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Clean And Unclean Meats

 

The subject of which meats are Biblically acceptable to eat is very familiar to all Bible students. Every believer, every Torah (Pentateuch) keeper, who tries to obey the instructions of God, is faced with this subject every time he or she enters a grocery store to buy food. Is it important to follow these instructions? Why are they important?

On my last visit to Japan, this subject really came home to roost The Japanese diet consists of much seafood. And, as we shall see, the Torah tells us that much of the seafood we see on a restaurant menu or in the meat counter at the grocery store should not be eaten or even touched. So a visitor to a country like Japan is also faced with the additional question of how to tell what the food is, since the Japanese have their own names for things. Should a visitor to a home or restaurant in another nation avoid certain meats even at the risk of offending his hosts? Why? Is it a matter of good health?

If you discuss this subject with the majority of those who call themselves Christian, they will indicate they neither know nor care whether the Bible prohibits eating certain meats. Desires matter to them. The more Bible literate may tell you that Old Testament laws about most things, including nonedible meats, were done away by Christ, so all meats are now fit to eat. Does scripture, even New Testament scripture, agree with these opinions? The answers to these questions will be answered as we go through this sermon.

Today we are going to see what the Bible really says about clean and unclean meats.

Weíll start with the basic instructions. They are found in the eleventh chapter of Leviticus. The first group shown in that chapter refers to animals.

(Lev 11:1-8 NKJV) Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, {2} "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'These are the animals which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth: {3} '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, [a small rodent-like animal], 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.

The word "carcass" comes from the Hebrew word nebelah, neb-ay-law', Strongs # 5038; from H5034; and means a flabby thing, i.e. a dead body or carrion (either human or bestial, often collectively). So we are not to even touch the dead body of an unclean animal. Obviously, we may touch the bodies of living unclean animals like horses, dogs and cats (and people, of course.)

So only animals that have cloven hooves and chew the cud are acceptable for food. Acceptable animals would include sheep, goats, cattle, elk and buffalo. Unacceptable animals would include pigs, horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, bears, horses, squirrels, rodents, and camels.

The next group of creatures that are mentioned in Leviticus 11 is water creatures. Letís look at the verses which address these creatures:

(Lev 11:9-12 NKJV) '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.

The word "abomination"in Hebrew is sheqets, sheh'kets; Strongs # 8263 from H8262; meaning filth both figuratively and specifically. It is something about which we should find disgusting or hateful, a natural reaction to filth.

So these verses clearly tell us that we are not to eat any water creature which does not have fins and scales. That would include all shellfish. So we must not eat crabs, lobsters, shrimp, abalone, clams, catfish, sharks, dolphins (the mammal), whales, sturgeon, and a host of others. But there are also a host of common fish which we may eat. Among the common edible fish are salmon, tuna, bass, and trout. Like the rules for animals, the rules for fish are easily remembered: If they have fins and scales, they are good for food.

A listing of clean and unclean fish is provided on our website via a linked website. We do not provide printed copies but you may print the listing once you've accessed the linked website.

The next group specified in Leviticus 11 are the fowls. Letís read about this group:

(Lev 11:13-19 NKJV) '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.

This group is more difficult to define because the forbidden birds are listed by name rather than by their characteristics. Unfortunately the Hebrew to English translators of the

Bible had the same problem. Here are a list of unacceptable common bird families as these verses are translated by certain Jewish translations: Eagles, vultures, sea eagles, kites, ravens, sparrow hawks, owls, the great horned owl, pelicans, herons, cormorants, storks, and bats (a flying animal). All are predators. Non-predators should be OK.

The words "after its kind" indicates that we are not to eat anything resembling the listed birds. For instance, we are not to eat crows because they are "after the kind" of ravens.

The next group of unclean foods in Leviticus 11 are insects. Most of us would not want to eat an insect but some consider such insects as chocolate covered bees and ants a delicacy. Letís look at the rules about eating insects.

(Lev 11:20-23 NKJV) '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.

It is commonly understood that insects have six legs, not four. So there is a potential problem in these verses. Some point out that when a flying insect walks, most walk with only four legs supporting them, the back two being sort of dragged along to be used for lifting the insect into flight. I can neither vouch for nor argue with this explanation. But from the above verses we can easily determine what type of insect can be eaten. Edible insects seem to include locusts, grasshoppers and crickets. All these are hopping or leaping insects. Spiders, which have eight legs, crawl (creep) but are not insects and should not be eaten. The New Testament also makes reference to eating locusts. Letís look at Mat. 3:4.

(Mat 3:4 NKJV) And John himself was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

Whether he was eating real locusts or beans from the locust tree is open to speculation.

Letís return to Leviticus 11 to see what else we are told not to eat.

(Lev 11:29-31 NKJV) 'These also shall be unclean to you among the creeping things that creep on the earth: the mole, the mouse, and the large lizard after its kind; {30} 'the gecko, the monitor lizard, the sand reptile, the sand lizard, and the chameleon. {31} 'These are unclean to you among all that creep. Whoever touches them when they are dead shall be unclean until evening.

These prohibited creatures are pretty easy to identify. Rodents and reptiles, including snakes are not to be eaten. As a sidelight, when cats eat lizards, the cats become very thin, even scrawny. Apparently lizards are not good for cats either. They just donít know it. Other prohibited creatures include frogs, toads, weasels, and porcupines

The carcasses of these unclean animals and other creatures can even contaminate food storage containers. Letís continue reading Leviticus 11.

(Lev 11:32-35 NKJV) 'Anything on which any of them falls, when they are dead shall be unclean, whether it is any item of wood or clothing or skin or sack, whatever item it is, in which any work is done, it must be put in water. And it shall be unclean until evening; then it shall be clean. {33} 'Any earthen vessel into which any of them falls you shall break; and whatever is in it shall be unclean: {34} 'in such a vessel, any edible food upon which water falls becomes unclean, and any drink that may be drunk from it becomes unclean. {35} 'And everything on which a part of any such carcass falls shall be unclean; whether it is an oven or cooking stove, it shall be broken down; for they are unclean, and shall be unclean to you.

Touching a dead carcass of any unclean creature does not cause a person to be permanently unclean ritually. Notice that God provides a way for people to get rid of their uncleanness.

(Lev 11:26-28 NKJV) 'The carcass of any animal which divides the foot, but is not cloven-hoofed or does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. Everyone who touches it shall be unclean. {27} 'And whatever goes on its paws, among all kinds of animals that go on all fours, those are unclean to you. Whoever touches any such carcass shall be unclean until evening. {28} 'Whoever carries any such carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. It is unclean to you.

Why did God give food laws to man? What is the purpose of these laws?

As I said before, people from different countries regularly eat many of the unclean creatures we have been identifying. We do not know whether this accounts for certain health problems. But we do know that some countries which eat large quantities of these unclean creatures experience a larger percentage of certain health problems. An example is Japan which suffers a higher incidence of stomach cancer and prostate cancer than most other countries. Whether there is a link between the unclean creature consumption and these cancers is unknown. But thereís another reason why God tells us to avoid them:

(Lev 11:43-45 NKJV) 'You shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creeps; nor shall you make yourselves unclean with them, lest you be defiled by them. {44} 'For I am the LORD your God. 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. {45} 'For I am the LORD who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

The children of Israel were to be holy, set apart from all other people. It is Godís direct revelation that the eating of these creatures makes a man abominable and unclean before God. Godís people must instead be holy just as God is holy. One of the identifying signs of being called and set apart from other peoples by God is to avoid eating unclean flesh.

(Lev 20:23-26 NKJV) 'And you shall not walk in the statutes of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they commit all these things, and therefore I abhor them. {24} 'But I have said to you, "You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey." I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from the peoples. {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. {26} 'And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.

Therefore:

(Lev 11:46-47 NKJV) 'This is the law of the animals and the birds and every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth, {47} 'to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten.'"

Leviticus 11 is not the first scripture where the laws of clean and unclean foods are mentioned. Noah was also aware of the difference, though he was probably a vegetarian up to this time.

(Gen 7:2 NKJV) "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;

This law of clean and unclean meats was also reiterated in Deuteronomy.

(Deu 14:3 NKJV) "You shall not eat any detestable thing.

Along with this command, Deuteronomy gives us one additional instruction.

(Deu 12:23 NKJV) "Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life; you may not eat the life with the meat.

But again, this command about eating blood goes back to Noah.

(Gen 9:3-4 NKJV) "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. {4} "But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.

We just read that Noah took a pair of unclean animals and seven clean animal pairs of each kind with him on the ark. Were the seven clean pairs intended to be sacrificial animals instead of food? Some, quoting the following verse, would argue that they were.

(Gen 8:20 NKJV) Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

But it is hard to understand why Noah would need so many clean animals if he only intended to sacrifice one of each kind after he left the ark. But it does not matter to us today whether Noah ate the animals while on the ark or not. Leviticus 11 still tells us that we may eat the clean animals.

But letís get back to the subject of blood. There are many instructions against eating blood. The first, of course, was Gen 9:3-4 which we just read. But the main scripture which prohibits eating blood is found in Leviticus.

(Lev 17:10-14 NKJV) 'And whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people. {11} 'For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.' {12} "Therefore I said to the children of Israel, 'No one among you shall eat blood, nor shall any stranger who dwells among you eat blood.' {13} "Whatever man of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who hunts and catches any animal or bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust; {14} "for it is the life of all flesh. Its blood sustains its life. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, 'You shall not eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.'

In verse 14 we see the word "life" used. "Life" in this verse comes from the Hebrew word "nephesh," neh'-fesh; Strongs # 5315, from H5314; prop. a breathing creature, i.e. an animal or person or soul. The word "soul" is often the translation used in the English Bible. Lets look at some examples of the use of the word nephesh. Here we can see the different translation of this word. Notice that the NKJV is more accurate:

(Gen 2:7 KJV) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul [nephesh].

(Gen 2:7 NKJV) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being [nephesh].

So when God tells us that we are not to eat the blood of a creature, He is telling us that we are not to eat the vital life force, the nephesh, of the creature. Notice:

(Deu 12:23 NKJV) "Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life [nephesh or soul or life]; you may not eat the life [nephesh] with the meat.

As I said in the introduction to this sermon, many religious Christians will tell you that the Old Testament law was done away by Christ and the cross. If you believe this, let me give you a few scriptures to consider, the first from Christ himself.

(Mat 5:17 NKJV) "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

The Greek word translated as destroy is kataluo kataluo, kat-al-oo'-o, Strongs # 2647; from G2596 and G3089; to loosen down (disintegrate), i.e. (by impl.) to demolish (lit. or fig.); spec. [comp. G2646] to halt for the night:--destroy, dissolve, come to nought, overthrow, throw down.

The Greek word translated as fulfill is pleroo, play-ro'-o; Strongs # 4137 from G4134; to make replete, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfil, fully preach, perfect, supply.

I think it is quite obvious that Christís meaning in Mat 5:17 was: "Do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy the law but to fully preach the complete law."

In the very next verse, Christ stated:

(Mat 5:18 NKJV) "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Here He is saying that not even the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet or of the decorations on the letters would "pass from the law [Torah]" until everything that is to happen, happens. The sun still shines, the world is still here, and so is the law, even the law of clean and unclean meats is still in effect.

One of the arguments commonly made for the eating of unclean meats is that Peter was told to eat them in Acts 10. Peter had been staying at the home of Simon the tanner in Joppa. While preparing to eat he had a vision. Cornelius, a Roman centurion also had a vision where he was told that he should send an envoy of men to find Peter. Letís pick up the story in Acts 10:9-16.

(Acts 10:9-16 NKJV) 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, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean." {15} And a voice spoke to him again the second time, "What God has cleansed you must not call common." {16} This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.

The first thing to notice is that Peter had never eaten unclean meats, not even after Christís resurrection perhaps ten years before. In fact he went so far as to not eat anything common or ceremonially unclean, i.e. not perfect enough to be sacrificed. The Greek word koinos, koy-nos' is translated as "common." See Strongs # 2839.

The sheet was shown to him three times. Peterís conclusion is shown in verse 28. Notice that he did not interpret it as meaning he could begin eating unclean meats.

(Acts 10:28 NKJV) 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 God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

Jews in the first century were forbidden by traditional law to have social contact with Gentiles for fear of becoming ritually unclean and thereby not being able to participate in Temple worship. Simon Peter said it was unlawful for a Jewish man to keep company with a Gentile or go into his house. But that law was not a part of the Torah. It may have been a part of the Oral tradition established by the rabbis. And in this case, Peter not only went into a Gentileís house but he even ate with him.

Another scripture that many religious Christians stumble over is found in Mark 7.

(Mark 7:18-19 NKJV) 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?"

The key to understanding this scripture is found by reading verses 1 and 2 at the beginning of the chapter. Letís read them.

(Mark 7:1-2 NKJV) 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.

The disciples had not gone through the ritual hand washing traditions of the Pharisees before they began to eat. Christ turned the conversation around to stress what really defiles a man in verses 20-23.

(Mark 7:20-23 NKJV) 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."

Paul also addressed the matter of abstaining from foods God had created. This is another scripture many religious Christians like to use to justify eating unclean meats.

(1 Tim 4:1-5 NKJV) 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 God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. {4} For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; {5} for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

This scripture states that those who command that we abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving are giving heed to doctrines of demons. In as much as the laws concerning clean and unclean meats were given by God, to contradict those laws would be close to blasphemy. There are those who believe that if you just pray over food, you can purify whatever you eat. God has given us clean meats to be received with thanksgiving. Poisonous fruits and unclean meats were never intended to be received with thanksgiving.

Here is another verse used by people who want to justify eating unclean meats.

(Rom 14:1-2 NKJV) Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. {2} For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.

These verses are describing people who choose to eat vegetables for religious reasons. They think it is sinful to eat meat, any meat. In the next verses, Paul takes advantage of this situation by admonishing people not to judge such people.

(Rom 14:3-4 NKJV) Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. {4} Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

At the end of the same chapter Paul describes such judgment as an evil influence which can encourage weak people to sin.

(Rom 14:23 NKJV) But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

Letís look at one more statement from which some get the idea they can eat whatever is put before them:

(1 Cor 10:25-27 NKJV) Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience' sake; {26} for "the earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness." {27} If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience' sake.

Donít these verses allow us to eat any kind of meat? It would seem so, but these verses must be understood in the context of the surrounding verses. Letís read the context:

(1 Cor 10:19-28 NKJV) What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? {20} Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. {21} You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons. {22} Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? {23} All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. {24} Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being. {25} Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience' sake; {26} for "the earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness." {27} If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience' sake. {28} But if anyone says to you, "This was offered to idols," do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience' sake; for "the earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness."

The context provides four points:

1. Verses 19 and 28 shows that the subject is about meat offered to idols, not clean versus unclean meat.

2. One would usually not have to ask if the meat were pork. Itís usually fairly obvious. But it would not be known if it were offered to idols.

3. It would not be physically harmful to a person to eat meat offered to idols, but it might be harmful to the host if he thinks thereby that idol worship is acceptable.

4. The point is that these verses refer to idols, not to clean verus unclean meat.

It is my understanding that Greeks, to whom Corinthians is written, didnít eat pork.

Now, a word of caution: Many try to avoid what is unclean by looking on the product label to see what the product contains. If they see that the label is marked with a capital K, usually but not always within a circle, they assume the product to be free of any unclean meat products. The K stands for Kosher.

The Kosher mark indicates that a rabbi has certified the product to be free of unclean meats. In the case of gelatin, some would judge that certification to not be totally reliable. Gelatin is made from the hides and joints of animals such as cattle and pigs. It is claimed that in the process of making gelatin, a chemical and physical change takes place which alters the material so that its original identity as meat is lost. Additionally, there are some more liberal groups of Judaism which do not strictly follow the laws of clean and unclean meats. A rabbi of one of these more liberal groups is less likely to prohibit the consumption of these altered products and is therefore more willing to certify the resulting product as Kosher even though its source may be from pigs. Orthodox rabbis disagree with marking gelatin which may be from pigs as Kosher. Obviously, a food producer who uses gelatin is very willing to have his product marked Kosher.

One final scripture which is commonly used to justify eating unclean meats (and several other "freedoms" regarding keeping the law) is found in Paulís letter to the Colossians.

(Col 2:13-17 NKJV) And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh [gentiles], He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, {14} having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. {15} Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. {16} So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, {17} which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

The essence of these verses is that we need not worry about how others judge us in these matters. When looking at the early manuscripts of this verse, one will find that verse 17 states "which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance [body] of Christ." The word "is" has been added to verse 17. Earlier references to "the body of Christ" in this book show that the body of Christ are the fellow believers, the Church. Let our judges be those in the church who are Biblically knowledgeable, not unbelievers who look for ways to avoid the law. Those who quote this scripture usually point out that this scripture somehow proves that the law was nailed to the cross. We have already shown that Godís law was observed and kept long after Christís crucifixion. What was nailed to the cross were the traditions of men which were being enforced by religious leaders of His day.

One of Paulís statements to the Corinthians included the following:

(2 Cor 6:16-18 NKJV) And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people." {17} Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. 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 the LORD Almighty."

Verse 17 is quoted from Isaiah 52:11. Paul did not question Old Testament law and Old Testament promises. Neither should we.

God has provided us with meat which is clean and meat which is unclean. Like Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit, it is another opportunity for us to decide whether we will obey God or not. It is not so much a matter of whether we will be physically harmed by eating that which is unclean. Even with the advanced technology of today, we still do not know whether the eating of unclean creatures will hurt us physically. But what we do know is that the eating or even touching of that which is declared to be unclean will harm us spiritually. For as we just read in verses 17 and 18: If we will separate ourselves from the ways of the society around us and not touch that which is unclean, God will receive us and be a Father to us, and we shall be His sons and daughters. In these end-time days, when the growing schism between good and evil is becoming ever more apparent, when Satanís fury to destroy mankind is increasing worldwide in the form of hatred, rebellion, violence and degeneracy, isnít it time to please God and be received as sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty (Yahweh Ė Jehovah -- YHVH). Isnít that enough incentive to avoid unclean meats?

 

Parts of this sermon were adapted, with permission, from an article in Hebrew Roots magazine.

 

Sermon given by Wayne Bedwell

26 June 2010

 

 

Studies in the Word of God
 

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