Through the ministry of Ellen White, the Lord indicated that the “gospel of health” was to be the “right arm” of the third angel’s message. Some representative statements below.
Again and again I have been instructed that the medical missionary work is to bear the same relation to the work of the third angel’s message that the arm and hand bear to the body. Under the direction of the divine Head they are to work unitedly in preparing the way for the coming of Christ. The right arm of the body of truth is to be constantly active, constantly at work, and God will strengthen it. But it is not to be made the body. At the same time the body is not to say to the arm: “I have no need of thee.” The body has need of the arm in order to do active, aggressive work. Both have their appointed work, and each will suffer great loss if worked independently of the other. (Ellen G. White, Testimonies to the Church, Vol. 6, p. 288)
The gospel of health has able advocates, but their work has been made very hard because so many ministers, presidents of conferences, and others in positions of influence have failed to give the question of health reform its proper attention. They have not recognized it in its relation to the work of the message as the right arm of the body. While very little respect has been shown to this department by many of the people and by some of the ministers, the Lord has shown His regard for it by giving it abundant prosperity.
When properly conducted, the health work is an entering wedge, making a way for other truths to reach the heart. When the third angel’s message is received in its fullness, health reform will be given its place in the councils of the conference, in the work of the church, in the home, at the table, and in all the household arrangements. Then the right arm will serve and protect the body.
But while the health work has its place in the promulgation of the third angel’s message, its advocates must not in any way strive to make it take the place of the message. (Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church. Vol 6, p. 327 (1900))
The Lord desires his church to be a perfect body,—not all arms, not all body without arms, but body and arms together,—and every member working as a part of the one great whole. As the right arm is connected with the body, so the health reform and medical missionary work is connected with the third angel’s message, and is to work efficiently as the right arm, for the defense of the body of truth. (Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, June 20, 1899, Art. A, par. 10)
I wish we had a cook who could do justice to the work by showing the people how to make good bread and other simple articles of food. Instruction in medical missionary lines is just what the people in Australia appreciate. In every place where camp meetings have been held, this subject has created intense interest. It is allied to the third angel’s message as surely as the right arm is joined to the body. (Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases, Vol 21, p. 74)