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The Plain Truth – January 1982
The Plain Truth – January 1982
The Key To Radiant Health

by Herbert W. Armstrong

WE PRIDE OURSELVES on being the most advanced, enlightened, scientifically developed generation that ever lived.

We suppose that we are now on the doorstep of eradicating sickness and disease, due to the miraculous advances of medical science. We suppose the great advances in sanitary measures, in the new “wonder drugs,” in preventive serums, vaccines and inoculations are bringing modern civilization into a state of wonderful health.

We couldn’t be more wrong!

Modern civilization is not bringing health nor abolishing disease. While the medical profession works to reduce TB, cancer and other diseases, modern civilization is CREATING NEW DISEASES NEVER HEARD OF A FEW GENERATIONS AGO. Sickness and disease are on an accelerating INCREASE!


I suppose many would ask: “But isn’t it natural to be sick? Are we not made in such a way that we simply have to become sick and contract disease? And didn’t God raise up medical science to combat it?”

The answer is an EMPHATIC NO!

Sickness and disease are NOT natural! We were made to BE WELL!

The Almighty God made the human body so that – even though composed of material substance from the ground – its normal condition is one of robust, invigorating, radiant GOOD HEALTH!

Sickness and disease are ABNORMAL – they are the PENALTY of VIOLATION OF NATURAL LAWS. They are PHYSICAL SIN!

One may break man-made civil laws and not get caught. But when you break GOD’S LAWS, the penalty is automatic!

And what does modern civilization do about it? It – not God – raised up medical science to try to deal with the effect – ignoring the CAUSE – attempting to remove the PENALTY, which the Creator GOD imposed for physical violations. Treating the EFFECT, while ignoring the CAUSE, is to encourage the violation which CAUSES the sickness; to encourage SIN! Only most people never thought of it that way.

But, one asks, hasn’t medical science made tremendous strides in conquering diseases? Yes, but while they are working on some diseases, several times as many NEW DISEASES appear in our midst – diseases unheard of some four generations ago! Diseases of MODERN CIVILIZATION!

Among diseases of modern civilization are diabetes, cancer, heart diseases, Bright’s disease, kidney diseases, acidosis, asthma, rheumatism. There is a definite CAUSE for these.

Look at young children pouring out of schools today. Notice how many are pale, anemic, round-shouldered, more than half of them constipated, wearing glasses, having bad teeth, diseased tonsils.

How many today live in a home where there is never a cold or fever, no tooth troubles or poor eyesight or any of these diseases? Where no one is ever sick? Do you know of any such home? You’re a rare person if you do! All humanity should live in such homes – could! – and many, if not most, will in the GOD-ruled WORLD TOMORROW!

One of the greatest industries today is the cosmetics industry – selling millions of dollars (or equivalent in other monetary standards) in materials to paint on “natural” facial color that has been ROBBED from natural foods!

The very first trouble with our deteriorating physical status is that we take sickness for granted! We seem to assume sickness is natural and necessary. We are in IGNORANCE of the CAUSES. Modern society treats the RESULT, but ignores the CAUSE!

WHAT, then, are the specific CAUSES?

One physician said to me, “We doctors are kept so busy treating sicknesses and diseases that we simply have no time to study and research into the CAUSES.”

But some of the most noted physicians and surgeons have given thought and study into the CAUSES. And leading doctors have said that 90 to 92 percent of all sickness and disease results from FAULTY DIET! Some of the them have said that the average Western meal is a dietetic HORROR! Few people, it seems, realize that FOOD has any connection with health or sickness. The FACTS are appalling!

Let me give you some important facts!

First, just what are we? Of what are we composed?

God Himself ought to know – and He says, “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” And again, “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground” (Gen. 3:19; 2:7). Dust – ground – is matter – material substance. In the ground are approximately 103 elements. But the human body is basically composed of 16 of them. And these are the 16 that grow in food.

So it is literally true that “we are just what we eat.” Each of our bodies started from a small ovum, no larger than the period at the end of this sentence – and even that was developed through food that grew in the ground. And that ovum had to be fertilized by a sperm cell only one-fiftieth as large. But what caused that tiny embryo to GROW until you were born? It was developed from food that grew out of soil – out of dust. But you are now much larger and heavier than when you were born. Where did all the rest of you come from? From FOOD AND WATER which came from the ground – from DUST!

Is it not plain that whatever FOOD you put into your mouth has a very great deal to do with WHAT you are – and WITH YOUR HEALTH or lack of it?

God made organic substances, grown through food, to be naturally absorbed into the bloodstream to replenish broken-down cells and supply tissue, healthy flesh and blood.

Now here is a MOST IMPORTANT FACT! Nearly all of us, today, because of what our food factories have done to our foods, are eating several times more carbohydrates in food than we should for normal good health. So WHAT HAPPENS? If this carbon in the blood supplies not only energy but also our bodily heat, WHY does it not raise our bodily temperature up to two or three times the normal 98.6 degrees?

The answer to that is IMPORTANT!

That is something DOCTORS OUGHT TO BE TELLING US. Why don’t they? I guess you’ll have to ask them – I can’t answer for them. Perhaps they are just so busy TREATING the PENALTY you have incurred by BREAKING NATURE’S LAWS, eating an over-abundance of the carbohydrates.

But I will tell you what happens. And YOU had better HEED!

If eating twice as much of the carbohydrates as you should actually doubled your bodily temperature, you’d die of high fever before the doctor could get to you. But YOUR CREATOR provided a preventive, so it does not react quite that way. Just as some taxi-cab companies put a governor on the accelerators of their cars, so that the driver can only push it down far enough to reach the controlled speed the company has predetermined, even so your Maker designed the bloodstream of your body to absorb no more carbohydrates than one-half of 1 percent approximately of the volume of blood.

What, THEN, happens to the excess of the carbohydrates? They do supply a certain unnatural artificial energy – but they are primarily eliminated in an unnatural way, contrary to nature’s laws, through the kidneys. And this process in time builds up and causes a whole string of these modern diseases of a law-breaking civilization! But SOME of it is carried as a toxin or poison by the blood into muscles and joints. And after so long a time, you “catch a cold” or “a fever” – so you think, not realizing that you actually ATE that cold or fever before you caught it. It may go into pneumonia! A cold or fever is merely a sudden violent elimination of toxins and poisons you have injected into your body by WRONG DIET which has BROKEN GOD’S PHYSICAL LAWS!

Or, this accumulation of toxins may result in rheumatism or other disease.

And what are the carbohydrates?

They are the starches, sugars, fats and oils.

Today nearly everything we eat passes through man’s hands – or his factories – before it comes to the consumer. In the interests of bigger profits the gigantic food industry is giving us a diet of FOODLESS “foods.”

Take wheat. Wheat is almost a perfect food. It contains all 16 major food elements, in near perfectly balanced proportion. But they take that perfect grain of wheat apart, rob it of the 12 mineral elements, and turn it into white flour – containing the four carbohydrate elements.


Well, if they were to give you real WHOLE wheat flour, it would spoil after so long a time. And in the BIG BUSINESS distribution system, the flour may not reach the consumer until after it spoils. That would mean a loss to the food industry.

One dietician gave this advice, “My BASIC RULE in diet is: Eat only those natural foods that will spoil – and eat them before they do.”

There is another area in which people ruin their own health. They take a beef steak, or a mixed green salad of uncooked leafy green vegetables or other fruit or vegetables, and then RUIN them with sauces, gravies or dressings that will wreck any stomach – at least in time! People think they must mix foods into conglomerations of meat with starch, sugars, condiments, artificial flavors, preservatives, sea-“foods,” and unhealthful mixture – IN CONFUSION! And then the people of this degenerate world suppose it is just NATURAL to be sick!

A little baby will put about everything in reach into his mouth. It seems most of our adults are still doing it. If we like the taste – or develop a perverted taste – we think it must be good food! But everything that grows is NOT good food. Nor is every animal good for food.

Many children are raised on a diet of white bread, jellies and jams, potatoes with greasy and starchy gravy, a little meat, pie and cake and cookies and pastries and candy. Some will ask: “Well, what else can we eat?”

Eat more vegetables – green leafy raw salad vegetables unspoiled by injurious dressings; non-starch vegetables cooked at low temperatures – about 180 degrees – and served with only butter and a little salt; fresh fruits; clean lean meats (NO FAT); whole grains; fresh raw (unpasteurized) milk, butter, cheese; eggs and clean fowl.

I have had space only to scrape the surface of this subject. Perhaps sometime I may find time to write more fully and in more detail.

But before ending, I want to give you a little of what our Creator says about health and sickness. It is God’s will that we be IN HEALTH (III John 2). God intended us to obey His laws – His physical laws that operate in our bodies for good health as well as His spiritual Law. Yet He knew our weaknesses and rebellious nature. When we repent of breaking His spiritual Law and transgressing against Him, our loving and merciful Father has provided a way for removing the penalty – through Jesus’ sacrifice, paying the penalty in our stead.

In like manner, when nature’s laws have been broken, this is God’s instruction to those who have become His begotten children:

“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, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” (Jas. 5:14-15).

Notice important specific points in that instruction. It says the prayer of FAITH shall save the sick. But James also says (chapter 1:6-7) that if one’s faith wavers, he will not receive the answer. Yet also, in the “faith chapter” of the Bible, Hebrews 11, we read this, “He that cometh to God must BELIEVE that he is, and that he is a REWARDER of them that diligently seek him” (verse 6).

And again, what we ask of Him we receive BECAUSE we keep His Commandments, and do those things that please Him (I John 3:22).

So, although God does heal, there are conditions – we do have our part to perform.

Notice further: When the sick came to Jesus, He healed them, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses” (Matt. 8:17). And I Peter 2:24, “by whose stripes ye were healed.” Before Jesus was crucified, He was beaten – paying the penalty of our physical transgressions in our stead.

This kind of healing – and nothing else is actual HEALING – is a divine miracle, FORGIVING physical sin – and removing its penalty. It is a MOST SERIOUS THING, not to be taken lightly – not to be made a mockery of by fanatical and wild public demonstrations in “healing meetings.” Jesus healed – the apostles healed – He gave AUTHORITY to His ministers to heal – but they did it quietly, without demonstration, as a ministry of LOVE – not as a highly publicized circus sideshow to attract crowds.

This sort of sensational “divine healing” is NOT the way of God. Such practices today have only brought ridicule and discredit and in no sense do I advocate or approve them! The courts and law-enforcing agencies, as a result of these UNSCRIPTURAL divine healing practices, are completely hostile to divine healing. But what Jesus did, and commissioned His true ministers to do, IS SOMETHING ALTOGETHER DIFFERENT.

Real healing by God’s power is a matter of FORGIVING SIN – sin against the physical body. Read Luke 5:18-26. None but GOD can forgive sin (verse 21). Doctors, therefore, CANNOT HEAL. They can work with nature’s laws – but that is not HEALING.

Do we, then, advise people against going to medical doctors? By NO MEANS. Doctors have their place in this world. But the healing that God performs is NOT OF THIS WORLD.

I have answered the call of thousands, who have come to me for prayer for healing. Many have been healed – miraculously – of even cancer and an advanced case, in a hospital, of leukemia. On the other hand, many have not been healed. Yet I have prayed with the same faith for the one as the other.

WHY are many not healed? Jesus said it is ACCORDING TO YOUR FAITH. Perhaps they did not fully believe. Perhaps they were not obedient. Perhaps they should read James 4:3, where it says: “Ye ask, and receive not, because…. ” And you may read the answer yourself.

So let me make this plain.

I DO NOT SAY, DON’T GO TO THE DOCTOR of medicine: I DO NOT KNOW whether YOU will be healed by God – because I cannot know whether you have the faith, are conforming to God’s conditions, have really repented and turned from violating God’s laws. I do not leave people without ANY help – for, if they do not have the faith, have not repented, are not keeping God’s Commandments, they probably won’t be healed, and I cannot advise them against the only help they might have – that which this world’s society has set up. Healing by God is NOT a thing to experiment with!

But, why not solve this whole question by avoiding the CAUSE of sickness and disease – and KEEPING HEALTHY in the first place? Then there is NO PROBLEM, is there?