In this study, we are going to discuss a subject that has the potential to affect a person's life in a major way, especially if one was raised in a Gentile home. I realize that this study has the potential to greatly impact a person's lifestyle. Eating is something we do every day. But what we put into our bodies (Yahweh's temple) is very important. If you don't believe me, just ask Adam and Eve. It was the eating of something that Eve thought was "good for food" that resulted in the fall of man and brought us into the condition we are today. Will we follow their example?
It has been taught by mainstream Christianity for nearly 2000 years that Yahweh has abolished or set aside various commandments dealing with the eating of unclean meats. For this reason, most Christians have no problem with consuming pork, rabbits and other rodents, lobsters, shrimp, and various kinds of shellfish.
Based on a thorough reading of all New Testament scriptures regarding the law, it is evident that the law of Yahweh has not been abolished. This fact alone demonstrates that we should be observing the commandments regarding the avoidance of eating unclean animals. The purpose of this study is to further demonstrate the understanding that Yahweh desires us to eat only the clean animals that He created. It will also address various "new testament" verses that some claim to be evidence for abolishing these commandments.
The word "unclean" denotes defilement or dirtiness. In the same way we would not want to serve a meal to our family or friends that we regard as contaminated with filth, Yahweh also has a certain standard of clean and unclean. He doesn't want us eating things that are 'dirty' or defiled. Since He created the animals and He also created our bodies, He knows quite well what is fit for us to eat.
Today, some of us are finding out that Yahweh knew what He was doing when He told us to refrain from unclean animals. Various books have been written which conclusively prove that pork and shellfish are very unhealthy for our bodies. If man had only chose to listen to Yahweh's word already written in the scriptures, it would have saved a lot of people from the harmful effects of eating unclean animals long ago.
These animals are the garbage cleaners of the earth, and generally speaking, they don't have the digestive system to filter out the contaminants from the carcasses and feces they like to eat. Shellfish sit in the bottom of the sea, cleaning up the garbage. Hogs roamed the earth eating carcasses or disgusting thing they could find until man put them in pens and fed them slop. It's time that we go back to the true "Maker's diet" and put away these abominations.
What is clean and what is unclean?
In the scriptures, Yahweh declares certain animals "unclean" and therefore unfit for human consumption. Yahweh plainly speaks of the kind of animals He wants us to eat and the kinds of animals He does not want us to eat:
Leviticus 11:3-8 'Among the animals, whatever divides the hoof, having cloven hooves and chewing the cud -- that you may eat. 4 'Nevertheless these you shall not eat among those that chew the cud or those that have cloven hooves: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; 5 'the rock hyrax, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; 6 'the hare, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; 7 'and the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. 8 'Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. They are unclean to you.
Yahweh says "Among the animals, whatever divides the hoof, having cloven hooves and chewing the cud -- that you may eat." One animal that Yahweh points out in particular is the swine. Even in those days, swine (pigs/pork) was often eaten just as they are today. He made a special point that we are not to eat the swine. Some might claim that since we have now domesticated the swine and the swine is fed grains and such, that it is a clean food. But since the pig still does not chew the cud, it is still unclean according to the word of Yahweh. Truly, Yahweh knows best.
Leviticus 11:9-12 ' These you may eat of all that are in the water: whatever in the water has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers -- that you may eat. 10 'But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you. 11 'They shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination. 12 'Whatever in the water does not have fins or scales -- that shall be an abomination to you.
According to the above verses, we should only be eating fish that has both fins and scales. Because of this, all shellfish are considered unclean.
Today, shellfish and other unclean fish are very popular in various restaurants. Shrimp, lobster and oysters are commonly served in spite of what the the Creator of those fish says about them.
This can be likened to a man who decides to drive his car into the ocean because he wants it to be a boat. It wasn't created to be a boat. It has no propeller and it would only sink to the bottom of the ocean. If the man had listened to the designer and builder of the vehicle, he would have known that his vehicle would not float. In the same way a road vehicle wasn't created to float and drive across the sea, shellfish and various unclean animals weren't created to be eaten by man. If man will listen to the Creator of animals and fish, he will learn that Yahweh did not create pigs and shellfish to be "food" any more than a car was created to be a boat. We need to get the idea that these things are "food" out of our minds. Yahweh marked them at creation for a good reason. We need to cleave to His will in spite of what the people around us may do.
Here is a list of birds and insects that Yahweh declares to be unclean:
Leviticus 11:13-23 And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, 14 'the kite, and the falcon after its kind; 15 'every raven after its kind, 16 'the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after its kind; 17 'the little owl, the fisher owl, and the screech owl; 18 'the white owl, the jackdaw, and the carrion vulture; 19 'the stork, the heron after its kind, the hoopoe, and the bat. 20 ' All flying insects that creep on all fours shall be an abomination to you. 21 'Yet these you may eat of every flying insect that creeps on all fours: those which have jointed legs above their feet with which to leap on the earth. 22 'These you may eat: the locust after its kind, the destroying locust after its kind, the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind. 23 'But all other flying insects which have four feet shall be an abomination to you.
Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit:
1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit [who] [is] in you, whom you have from Yahweh, and you are not your own?
If the body we have is not our own, but rather given to us by Yahweh, then we must take care of it and not defile it. We must present our bodies as holy and acceptable to Yahweh:
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Yahweh, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to Yahweh, [which] [is] your reasonable service.
Holiness is the reason Yahweh gave for us to avoid eating unclean animals. He wants us to be a clean people, a holy people. When Yahweh gives the commands regarding clean and unclean He will say that He wants us to be holy as He is holy.
Leviticus 11:44 For I am Yahweh your Elohim. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
Knowing this, let's consider some other scriptures that speak of the importance of not eating unclean animals.
Here is a scripture that has yet to be fulfilled:
Isaiah 66:16 - For by fire and by His sword Yahweh will judge all flesh; And the slain of Yahweh shall be many. "Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves, [To] [go] to the gardens After an [idol] in the midst, Eating swine's flesh and the abomination and the mouse, Shall be consumed together," says Yahweh.
Checking the context, we find that it is very clear that this is yet future:
Isaiah 66:15-24 For behold, Yahweh will come with fire And with His chariots, like a whirlwind, To render His anger with fury, And His rebuke with flames of fire. 16 For by fire and by His sword Yahweh will judge all flesh; And the slain of Yahweh shall be many. 17 "Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves, To go to the gardens After an idol in the midst, Eating swine's flesh and the abomination and the mouse, Shall be consumed together," says Yahweh. 18 " For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory. 19 "I will set a sign among them; and those among them who escape I will send to the nations: to Tarshish and Pul and Lud, who draw the bow, and Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off who have not heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. 20 "Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to Yahweh out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem," says Yahweh, "as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of Yahweh. 21 "And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites," says Yahweh. 22 " For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me," says Yahweh, "So shall your descendants and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass That from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me," says Yahweh. 24 "And they shall go forth and look Upon the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, And their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."
So, judging by the context we see that the prophecy of Yahweh destroying those who eat swine's flesh is yet future. Why then do so many believe that it is now acceptable to eat unclean animals?
The main reason is they do not read verses like these because they are taught to avoid the Old Testament or not even bother trying to understand it. Secondly, because they already have this idea that it must be acceptable to eat unclean meats, they read the "New Testament"
Did Messiah abolish Yahweh's clean/unclean commands?
Many believe that Yahushua declared all foods clean in Mark 7:19. Let's take a look at the context here..
Mark 7:1-3 Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. 2 Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. 3 For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders.
Note that this is a tradition of the elders and not a commandment from Yahweh. Although it is not wrong to eat with washed hands, it is not a commandment from Yahweh either. Nevertheless, the Pharisees and scribes said that their hands were "defiled" or unclean.
Yahushua responds by saying their priorities are wrong in whom they choose to obey. They placed the commandments of men over the commandments of Yahweh. Continuing on...
Mark 7:4-7 When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches. 5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?" 6 He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'
It is vain to worship Him with the doctrines and commandments of men.
Mark 7:8-18 "For laying aside the commandment of Elohim, you hold the tradition of men -- the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do." 9 He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of Elohim, that you may keep your tradition. 10 "For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' 11 "But you say, 'If a man says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban" -- ' (that is, a gift to Elohim), 12 "then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, 13 "making the word of Elohim of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do." 14 When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, "Hear Me, everyone, and understand: 15 "There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. 16 "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!" 17 When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. 18 So He said to them, "Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, 19 "because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?"
Other translations such as the New International Version will end this verse with the following statement: "(In saying this, Yahushua declared all foods clean)." But this statement is not in the majority of Greek manuscripts and is not found in the King James Version or Young's Literal Translation.
Even so, all "foods" are clean because shellfish and pork aren't food to begin with. Yahushua was not being criticized for eating pork, He was being criticized for eating without washing his hands according to the "tradition of the elders." They believed his hands were defiled, so everything he ate was also defiled. But failing to wash your hands did not defile His hands or the food he was eating. So Yahushua declared to them that the food was not defiled by eating with unwashed hands. Then He gave a "parable." We know his statement, "There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man." was a parable and not intended to be taken literally because His disciples later "asked him concerning the parable."
Then He gave an explanation of the parable:
Mark 7:20-23 And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 "thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 "All these evil things come from within and defile a man."
To confirm He was not speaking of unclean meats not defiling a man, consider the parallel of Yahushua's saying here in the book of Matthew where the same story is told:
Matthew 15:19-20 "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 "These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man."
So it was the evil coming out of the heart that defiled a man, not eating with unwashed hands. Yahushua spoke nothing of eating pork chops here, nor would He have ever approved of anyone breaking Yahweh's commandments.
Think about it for a minute: Yahweh clearly commanded them to refrain from eating unclean meats... why on earth would He sharply rebuke the people of His day for keeping the very things that Yahweh commanded them to keep? The context is clearly speaking of the eating with "unwashed hands." Therefore, it is clear that Yahweh's perfect law was not changed here.
Many believe that this commandment was abolished later in Acts chapter 10. Once again, let's take a close look at the context:
Acts 10:1-14 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared Elohim with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to Elohim always. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of Elohim coming in and saying to him, "Cornelius!" 4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, "What is it, lord?" So he said to him, "Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before Elohim. 5 "Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. 6 "He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do." 7 And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually. 8 So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa. 9 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. 10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance 11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 13 And a voice came to him, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat." 14 But Peter said, "Not so, Master! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean."
Now consider this, Peter (Kepha) declares that he has never eaten anything common or unclean. Yet this is many years after Yahushua's resurrection and ascension. If Yahushua had declared all foods clean in Mark 7:19 or in any other instruction to the disciples, why would He refuse any request to do so? Continuing on...
Acts 10:14-17 But Peter said, "Not so, Master! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean." 15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, "What Elohim has cleansed you must not call common." 16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again. 17 Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant...
Now many would like to stop right here and declare that it it is now acceptable to eat unclean animals. But according to the previous verse, Peter/Kepha himself didn't even know what the vision meant. How then can we interpret the vision? Kepha knew that it was always considered an "abomination" to eat the flesh of unclean animals and that we should not make ourselves "abominable" by eating them (Leviticus 20:25).
Leviticus 20:25 'You shall therefore distinguish between clean animals and unclean, between unclean birds and clean, and you shall not make yourselves abominable by beast or by bird, or by any kind of living thing that creeps on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.
He knew that to eat such things was to make himself "abominable" in Yahweh's eyes. He also knew that for Yahweh to change His mind and say that what was once considered to be an "abomination" to eat is now perfectly holy and acceptable was not possibly what Yahweh meant.
We can be sure He also knew that the Day of Yahweh would one day come and Yahweh would destroy those who ate swine's flesh. Therefore, to understand what was meant by the vision we must continue reading:
Acts 10:17-28 Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate. 18 And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there. 19 While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are seeking you. 20 "Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them." 21 Then Peter went down to the men who had been sent to him from Cornelius, and said, "Yes, I am he whom you seek. For what reason have you come?" 22 And they said, "Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears Elohim and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you." 23 Then he invited them in and lodged them. On the next day Peter went away with them, and some brethren from Joppa accompanied him. 24 And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, "Stand up; I myself am also a man." 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many who had come together. 28 Then he said to them, "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But Elohim has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
So this vision had nothing to do with Yahweh trying to show Kepha that it is now okay to eat unclean foods, but rather Yahweh was trying to show Kepha and the rest of the disciples that they needed to go to the Gentiles with the good news of Yahushua too! Yahushua had commanded the disciples to "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.." in Matthew 28 but up until that point they had not done so. So Yahweh sent a vision to Kepha to show him that contrary to popular opinion during that time it was not 'unlawful' or against the commandment of Yahweh to go "keep company with or go to one of another nation." The Jews would not do so because they considered the people too defiled and unclean to even keep company with. This was above and beyond anything Yahweh had ever commanded. Such enmity was never intended by Yahweh at all! It wasn't unlawful according to the Torah/Law of Yahweh, but the traditions of man. The word "unlawful" in the above verse is translated from the Greek word Athemitos (#111) which carries the following meaning:
"This term refers primarily not to what is forbidden by ordinance but to violation of tradition or common recognition of what is seemly or proper." Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, Third Edition
In Yahweh's law, it never says to separate yourself from the Gentile and treat him with contempt. Rather it says:
Exodus 22:21 " You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Leviticus 19:34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am Yahweh your Elohim.
Therefore, it is clear that Yahweh never inspired or intended such practices. The mainstream teachers of Judaism were so obsessed with cleanliness that they added hundreds of laws to the Torah which Yahweh never intended or inspired. Kepha needed to be corrected in this area and this was the purpose of the vision.
Acts 10:28-35 Then he said to them, "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But Elohim has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. 29 "Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?" 30 So Cornelius said, "Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31 "and said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of Elohim. 32 'Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you.' 33 "So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before Elohim, to hear all the things commanded you by Elohim." 34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that Elohim shows no partiality. 35 "But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.
We'll stop here but later in the chapter, Yahweh works a miracle when He pours out His spirit unto the gentiles in the presence of the Jews by having them speak in tongues. So by reading the context of this vision, we gain understanding of what it means. What I have shared with you is exactly what it means because Kepha himself declared the meaning of the vision. If anyone speaks of any other meaning behind Kepha's vision, they are not speaking according to the scriptures.
So why would Yahweh liken the Gentiles to unclean animals and tell Kepha to kill and eat them? This was Kepha's interpretation of Yahweh's vision, but He never did explain why he interpreted the vision this way. I believe the scriptures are able to illustrate clearly why he understood this vision this way, but this may require a deep understanding of what Yahushua has done for us if any of you are not already familiar with it.
At one time Kepha was told by Yahushua:
Mark 1:17-18 Then Yahushua said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." 18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
Now if you are a fisherman, the thing that you will do is catch fish, clean them and eat them. Thus, we have a similar statement by Yahushua in another place. When we become a believer in Yahushua, we must die to self so that Yahushua can live in us. In fact, we participate in Yahushua's death when we are baptized:
Romans 6:4-6 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Messiah was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Messiah; it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of Elohim, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Thus, when we receive Yahushua and are baptized in His name, we are made dead (spiritually) because it is no longer we who live but Messiah who lives in us. We are cleansed and He lives in us. We are now the "body" of Yahushua.
1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Messiah, and members individually.
Romans 12:4-5 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Messiah, and individually members of one another.
In light of this, remember that Yahushua said:
John 6:54-56 "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 "For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
Mark 14:22-24 And as they were eating, Yahushua took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." 23 Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And He said to them, "This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.
Thus, when we partake of the body & blood of Messiah we are actually partaking of one another as well, for we are His body and we have been cleansed by His blood.
So when it was told Kepha to "Kill and eat," it was a spiritual way of telling him to go to the Gentiles so that they can also be "crucified with Messiah" and be "buried with Him in baptism" so that they can also be a part of the body of Messiah, of which we all partake.
This is exactly what happened. Kepha went to the Gentiles who were cleansed by Yahweh because of their faith and belief in Him, and they were baptized. But the Jews (those "of the circumcision") who were with Kepha were amazed:
Acts 10:45-48 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify Elohim. Then Peter answered, 47 "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Master. Then they asked him to stay a few days.
So the correct interpretation is revealed when we hear the correct interpretation as spoken by Kepha himself and we see what actually took place. It had nothing to do with Yahweh cleansing abominable animals. It had to do with Yahweh cleansing men who wanted to receive Yahushua.
Doctrines of demons?
Another scripture that some point to to say that Yahweh has changed His mind on His commandment not to eat unclean foods is found in the book of 1 Timothy:
1 Timothy 4:1-3 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which Elohim created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
Now up to this point we have not been able to find a single scripture which advocates the eating of unclean animals. For those who are already pork eaters it would be fairly easy to look at this scripture through from their own perspective and assume that Paul is calling those who only believe in eating clean animals as those who follow "doctrines of demons" and have their "conscience seared with a hot iron." But demons aren't the ones who came up with the idea of eating only clean animals. It was Yahweh who commanded it.
The scripture actually says that some will be "commanding to abstain from foods which Elohim created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth." Those who believe and know the truth are those who understand that Elohim created certain animals (such as sheep and cattle) to be received with thanksgiving. It is the vegetarianism that is being spouted by the New Age movement and other eastern religions that is false doctrine. Those who believe and know the truth will understand that pork and shellfish aren't even considered to be "food" to begin with and never were intended to be "food." With this in mind, let's read the following verse:
4 For every creature of Elohim is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for it is sanctified by the word of Elohim and prayer.
After reading the above verses, some have mistakenly thought that as long as they pray before they eat an unclean animal, Yahweh cleanses it for them. But this is not what is meant. Suppose such a person forgot to pray one time before they had their breakfast sausage? They would guilty of committing an abomination. If it really meant every creature is good to eat then we can have buzzards, bats, lizards, rats and skunks for breakfast too.
So what is meant by these words? If we examine them closely, we can find that actual meaning of what is being said. Here are the three characteristics of what is being said in this scripture:
1) Every creature of Elohim is good
2) Nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving (vs. 3) by those who who believe and know the truth (vs.2)
3) The creatures are sanctified by the word of Elohim and prayer
So first of all, verse 5 speaks of "every creature of Elohim." Could there be a creature which is "of Elohim" and another creature which is not "of Elohim?" We do know that there are some men which we would consider to be men "of Elohim" and other men which are not "of Elohim." Consider:
2 Peter 1:21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of Elohim spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Men who are "of Elohim" are holy men, while men who are not "of Elohim" are unholy. Can we not say the same of all Yahweh's creatures? Though He created all men, some men and all creatures, some are "of Elohim" and others are not. The same is true of animals. Creatures that are "of Elohim" will be clean and capable of being sanctified/holy. Creatures which are not "of Elohim" are animals which are not able to be sanctified/holy because they are not clean.
Being clean and being holy are intricately linked all throughout the scriptures. Consider these scriptures:
Leviticus 10:9-11 Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, 10 "that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, 11 "and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which Yahweh has spoken to them by the hand of Moses."
Ezekiel 22:26 "Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.
1 Corinthians 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.
Leviticus 11:44 'For I am Yahweh your Elohim. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
So holiness and sanctification are intricately linked with cleanness. Becoming unholy is intricately linked with being defiled or unclean. Typically, the animals who are not holy (and thus, not "of Elohim") are scavengers and garbage cleaners of the earth.
The second characteristic states that nothing is to be refused if it is "received with thanksgiving." The previous verse said there were foods which "Elohim created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth." Therefore, in context it is obvious that those are receiving it with thanksgiving in verse 4 are those who "believe and know the truth." Those who believe and know the truth are going to know which creatures of Yahweh are set apart as food and which ones are not. They will not fall prey to doctrines/words of demons. Why? Because the word of Elohim tells us the truth. His word is truth and those who know His word recognize this truth.
Thus, no creature "of Elohim" is to be "refused if it is received with thanksgiving (vs. 3) by those who who believe and know the truth (vs.2)." Those who believe and know the truth will know which creatures are sanctified (a word meaning "set apart") by the word of Elohim. Let's remember that when Paul wrote Timothy, there was no "new testament" in existence. The holy scriptures in the "old testament" were the words of Elohim he would be referring to. Leviticus 11 speaks specifically about which animals Yahweh are unholy and abominable, and which animals are set apart for holy use. The unclean animals are not sanctified in the word of Yahweh.
Yahweh set apart which animals are clean and which animals are unclean prior to the laws in Leviticus. Noah was told to take the unclean animals by pairs but the clean animals in groups of seven:
Genesis 7:1-5 Then Yahweh said to Noah, "Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. 2 "You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; 3 "also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth. 4 "For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made." 5 And Noah did according to all that Yahweh commanded him.
So, long before Yahweh gave His commandments in the law, He made a difference between the clean and unclean. Noah knew what Yahweh was talking about and "did according to all that Yahweh commanded him".
Getting back to 1Timothy 4, we see that creatures "of Elohim" are to be "received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth." When we pray to Yahweh in thanksgiving, the food is recognized as coming from Yahweh and not from any other elohim. Thus, the food is sanctified/set apart for the ones who know and believe the truth. We are called to be holy as Yahweh is holy and not regard the words/doctrines of demons.
Like in former times, there is a complete misunderstanding of holiness today. Those who claim holiness while doing unholy acts and eating unclean animals are not pleasing to Yahweh:
Isaiah 65:3-5 - A people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face; Who sacrifice in gardens, And burn incense on altars of brick; 4 Who sit among the graves, And spend the night in the tombs; Who eat swine's flesh, And the broth of abominable things is in their vessels; 5 Who say, 'Keep to yourself, Do not come near me, For I am holier than you!' These are smoke in My nostrils, A fire that burns all the day.
So Isaiah says in another place:
Isaiah 52:11 - Depart! Depart! Go out from there, Touch no unclean [thing]; Go out from the midst of her, Be clean, You who bear the vessels of Yahweh.
Paul quotes this verse in 2 Corinthians 6:17-18.
2 Corinthians 6:17 -7:1 - Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Master. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you." 18 "I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says Yahweh Almighty." Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of Elohim.
Notice that in order to really be "perfecting holiness" we must seek to cleanse ourselves from defilement of the flesh AND spirit. It isn't just a spiritual cleansing that Yahweh is seeking from us. Yahweh desires a clean people. People who live clean, think clean and eat clean so that we are a fit temple for Yahweh's Holy Spirit. To fill His temple with the flesh of abominable things is not cleansing yourself from filthiness of flesh or spirit.
Therefore, let's maintain the purity of flesh and spirit that Yahweh seeks, that we might be among those "perfecting holiness in the fear of Elohim." Let's set aside the traditions of men and the whole idea of just assuming that because everyone else does it, it must be right. Let's look straight into the scriptures and receive what they really say about holiness and sanctification, and seek to walk therein. Yahweh knows best; let's diligently follow His will for our lives.
If you are serious about eating clean, click here and send me a blank email. An auto-responder will send a list of common foods and ingredients that are not clean according to Yahweh's word. May Yahweh bless you as you seek His ways of life and truth.
| Hebrew Roots of Christianity
| Request printed copy of this page |
| Search |