ARE CERTAIN FOODS REALLY UNCLEAN IN GOD'S SIGHT?
by Francis Okweda
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CERTAIN FOODS ARE UNCLEAN???
The LORD gave Moses and Aaron the following regulations for the people of Israel. You may eat any land animal that has divided hoofs and that also chews the cud, but you must not eat camels, rock badgers, or rabbits. These must be considered unclean; they chew the cud, but do not have divided hoofs. (SEE 11:4) (SEE 11:4) Do not eat pigs. They must be considered unclean; they have divided hoofs, but do not chew the cud. Do not eat these animals or even touch their dead bodies; they are unclean.
(Lev 11:1-8) GNB
Beloved, I would want us to put all things in context not only verse context but the whole biblical context; initially when the Lord created every creature, did He create any that was unclean? I doubt for he Himself after creating all the animals, plants, fish, let us review His creation moments
…God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after their kind: and it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the ground after its kind: and God saw that it was good.
(Gen 1:24-25) ASV
And Paul says
My union with the Lord Jesus makes me certain that no food is of itself ritually unclean; but if you believe that some food is unclean, then it becomes unclean for you. (Rom 14:14)
However, because of the first Adam’s disobedience, sin found its way into our race, and ALL creation was affected since its head –Adam had sold it over to the destroyer. So God the greatest amongst teachers by his wisdom begun already his plan of restoration of Man Kind-the supreme of all creation; For after his redemption all creation’s agony could cease (Rom 8:22); The LORD ‘tagged’ some animals unclean and others clean and ordered Noah to still take both into the ark. I may pose a question here, if indeed these animals were worthless and undesirable and would defile us if I may say, why then would the Lord have reserved any of them? How could a compassionate Father have tempted his creation? But we know that,
… he himself tempts no one.
(Jam 1:13) GNB
Actually immediately after the flood when an analogy was set of a new world when God had done away with evil, the Lord permitted to eat BOTH or ALL animals but still reserved their tag as clean (7 pairs entered – a number of perfection) and un clean (2 pairs of each). He would need these to start another ‘class’ during Moses’ time. Since His syllabus cannot be completed by any single generation but each generation must be faithful to their syllabus (Call) so He said to Noah,
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
Any animal that Noah ate would not make him unclean so to say for it was acceptable. But because of the deep roots of sin, it still grew and would be seen in the times of Moses when the Children of Israel themselves who per say were God’s chosen people provoked him to anger and He said,
For forty years I was disgusted with those people. I said, 'How disloyal they are! They refuse to obey my commands.' (Psa 95:10) GNB
Nevertheless He still wanted their ‘syllabus’ to be completed in that generation but how could he teach them the Heavenly mysteries of redemption (Eph 1:8, Gal 4:4-5, 1 John 1:7)? If they could not even comprehend earthly things (John 3:12)? He used His Learning Aids, created before Adam, labeled in Noah’s time and declared NOT FIT for consumption in Moses’ time since this would make them ‘unclean’ [NB: Representing the things (sins) that defile a man (Mark 7:18-19). So he gave them their curriculum,
The LORD gave Moses and Aaron the following regulations for the people of Israel. You may eat any land animal that has divided hoofs and that also chews the cud, but you must not eat camels, rock badgers, or rabbits. These must be considered unclean; they chew the cud, but do not have divided hoofs. (SEE 11:4) (SEE 11:4) Do not eat pigs. They must be considered unclean; they have divided hoofs, but do not chew the cud. Do not eat these animals or even touch their dead bodies; they are unclean. (Lev 11:1-8) GNB
Please note that those regulations were for “… the people of Israel” NOT for the gentiles.
This law itself was bondage because NO ONE could keep the whole of it. Yet God put a curse on whoever does not continue in the whole of it to the end, to show man kind that he needs God to obey God that by ourselves we can do nothing (John 15:5b)
Those who depend on obeying the Law live under a curse. For the scripture says, "Whoever does not always obey everything that is written in the book of the Law is under God's curse!" Now, it is clear that no one is put right with God by means of the Law, because the scripture says, "Only the person who is put right with God through faith shall live." But the Law has nothing to do with faith. Instead, as the scripture says, "Whoever does everything the Law requires will live."
But Moses and every other prophet not knowing the whole picture of what God wanted to do (1 Pe 1:11-12, 1 Co 13:9) was still faithful in his house (Heb 3:2) to deliver the laws any way which bound all men, declared them sinners, unable to meet God’s standards and doomed for eternal damnation. This is what Paul (with another syllabus for his time) discusses on the law by Moses,
While we were living under the influence of our corrupt nature, sinful passions were at work throughout our bodies. Stirred up by Moses' laws, our sinful passions did things that result in death. But now we have died to those laws that bound us. God has broken their effect on us so that we are serving in a new spiritual way, not in an old way dictated by written words. What should we say, then? Are Moses' laws sinful? That's unthinkable! In fact, I wouldn't have recognized sin if those laws hadn't shown it to me. For example, I wouldn't have known that some desires are sinful if Moses' Teachings hadn't said, "Never have wrong desires." But sin took the opportunity provided by this commandment and made me have all kinds of wrong desires. Clearly, without laws sin is dead. At one time I was alive without any laws. But when this commandment came, sin became alive and I died. I found that the commandment which was intended to bring me life actually brought me death. Sin, taking the opportunity provided by this commandment, deceived me and then killed me. So Moses' Teachings are holy, and the commandment is holy, right, and good. Now, did something good cause my death? That's unthinkable! Rather, my death was caused by sin so that sin would be recognized for what it is. Through a commandment sin became more sinful than ever. I know that God's standards are spiritual, but I have a corrupt nature, sold as a slave to sin. (Rom 7:5-14) GW
Please note Paul calling them “Moses’ laws” in the new covenant we are introduced to the…law of the Spirit. Paul says again,
Now, however, we are free from the Law, because we died to that which once held us prisoners. No longer do we serve in the old way of a written law, but in the new way of the Spirit. (Rom 7:6)GNB
But what exactly did Jesus do? If you do not understand His work at Calvary, you will fulfill this scripture,
For the message about Christ's death on the cross is nonsense to those who are being lost; but for us who are being saved it is God's power. (1Co 1:18) GNB
Friends, no human being could fulfill that law. Not even Moses who gave it to them. In fact, he also annoyed God and failed to make it to the Promised Land. Each time I used to think about this verse I thought Jesus was rude,
Then said Jesus unto them again, verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (John 10:7-9) KJV
But now I think I understand him, it had to take a shepherd who loves the flock and can die for them (John 15:13) without condemning them (John 3:17); Moses who said “…thou shall not kill”, actually killed his people whom he found worshiping the idol calf, he buried Korah who was rebelling though our syllabus reads, “overcome evil with good…If your enemy hungers, feed him ….do not avenge yourselves, vengeance belongs to the Lord… (Rom 12:19,20,21) but that was his mission – LAW! And he gave it and God honoured his requests for any that opposed him though he even married from the wrong camp.
David really loved God, his heart was after God (), yet he committed adultery and did what was not lawful (Mat 12:3-4) when he was hungry! Jesus discusses another instance on a critical law
“Or have you not read in the Law of Moses that every Sabbath the priests in the Temple actually break the Sabbath law, yet they are not guilty?” (Mat 12:5)
Samuel Killed Agag, Samson killed, Joshua killed, Abraham lied, name the mighty men of valour and I will show you a law breaker, Solomon committed idolatry, Noah was the pioneer drunkard, Isaac like his father lied about his wife, Isaiah acknowledged that his lips were unclean…the list is endless and Jesus said all these guys who came before him were …thieves and robbers.
Sin all along was requesting for its just due – death, [none of them could conquer death since they all committed sin] the real penalty for it as God said it initially to Adam,.
The day you eat of it (sin) you shall surely die! And God made the standard even higher by requiring an atonement of one …without blemish. Even if a man wanted to offer his life, it would be despised before God because he would be unclean just like those unclean animals. For no unclean animal sacrifice could be accepted by God. Isaiah had a glimpse of how God despises even the best of our righteous deeds,
But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa 64:6) GNB
I want you to note Isaiah’s inclusion of himself in the team he uses “we”, “our” not “you” or “they” and David below of “I”. Why? Because the initial sin involved a man and a woman, which ever thing (person) thereafter was born by sexual intercourse thus was sinful and David realized that in his time,
I have been evil from the day I was born; from the time I was conceived, I have been sinful.
One of the hardest challenges we had while I taught Mathematics was to stop children from using sticks and stones for counting in Primary Seven knowing that these would slow them down. Initially in Primary 1, 2, 3 and 4, these children would be introduced to adding, subtracting and partly division using sticks, fingers and stones and it was a must! They even had to carry these in their bags for this purpose, but in Primary Four, we required them to begin memorizing the Multiplication table and have it in mind by P.5, P.6 to know it by heart and P.7 to have it on finger tips. By P.7 any person who used sticks again would be beaten severely by the Headmistress. She monitored them critically and checked on their exam scripts after I had marked them to see if anybody drew sticks on the paper. This person would be called for disciplinary action. Because the final examinations were soon! All the others were shadows of the real thing, by now they were required to understand the danger of the inability of the methods given to them by their infant teachers. But who was paying the infant teachers to teach these methods? The Headmistress! In fact she too was teaching in these infant classes and using sticks, fingers and so on. Hopefully you see where I am driving to. Your earthly schools –including Moses’ laws are toy schools teaching the divinity of God’s school for he instructs… the nations
God instructs the nations and gives knowledge to us all. Won't he also correct us? (Psa 94:10) CEV and,
The prophets wrote, 'Everyone will be taught by God…' (Joh 6:45) GNB
When the time was due God sent forth His son born under the law to fulfil it and redeem us from its bondage (Gal) but some are still too rigid to understand these mysteries, they are still clinging to the sticks (laws) yet by this time he expects them to be intelligent and mature, so Jesus taught his disciples about the foods,
"You are no more intelligent than the others," Jesus said to them. "Don't you understand? Nothing that goes into you from the outside can really make you unclean, because it does not go into your heart but into your stomach and then goes on out of the body." (In saying this, Jesus declared that all foods are fit to be eaten.)
(Mar 7:18-19) GNB
My Current Computer students Esther N and Betty who are seventh Day Adventists themselves have challenged me to put this verse into context. That here Jesus was just talking about washing of hands before eating and not these others foods and they were telling me that I know a lot of verses but I misinterpret them. That they have now taught me the truth and I should teach it to others in our churches; they kept insisting very fast, “have you understood the Bible, do you believe now that you are wrong? You will be judged more strictly because you are misleading people and they brought in other verses like Isaiah,
The LORD says, "The end is near for those who purify themselves for pagan worship, who go in procession to sacred gardens, and who eat pork and mice and other disgusting foods.
But my question which they kept avoiding and insisting that I should look into the verse context was how do you explain the last portion,
…. (In saying this, Jesus declared that all foods are fit to be eaten.) Mark 7:19b
In your carnal knowledge you yourselves have taught others the advantage of shooting two birds with one stone. And I also know that when teaching Algebra, if I realize the child’s root problem is integers, I never continued solving the algebraic equation though it is what the child asked until I was done with integers. This would resolve the whole conflict and this is exactly what Jesus was doing. The root problem was that of clean and unclean foods though the surface discussion was on washing hands, foods in a certain way before eating. That is why Mark includes the portion that uproots the whole issue thanks Father that this too is in your word. And Jesus after paying the price to clean all foods, animals, people and restore us to a right stand with God being saved by Grace and not law. For he was the second Adam, no sin was found in him, when His disciples were imitating Elijah to call fire against their opponents, he rebuked them, he taught that we ought to bless and not curse. Concerning His mutilators he cried out to the Father, “ Forgive them they do not know what they are doing” Peter who still understood Moses’ teaching of a tooth for a tooth was swift to withdraw his sword and cut off Malcus’ ear. But even amidst of all this rejection, His compassion still drove him to heal his enemy and rebuke his disciple. All forsook my darling but he endured. Yes, for the joy that was set before Him, he despised the shame and endured the cross – Just that he may buy us back and make us new! For,
If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature, the old has gone and the new has come
I have been bough at a price and I am no longer my own. I have been freed from the curse of the law! I will heed Paul’s comforting words and will not let any man bind me again. It was for freedom that Christ has set me free!
So let no one make rules about what you eat or drink or about holy days or the New Moon Festival or the Sabbath. (Col 2:16)
Now the spirit has turned tough against those who do not realize what Calvary did. They are called false, hypocritical, deceitful liars whose consciences are dead!
The Spirit says clearly that some people will abandon the faith in later times; they will obey lying spirits and follow the teachings of demons. Such teachings are spread by deceitful liars, whose consciences are dead, as if burnt with a hot iron. Such people teach that it is wrong to marry and to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten, after a prayer of thanks, by those who are believers and have come to know the truth. Everything that God has created is good; nothing is to be rejected, but everything is to be received with a prayer of thanks, because the word of God and the prayer make it acceptable to God. If you give these instructions to the believers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, as you feed yourself spiritually on the words of faith and of the true teaching which you have followed.
(1Ti 4:1-6) GNB
Let us see a brief history of this movement of the Seventh Day Adventist. Some of you are following what you do not understand
“Adventists, members of a number of related Protestant denominations that stress the doctrine of the imminent second coming of Christ. Adventism received its clearest definition and most earnest support under the leadership of an American Baptist preacher, William Miller. Miller and his followers, known initially as Millerites, proclaimed that the second coming would occur between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. The failure of this prediction was called the First Disappointment, and many left the movement. Following this, a second date—October 22, 1844—was set, and many Adventists disposed of their property in anticipation of the event. The movement was widely ridiculed after the day passed uneventfully. Thereafter many Adventists lost faith and returned to their former churches. Those remaining split into four main bodies, which still continue to flourish.
[Source: "Adventists." Microsoft® Student 2007 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2006.]
Judge from this discussion if it is fit to eat all foods or not as you claim. Yet because I have heard contact with some of my students who are so zealous because of what you have taught them concerning these foods, I respect their consciences, thus I will never eat pork or sausages of pork or any forbidden animal so as to fulfill the law of love (Read Rom 14 please). For the end of the commandment is Love (1 Tim 1:5)
You foolish Galatians! Who put a spell on you? Before your very eyes you had a clear description of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross! Tell me this one thing: did you receive God's Spirit by doing what the Law requires or by hearing the gospel and believing it? How can you be so foolish! You began by God's Spirit; do you now want to finish by your own power? Did all your experience mean nothing at all? Surely it meant something! Does God give you the Spirit and work miracles among you because you do what the Law requires or because you hear the gospel and believe it? Consider the experience of Abraham; as the scripture says, "He believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous." You should realize, then, that the real descendants of Abraham are the people who have faith.
(Gal 3:1-7) GNB [Brackets Added]
For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
(1Pe 4:17-18) KJV
Your brother in Christ and your servant at all costs,
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