The Bible and the food we eat
To eat kosher food or not, that is truly becoming a more and more debated question within the biblical conservative community.
I can tell you on forehand, that is not something I tell you you should commit to or not, this is between you and God.
Are you from Jewish descent and you grew up eating kosher, I would say do not change, keep eating healthy.
Yes indeed eating kosher is healthy, let me say way healthier then the way westerners normally eat.
For myself, I'm eating more and more kosher and truly feel better about it.
The following is my belief and explanation on what the Bible teaches about eating kosher.
There are many man made dietary Kashrut laws (Kashrut is the law on food that can or cannot be eaten).
Within Judaism there are so many more rules than those that the Bible gives us that it becomes truly difficult to understand what has been given by God and what not.
I believe that what is God given will not be changed by God.
There is one thing that God will never do, and this is to lie, because God is truth lying is the one thing that He is NOT ABLE to do.
After the destruction of the temple the law of Moses with the sacrificial offerings where more and more replaced by works and the rule of the Oral Torah.
A very serious charge against;
the idea of oral Torah is that the Talmudic revisionism of post-Temple Judaism transformed Moses from being God's direct meditator into "Moshe Rabbeinu" - Moses our Rabbi. The same "conversion" can be seen in the rabbinical reinvention of the prophets, King David, and even the Messiah into advocates of the Talmud and the rabbis. Indeed, even God Himself is sometimes seen as being subject to the authority of the rabbis! For example, in the Talmud Bavli, Baba Metzia 59b, we read the story of the "Oven of Akhnai." In this story R. Eliezer had argued a point of doctrine the truth of which was attested to by miracles. His rabbinical opponents, however, dismissed his various proofs. Finally we read:
In response, R. Eliezer said to the Sages, "If the Halakhah agrees with me, let it be proved from heaven." Sure enough, a divine voice cried out, "Why do you dispute with R. Eliezer, with whom the Halakhah always agrees?" R. Joshua stood up and protested: "The Torah is not in heaven!" (Deut. 30:12). We pay no attention to a divine voice because long ago at Mount Sinai You wrote in your Torah at Mount Sinai, `After the majority must one incline'. (Ex. 23:2)"
R. Nathan met [the prophet] Elijah and asked him, "What did the Holy One do at that moment?" Elijah said, "He laughed [with joy], saying, 'My children have defeated Me, My children have defeated Me.'"
The revisionism of the Talmud ascribes sole authority to the rabbis in Jewish life. Rabbinical consensus and interpretation now trumps all.
Hebrew for Christians "the Oral Torah"The Idea of mankind being in a higher authority is in my opinion preposterous and not in line with any scripture at all.
So is it then that we throw all of the Kashrut law overboard?
No we should not, there is now the man given and the God given law. The part where we might be in disagreement is where this line is, many of our Christian and Messianic friends have been influenced by Oral and also Written tradition which makes it necessary to define a number of parameters for this paper first.
Matthew 5:17-20 (CJB)
“Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened. 19 So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness is far greater than that of the Torah-teachers and P’rushim (the scribes and Pharisees), you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
For the goal at which the Torah aims is the Messiah, who offers righteousness to everyone who trusts.
Jesus, Yeshua is the completion of the Law, the last Yot or Tittle written to it, all that goes before Him is leading up to the fulfillment of the Torah, or as Jesus says not to abolish but to complete.
The purpose of the Law has now fully been disclosed, as the amplified bible writes it "the means of righteousness (right relationship to God) for everyone who trusts in and adheres to and relies on Him."
Thus then with this it is not as many and also myself in my youthful and non Holy Spirit filled passed believed, that it was closed, not necessary anymore and completely replaced by the new testament.
When this is the thought then the words in Matthew 5 have been completely mis understood.
More on this topic can be found in the message "Aarrrgghh, It's to much!!! (click here)"
Jesus says that from the first five books of the Bible the Torah, NOT ONE "a yud or a stroke will pass".
This brings me to the following conviction.
God knows what is best for our bodies and He has not given rules concerning what is good for you and what is bad to replace it at a certain moment.
Thus let us then first look at what the bible teaches on this and then follow this by some questions and answers that we will hear as Messianics and Christians alike.
Let us hear the words from 3 John
3 John 1:2 (CEB)
Dear friend, I’m praying that all is well with you and that you enjoy good health in the same way that you prosper spiritually.
The scripture places our health and well being in high standing as we read in this greeting in the opening of this letter.
God provided us with all the tools we need to be living in good and prosperous health, and all of this can be found in the Holy Bible, not in the regulations of a church or the sages, but in the truthful and unaltered word of God.
As the New Testament teaches us, it is only the acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and the repentance of our sin that leads us into heaven. We can do all the good works and lead the most holy of lives, when we do not surrender to Christ we will not be saved,
We are born Jews—we’re not Gentile sinners. 16 However, we know that a person isn’t made righteous by the works of the Law but rather through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. We ourselves believed in Christ Jesus so that we could be made righteous by the faithfulness of Christ and not by the works of the Law—because no one will be made righteous by the works of the Law. 17 But if it is discovered that we ourselves are sinners while we are trying to be made righteous in Christ, then is Christ a servant of sin? Absolutely not!
This being said it is in obedience and the will of obedience that
1 Corinthians 7:21-23 (CEB)
If you were a slave when you were called, don’t let it bother you. But if you are actually able to be free, take advantage of the opportunity. 22 Anyone who was a slave when they were called by the Lord has the status of being the Lord’s free person. In the same way, anyone who was a free person when they were called is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought and paid for. Don’t become slaves of people.
For this knowing that The Lord is my Lord and I want to live a life that His words proclaims best. Not to be better then others or to be more righteous then others, that is just not possible because we are saved by grace and grace alone.
If God says a thing is not fit to eat, He must have a good reason. He is not a harsh dictator, but a loving Father.
All His counsel is for our good, always. So if God withholds a thing from us, it is because it is not a good thing for us "For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly." (Psalm 84:11). The diet God gave people at the beginning of Creation was fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds.
"Then God said, “I now give to you all the plants on the earth that yield seeds and all the trees whose fruit produces its seeds within it. These will be your food.", "The Lord God commanded the human, “Eat your fill from all of the garden’s trees;", "Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;" (Genesis 1:29, 2:16; 3:18 CEB).
Then after the fall to sin, Adam and Eve where cast out of the Garden of Eden and the provision of the Lord changed for them. Their life was not eternal anymore, their was not only right in their lives anymore, wrong has entered too.
With that the need for meat had also entered their lives. "while Abel presented his flock’s oldest offspring with their fat. The Lord looked favorably on Abel and his sacrifice " (Genesis 4:4)
The bible teaches us also about proper balance and regularity, "There is a time and place for all things under the heavens", this includes regular times for eating, sleeping, worship, family time, relaxation etc. etc.
I know it that one of my main things is that I eat to fast and when it comes to Chinese food or pizza I truly overindulge. Thus looking at scripture it tells me the following "When you sit down to dine with a ruler, carefully consider what is in front of you. 2 Place a knife at your throat to control your appetite." Proverbs 23:1-2 (CEB) "But keep watch on yourselves, or your hearts will become dulled by carousing, drunkenness and the worries of everyday living, and that Day will be sprung upon you suddenly like a trap! " Luke 21:34 (CJB)
Scripture is and has always been real clear, for more on the order of things and regularity for health, spiritual life and righteousness I would like to point you to the message "Health / The Candle of the Lord"
As our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit the bible clearly tells us that the use of Alcoholic Beverages should not be used to produce drunkenness, it does not forbid the consumption of these. Within Eagle Wings Charismatic Ministries we will therefore not consume alcoholic beverages, we will however not condem the consumption of these as for the believer in contradiction to the deacon we are not able to find any condemnation of consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Richard Anthony provided a pretty comprohensive list on this;
The Bible clearly forbids the use of alcoholic beverages to induce drunkenness (Leviticus 10:9, Deuteronomy 21:10; 29:19, 1Samuel 1:14, 1Kings 16:9-10, Psalm 69:2, Proverbs 20:1; 21:17; 23:20-21,29-35; 26:9; 31:4-7, Isaiah 5:11-12,22; 19:14; 24:9,11; 28:1,3,7; 56:12, Jeremiah 25:27, Ezekiel 44:21, Hosea 4:11; 7:5,14, Joel 1:5; 3:3, Amos 2:8,12, Micah 2:11, Nahum 1:10, Habakkuk 2:5,15-16, Matthew 24:49, Luke 12:45; 21:34, Romans 13:13, 1Corinthians 5:11; 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 5:18, 1 Thes.5:7, 1 Peter 4:7). Strong drink, by itself, is not unclean. It is only when one abuses strong drink that it's condemned. God himself gave His approval of strong drink (Deuteronomy 14:26), and therefor cannot be evil in itself. At a marriage feast, Jesus performed the miracle of changing water into wine (John 2:1-11), which He would not have done if it was sinful to drink wine. Drunkeness is condemned, not wine.
Richard Anthony on Biblical health principles
Because I believe that my Abba, the Heavenly Father knows best, the following is Kashrut law is what we know to not be man but God given.
Deuteronomy gives us very clear instructions on what Adonai (The Lord) says is good and what is not.
Deuteronomy 14:1-21 (CEB)
Complete devotion to the Lord
14 You are the Lord’s children. Don’t cut yourselves and don’t shave your foreheads for the dead, 2 because you are a people holy to the Lord your God. You are the ones whom the Lord selected to be his own, to be a treasured people out of all other people on earth.
3 Don’t eat any detestable thing. 4 Here’s a list of animals you are allowed to eat: ox, sheep, goat, 5 deer, gazelle, roebuck, wild goat, ibex, antelope, and mountain sheep. 6 You are also allowed to eat any animal with a divided hoof—the hoof being divided into two parts—and that rechews food among the various kinds of animals. 7 However, here’s a list of animals that either rechew food or have hooves divided in two parts that you are not allowed to eat: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger—because these rechew food but don’t have divided hoofs, they are off-limits for you;8 and the pig—because it has a divided hoof but doesn’t rechew food, it’s off-limits for you.
You may not eat these animals’ meat, and you must not touch their carcasses.
9 Here’s a list of the water animals you are allowed to eat: you can eat anything that has fins and scales. 10 But you aren’t allowed to eat anything that lacks scales or fins. These are off-limits for you.
11 You are allowed to eat any clean bird. 12 Here’s a list of those you are not allowed to eat: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey, 13 the red kite, the black kite, and any kind of bird of prey, 14 any kind of raven, 15 the ostrich, the nighthawk, the seagull, any kind of hawk, 16 the small owl and the large owl, the water hen, 17 the desert owl, the carrion vulture, the cormorant, 18 the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat.
19 Also, all winged insects are off-limits for you. They are not to be eaten. 20 Any clean winged creature can be eaten, however.
21 You must not eat any decayed animal flesh because you are a people holy to the Lord your God. You can give decayed animal flesh to the immigrants who live in your cities, and they can eat it; or you can sell it to foreigners. Don’t cook a lamb in its own mother’s milk.
It seems like a very restricted and brought, therefore we see a repeat of this again in Leviticus 11 but it is there where we finding the absolute conclusion on this establishing the statement if the Kashrut regulation is outside of the scope of these texts it is man made and not of God.
For I am Adonai, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. Therefore you are to be holy, because I am holy. 46 “‘Such, then, is the law concerning animals, flying creatures, all living creatures that move about in the water, and all creatures that swarm on the ground. 47 Its purpose is to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, and between the creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.’”
- So then knowing all of this let me ask it again, why should I eat kosher?
- To get to heaven ? NO !! we are saved by grace and not by works and definately not by what we eat.
- Ok, another queston then, what is the difference between the rules of the Atkins Diet and Kashrut?
- Answer; God !!!! As a loving father God knows what is best for our bodies.
- So Pastor why do you then want to eat Kosher?
- Because I love the Lord and I know that what He says is good for me is the truth!!
Proverbs 4:20-22 (CJB)
20 My son, pay attention to what I am saying; incline your ear to my words.
21 Don’t let them out of your sight, keep them deep in your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them and health to their whole being.
They will say with the words of Matthew 15:11 (Amp) "It is not what goes into the mouth of a man that makes him unclean and defiled, but what comes out of the mouth; this makes a man unclean and defiles [him]. "
However what is Jesus talking about at this moment and to whom.
If Jesus intended to abolish the kashrut laws here there would not have been any doubt about it and the listeners would surely not have missed this point.
If Jesus would have said, it is ok now, all foods are clean, you can eat whatever you want it would have created a great crisis and not the least a great controversy in His ministry.
There were Pharisees and scribes among the listeners, how would they have responded when Jesus would say, OK, it is good, you can eat pork from now on. There is however no account anywhere that they understood Jesus in this way, and it would have been a great issue in itself. Jesus speaking out against the Mosaic law that would have been a chargable offense.
The subjest however is not about what to eat, but on how to eat, it was about the washing of hands as we can read in verse 2 of Matthew 15:1-20
For clearity I've used red letters for the words of Yeshua, Jesus.
Matthew 15:1-20 (CEB)
Rules from the elders
Then Pharisees and legal experts came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2 “Why are your disciples breaking the elders’ rules handed down to us? They don’t ritually purify their hands by washing before they eat.”
3 Jesus replied, “Why do you break the command of God by keeping the rules handed down to you? 4 For God said, Honor your father and your mother, and The person who speaks against father or mother will certainly be put to death. 5 But you say, ‘If you tell your father or mother, “Everything I’m expected to contribute to you I’m giving to God as a gift,” then you don’t have to honor your father.’ 6 So you do away with God’s Law for the sake of the rules that have been handed down to you. 7 Hypocrites! Isaiah really knew what he was talking about when he prophesied about you, 8 This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. 9 Their worship of me is empty since they teach instructions that are human rules.”
10 Jesus called the crowd near and said to them, “Listen and understand. 11 It’s not what goes into the mouth that contaminates a person in God’s sight. It’s what comes out of the mouth that contaminates the person.”
12 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended by what you just said?”
13 Jesus replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father didn’t plant will be pulled up. 14 Leave the Pharisees alone. They are blind people who are guides to blind people. But if a blind person leads another blind person, they will both fall into a ditch.”
15 Then Peter spoke up, “Explain this riddle to us.”
16 Jesus said, “Don’t you understand yet? 17 Don’t you know that everything that goes into the mouth enters the stomach and goes out into the sewer? 18 But what goes out of the mouth comes from the heart. And that’s what contaminates a person in God’s sight. 19 Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adultery, sexual sins, thefts, false testimonies, and insults. 20 These contaminate a person in God’s sight. But eating without washing hands doesn’t contaminate in God’s sight.”
This is as said before the scripture reading about eating without the ceremonial washing of the hands, the focus on this text is not about what to eat but about the washing of the hands before eating. The scribes taught that eating food without the ceremonial washing of the hands would defile the eater.
Jesus however said that the ceremonial handwashing was meaningless. As He listed in verse 19 several sin He concluded in verse 20 "These contaminate a person in God’s sight. But eating without washing hands doesn’t contaminate in God’s sight."
If we continue I would like to point you to the message notes of "The Significance of a Vision" in which we look at Acts 10.
Simon Peter received a vision of a talit coming down from heaven with all kinds of unclean un-kosher animals on it.
If Jesus would have said while He was with the disciples as in the scripture according to Matthew as we read previously that it is ok to eat that what previously was called unclean. Simon Peter would have indeed eaten with Him those things that were unclean, but, we read in Acts 10.
Acts 10:9-16 (AMP)
9 The next day as they were still on their way and were approaching the town, Peter went up to the roof of the house to pray, about the sixth hour (noon).
10 But he became very hungry, and wanted something to eat; and while the meal was being prepared a trance came over him,
11 And he saw the sky opened and something like a great sheet lowered by the four corners, descending to the earth.
12 It contained all kinds of quadrupeds and wild beasts and creeping things of the earth and birds of the air.
13 And there came a voice to him, saying, Rise up, Peter, kill and eat.
14 But Peter said, No, by no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common and unhallowed or [ceremonially] unclean.
15 And the voice came to him again a second time, What God has cleansed and pronounced clean, do not you defile and profane by regarding and calling common and unhallowed or unclean.
16 This occurred three times; then immediately the sheet was taken up to heaven.
By no means, is what we read by no means, Lord; for I have NEVER eaten anything that is common and unhollowed or unclean.
This vision occured after Jesus' crucifixion, His resurection, and the ascension to heaven. The disciples, including Simon Peter, knew and also had declared it that Jesus Christ, Yeshua Ha'Mashiach was Lord, that He is God and while with them was Fully man and Fully God.
I cannot believe, under no circumstanse that when that Jesus would have said to throw overboard the God given Kashrut law that they would have been disobedient. Jesus has said, and that more then once, that the man made laws, like the law on handwashing was complete nonsense and not from God.
Another scripture that is frequently quoted but not completely in context is from the letter to the believers in Colosse
Colossians 2:14-16 (KJV)
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Colossians 2:8-17 (CEB)
8 See to it that nobody enslaves you with philosophy and foolish deception, which conform to human traditions and the way the world thinks and acts rather than Christ. 9 All the fullness of deity lives in Christ’s body. 10 And you have been filled by him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. 11 You were also circumcised by him. This wasn’t performed by human hands—the whole body was removed through this circumcision by Christ. 12 You were buried with him through baptism and raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead because of the things you had done wrong and because your body wasn’t circumcised, God made you alive with Christ and forgave all the things you had done wrong. 14 He destroyed the record of the debt we owed, with its requirements that worked against us. He canceled it by nailing it to the cross. 15 When he disarmed the rulers and authorities, he exposed them to public disgrace by leading them in a triumphal parade.
16 So don’t let anyone judge you about eating or drinking or about a festival, a new moon observance, or sabbaths. 17 These religious practices are only a shadow of what was coming—the body that cast the shadow is Christ.
In Chapter one of this letter Paul has set the stage for his judgement on the conflict that has been going on in the Colossian church. The Jewish believers coming out of Judaism followed a strict ritual and judicial system as it was passed down through the generations and with that they wanted the non Jewish believers, the gentiles, or goyim to adhere to the laws of Judaism, concerning circumcision, ritual bathing and the kashrut laws.This is the basis of the letter to the Colossian church, Col. 1:1-14 is the preparation of his remarks and in verse 15-29 Paul is explaining the cause, the need, the result and the concept of Christ's being.
In chapter two he continues as he has laid the groundwork for his confrontation with the emerging heresy in the Colossian church.
From talking about the incarnation to the receiving and understanding of Christian Doctrine and how it supports Christian life he moves to Atonement verse 8 to 15 which has nothing to do with the human traditions and philosophy anymore as Christ has atoned for our sin.
Then we see that Paul's conflict with the Colossian false teachers not only deals with doctrine, but carries over into the real of human behavior.
So don't let anyone or Therefore in the King James refers back to what has all been stated before and then leads to the conclusion: “don't let anyone” pass a sentence on you, judge you.
All other religions involve inferior and unavailing reconciling acts and practices about eating, drinking or in festival or sabbath observance.
In which are a shadow, or the body that cast the shadow points to the reality of Christ Jesus.
In the old testament only the shadow could be seen. In the New Testament the body, in greek the Soma, or substance which is Christ, is present.
Yet we still have those who would be “slave to the shadow” the types and forms of rituals for their salvation. The point is to direct to the sacrifice of Christ. (Deacons Bible Commentary)
Paul is in no manner saying here that what God has given to be not good to eat suddenly has become good. What Paul has pointed out within the two chapters and further on in this letter is that Salvation and acceptance in the body of Christ is not dependent on the shadow the observance of the Holy days and the Kashrut laws, but on Christ's atoning sacrifice.
The reason why I want to eat Kosher, I know that He knows what is good for me.
I pray that this paper helps you with your quest on Healthy living and Healthy eating.
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