Unclean Food

by Jannie

Are you under the impression you have to avoid eating certain foods in order to please God?  Do you think God will cut you out of His will, so to speak, if you eat pork because of Lev 11:7 and Dt 14:8?  Hopefully then, you’ll also not touch seafood at all (Lev 11:10; Dt 14:10); and still bring all the different ceremonial offerings to God just as they in the desert did (Rom 9:4).  Before rushing on, take note of Ps 40:6 and 50:16-17; even more so, Is 29:13-14 with Col 2:15-17,20-23; Mt 15:11 (vv 7-9); Mk 7:6; Acts 10:15; 1 Cor 8:8; Heb 4:2. Selah and read this meditation in its entirety.

Note at Col 2:16. This refers to fellow humans who want to impose their own laws upon you.  See Col 2:8 (Rom 14:3,10). Even as far as the Sabbath (refer to paragraph 5.22 in “Apparent controversies in The Bible”). The context and immediate reference of Col 2:16 is to the distinctions of meats under the Jewish law, now done away because the distinction of those within and with the covenant was also done away (Acts 10:10-17; Heb 8:13; 9:8-12).  Pondering Rom 14:2,20-21, written before this Epistle, and 1 Tim 4:3, written after it – even the tone of this passage or characteristics of the later Gnosticism of the ascetic type – show that these laws about eating and drinking and the bigoted attachment to it were not mere matters of law but formed significant parts of a mystic asceticism; and therefore of such, Paul’s indignant declaration in Rom 14:17.

As a NT Christian you should realize and understand that the symbolical indicators of old is not applicable anymore once Jesus Christ has paid for all our sin, once for all, and is our intercessor today – Carefully contemplate Col 2:9-23; Gal 5:4-6,18; 6:15!  You must realize there was an old and now there is a new in Christ – Heb 8:13; 9:10-15. (Refer to the meditation “Mixing Old and New”). Paul said a NT believer that still thinks a Christian should be a vegetarian, is “weak” [feeble] in his faith (Rom 10:1-4; 14:1-2).

While abstaining from eating meat is mentioned, a few points to ponder for the vegan and vegetarian.  First, note that you are free to exercise the free will God gave you, also in what you choose and not choose to eat habitually or in principle (the meditation “The will of man, the will of God” expand on this); but to go beyond this choice by insinuating that the vegan or vegetarian has a superior morality to those who eat meat and then base this interpretation on the principle that killing an animal was against God’s will, is dead wrong (pardon the pun) and is a rationale that speaks of hypocrisy. Moving on from Dt 5:17, we read in Dt 12:15, “However, with all your soul’s desire you shall sacrifice and eat flesh in all your gates, according to the blessing of Jehovah your God which He has given you, the clean and the unclean, one may eat, as of the gazelle, and as of the hart.”  Verse 16 then says that only you shall not eat (drink) the blood.  And obviously we are not discussing here specific sound medical reasons for watching your diet while trying to get cured from a particular illness or disease. We are referring here to those who fanatically claim we should do absolutely NO killing because, they say, The Bible says so.  Presumably, referring to Dt 5:17 and Ex 20:13.  But, apart from their problem with other Scriptures such as Dt 12:15, they should note the key word for both these parts of the ten commandments is רצח (râtsach, H7523), a primitive root that means to kill a human being (slay, put to death but especially murder, as opposed to H2026, H5221, H4191, H7819 used on at least 124 other occasions in The Bible that mostly describes kill, slay or smite but not murder as intended in Dt 5:17 or Ex 20:13).  Second, the question begs to be asked whether the vegan or vegetarian equally and consistently considers the killing of other life forms, such as the vegetation they so eagerly consume, even germs, bacteria, viruses or other living organisms – seeing that they unequivocally advocate NO killing [whatsoever] should be done by a human?  Plants also have life!  Why shred a vegetable while it is alive? (If you put it back in the ground it will grow/survive)! Amazingly a number of vegans or vegetarians are found to even be pro-abortion (and calls it “woman’s rights”)!  Our bodies are designed to, and regularly kill organisms internally on a daily basis! Is God’s creation on earth not basically en large consisting of an ecology where one thing is killed, eaten and consumed by another? One also wonder why vegans and vegetarians who fail to supplement their diets with vitamin D, B12 and iron, and omega-3 fatty acids are so prone to becoming dangerously anaemic or contracting other ailments?  Third, if you quote The Bible, you have to be consistent.  Does the vegetarian/vegan that holds up Dt 5:17 and Ex 20:13, heed for example Jn 14:6; 16:9; Rom 3:28; 7:4,6,10; 10:9-10 or Gal 5:4,18 as well? (Refer Gal 1:6-9)  Fourth, why would someone against eating meat in principle, want to eat substitutions that resemble meat dishes (for example “vegan/vegetarian schnitzel” “vegetarian sausage”, etc.?).  We’ll leave the vegans/vegetarians who want to linger on their higher moral mount and move on with our meditation on unclean food; hopefully to become free as in Jn 8:32, 36.

Read Mt 15:1-20 carefully with Rom 14:2 and 1 Tim 4:1-5.  Just as with circumcision of the foreskin that is replaced by that of the heart [thought-life] for us today, just so were those rules and laws given to them in the desert (Rom 9:4-5) to reveal their self-righteousness as opposed to God’s righteousness (Jn 1:11-13,17; Phil 3:9)!  The meditation “The Covenant and the Law” applies also to Mt 15:6-11. Ponder it?

Consider 1 Jn 2:4 with Gal 1:6-9; and again Gal 5:4,18; Rom 8:14.  Contemplate Phil 3:9.  If you insist on achieving righteousness before God by means of OT rules (that were for a specific purpose, Gal 3:19, discussed in “The Covenant and The Law”), then ponder and be warned by Heb 9:8-15!!!  More about this are expanded on in the meditation entitled “The Gospel”.  Carefully also consider Rom 3:20,21,28; 7:4,6 and Rom 14 with Heb 6:20 (note the mention of “forever”); 7:25 (note “for all time”); 9:25-28 (note “once for all”); 10:14 (note “a single offering forever”)… Can you hear and see what God is saying or do you still prefer futile attempts at self-righteousness? Do not ignore these scriptures!  Remember that “Israelis” fail the test of 1 Jn 4:1-3, hence Mt 21:42-45; so why follow them? You must realize that there was an Old and then came a New.  Please read on.

By the way, the “all men” in Heb 9:27 is in italics, meaning the translators there demonstrated 2 Cor 3:11-16 and Jn 1:17!!!  From the meditation “The Testimony”, we note at Heb 9:27 that the words all men there, is anthrōpǒs [444] and is from anēr [435], a primary word actually indicating an individual man, a husband!  Look it up in a Greek concordance.  Even just reading the context of Heb 9, especially vv 10-12 (v8-v19; v19-v26), you should have noticed that the same meaning can be found in verse 28 that continues with “that so it is with Christ, having offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of all once for all…”  The judgement then, for all sin, was thus on Him that took it [death] on our behalf!  It is saying that Jesus is the Lamb of God and the only Savior of all that believes this outrageous deed of love!  He had to die so that we can live.  But we are diverting, let’s get back to “unclean” food, shall we?

It is true that certain OT atrocities are still an abomination to God today.  Examples would be homosexuality, adultery or fornication (unfaithfulness and sex outside a marriage).  The determining factor materializes in what prophetic image is portrayed, the principle, the precept, what it teaches, the message it portrays.  The image we, as His children in Christ, reflect to the world – our re-presentation.

An example of how we perceive things different than from how God sees it [with unrenewed minds, not re-born]; can be studied in the meditation “Apparent Controversies in The Bible”.  Perhaps consider also reading the other meditations by the author for more discussion on accurately knowing Christ.

So then, will we see that, whilst many customs still stand today, are many other specific little details [acts, objects, rituals, ceremonies, traditions] not the issue and so not applicable today for they have been merely symbolical pointers to what Jesus Christ would do for His followers permanently – Col 2:17; Jn 4:24; 8:32,36; 3:3; Mt 5:8; 15:8!  This is one of the good reasons why discernment [Holy Spirit as Guide] in our NT dispensation is necessary today (Jn 4:24; Rom 8:14).  Jesus Christ provided for, and the Father sent His Spirit to permanently indwell the NT believer in Christ (Jn 14:26; Rom 8:11-17).  We can, by ignorance or rebellion [pride], not allow this, by resisting Holy Spirit to continuously indwell us.  The result will then pretty much be similar to OT people who could only have His power, glory and Light inside for specific tasks at specific times only but not permanently.  The better covenant [promise of the Messiah Who would instate a better way; Heb 8:13; 9:8-15; 10:1-31], is intended to have His Spirit within us [and us in Him] permanently [without interruption].  Remember that God [Love] never manipulates.  He guides, shows, speak, admonishes, teaches [loves] the believer in Jesus Christ.  Actually, He so loved the world…

Some things [customs] have changed, and are not important; but the principles are.  Other customs have been changed by man, and are actually still very important.  Examples would be the following:

  • Clean and unclean food. Symbolically, they [the Israelites] had to get a picture in their heads.  They had to understand a few elementary things, namely:
  • Basic hygiene and practical, common sense. Even so, consider Mk 7: 1-23 (vs. 5-7,13-23).
  • A set-apart people [for God, holy, saints] would have different habits and lifestyles; but more importantly today, a different thought-life.  This is a revelation missed by the religious still stuck in the OT – refer to Col 1:26-28; Mt 5:28; Heb 4:12 and the meditations “Israel-racism”, “Mixing the Old and New”, and “The Gospel” that expand on this and what Paul referred to in Rom 2:28-29; 9:7,8,24-27; 10:1-4 and Col 2:11 as well.  Thus, we are reading about a renewed thought-life in Jesus Christ (Holy Spirit, Jn 4:24; 14:6,23-26; Rom 8:14). Contemplate also Eph 4:12-15 and Col 1:26-28.
  •   Something that eats its own secretions [what has been rejected by the body] is not exemplary of a kingdom child in the Body of Christ where He is the Head.  Once the Law is gone, and grace and righteousness has come, you would self-destruct to go back again to a system attempting self-righteousness (Lk 9:62). This is why the law was given unto them (Rom 9:4-16) only intended for the period from Moses to Jesus Christ (Gal 3:19,22-26; 5:4,18; Rom 3:20,21,28; 7:4,6,9-10; 10:4).  See it?  Contemplate Jn 1:17; 3:3; 9:28 with the meditation entitled “Israel racism” and “Mixing of the Old and New Testament” for a fuller exegesis on this issue of God’s grace and righteousness vs the self.
  • The symbolism in the vision given to Peter (Acts 10:9-17,28,34-35-48) was that God is no respecter of persons or nations since Jesus paid for all sin of all mankind with His Blood on His cross (Jn 3:16; Eph 3:1-12. Hence Gal 3:28,29; Rom 10:11,12).  We now have a New Testament (Heb 9)! What was unclean is cleansed by God and we have to believe [trust, accept and rest] in the finished work of Jesus Christ (Rom 3:20-29; 8:29-39)!  This is not saying sin (Jn 16:9) or rebellion against God is now “clean” as if it no longer exists!  Read this meditation in its entirety with the other meditations such as “The Gospel” to see what this means.
  • A New Testament was coming with a Messiah Who would redeem and free enslaved people trapped in religion and self-righteousness. Contemplate Rom 14 (Ampl).  Paul is saying that a person yet weak in faith limits his eating; but that we should not despise him who abstains.  Such a person is just yet perplexed (v 1).  The situation is that God is really not mad at anyone for eating a piece of bacon, or a slice of ham, or who even dares to thoroughly enjoy a scrumptious Boston butt in a dijon sauce – God will not exclude you from His covenant for eating pork!  That covenant was made to Abraham and his Seed Who is actually Jesus Christ (Gal 3:16,29), and is talking of a Door that He would open (Jn 10:9; 14:6) that no man could shut and that, if any man would try to open another door, that that would be shut by God (Rev 3:8; 4:1).  There is only one Savior, one Door, one Lamb of God and His Name is Jesus Christ.  And yes, it is translated from the Aramaic for Joshua (“Savior”, Mt 1:21) but be sure that God is fully fluent in all languages!  Contemplate Heb 8:13; 9:8; 10: 1-39 (paying special attention to vs. 1-23).  Please consider Heb 10!  Consider the Lamb of God, [successfully] offered once for all!
  • Fasting. The idea is to control your body with your mind, and not to be dictated to by your body (Rom 8:2-13).  The apparent paradox is that your mind is self-centered [soul] and not God-centered [spirit]; yet the mind should be renewed (Rom 12:2) and be brought into alignment with that of Christ.  Sight [seeing] is not supposed to come from your eyes when you deal with Spiritual truths, but from faith [trust in God’s Word].  What if NT people die, for instance, because they claim “seeing is believing”; all while this is not believing but accepting what you would not believe!  Consider 2 Cor 5:7; Heb 10:38; 11:1; Rom 8:6-8,11-19 (Jer 17:9,10) with Jn 11:26.  Consider reading the meditation entitled “The Testimony” by this author for a magnificent revelation that was right before our very eyes.  But alas, the eyes of a blind?   (Jn 9)!!!…
  • Homosexuality, tithing, baptism, The Last Supper . See the appropriately named meditations by the author (gospel-truth.co.za) for discussions and Scriptures on these subjects.

So then, the whole question of clean and unclean foods listed in the OT, list those who chew the cud, had cleft hooves, and so on.  All those prescriptions have been analyzed to death by great scholars and we will not – for the purpose of this short discussion – again delve into those clever explanations and symbolism.  Suffice for now to say that objects and foods are certainly not determining whether you are a child of God or not.  A Jew rejecting Jesus is not a child of God (1 Jn 4:1-3; 2 Jn 1:7-10; Jn 1:11; Mt 21:41-43 ; Gal 4:21-31…); so stop being intimidated by what they still do to try and win favor with God – they deny that Jesus was the Messiah and you want to follow them and their customs (Jn 4:24; 5:30; 10:37,38; 12:48-50; 14:7-24; 17:20-24)?  Their feasts were so that they could recognize Jesus as The Messiah, yet you [that believe Jesus has come as the Messiah] still want to follow their feasts?  Do you understand what they were for?  Take for example, the following from the meditation “Apparent Controversies in the Bible”:

Question:  Was it “Passover” or “Easter” in Acts 12:4?  Does it make a difference?


Answer:  There is a drastic difference.  The KJV has it right, because it was probably translated from the right manuscripts (See meditation on Bible translations).  The sequence was: first, the Passover on the eve of April (Nisan)14; followed by seven days of unleavened bread (no sin); then the pagan festival of Astart (Ishtar or “Easter”) followed.  This is what Herod (Eusau’s descendant) was celebrating – the fertility idea of earth “regenerating itself”, using symbols such as rabbits and eggs that you seek out and consume. But God wants us to consume His body and His blood (Jn 6:56-58; Ex 12; Gen 3:22; with Rev 2:7; 3:21-22; 1 Cor 11…). William Tyndale translated “pascha” to “passover”, but used the word “Easter” in Acts 12:4.  He would know why he did that, don’t you think?

Anyway, my dear mature Christian friend, what do you make of 1 Tim 4:1-9?  And Jn 6:56?  Or are you still too worried about eating steak or pork?  (Forgive me).  Do you know what Jn 6:47 says?  “Bethlehem” means “Place of bread”.  Jesus’ body was the Bread broken for us (Jn 6:48; 1 Cor 11:23-24,30) so that we could inherit everlasting Life. Do you know what He meant?  Contemplate Heb 1:13; and 10:13 with 1 Cor 15:26 (Jn 11:26; 5:39,40)! Jesus came to give us an abundant life, not an abandoned life (Ez 18:32; Jn 1:4)…

To eat His flesh and to drink His blood, is to partake – to get so one with Him – that it gets you pardoned of all sin (Rom 5:12; 1 Cor 15:45) except unbelief in His Words of Life (Jn 16:9; 1 Jn 5:16; Rom 8:1-3).  It gets you accepted with God yes, and you have free access to His throne of grace to obtain mercy and righteousness only in and through [by] Jesus Christ.  But do you believe His Words of everlasting Life – not afterlife – everlasting Life?  You appropriate this by saying “Thank You”.  Then do you receive by faith (not by senses like sight) in gratitude because of humbling yourself before a magnificent Father-Creator-God that is capable of letting you live until He returns (1Thess 5:23)!  How big is He to you?  To what degree will you trust His Words of Life?  As we live by food and drink, shall we only live by His flesh and blood.  Consider “The Testimony” by this author, if you will.  Note how the word “taste” is used in Heb 6:4 (read vv. 1-12) and compare this with 1 Cor 11:26-31!!…

Note at Rom 14. The idiom “When in Rome, do as Romans do” (sic)[1], is sometimes cited in connection with Rom 14.  This is incorrect. The etymology of this idiom is first attested in medieval Latin si fueris Rōmae, Rōmānō vīvitō mōre; si fueris alibī, vīvitō sicut ibi ‎(“if you should be in Rome, live in the Roman manner; if you should be elsewhere, live as they do there”); which is attributed to St Ambrose (c.340-04 April 39), who was a bishop of Milan opposing Arianism[2]. This axiom suggests (i) to behave as those around you, (ii) conform to the larger society, and (iii) respect the beliefs and practices of a local culture.  Although (iii) might sound decent and civil, must we turn to The Bible, and at least the following Scriptures: Rom 1:16-17; Mk 8:34-38; Jn 12:42-50; 14:6; 15:20-21 (Mk 12:24; Mt 15:6-9,11); 1 Cor 8:4-8; 2 Cor 6:14-18; 2 Tim 1:6-8; 1 Jn 2:4; Rev 3:3-5,15-16.

1 Cor 10:20-26, of course, ties in with this.  What verses 27- 33 points out (Rom 10:2-4), compared to 1 Cor 8:9-13, is summarized in Rom 14: 14-23 and the spirit of 1 Pet 3:4 (Mt 5:5; Eph 4:1-6). Those still weak [immature, frail] in their faith can be tripped by their own confusion [lack of insight and understanding] when they see you as a more developed Christian not be bothered by their still religious insularity – gentle guidance is required to get them where you [hopefully] are.  Take cautious note, however, of Gal 4:9-12; 5:4,18; Eph 6:19-20; 2 Tim 3:14-17 (and the scriptures referred to in the last sentence of the previous paragraph).

By the way, before eating a “kosher” meal, have you intelligently thought about the words these very pious people use in prayer?  Then read the meditation entitled “Prayer”, if you will…

Consider Mt 15:11; Mk 7:15; Heb 13:9.  Be blessed in Christ.  Cling to Him [EVERLASTING LIFE], and enjoy peace, joy and love and victory in Jesus’ name on earth until He returns with that cloud of witnesses…


[1] (Sic) is placed in brackets and is from the Latin adverb “Sic erat scriptum” that literally translates to “Thus it was written”; to indicate that quoted matter has been transcribed exactly as found, complete with any erroneous spelling or erroneous reasoning.

[2] Arianism proposed the concept of Christ as the Son of God who did not always exist.  This of course, denies the deity of Jesus Christ and opposes even just Scriptures such as Jn 1:1-4; Col 1:17. Refer to the meditation “Who is Jesus Christ” on www.gospel-truth.co.za.