Do Clean And Unclean Meats Law Still Apply Today?

Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Gen. 7:2 (Before the law of clean and unclean animals was given to the Israelites, Noah knew God’s law. Noah knew which animals were clean and unclean. It wasn’t just for the Israelites, it was for all mankind. It is an issue of obedience, health, and holiness. Eating an unclean animal has physical health consequences that God wants us to avoid. God also calls us to be holy in regards to our bodies. Eating unclean meats is an unholy act.)

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. I Cor. 3:16-17 (We are not our own. God dwells in us and He does not want us defiling ourselves with unclean meats that will cause disease and sickness.)

"Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the midst of those who eat the flesh of pigs and rats and other abominable things--they will meet their end together," declares the LORD. Isaiah 66:17 (Eating pig is put in the same sentence and category of eating “rats and other abominable things.” Its very important to note that the context of this prophecy in Isaiah is for the end times.)

“ ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’ She has become a dwelling for demons and a haunt for every impure spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal. Rev. 18:2 (The distinction between clean and unclean animals remains many many years later at the fall of the end times Babylon the Great.)

Read Lev. 11 and Deut. 14, it tells of God’s laws concerning clean and unclean animals. Most of it common sense today. Of course the Israelites didn’t have all the health knowledge we have today, so it was more of an obedience issue for them, although it is still an obedience issue today as well. Pig is the only major sacrifice that our society would need to make to adhere to the laws on clean and unclean meats. There are few other seafood items as well such as crab and lobster and a few other rarely eaten animals. We need to realize that the creator of the world knows better than we do for which animals are good for food and which animals serve other purposes. All it takes is a little research on the animals that are deemed unclean to understand that God really does know what he is talking about and what he is doing.

Context, Context, Context

There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable. And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. Mark 7:15-20 (Is Jesus saying all meats are clean? No, the proper context of this account is about the disciples eating food with unwashed hands mentioned in verse 2. The Jews had extra rules and traditions apart from God’s law that involved all kinds of washing of hands and dishes before eating. The words “purging all meats” is not apart of the original Greek text and should not be there.) And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? Mark 7:2-5 (Jesus is responding to the accusation of his disciples not washing their hands before eating and thus defiling themselves. Jesus explains that dirt from unwashed hands does not make them unclean. This account has nothing to do with clean and unclean meats.)

These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. Matt. 15:20 (At the end of Jesus’ response in the Matthew account, he also puts his words in proper context. He is speaking about eating with unwashed hands, not clean and unclean meats.)

Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. Acts 10:9-15 (Does Peter’s vision show that God has cleansed all meats? No, if you read further, verse 28 reveals the meaning of the vision. God is showing Peter that Gentiles are now made clean by God and are able to receive salvation. Notice Peter’s response to God’s command to kill and eat unclean meat. Well after Christ had died, Peter refuses to eat unclean meat and says that he has never done so. This shows what Peter believed about clean and unclean meats even after Christ’s death.) And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Acts 10:28 (The vision was not about clean and unclean meats, but about salvation being opened to Gentiles. If all meats were cleansed at Christ’s death, Peter didn’t know it, and God would not have been able to use the analogy of unclean meats to get his message across.) Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) Acts 10: 34-36 (The vision was to show that Jesus Christ is Lord of all, Jews and Gentiles.)

I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Rom. 14:14 (Is Paul claiming nothing is unclean, thus all meats are good for food? Once again, no he is not. The word “unclean” in this verse is the Greek word koinos, and should be translated as “common” or “defiled” just as it was in Matthew 15, Mark 7, and Acts 10. So nothing is defiled of itself. Paul is not talking about clean and unclean meats. He is speaking in the context of those being weak in the faith in regards to foods sacrificed to idols. I Corinthians 8 also speaks about those weak in the faith because of foods sacrificed to idols. Those weak in faith, felt that eating food sacrificed to idols made the food unclean and thus defiling themselves. In I Corinthians 8, Paul explains that these idols are not real, that there is only 1 God, and so these foods are still good for food. But for the strong in the faith be mindful of those without this knowledge, and not cause those weak in the faith to stumble.)

Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Rom. 14:1-2 (Here is the proper context for above verse. Paul is addressing those weak in the faith. Paul says those who are weak eat herbs, or are vegetarians. They became vegetarians to avoid eating meats sacrificed to idols and thus defiling themselves. Meats sacrificed to idols were not entirely used, and were then taken and sold on the open market. So there was no way of knowing for sure if meat you were buying in the market place was formerly sacrificed to idols. I Corinthians 8 explains that this is not an issue in and of itself. This verse also shows those not weak in the faith believe that they may eat all things. This is true, but they may eat all things that are of course clean. These verses are not talking at all about clean and unclean meats, but about meats sacrificed to idols.)

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: I Tim. 4:1-4 (Every creature is good, including the parasites, maggots, and tapeworms, but that does not mean every animal is good for food. Many other animals simply have other purposes other than for food. Abstaining from meats or becoming a vegetarian is called a doctrine of devils. Demons understand that meat contains certain proteins vital for the proper development of the brain and that mental weakness invites their influence.)

Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. Gen. 9:3-4 (God gave Adam and Eve animals and plants for food. But some plants are poisonous and are meant for other purposes. So too are some animals unclean and meant for other purposes. Also, we are not to eat meat with the blood still in it. This is God’s creation and He knows better than anyone what animals he intended to be for food.) Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off. Lev. 17:14 (God knows the blood carries in it things which will harm us if eaten.) It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood. Lev. 3:17 (God also knows that the fat also carries in it things which will harm us if eaten.) Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat. Lev. 7:23 (Even the fat of clean animals is not in our best health interest, so says the creator.)

Leviticus 11:1-46

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat: You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud. “ ‘There are some that only chew the cud or only have a divided hoof, but you must not eat them. The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is ceremonially unclean for you. The hyrax, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you. The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you. And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.

“ ‘Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales. But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales—whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water—you are to regard as unclean. And since you are to regard them as unclean, you must not eat their meat; you must regard their carcasses as unclean. Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be regarded as unclean by you.

“ ‘These are the birds you are to regard as unclean and not eat because they are unclean: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.

“ ‘All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be regarded as unclean by you. There are, however, some flying insects that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper. But all other flying insects that have four legs you are to regard as unclean. “ ‘You will make yourselves unclean by these; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening. Whoever picks up one of their carcasses must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening.

“ ‘Every animal that does not have a divided hoof or that does not chew the cud is unclean for you; whoever touches the carcass of any of them will be unclean. Of all the animals that walk on all fours, those that walk on their paws are unclean for you; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening. Anyone who picks up their carcasses must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening. These animals are unclean for you. “ ‘Of the animals that move along the ground, these are unclean for you: the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard, the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon. Of all those that move along the ground, these are unclean for you. Whoever touches them when they are dead will be unclean till evening. When one of them dies and falls on something, that article, whatever its use, will be unclean, whether it is made of wood, cloth, hide or sackcloth. Put it in water; it will be unclean till evening, and then it will be clean. If one of them falls into a clay pot, everything in it will be unclean, and you must break the pot. Any food you are allowed to eat that has come into contact with water from any such pot is unclean, and any liquid that is drunk from such a pot is unclean. Anything that one of their carcasses falls on becomes unclean; an oven or cooking pot must be broken up. They are unclean, and you are to regard them as unclean. A spring, however, or a cistern for collecting water remains clean, but anyone who touches one of these carcasses is unclean. If a carcass falls on any seeds that are to be planted, they remain clean. But if water has been put on the seed and a carcass falls on it, it is unclean for you.

“ ‘If an animal that you are allowed to eat dies, anyone who touches its carcass will be unclean till evening. Anyone who eats some of its carcass must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening. Anyone who picks up the carcass must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening.

“ ‘Every creature that moves along the ground is to be regarded as unclean; it is not to be eaten. You are not to eat any creature that moves along the ground, whether it moves on its belly or walks on all fours or on many feet; it is unclean. Do not defile yourselves by any of these creatures. Do not make yourselves unclean by means of them or be made unclean by them. I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves along the ground. I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.

“ ‘These are the regulations concerning animals, birds, every living thing that moves about in the water and every creature that moves along the ground. You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.’ ”
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