God wants us to be healthy.
Diet is a fundamental testing issue.
The original diet for humans was vegetarian.
The original diet for animals was vegetarian.
After the fall, the diet for humans remained vegetarian, but was broadened to require hard labor.
After the flood, animals that God named as being clean were also allowed to be eaten.
The eating of fat and blood is forbidden.
Modern practices contaminate many foods.
We should have respect for all life.
There will be no killing in Heaven.
The diet in Heaven will be vegetarian.
Some key verses:
Ge 1:29, Ge 1:30, Ge 3:17-19,23, Ge 9:4, Lev 3:17, Lev 11:2,3,7,9, Pr 12:10, Isa 11:6-9, Isa 65:17,21, Isa 65:25, Da 1:8-20, 1Co 6:20, Rev 21:4, Rev 22:1,2
It is false to think that we should eat whatever we want.
It is false to think that God's health laws are obsolete.
It is false to think that eating unclean foods is harmless.
Some key verses:
Isa 65:3,4, Isa 66:16-17, 2Co 6:17
God wants us to be Healthy
God wants us to be healthy. (
Ps 67:2, Pr 4:20-22, Jn 10:10, 3Jn 1:2)
We bring glory to God by following His health laws. (
Diet is a Fundamental Testing Issue
The first test of humans was the food test. (
The first test of Daniel in Babylon was the food test. (
Da 1:12,16: pulse - "Leguminous plants or their seeds; the plants whose pericarp is a lugume or pod, as beans, peas, etc." (Webster's Dictionary 1828)
The first test after Jesus began His ministry was the food test. (
Only those who are faithful in seemingly small matters will pass the greater tests. (
Jer 12:5, Mt 25:22,23)
The Original Diet
The original diet for humans consisted of seed-bearing plants, fruits, and nuts. (
Herb - "A plant or vegetable with a soft or succulent stalk or stem, which dies to the root every year, and is thus distinguished from a tree and a shrub, which have ligneous or hard woody stems. ... The word herb comprehends all the grasses, and numerous plants used for culinary purposes." (Webster's Dictionary 1828)
Herb - "A seed-producing annual, biennial, or perennial that does not develop persistent woody tissue but dies down at the end of a growing season." (Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 2003)
Herb - "In botany, a herb is a plant that does not produce a woody stem, and in temperate climates usually dies, either completely (annual herb) or back to the roots (perennial herb), at the end of the growing season." (Wikipedia)
Since all herbs produce seeds and this verse specifically emphasizes herbs bearing seed, the implication is that the seed bearing stages are to serve as food, rather than the non seed-bearing stages. This points to the consumption of whole grains and vegetables, rather than green grasses.
The original diet for humans was vegetarian.
The original diet for animals was vegetarian. (
Adam lived 930 years. (
Diet after the Fall
After the fall, the diet for humans remained vegetarian, but became more focused around herbs of the field. (
The tree of life and the other trees in Eden were not available. (
Eating the fruit of trees in Eden had been convenient and required minimal effort.
Eating herbs of the field requires an annual cycle of hard labor. (
Methuselah lived 969 years. He was the oldest recorded person. (
Diet after the Flood
Noah was aware of the distinction between clean and unclean animals. (
The clean animals were used for sacrifice. (
The flood temporarily destroyed the vegetation, making the eating of meat necessary. (
Ge 7:19-24, Ge 8:3-5, Ge 9:1-3)
It was understood that only the clean animals were allowed to be eaten.
Eating an unclean animal would have resulted in the extinction of that species.
After beginning to eat meat the life span steadily declined: 600,438,433,437,239,239,230,148,205 (
Ge 11:10-32), 70-80 ( Ps 90:10)
The eating of fat and blood is forbidden. (
Ge 9:4, Lev 3:17)
Because of transgression, God clearly spelled out the diet laws. (
Lev 11:46,47, Lev 20:25, Dt 14:3)
Clean animals (
NOT pig - a scavenger that carries trichina worm, which causes trichinosis.
Trichinosis - "infestation with or disease caused by trichinae and marked especially by muscular pain, dyspnea, fever, weakness, and edema" (Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 2003)
Dyspnea - "difficult or labored respiration" (Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 2003)
Edema - "an abnormal infiltration and excess accumulation of serous fluid in connective tissue or in a serous cavity" (Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 2003)
Clean fish (
NOT shrimp, lobster - scavengers
NOT clams, oysters, and other shellfish - absorb poisons
NOT squid, eel, catfish
Clean birds (
NOT birds of prey and scavengers
Clean insects (ONLY certain locusts and beetles) (
Reptiles (NONE) (
Lev 11:41,42) (compare Ge 3:14)
God condemned the priests for teaching that there was no difference between the unclean and the clean. (
In God's plan for a new temple, the priests were to teach the difference between the unclean and the clean. (
Even of the pagans, God expresses His abhorence of the eating of forbidden foods. (
Zec 9:6,7 compare Lev 17:10-12)
The Disciples' Diet
The disciples followed the same, Biblical diet laws. (
Ac 10:11-14, Ac 21:25 no blood, 2Co 6:17)
Peter's vision was about the Gentiles, not about eating unclean food.
Peter's statement reveals his adherence to the diet laws.
"But Hegesippus, who lived immediately after the apostles, gives the most accurate account in the fifth book of his Memoirs. He writes as follows: "James, the brother of the Lord, succeeded to the government of the Church in conjunction with the apostles. He has been called the Just by all from the time of our Saviour to the present day; for there were many that bore the name of James. He was holy from his mother's womb; and he drank no wine nor strong drink, nor did he eat flesh."" (Church History, Eusebius, book 2, chap. 23, p. 4)
Diet of the Wicked
In the destruction of the wicked, the wicked are described as "eating swine's flesh" and other "abominations". (
Isa 66:16-18,22-24 compare Isa 65:1-5)
Modern Babylon is described as "a cage of every unclean and hateful bird". (
Rev 18:1,2) (Note the diet law imagery)
Diet in Heaven
The diet in Heaven will be vegetarian. (
Isa 65:17,21, Rev 22:1,2)
Modern Practices Contaminate many Foods
Sick Meat, U.S. News & World Report, 1998 Annual Guide
"Chicken manure in particular, which costs from $15 to $45 a ton in comparison with up to $125 a ton for alfalfa, is increasingly used as feed by cattle farmers despite possible health risks to consumers."
"In addition, some 40 billion pounds a year of slaughterhouse wastes like blood, bone, and viscera, as well as the remains of millions of euthanized cats and dogs passed along by veterinarians and animal shelters, are rendered annually into livestock feed--in the process turning cattle and hogs, which are natural herbivores, into unwitting carnivores."
"Animal-feed manufactures and farmers also have begun using or trying out dehydrated food garbage, fats emptied from restaurant fryers and grease traps, cement-kiln dust, even newsprint and cardboard that are derived from plant cellulose. Researchers in addition have experimented with cattle and hog manure, and human sewage sludge."
Fruits and vegetables are often coated with pesticides and artificial dyes.
To avoid these contaminants, peel and discard the outer layer.
We should have Respect for all Life
In Eden, animals were not eaten by humans nor by other animals. (
God cares about animals. (
Dt 25:4, Jnh 4:11, Ps 145:9, Mt 6:26, Mt 10:29)
The righteous are kind to animals, but the wicked are not. (
Thou shalt not kill. (
The primary application is toward humans. (
Mt 7:12, Mt 22:37-40), but the 6th commandment also appeals for love throughout God's entire creation.
There will be no killing in Heaven. (
Isa 11:6-9, Isa 65:25, Rev 21:4)
After the flood, did God allow all living things to be eaten? (
Ge 9:3) (No)
The distinction between clean and unclean animals was already known. (
There was a mutual understanding that unclean animals were not candidates for food.
Consider, as an analogy, that people live and move, but cannibalism is obviously not being sanctioned.
Consider that there were seven pairs of each clean type, but only one pair of each unclean type.
Later, when giving health laws through Moses, God clearly forbids eating unclean animals.
Did Jesus say that it does not matter what we eat? (
Mt 15:11) (No)
The context is eating without first washing the hands (see
Mt 15:2 and Mt 15:20).
Jesus refuted the Pharisees' claim that ceremonial washings affect our purity.
Did God tell Peter that all animals were allowed to be killed and eaten? (
Ac 10:12-15) (No)
The interpretation of the vision shows that its real subject was the Gentiles, not animals. (see
Did the controversy over circumcision declare that unclean food was allowed to be eaten? (
Ac 15:1,2,19,20,28,29) (No)
The controversy was about circumcision.
The disciples were led by the Holy Spirit to immediately correct certain widespread, Gentile violations of God's laws (eating food offered to idols, eating strangled animals, eating blood, and fornication).
It was believed that blood could not be adequately removed from an animal whose neck was broken. (Talmud Hullin 113a, Soncino edition, pp. 621, 622)
Concluding that all restraints were abandoned would also conclude that the Ten Commandments were abandoned, which is false. (See the topics on the Law.)
The continuance of the Ten Commandments is clarified in a later meeting between Paul and the Jerusalem, Christian elders. (
The Jewish leaders were obsessed with killing Paul not because he was a lawbreaker, but because he proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus, Whom they crucified. (
Ac 23:10-15 , Ac 24:1,13-16, Ac 25:6-12,17-19, Ac 26:8-23)
Is all food and drink clean? (
Ro 14:2,3,14,17,20-23) (No)
Paul's statement that there is nothing unclean of itself (
Ro 14:14) does not mean that there are no unclean things.
In another letter, he states God's clear command to abstain from unclean things. (
The distinction made in Ro 14:14 centers on the phrase "of itself".
Anything that God separates (sanctifies) as being clean is clean.
Anything that God separates (condemns) as being unclean is unclean.
God specifically separates the clean and unclean foods in the Bible. (
God specifically condemns fermented drink (alcohol) as unclean in the Bible. (
Lev 10:8-10 compare 1Pe 2:5,9 and 1Co 3:16,17)
God would never recommend a food or drink that is harmful to our health by falsely labeling it as clean.
A strong parallel exists between
Ro 14:1-23, 1Co 8:1-13, and 1Co 10:21,27-30.
They all involve a divisive issue involving food and drink. (
Ro 14:3,13,17, 1Co 8:1,8, , 1Co 10:21,27,28)
The all involve passively influencing others to sin over this issue. (
Ro 14:13,15,20,23, 1Co 8:7,9-12, 1Co 10:29,30)
The 1Co verses clearly indicate the topic to be the controversy over consuming food and drink offered to idols by others. (
1Co 8:1,4,7,10, 1Co 10:27,28)
The similarities give reason to believe that the Ro 14 verses refers to the same controversy.
The sinful act is committed by those who offer anything to an idol. (compare
In an over execise of caution, this sinful practice led some Christians to eat only vegetables, because they even feared the unknown previous use of purchased products.
Because clean food and drink does not switch its cleanliness simply because of its proximity to sinful practices (e.g., idol worship), they were considered to have weak consciences. (
Paul warns Christians not to indulge in what they believe is evil. (
Ro 14:23, 1Co 8:10-12)
Paul warns against needless judgmental polarizations. (
Ro 14:3,13, 1Co 8:8) (compare 1Co 1:10 and 2Ti 2:23)
The final decision was for all to reasonably avoid these controversial foods. (
1Co 8:13, 1Co 10:27,28) ( Ac 15:29, Rev 2:20)
Did Paul say that we should eat meat? (
The context was a 14-day fast during a time of great trouble at sea.
Paul advised the people that they should eat.
He then took bread, broke it, and ate it. (
Did Paul tell the Colossians they could eat and drink whatever they want? (
Col 2:16) (No)
Note that the verse does NOT say "what you eat" or "what you drink".
The food and drink refer to the various meal and drink offerings of the ceremonial law. (compare
Context: "a shadow of the things that were to come" (
Did Paul tell the Colossians that the health laws are part of the ceremonial law and, therefore, obsolete? (
Col 2:20-23) (No)
Some commands to "Touch not" and "handle not" were part of the ceremonial law. (
Nu 19:11-22 note the salvation symbolism in verse 17)
However, verse 22 clearly identifies the context as being about man-made additions that were NOT commands from God.
Verse 23 clearly identifies these man-made practices as being for external show, rather than of any internal, spritiual usefulness.
Does God say that everything He created is good to be eaten? (
1Ti 4:1-5) (No)
Sanctification by the word of God clearly indicates food which God has set apart as clean.
Celibacy and abstinence as a form of penance are condemned as apostate teachings.
Does the Bible say that concern over diet is insignificant? (
Heb 13:8,9) (No)
Verse 9 clearly indicates the concern to be with "divers" and "strange" doctrines. These are the teachings of men, not the commandments of God.
Verse 8 emphsizes that God does not change. Therefore, His laws do not change. His ceremonial law was a foreshadowing, a symbolism, that was fulfilled in Christ. Since our bodies have not changed, His health laws still apply.