having liquidated all debts against her estate. By arrangement between the White estate and the General Conference, royalties on her many books today are the property of the General Conference. . . ."
Books have been written on the amazing accomplishments and spiritual gifts of Ellen G. White. If you desire to investigate any of these, or if you wish to receive, at no cost to you, an E. G. White publication, contact us by E-mail. You are encouraged to join the host of others who find the counsels of Ellen G. White to be life-inspiring messages from a life-giving Spirit. Perhaps you, too, will find her to be THE SPECIAL MESSENGER for our time.