Was God’s Dietary Law Done Away With? Answer: NO!

by Christine Egbert

A couple of years ago I wrote an article titled Swine’s Blood On The Altar in which I contrasted the differences between cows and pigs, in their diet and digestion process. I won’t rehash that in this article. Instead, I will deal only with those verses used to try and prove (but do not) that Yeshua overturned His Father’s dietary instructions. But first, let me make this one point, which I made in “Swine’s Blood On The Altar.” 

YHVH, the designer of everything, is not capricious. He created everything for a very specific purpose. When one lusts for someone of their own gender, or practices any form of fornication, they’re in open rebellion to the Creator’s purpose: marriage and procreation. What does sexual rebellion have to do with mankind’s diet? Everything! Both defy the Creator’s purpose. We’ve been created in the image of a Holy God. Offering swine’s blood on the altar in His Temple (and we are the Temple) is an abomination! We are, therefore, to consume ONLY those animals YHVH accepts on His altar.  All else is an abomination!   

Mark 7: 1-19

Yeshua never declared that animals His Father declared are “not food for man” to be food for man. A translator, Ebehard Nestle, in disregard for God’s admonition not to add to or take away from His word, inserted the following words in 1926: “Thus Jesus declared all foods clean.” 

Since then many have come to believe that Jesus, in Mark 7, disavoid His Father’s dietary instructions. Only the discourse in Mark chapter 7 was never about what is and is not food. It was about performing a ritual hand-washing before eating bread (Mark 7:5). This hand-washing ritual is found no where in the written Torah. This hand-washing was and is a rabbinic (man-made) tradition, one that Yeshua and His disciples never followed. Yeshua’s teaching in Mark chapter 7, never did away with any of His Father’s commandments. Yeshua’s teaching upheld His Father’s Torah.   

In Leviticus 11, Lord YHVH established–once and for all (for God never changes)–what is and what is not food. Yeshua came ONLY to do His Father’s will and to speak His Father’s words. He never overruled His Father about anything! Having done so would’ve been sin! It would have disqualified Yeshua as Israel’s Messiah. Over and over, Yeshua railed against those who set aside His Father’s commandments in order to keep their own man-made traditions.

In Mark 7: 15, the Messiah stated that what comes out of a man (from his heart) defiles him (not eating with unwashed hands). In verse 19, quoting from the Literal Translation, it says: “because it does not enter into his heart, but into the belly, and goes out into the waste-bowl, purging all the foods.”

Now the Greek word kath-ar-id’-zo can mean cleanse or  purge. Based on the context of “going out of the body into the toilet,” the correct choice is PURGE! It can never mean to PURIFY! What goes into the toilet is not purified; it’s purged! The original KJV version translated kath-ar-id’-zo correctly as purge. The New KJV, however, among several other modern translations, render kath-ar-id’-zo as cleansing. 

What comes out of a man’s heart defiles him (evil like substituting God’s law for man-made traditions, and that includes the abomination of eating swine to celebrate our Messiah’s resurrection). Our sinless Messiah said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments,” commandments from which, He also said, “not one jot or tittle would pass away from the Torah until heaven and earth pass away…” Yeshua did not, in one vague passage, nullify hundreds of Scriptural admonitions not to eat abominable things. 

ACTS 10 (Peter’s Vision)

Starting with Peter’s vision in Acts 10, allow me to point out that in Scripture, visions and dreams are always symbolic. They are never literal.

In Acts 10:7, God sends three Gentiles to Joppa to see Peter. As they’re approaching, Peter is given a vision. In it all the four-footed animals of the earth–wild beasts, creeping things, and the birds of the heaven–descend 3 times on what looks like a sheet. Then a voice instructs Peter 3 different times (one for each of the three gentiles) to kill and eat. But Peter who, many years before, was with Yeshua during that Mark 7 discourse, responded by saying, “Not at all, Lord, because I never did eat anything common or unclean.” 

How do we know that Peter was there during the Mark 7 discourse? We know because this very same event is given in Matthew’s account. Peter was the disciple who asked Yeshua to explain the parable (see Matthew 15:15). If Yeshua had declared pigs to now be food for man, Peter would’ve replied, “I know Lord! I’ve been eating all these things!” 

Let’s continue: 

Three times (verse 16), Peter is instructed not to call what God has cleansed common. Verse 17 is the proof that Peter understood that this vision was symbolic. It was never about eating unclean animals. In verse 17, Peter “wonders” what his vision meant. He would not have wondered had he interpreted the vision to mean that pigs, lobsters, toads, salamanders, every animal on earth could now be eaten as food. Yet that is what most preachers since Constantine preach.

In verse 28, Peter gives the correct interpretation. “You know how unlawful it is for a man, a Jew, to unite with, or to come near to, one of another race. Yet God showed me not to call any MAN common or unclean.” LITV—Literal Version.

Those of you who have studied the beginning of the Book, the TORAH, know that Peter’s reference to it being unlawful to associate with those outside of Judaism comes from Rabbinic Oral Law. No such command in written in TORAH. It was an Oral law, a tradition taught by the School of Shammai (not Hillel). Peter never claimed that God instructed him to nullify the dietary instructions given in Leviticus 11.

1st Timothy 4:4

Is Every Creature Good For Food? 

Read 1st Timothy 4:1-5 First!

Those who choose those things in which God has no pleasure (Isa 66:4), those who choose to eat swine’s flesh (Isa 66:17), love to twist many of Paul’s statements. Ist Timothy 4: 4, does indeed say: “Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be thrust away.” But to correctly understand what Paul is talking about, we must keep his statement in context. Paul makes a crucial point in verse 5. Peter warned (II Peter 3: 16) that some of the things Paul writes are hard to understand, and that the unlearned (in the Law) and the unsettled pervert what he writes to their own destruction. Peter warned us, in verse 17, not to be led astray by the error of the “athesmos”, the lawless.

So let us start Paul’s letter to Timothy at Ist Timothy 4:1, to establish the proper context–for any text without context is a pretext. 

“But the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, cleaving to deceiving spirits and teachings of demonsin lying speakers in hypocrisy, being seared in their own conscienceforbidding to marry (God’s TORAH establishes marriage), saying to abstain from foods (God’s TORAH establishes what food is), which God created for partaking with thanksgiving by the believers (in Yah’s word) and those knowing the truth. (Your Torah is TRUTH! Psalms 119: 142) Here is the key—verse 5—for through God’s Word (Leviticus 11) and supplication (prayerit is sanctified (set apart). Nowhere in God’s word is swine ever sanctified as food!

What Is Sanctification?

The definition of sanctified is to be “separated from the profane, the common, the unclean.” If every animal on the face of the earth was good for food, no animal would be sanctified! No animals would be set apart from other animals to be offered to God as a sacrifice or to be consumed by man as food.

Clearly, 1st Timothy 4 does not claim that creatures like pigs and salamanders, which were created by God, are now to be considered food. Paul is simply saying, in his sometimes hard to understand way, that those creatures which God declared to be food (Leviticus 11) should not be refused, as the Gnostics were teaching their followers to do. Paul never taught against God’s dietary instructions. Paul taught against demonic Gnostic doctrines.

What About Genesis 9:3?

Is Every Moving Thing Now Meat For Man?

Every moving thing that lives shall be meat for you…”

Was God declaring every animal meat for man after the flood? No! He was not! He was simply declaring that now, after the flood, since it would take time to grow plants, man could add meat to his formerly vegetarian diet. And although it does not say in Genesis 9:3 that he was referring only to meat from clean animals, Genesis 7:2 makes that clear. For in Genesis 7:2, Noah was instructed to take into the ark seven pairs–14 total–male and female of every clean animal, while only one pair–2 total–of every unclean animal, like pigs. And if even one pig had been eaten, we would have no pigs today.  Gen 9:3  “Every crawling thing that is alive will be food for you, as are the green plants—I have now given you everything.”  

What about Colossians 2:16?

Paul writes, “…let no man judge you in eating or in drinking.” Does that mean that our sometimes confusing Paul is teaching that God’s dietary law is done away with? No! Of course not. In verse 2:20, Paul refers to these as rudiments of the world (KJV), and in verse 22 he describes them as the doctrines of men! Neither here, nor anywhere else in the New Testament, does Paul teach against God’s Torah.

What about Romans 14:1-3?

And receive the one who is weak in the faith, not to judgments of your thoughts. One indeed believes he can eat all things, but being weak, another eats only vegetables. When Paul says one believes he can eat all things, he does not mean meats God declares not to be food in Leviticus 11. Paul is contrasting those who eat everything God has declared food with those who eat only vegetables. 

What About I Corinthian 10:25?

Paul writes: “Whatsoever is sold in the meat market, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.”

Once more, Paul is not sanctioning as food that which God has declared not food. The topic here is not about eating clean and unclean, but about buying and eating foods that may have been sacrificed to idols. Paul’s summation is given in 1Co 10:28. “But if anyone tells you this was slain in sacrifice to idols, do not eat it! . . .”

What about Acts 15: 20?

Doesn’t it make the case that Gentiles don’t have to follow the LAW, except to abstain from idols, fornication, things strangled, and from blood?

The idea that Christians need only to follow these four commands is truly laughable. No honest person in their right mind can actually believe that Acts 15:20 means Gentiles do not need to follow any of God’s other Laws. What about murder? What about lying? What about stealing? What about paying tithes? What about keeping the Sabbath? None of those are mentioned in Acts 15!  

The key to understanding Acts 15:20 is the very next verse, verse 21. Let’s read it from verse 20: “…write to them to hold back from the pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and (from eating things) strangled, and (eating) blood (21). FOR in every city from ancient generations Moses has those proclaiming him, having been read (the TORAH) in the synagogues on every Sabbath.” 

“Pollutions of idols” concerns EATING meats offered to idols, and not EATING things strangled or EATING blood are basic tenants in God’s dietary law. The Greek word “FOR” which starts verse 21 is Strong’s 1063, “Gar.” Strong’s defines Gar thus: “It is a primary particle properly assigning a REASON (used in argument)…” And the REASON new believers had only to observe the 4 instructions listed in Acts 15:20 (immediately) was BECAUSE over time these believers would go to synagogue on the Sabbath, then “hear and obey the TORAH” that was read every Sabbath.    

You see, there were some Pharisees (from the School of Shammai, not Hillel) that told the new Gentile believers that they must (first) be circumcised to be saved. But the apostles knew better. They knew that God had already offered them salvation through faith, just like Abraham, and that they had been sealed with His Holy Spirit.

The apostles knew also that these Gentiles, fresh out of Paganism, needed to abstain immediately from idols, fornication, eating strangled animals and eating blood, all which were practiced in pagan temples and forbidden in God’s law. But not wanting to overwhelm them, the apostles instructed these new believers to focus on these four (for now), FOR (agar) every Sabbath the law of Moses–or to be more exact, the Law God gave to Moses–would be taught in every synagogue. 

Verse 21 shows that the apostles fully expected these new believers, who had been given the Holy Spirit, to attend Sabbath synagogue services, where they would learn about God’s law, and obey it–not in order to be saved, but because they had already been saved.

The proof for this supposition can be found in Romans 8: 4. Paul proclaims that the righteous requirements of the law would be fulfilled by those who walk by the Spirit, and these new, formerly Gentile, converts had been given the Holy Spirit. And please note that I said formerly Gentile, because Paul in Ephesians 2:12-13 declared that these former Gentiles had become part of Israel’s Commonwealth through faith in Israel’s Messiah.

Closing Thoughts

In closing, I’d like to mention something I recently learned through the ministry of Matthew Vander Els. It regards the difference in circulation between clean and unclean animals. When I heard about this I was so excited, I searched the internet and found a new book by Rabbi Zamir Cohen titled “The Coming Revolution – Science Discovers the Truths of the Bible”.

In his book the Rabbi quotes modern day scientists who  have discovered a major difference in the way the blood flows in the species that are kosher and those that are not. In non kosher mammals, the vertebral arteries flow directly to the brain through the rete mirabile. 

In cloven-hoofed, cud-chewing mammals and permitted foul, the vertebral arteries drain into the carotid artery and do NOT have direct flow to the brain. There will, therefore, be an “immediate drop in blood pressure” at the time of shechita (Kosher method of slaughtering) that causes the animal to lose consciousness, thus feeling no pain.”

To that, all I can add is, “Isn’t Yah awesome?”