No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. Luke 16:13, NIV.
The year was 1994. The place—the congressional hall of the United States government. It was high drama. A nation watched with awe as a bespectacled, somewhat bookish young doctor took on the multinational cigarette corporations. David Kessler, Food and Drug Administration commissioner, was angry and wanted all America to hear his charges against tobacco.
"Nicotine delivery systems" was the pointed phrase he used to show that cigarette manufacturers actually manipulated cigarette nicotine content for maximum addictive result.
Committee chair Henry Waxman nodded along in agreement and summoned the chief executives of the major tobacco manufacturers to answer the charge. When they claimed to be innocent of any manipulation, you could almost hear the collective boo from across the nation. David Kessler had the facts, the detailed findings of three surgeons general to add force to his statements.
Ellen G. White took the unmasking of the tobacco trade a giant step further than even Kessler when she wrote: "In fastening upon men the terrible habit of tobacco use, it is Satan's purpose to palsy the brain and confuse the judgment, so that sacred things shall not be discerned. When once an appetite for this narcotic has been formed, it takes firm hold on the mind and the will of man, and he is in bondage under its power. Satan has the control of the will, and eternal realities are eclipsed" (Temperance
, p. 60). The amazing thing is that she wrote this in 1893, more than 100 years before Kessler's charge rocked the tobacco industry.
Ultimately the battle against tobacco, as with other addictions and addictive behaviors, comes right down to the struggle between good and evil, allegiance to Satan or allegiance to God. Cigarettes are indeed nicotine delivery systems. And Satan is indeed in the business of the delivery of sin and destruction to all who play with his toys.
How wonderful to know that God's power can protect us from all of the mind-benumbing plots of Satan.Dear Lord, give me the clarity of perception to see Your ways always in a world offering so many false and ultimately destructive alternatives.
Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.