Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Pig Tales -- Meeting the Arguments for Unclean Food Head On!
Medical research is proving more and more that eating swine, rodents, shell fish, and other unclean meats greatly contributes toward diseases such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and rheumatoid arthritis.
by Stan Fears
We find in Leviticus 11 that YEHOVAH God made a distinction between animals that are clean for man's consumption and use and animals that are not clean. YEHOVAH gave these instructions to Moses to teach Israel. Was all of this something new? It is true that this was the first list recorded and passed down for all mankind to read. But was this the first time YEHOVAH gave mankind instruction on what animals were clean and unclean?
We read in Genesis 7:1-2, "And God said unto Noah, Come you and all your house into the ark; for you have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast you shall take to you by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female."
Noah could distinguish between the clean and the unclean. He was instructed to take the clean in "by sevens" and the unclean in "by twos." The reason we see the plural "sevens" instead of the singular "seven" when referring to the clean animals is that there were not seven, but seven pair.
Many commentaries and Bibles bear this out, including the NIV Hebrew to English Interlinear by Kohlenberger. The literal translation from Hebrew is "seven and seven," meaning seven male and seven female.
You can also see this from the English text as it says "the male and his female," which would require an even number of clean animals.
Many people will say the reason YEHOVAH God commanded such a great number of clean animals to be taken into the ark was to allow for the burnt offerings Noah would offer up after leaving the ark. Let's look at this account in Genesis 8:18-20.
"And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him: every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creeps upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark. And Noah builded an altar unto God; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar."
As we can see here, it is most likely that Noah sacrificed one of each kind of clean animal for his entire family. But even if Noah sacrificed one of each kind for each member of his family, which would be eight, or four pair, there would still remain three pair of each clean animal.
While many clean animals are of the bovine species, which reproduce at a slower rate, YEHOVAH made no such allowances for extra horses, elephants or other unclean animals that also reproduce at a slow rate.
So why did YEHOVAH God instruct Noah to take so many more clean than unclean animals into the ark? Apparently it was so these animals would have a good start at reproducing in order to provide food for the coming generations.
Blessed with... Abominations?
"But what about Genesis 9:3?" many would ask. Doesn't this prove that after the flood men were given permission to eat any animals they chose? Before examining this Scripture, let's think about this for a moment. Suppose Noah comes out of the ark, carefully selects the clean animals, and sacrifices them to YEHOVAH. Then YEHOVAH blesses him and tells him he can eat any horse, pig, dog, snake or rat he chooses! What kind of blessing would this have been?
We just read in the opening Scripture in Leviticus 11:42-44 that YEHOVAH God, who created these animals, views them as an abomination and as disgusting when it comes to his people using them for food or using their remains and that He wanted His people to observe these laws so they would be holy as He is holy.
Did YEHOVAH think any less of Noah than did the Israelites? Of course not. Genesis 6:9 tells us, "Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God."
Genesis 7:1 tells us the reason YEHOVAH separated Noah from a world of unrighteous people was that YEHOVAH had seen him "righteous before Him in that generation." Therefore YEHOVAH would have never consented to his servant Noah using animals for food that YEHOVAH God Himself considered unclean for sacrifice.
Now let's examine Genesis 9:3. "Every moving thing that lives shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I give you all things." So what then is the explanation?
You know, if people would just study and harmonize the Bible as a complete unit they wouldn't have all the problems they have when they pull verses out of context and divide one part of the Bible from another. Let me show you what I mean.
In Deuteronomy 12:20 we read, "When the LORD your God shall enlarge your borders, as He has promised you, and you shall say, I will eat flesh, because your soul longs to eat flesh; you may eat flesh, whatsoever your soul lusts after."
Here we have the same situation we had in Genesis 9:3. YEHOVAH had already instructed Israel on which animals were clean at Mt. Sinai, as we read in Leviticus 11. Now, 40 years later, when they are ready to enter the Promised Land, He changes His mind and says they can eat whatever flesh their souls desire, right? Of course not. YEHOVAH is not double-minded.
When YEHOVAH God makes statements such as this, it is with the understanding that the person is already familiar with what He has previously taught them, just as the New Testament was written with the assumption that the reader had already read and understood the Old Testament.
To clear up this verse in Deuteronomy, let's backup and read verse 15: "Notwithstanding you may kill and eat flesh in all your gates, whatsoever your soul lusts after, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which he has given you."
As we can see, they can eat whatever flesh their soul desires, provided it is according to the blessing of YEHOVAH. This blessing was given on clean animals in Leviticus 11.
Sacrifices of Only Clean Animals
Now let's go back and look at Genesis 9:3 in this light. After the verses we just read in Deuteronomy we can better understand this passage. YEHOVAH makes the statement, "every moving thing that lives shall be meat for you," with the understanding that Noah can distinguish the clean from the unclean.
In fact, if we read the rest of the verse, this is verified. YEHOVAH says, "Even as the green herb have I given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth...to you it shall be for food." Now do we honestly believe that YEHOVAH God turned Adam loose among all the plants without teaching him which ones were edible and which were poisonous? Adam certainly would not have lived to be 930 years old if He had.
So Genesis 9:3 is perfectly clear now. He was telling Noah that He was giving "every moving thing that lives" into his hand to be food for him just as Adam was given "every green herb" to be food for him with the implication that Noah would have to distinguish between the animals as he had distinguished between the green herb.
Also looking at every example of YEHOVAH's people from the time of Abel on we can see that only clean animals were sacrificed and used for food. To what extent animals were used for food before the flood we do not know. Possibly it was only those animals that were sacrificed that were eaten, as it seems unlikely that YEHOVAH would have permitted the part of the animal not sacrificed to be wasted. It would also serve as a reminder to the person eating it, that this animal was sacrificed because of his or her sin.
We know that the patriarchs after the flood, such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are mentioned as sacrificing and eating only clean animals. This would be in line with YEHOVAH's statement that Abraham "obeyed His voice and kept His charge, commandments, statutes, and laws" (Genesis 18:7-8; 22:7-13; 27:3-19).
The Pagan Life-Style
Eating, or actually feasting on unclean meat, was a deeply rooted part of the pagan life-style and especially the pagan festivals. Much of this no doubt stems from antiquity when there was extreme animosity on the part of the pagan peoples, including Greeks and Romans, toward YEHOVAH's laws -- which they rejected -- and YEHOVAH's people, whom they hated.
This can be seen clearly from the historical account of the Maccabees, which can be read in almost any Catholic Bible. This occurred in the second century before our Savior, when the Greeks and Syrians under Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the temple at Jerusalem, sacrificing swine and other unclean animals upon the altar and forcing Jews to either eat unclean meats or die.
Incidentally, many historians believe that this is the major reason most Jews in Yeshua's time had no desire to study or learn to speak and write in the Greek language. They still had many bitter feelings toward the Greeks because of what they had done to their people, their temple, and their land. Many even viewed Greek as an unclean tongue. Because of this it was frowned upon by even the Jewish religious authorities in Israel to spend much time learning more than the basic Greek needed to communicate with the Gentiles. This is one of the strong arguments in favor of an original Hebrew-Aramaic New Testament.
This rejection and hatred of YEHOVAH's laws and people is still prevalent in the earth today and we have seen an increase in this attitude in recent years.
Unclean Meats Blended In
By the time Christianity became popular in Rome in the third and fourth centuries, it was a mixture of YEHOVAH's Word and every sort of pagan idea and practice, including those of Roman sun worship. Constantine made it the official state religion, which then became known as Catholicism.
By their desire to continue observing the pagan winter and spring festivals that had become such a tradition for so many centuries, new converts to Christianity attached Scriptural themes to observances supposedly having to do with the Savior's birth (Christmas), death (Good Friday) and resurrection (Easter).
This was even done in rejection of Passover, the observance we are commanded to keep in memory of our Savior's death as our Passover Lamb (Luke 22:19-20;1 Corinthians 5:7-8).
Continuing on with these whitewashed and newly labeled pagan festivals, which by then became known as Christian holidays, was the traditional eating of and feasting on unclean meats. As was done to support these so-called holidays, proof-texting of the New Testament was used to justify the continuation of eating unclean meats.
The so-called "Protestant Reformation" did not correct this idolatrous mixture of paganism and YEHOVAH's Word. This has resulted in the customs of eating unclean meats, especially swine, during these so-called "Christian holidays" passed down to our day. Christmas and Easter hams are very much a Christian tradition, even today and in some countries the custom of a whole roasted pig with an apple in its mouth is still a part of the festive spirit just as it was in pagan Rome.
Today, just as it was at Christianity's beginning, YEHOVAH's Word (or at least the last third of it known as the New Testament) is proof-texted in order to find verses to support this violation of YEHOVAH's dietary laws. In order to accomplish this, New Testament verses are pulled out of context and Old Testament laws and prophecy are ignored completely. Let's now take a look at some of these verses.
Matthew 15 and Mark 7
Matthew 15 and Mark 7 are different accounts of the same incident. In Matthew 15:11,17-18 and also Mark 7:15,18-19, Yeshua the Messiah tells the people gathered that it is not what goes into a person's mouth that defiles him but what comes from inside him.
Taken out of context it is easy to see why these verses could make someone believe they could eat anything they want. But is that what the Messiah was saying?
If we look back at the beginning of each chapter, we see that the Pharisees criticized his disciples for eating with unwashed hands. They had made many man-made traditions, including extensively and ceremonially washing their hands. In Matthew 15:39 and Mark 7:6-13 the Messiah severely condemns them for zealously keeping their own traditions and commandments of men instead of being zealous in keeping the commandments of YEHOVAH God correctly.
Shouldn't it seem odd to those who would use the latter verses of this account to prove that YEHOVAH's dietary laws are no longer necessary that in these prior verses Yeshua is vigorously upholding the correct keeping of his Father's commandments?
Also, if we look past their proof text verses we see in Matthew 15:18-20 and Mark 7:20-23 that those things that come out of a person that defile him are wicked things in the heart that are contrary to YEHOVAH's commandments.
The whole point that the Messiah was making is that it is not what the Pharisees were so concerned about, the dirt on the food that goes into the body that makes a person unclean in YEHOVAH's eyes. Rather, it is the wickedness in the heart that causes a person to disobey YEHOVAH God that defiles a person in His eyes.
He also pointed out that the body can handle a certain amount of dirt going into the belly with the food or meat (Matthew 15:17, Mark 7:19). But medicine and science have proven that the body cannot tolerate eating Scripturally unclean meat for a long period of time without developing heart disease, cancer, and other ailments like hepatitis and influenza.
Using Acts 10:9-16 to say that all animals are now clean is a perfect example of pulling verses out of context and not letting the Bible interpret itself as YEHOVAH's Word.
In this vision, Peter was shown a great sheet full of all kinds of unclean animals descending down out of heaven to earth and a voice told him to "rise, kill and eat." But Peter refused, saying, "No, for I have never eaten anything common or unclean."
Three more times a voice spoke to him saying, "What YEHOVAH God has cleansed call not common," indicating that all three times Peter refused to eat anything unclean, insisting on being faithful to YEHOVAH's commandments. It is interesting to note that this occurred approximately 3 1/2 years after the Messiah's death.
Surely, if the law had been done away with, Peter, having received the holy spirit 3 1/2 years earlier, would have known it by this time and not have argued with YEHOVAH God in this matter. But this was not the case and Peter argued with YEHOVAH because he knew the dietary laws were still in effect. He knew that YEHOVAH was trying to show him something else.
This is clearly shown in verses 17 and 19, as Peter continued to be puzzled as to what this vision might mean. Peter soon received his answer after the spirit instructed him to go with the three men to meet Cornelius, as shown in the following verses. He was then able to interpret what YEHOVAH was trying to show him by the vision, for in verse 28 he explained to Cornelius that it had always been unlawful for a Jew to keep company with Gentiles, but that YEHOVAH showed him that he should not call any "man" common or unclean. He said nothing anywhere in his writings about YEHOVAH showing him that he should not call any animal common or unclean. YEHOVAH God used unclean animals in this vision to picture the Gentiles, because the Jews viewed the Gentiles as unclean beasts.
Colossians 2:14,16, and 17 is probably the Scripture that is twisted the most of all of Paul's writings by the unlearned and unstable (2 Peter 3:15-16). This Scripture does not come anywhere close to meaning what Christianity tries to make it mean.
Verse 14 says, "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way nailing it to His stake." Anyone who tries to say that this verse is saying that the law of YEHOVAH God was against us and contrary to us either hasn't read the previous Scriptures in Deuteronomy where YEHOVAH says His laws are for our good and our wisdom in the sight of the nations, or they think YEHOVAH is double-minded and fickle.
Again this erroneous interpretation is a product of pulling things out of context and not harmonizing all the Scriptures. Verses 8 and 22 show the subject of this chapter, which is the philosophies, traditions, commandments, and doctrines of men. Notice it does not say "of YEHOVAH," but of "men"!
YEHOVAH's laws were never considered the philosophies, traditions, commandments, and doctrines of men! But the things the Pharisees added to them, such as the strict hand washing in Mark 7, were.
Colossians 2:15 harmonizes perfectly with this thought, for the Messiah pretty well spoiled the authority of the Pharisees and made a show of them openly before the crowd, showing that they put their own commandments above YEHOVAH's.
The Jews in various cities, including Colossae, were constantly giving the assembly problems about keeping the law according to these Jewish traditions, constantly criticizing them on how they kept the Sabbath and holy days and eating meats bought from markets that sold meat sacrificed to idols. That is why Paul goes on in verses 16 and 17 to say, "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come [such as the Sabbath picturing the Millennium], but the Body of Messiah."
Did you notice that the word "is" appears after body in most Bibles and is italicized? It does not belong there! So the counsel Paul is giving here is to let no one judge the Assembly in these matters, but let the Body of Messiah, which is the Assembly itself, determine these things.
1 Timothy 4:4
Here again we have a verse that is pulled out of context and not harmonized with the rest of the Bible. The previous verse, 1 Timothy 4:3, shows that the subject is persons insisting that people become vegetarians and to even "abstain from meats, which YEHOVAH created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth."
What meats did YEHOVAH God create to be received by those which believe and know His Word of truth, the Bible? Why, clean meats, of course! That's why He made a list in Leviticus 11 for those who "believe and know the truth," so we would know what meats He "created to be received" by us.
Verses 4-5 are self-explanatory now. Verse 4 shows that "every creature of God is good and nothing is to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving." What does it mean "every creature of God"?
Verse 5 shows that it is those creatures sanctified or set apart by the Word of YEHOVAH God. Where are certain creatures sanctified or set apart by the Word of YEHOVAH God? Leviticus 11!
Some Christians have also come to understand 1 Timothy 4:4 correctly. Dr. Reginald B. Cherry, a medical doctor from Houston, who specializes in preventative medicine, along with his wife, a clinical nurse, operates Reginald B. Cherry ministries. They used to have a well-known show on the TBN network called "The Doctor and the Word."
Dr. Cherry understands 1 Timothy 4:4-5 the same way. In fact, he offered a recording of one of his telecasts entitled, 1 Timothy 4:4: The Misconception. In it, Dr. Cherry explains that Christianity has greatly misinterpreted that Scripture as well as others in regard to the dietary laws. He states that the apostles knew very well that the statement, "every creature of [God]" referred to those animals listed in Leviticus 11 that were sanctified and set apart by the Word of YEHOVAH God as fit for food.
Dr. Cherry combines his medical knowledge with the wisdom of YEHOVAH's Word on physical and emotional health in his effort to help people. He explained on his telecast that medical research is proving more and more that eating swine, rodents, shell fish, and other unclean meats greatly contributes toward diseases such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and rheumatoid arthritis because of substances in them that promote free radicals. In addition, these carry diseases in the meat itself such as hepatitis, trichinosis, toxoplasmosis, and influenza viruses.
Back on March 23, 1993 the 700 Club devoted a segment of its show to a special report on the wisdom of the dietary laws of the Old Testament and how much healthier and better off Christians would be if they would keep them.
Some time later commentator Paul Harvey reported on a young man in China who died a mysterious death in his 20s. During an autopsy doctors found masses of trichinosis worms in his body. The Chinese doctors said that this was directly caused by his predominant diet of pork and shellfish, which was many times undercooked. Yet how many people today eat raw oysters and undercooked pork?
Even well-cooked pork has been found to host live, hard-to-kill trichinosis worms. It is a good thing for the pork industry that autopsies are not a necessary procedure in this country when deaths are attributed to natural causes!
Several types of influenza are also transferable from swine to humans. Contracting hepatitis from shell fish has been very common in recent years.
No wonder YEHOVAH God, in His infinite wisdom, sanctified certain animals as clean for human consumption and others as unclean and unfit for human food.
Unclean Spiritual Symbols
No wonder YEHOVAH still uses unclean creatures in Revelation 16:13 and Revelation 18:2 to picture the uncleanness of Satan, the Beast, the false prophet, and false religion in our time. These Scriptures in themselves prove that the animals were not literally cleansed in Peter's vision or YEHOVAH would not have used them as unclean symbols in the Book of Revelation some 60 years later.
No wonder YEHOVAH declares in Isaiah 66:17 that in the end He will destroy those who deliberately ignore and violate His laws on sanctification of clean and unclean meat and instead sanctify and purify themselves, making up their own laws and eating what they wish.
-- Edited By John D. Keyser.
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Proclaiming the Good News of the Soon-Coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God Here On This Earth!
Hope of Israel Ministries
|Scan with your