is “the dynamic and harmonious interaction of spirit, soul and body in the absence of mental, emotional or physical sickness or disease”.
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it”. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
To be sanctified is to withdraw your spirit, soul and body from the unhealthy entanglements of our corrupt culture and experience true fellowship with the God of peace.
We are made of three distinct parts: spirit, soul and body. Total Health involves an understanding of how these interact with each other.
We are made in God’s image, and that means we are like God who “is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and truth”.
There are three different laws operating within us-law of the spirit, law of the mind (soul), and the law of sin in the body (Romans 7:22-8:1)
When these three laws are in conflict with one another, we will experience stress, disease and even premature death. When they are in harmony with one another, we will experience health, peace and life.
“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace”. Romans 8:6
The Goal of Total Health
Total Health is not perfect health. Perfect health is not possible for we are all in the process of dying physically.
Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16
Total Health is the ability to fulfill the purposes for which God created you. Before we were even born, God designed us to carry out great works.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
Our identity and fulfillment in life is to carry out these great works. We do not want any sickness or disease to hinder us from carrying out our life purpose. We have a limited number of days in which to accomplish the great works for which God brought us into this world. Our focus should not be on having better health but on completing our life purpose.
We were designed before conception
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalms 139:13-14
God promised His people that if they would love Him and keep His commandments, He would bless them more than all the other peoples of the earth:
And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.’ Deuteronomy 6:24-25
You shall be blessed above all peoples. There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock. And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you. Deuteronomy 7:14-15
“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. Deuteronomy 28:1-6
Total Health: Being Made “Whole”
On the way to Jerusalem, he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests”. And as they went, they were cleansed (katharizo). Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:11-19
1. Cleansing the Blood
In a physical sense, this would refer primarily to the circulatory system, because the “life of the flesh is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11)
In a spiritual sense, to purify from the pollution and guilt of sin (Acts 15:9; 2 Cor. 7:1; Eph. 5:26; Titus 2:14; Heb. 9:14; James 4:8; 1 John 1:7, 9;
In a spiritual sense, ‘katharizo’ refers to the removal of the pollution and guilt of sin.
2. Healing the Flesh
One of the lepers looked at his flesh and saw that he was healed which is “iáomai”; to heal, cure, restore to bodily health. The physical symptoms of the disease had disappeared.
When our blood is cleansed of its impurities, the flesh can be restored to health.
3. Achieving Wholeness
Simply removing the distressing condition of the disease is not total health. Total health involves a restored relationship with God and the accompanying signs of joy, freedom, and inward peace.
The leper who returned to give thanks was the only one that Jesus told, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well”. Well or whole is the word ‘sózō’.
Sózō; to save, deliver, make whole, preserve safe from danger, loss, destruction. Sózō occurs fifty-four times in the Gospels. Fourteen relate to deliverance from disease or demon possession. Twenty instances, the inference is to the rescue of physical life from some impending peril or instant death. The remaining twenty times, the reference is to spiritual salvation
Three Aspects of Salvation
1. Salvation of the Spirit
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (sózō). For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (sózō)”. Romans 10:9-13
2. Salvation of the Soul
The regeneration and salvation of our spirit is instantaneous. The salvation of our soul (mind, will and emotions) is a continual process. It is accomplished through the control of the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the washing of the Word of God. As we read and meditate on God’s Word, we build a Biblical belief system. This is what James was writing about:
Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save (sózō) your souls. James 1:21
The wholeness, soundness and health of our soul has a direct effect upon our physical health. This is the meaning of John’s greeting:
“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul”. 3 John 1:2
3. Salvation of the Body
The “wholeness” or “wellness” of our physical body is contingent upon obedience to God’s moral standards.
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8
When a member of the Corinthian church committed gross immorality, Paul commanded
When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 5:4-5
Three Primary Factors that Contribute to Health
1. Genetic Tendencies
We all inherit tendencies toward certain diseases based on weaknesses in our genetic makeup. They do not have to become diseases if we follow God’s way of life.
The challenge of finding hereditary disease genes:
Our expectation is that the characterization of a disease- instigating gene will greatly assist our understanding of how and why it causes a malfunction in the body. It makes good sense to go to the root of the problem. But to learn a gene’s secret, first you must find it. And finding it is not so simple. It is much easier to locate the neighborhood in the genome where a gene resides than it is to determine its exact address.
Lilliput and Brobdingnag: Beyond Gulliver’s Travels. The magnitude of the challenge arises from the vast amount of DNA contained in the diploid human genome, which includes all of a person’s genetic material. If strung out, the DNA in a single human genome would stretch to about two meters, but the diameter of the strand would amount to only about two billionths of a meter, 20 angstroms, a span a hundred times smaller than a wavelength of light. If the DNA from a single cell from every human being on the planet — 6 billion people — were stitched end to end, the resulting string would girdle the earth about 300 times. If the genomes from every cell of the 6 billion people were laid out end to end, they would extend 700 billion, billion miles — enough to wrap around our galaxy more than 700 times.
To understand the enormous problem of finding a gene somewhere on an individual’s strand of DNA, imagine that a single human genome is long enough to circle the globe. On this scale, the amount of DNA in a chromosome would extend for a thousand miles. A gene would span just one twentieth of a mile, and a disease-causing defect — a point mutation, a change in only one DNA base pair — could run as short as one twentieth of an inch. What we are thus searching for is comparable to a fraction of an inch on the circumference of the globe! In this immense morass of DNA, finding the exact address of a gene and pinpointing its fault makes for extremely tough going, and it requires all of the creativity and ingenuity of everyone engaged in the quest.
An example of genetic tendencies in one family:
We were looking for a large extended multigenerational family in which we could observe many instances of the Huntington’s disease gene or its normal counterpart being passed on — and we knew of just such a family. Members of the kindred live in Venezuela in three rural villages — San Luis, Barranquitas, and Laguneta — on the shores of Lake Maracaibo. Because it is situated in the northern region of Latin America and Lake Maracaibo is actually a huge ocean gulf, Venezuela has long communicated directly with Europe, and many European genes have appeared in the local population. Story has it that some sailor with Huntington’s disease came over to trade and left his legacy, but we do not know if this is apocryphal.
We have been able to trace the disease as far back as the early 1800s, to a woman appropriately named Maria ConcepciÛn. We know that Maria lived in the “pueblos de agua,” villages built on stilts in the water next to shores too marshy, jungly, and inhospitable to accommodate human life. Laguneta, where many of Maria’s descendants live, remains such a stilt village.
Maria was the founder of a kindred now numbering close to 11,000 people, living and deceased. In the pedigree, there are 371 persons with Huntington’s disease, 1,266 at 50 percent risk and 2,395 at 25 percent risk for the disease. Of the 11,000, 9,000 are living and the majority are under the age of forty. In these small and impoverished towns, we estimate that there are over 660 asymptomatic gene carriers who are too young to show symptoms, but as years pass — if no treatment is found — they will surely die. It is crushing to look at these exuberant children full of hope and expectation, despite poverty, despite illiteracy, despite dangerous and exhausting work for the boys fishing in small boats in the turbulent lake, or for even the tiny girls tending house and caring for ill parents, despite a brutalizing disease robbing them of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins — they are joyous and wild with life, until the disease attacks.
2. Physical Constitution
We can inherit a strong physical constitution from our parents, yet through immoral or wild living pass along a weaker constitution to our children and grand children.
In the 1940’s Francis M. Pottenger (not Pottinger) M.D. began a ten year study using 900 cats to determine what effects processed foods have on the body, and to examine the genetic propensity of passing degenerative disease traits from generation to generation. The cats were divided into five groups with two of the groups fed raw whole foods and the other three groups cooked enzyme less foods. The cats were observed over a four generation period and the following results were documented by Doctor Pottenger:
POTTENGER CAT EXPERIMENT SUMMARY
|FOOD FED||Raw meat||Raw milk||Pasteurized milk||Evaporated milk||Condensed milk|
|1st Generation||Remained healthy||Remained healthy||Developed diseases and illnesses near end of life|
|2nd Generation||Remained healthy||Remained healthy||Developed diseases and illnesses in middle of life|
|3rd Generation||Remained healthy||Remained healthy||Developed diseases and illnesses in beginning of life; many died before six months of age;|
|4th Generation||Remained healthy||Remained healthy||No fourth generation was produced: either third generation parents were sterile, or fourth generation cats were aborted before birth|
Source: Pottenger’s Cats, a Study in Nutrition
3. Various Stresses
Whether our genetic tendencies and weak constitution will result in diseases will be determined primarily by stresses in our lives (because of what we say, think and do).
There can be many causes of stress, such as time constraints, having too much to do, and having too many bills and not enough funds.
However, the greatest stresses come from inward attitudes such as anger, guilt, lust, bitterness, greed, fear and envy. These destroy the immune system.
Is Total Health Healing?
Total healing is not possible on earth, because the sentence of death and the curse of sin have been placed on the physical body of every person.
Total Health refers to fulfilling the number of years for which God designed us to serve Him and the quality of life we need to carry out the work He has created us to accomplish.
There are three types of illnesses given in Scripture. When you develop an illness, discern which of these types you are experiencing. Then, carry out the appropriate Biblical responses.
1. Sickness unto Death
As a believer in the Lord, you are indestructible until your work on earth is done. As one preacher said: “you are bulletproof!” Once you finish your work, there is no point in staying around here. It is far more glorious to be in the presence of the Lord!
If a believer has what the doctors describe as a terminal illness, but he believes that his work is not yet done, he can appeal to God for healing-not just to extend his life but to accomplish the work that God has called him to do.
This was the basis for David’s prayer in his old age:
O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come. Psalms 71:17-18
In order to have this outlook on life and death, we must be good stewards of the time God has entrusted to us. We should be continually looking for better ways to redeem every hour by keeping it from going to waste and choosing the most profitable activities to advance God’s Kingdom.
If you were told today that you have a terminal disease, what reason would you give God for keeping you alive?
2. Sickness unto Chastisement
There are physical, emotional and spiritual consequences for violating God’s Laws. The most severe come to those who chose to violate His laws dealing with morality. If we cater to our fleshly wants, we shall reap the corruption of the flesh as Galatians 6:7 states.
The Bible also mentions specific consequences to those who dishonor their parents (Prov 30:17), violate God’s dietary restrictions (I Peter 1:15-16, Leviticus 11:44ff)
There are cause and effect health consequences when we violate God’s commands. In His mercy, God has established the communion table a place for thorough self-examination. Carry it out with the utmost care.
Careless Communion results in what Paul described:
“For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 1 Corinthians 11:29-30
If you are sick, ask yourself, is this God’s way of chastening me for not following His way of life? Consider the state of your soul as well:
- Am I withholding forgiveness from someone who has hurt me deeply?
- Am I resentful or regretful over something in my past, either because of someone else or my own actions?
- Is there anything in my past for which I cannot bring myself to thank God for?
- Are there any private sins that I cherish without confessing and repenting before Holy God?
- Is there anything in my past that I have not found forgiveness for, and when reminded, I immediately jump on the Ferris wheel of regret?
- Am I quick to get frustrated and even angry when certain situations arise?
- Are there areas of my life I refuse to submit to God’s control?
3. Sickness unto the Glory of God.
God uses infirmities, sickness and disease to bring glory to Himself.
a) He Provides Supernatural Healing
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:1-3
This infirmity was designed years before Christ healed him. Therefore, we must never attribute sickness, disease or impairment as sin on his part or his parents fault.
b) God’s Glory is Manifested in our Weakness.
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
God often gives us physical and even mental weaknesses to prevent us from depending on our own strength or ability rather than the supernatural working of His power.
The Five Factors Which Determine our Total Health
Sickness and disease can be associated with one or more of the following five factors. When proper care is given regarding these factors, you have the optimal potential to avoid or clear up the related diseases. The first three are the most important, according to Scripture.
1. What We Think
Intellectual thoughts travel through the limbic system of the brain, directly effecting many bodily functions. Research has proven a connection between the limbic system and emotional memory, which includes positive thoughts such as love, joy and peace; and negative thoughts such as anger, guilt, lust, bitterness, greed, fear and envy.
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” Matthew 15:18-20
There are two parts of the nervous system that are especially significant: The limbic system and the autonomic nervous system. The Limbic System The limbic system is a complex set of structures that lies on both sides and underneath the thalamus, just under the cerebrum. It includes the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, the amygdala, and several other nearby areas. It appears to be primarily responsible for our emotional life, and has a lot to do with the formation of memories.
All emotional memories are stored and can be consciously or subconsciously stimulated by the senses. The brain, the heart and the intestinal tract release neuro-transmitters that result in physiological changes. The thoughts of the heart prompt the greatest changes in the body, as it is stated in Scripture:
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. Proverbs 23:7
Neurotransmitters exert their effect by binding to specific receptors on the neuronal postsynaptic membrane. A neurotransmitter can either ‘excite’ its neighbouring neuron so increasing its activity, or ‘inhibit’ its neighbouring neuron, suppressing its activity. In general, the activity of a neuron depends on the balance between the number of excitatory and inhibitory processes affecting it, and these can occur simultaneously. Most neurotransmitter receptors can be divided into two types – ligand-gated receptors and G-protein linked receptors.
Stimulation of a ligand-gated receptor enables a channel in the receptor to open and permits the influx of chloride and potassium ions into the cell. The positive or negative charges that enter the cell either excite or inhibit the neuron. Ligands for these receptors include excitatory neurotransmitters, such as glutamate and, to a lesser extent, aspartate. Binding of these ligands to the receptor produces an excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP). Alternatively, binding of inhibitory neurotransmitter ligands, such as GABA and glycine, produces an inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP). These ligand-gated receptors are also known as ionotropic or fast receptors.
G-protein linked receptors are indirectly linked to ion channels, via a second messenger system involving G-proteins and adenylate cyclase. These receptors are neither precisely excitatory nor inhibitory and modulate the actions of the classic excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters such as glutamate and glycine. These receptors tend to have an inhibitory effect if they are linked to the Gi protein in the cell membrane, and a more excitatory effect if linked to the Gs protein. G-protein linked receptors are known as metabotropic or slow receptors and examples include GABA-B, glutamate, dopamine (D1 and D2), 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT1D, 5-HT2A,5-HT2C receptors.
|5-HT1||Brain, instetinal nerves||Neuronal inhibition, behavioural effects, cerebral vasoconstriction|
|5-HT2||Brain, heart, lungs, smooth muscle control, GI system, blood vessels, platelets||Neuronal excitation, vasoconstriction, behavioural effects,depression, anxiety|
|5-HT3||Limbic system, ANS||Nausea, anxiety|
|5-HT4||CNS, smooth muscle||Neuronal excitation, GI|
|5-HT5, 6, 7||Brain||Not known|
|Alpha1||Brain, heart, smooth muscle||Vasoconstriction, smooth muscle control|
|Alpha2||Brain, pancreas, smooth muscle||Vasoconstriction, presynaptic effect in GI (relaxant)|
|Beta1||Heart, brain||Heart rate (increase)|
|Beta2||Lungs, brain, skeletal muscle||Bronchial relaxation, vasodilatation|
|Beta3||Postsynaptic effector cells||Stimulation of effector cells|
|D1, 5-like||Brain, smooth muscle||Stimulatory, role in schizophrenia?|
|D2, 3, 4-like||Brain, cardiovascular system, presynaptic nerve terminals||Inhibitory, role in schizphrenia?|
|M1||Nerves||CNS excitation, gastric acid secretion|
|M2||Heart, nerves, smooth muscle||Cardiac inhibition, neural inhibition|
|M3||Glands, smooth muscle, endothelium||Smooth, muscle contraction, vasodilation|
|NM||Skeletal muscles neuromuscular junction||Neuromuscular transmission|
|NN||Postganglionic cell body dendrites||Ganglionic transmission|
The heart and brain
However, following several years of research, it was observed that, the heart communicates with the brain in ways that significantly affect how we perceive and react to the world. It was found that, the heart seemed to have its own peculiar logic that frequently diverged from the direction of the autonomic nervous system. The heart appeared to be sending meaningful messages to the brain that it not only understood, but also obeyed (Lacey and Lacey, 1978).
Later, neurophysiologists discovered a neural pathway and mechanism whereby input from the heart to the brain could inhibit or facilitate the brain’s electrical activity (McCraty, 2002)
The brain in the heart:
After extensive research, Armour (1994) introduced the concept of functional ‘heart brain’. His work revealed that the heart has a complex intrinsic nervous system that is sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a ‘little brain’ in its own right. The heart’s brain is an intricate network of several types of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins and support cells similar to those found in the brain proper. Its elaborate circuitry enables it to act independently of the cranial brain – to learn, remember, and even feel and sense. The heart’s nervous system contains around 40,000 neurons, called sensory neurites (Armour, 1991).
Information from the heart – including feeling sensations – is sent to the brain through several afferents. These afferent nerve pathways enter the brain at the area of the medulla, and cascade up into the higher centres of the brain, where they may influence perception, decision making and other cognitive processes (Armour, 2004).
Thus, it was revealed that the heart has its own intrinsic nervous system that operates and processes information independently of the brain or nervous system. This is what allows a heart transplant to work. Normally, the heart communicates with the brain via nerve fibres running through the vagus nerve and the spinal column. In a heart transplant, these nerve connections do not reconnect for an extended period of time; in the meantime, the transplanted heart is able to function in its new host only through the capacity of its intact, intrinsic nervous system (Murphy, et al, 2000)
The heart’s magnetic field:
Research has also revealed that the heart communicates information to the brain and throughout the body via electromagnetic field interactions. The heart generates the body’s most powerful and most extensive rhythmic electromagnetic field. The heart’s magnetic component is about 500 times stronger than the brain’s magnetic field and can be detected several feet away from the body. It was proposed that, this heart field acts as a carrier wave for information that provides a global synchronizing signal for the entire body (McCraty, Bradley & Tomasino, 2004)
Heart field interactions between individuals
There is now evidence that a subtle yet influential electromagnetic or ‘energetic’ communication system operates just below our conscious awareness. Energetic interactions possibly contribute to the ‘magnetic’ attractions or repulsions that occur between individuals, and also affect social relationships. It was also found that one person’s brain waves can synchronize to another person’s heart (McCraty, 2004).
Communication via hormones: the heart as a hormonal gland
Another component of the heart-brain communication system was provided by researchers studying the hormonal system. The heart was reclassified as an endocrine gland when, in 1983, a hormone produced and released by the heart called atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) was isolated. This hormone exerts its effect on the blood vessels, on the kidneys, the adrenal glands, and on a large number of regulatory regions in the brain. It was also found that the heart contains a cell type known as ‘intrinsic cardiac adrenergic’’ (ICA) cells. Theses cells release noradrenaline and dopamine neurotransmitters, once thought to be produced only by neurons in the CNS. More recently, it was discovered that the heart also secretes oxytocin, commonly referred to as the ‘love’ or bonding hormone. In addition to its functions in childbirth and lactation, recent evidence indicates that this hormone is also involved in cognition, tolerance, adaptation, complex sexual and maternal behaviours, learning social cues and the establishment of enduring pair bonds. Concentrations of oxytocin in the heart were found to be as high as those found in the brain (Cantin & Genest, 1986).
2. What We Say
God states, “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue”. Positive words produce energy for health and peace, whereas negative words result in confusion and disease.
Positive words can be expressed in praise, verbal blessings, audible prayers and cries to God. The Words of God are alive and powerful:
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
We are also instructed:
My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:20-23
Negative words are expressed by such things as curses, ridicule, mocking, gossip and false accusations. God compares such words to poison, fire , venom and arrows because of the effect they have on the physical body.
A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow. Proverbs 25:18
So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:5-8
who whet their tongues like swords, who aim bitter words like arrows, Psalms 64:3
“Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” Romans 3:13
Negative words must be neutralized with verbal blessings, or they will do greater damage to our health. We are told by Christ and Paul:
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you”. Luke 6:27-28
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them”. Romans 12:14
3. What We Do
God designed man to function in intricate cause and effect sequences. He prescribed a way of life that is consistent with His holy standards. If these standards are violated by our lifestyle or behavior, we will experience corresponding consequences in our health and length of life.
Many times a lifestyle of promiscuity destroys the immune system and introduces destructive viruses to the body with the result of fatal diseases.
4. What We Eat
Our body needs proper nutrition. Note: your ability to digest food and assimilate its nutritional value is determined by what you think, say and do.
5. What We Inherit
Each of us inherits a genetic predisposition to death through Adam’s transgression. We each have genetic tendencies toward certain diseases. We also have in our body opportunistic agents that are ready to spring into action just as soon as our immune systems are too weak to stop them. These disease factors include Bacteria, Viruses, Parasites and Fungi.
When the stresses of anger, guilt, lust, bitterness, greed, fear and envy are resolved by obeying the commands of Christ, the sickness or disease they caused often clears up.
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:8
 Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 793.
 William E. Vine, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1940), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Purge”. See Hebrews 9:14 & 9:22
 Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 793.
 Ibid, under “iáomai”.
 Ibid, p. 1353.
 Nancy S. Wexler, Clairvoyance and Caution: Repercussions from the Human Genome Project. The Code of Codes: Scientific and Social Issues in the Human Genome Project. D.J. Kevles and L. Hood (Eds) Harvard University Press, 1992, 211-243 at http://www.hdfoundation.org/html/clair.php
 Boeree, C. George, Ph.D. “General Psychology”. Epublication, 4/21/2008 found at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/6004602/general-psychology-etext