In Genesis the 7th chapter, when the world had gone away from God, and He had decreed a flood to destroy them, man knew then the signs of separating the clean from the unclean, for unto Noah God said: “Of every clean beast thou shalt take unto thee by seven, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.” – Genesis 7:2. Noah knew the law in regard to this matter, or this could not have been possible. After the flood both the clean and the unclean things still lived. “And Noah builded and altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.” – Genesis 8:20.
There were foods to be eaten, and foods not to be eaten at the time of the flood, for God said unto Noah: “And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee” – Genesis 6:21. We read in Genesis that men of God kept herds of cattle, and goats, and ate of these flocks; but we find no record of herds of swine being kept or the pig of the flock being dressed for food.
After Abraham’s seed had served the king of Egypt for four hundred years, and had been fed from the flesh pots of Egypt, God led them out and made known unto them his laws again, and gave them the sign of sanctification of beasts to be eaten and beasts not to be eaten. – See Leviticus 11:1-23.
3. Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.
4. These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat,
5. The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois.
6. And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat.
7. Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you.
8. And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase.
9. These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat:
10. And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you.
A list of unclean birds is also given in this chapter. Deuteronomy 14:11-20.
11. Of all clean birds ye shall eat.
12. But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray,
13. And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind,
14. And every raven after his kind,
15. And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind,
16. The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,
17. And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant,
18. And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.
19. And every creeping thing that flieth is unclean unto you: they shall not be eaten.
20. But of all clean fowls ye may eat.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:3, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ”. The subtle voice of Satan, speaking in opposition to God deceived Eve into eating the thing God told her not to eat, and Paul was afraid that some of this age would be corrupted in the same way. We are told the same thing in regard to the unclean things that Eve was told in the garden of Eden. Leviticus 11:8; “Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.” Deuteronomy 14:8; “And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase.”
The same penalty is pronounced. “For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many. They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, (or one after the other) eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.” – Isaiah 66:15-18
This has not happened yet, but will happen when the Lord comes with fire. The voice of Satan can be heard from the pulpit today saying that God will not destroy people from eating these things, but we should remember what Eve did in Eden. The Lord speaks of some, ” Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;” – Isaiah 65:4 (see also Isaiah 65:2-8; where the penalty is also pronounced again)
“Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.” – Leviticus 20:25
Some may say that there are other ways to make ourselves abominable. Even so, but eating the abominable is one way. We find in the New Testament, “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate”. – Titus 1:16
They end in the lake of fire: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” – Revelation 21:8
So we can see that the abominable end up in the lake of fire with all the other classes of sinners.
“And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” – Romans 14:23. Anything that God has withheld from and told us not to eat, we must first lust after before we will use it. Lust is a violation of the tenth commandment; and taking something God did not give us is stealing. So in eating things God has forbidden, we not only make our souls abominable, but we transgress the Ten Commandments in at least two points.
Romans 14th Chapter
Paul in this chapter makes an appeal to the ones strong in the faith. There are two weak classes mentioned in the first two verses that we are to receive, but not to doubtful disputations (or decisions or reasonings); one believes he can eat all things, another believes he should eat herbs. The ones strong in the faith are not vegetarians; neither do they believe in eating all things. They are instructed not to let the weak in the faith despise one another until God makes them stand.
In the sixth verse we have two mentioned. They both eat and give God thanks, but one eats to the Lord and the other does not. The only way that this can be explained is that the one eats according to the will of God, as revealed in his Word, and the other does not.
The fourteenth verse tells us that there is nothing unclean of itself; then if not unclean of themselves, they were evidently created unclean by the God of heaven. So when anything is not literally unclean, or unclean of itself, we have no other way of esteeming it to be unclean but by the Word of God.
“But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.” – Romans 14:15. Now, if as some people assert, the law of the clean and unclean was repealed, it would be impossible to destroy a brother with meat. Everything God created is pure for the purpose that God created it; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offense. Now, if the things that God pronounce unclean were made clean by the death of Jesus on the cross, there would be no such language of this in the New Testament.
1 Timothy 4th Chapter
In the last days there were to be seducing spirits. They were to command to abstain from meats that God created to be received with thanksgiving, or in other words they were to be vegetarians, and were to forbid to marry. “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. – 1 Timothy 4:4-5” We have many vegetarians in the world who command their followers to abstain from all meats.
As the word sanctify means to set apart, there must be two classes of creatures in the world. There was a sign of sanctification before the flood or Noah would not have known the clean from the unclean, in taking the beasts into the ark. Therefore, they were (sanctified) set apart, some clean and some unclean before that time. If all were cleansed by the blood of Christ, there would be only one class in the world and no unclean for the clean to be set apart from. If all the people in the world were righteous alike, they could not be sanctified because there would be no wicked or sinners for the righteous to be set apart from; so it remains that there were animals created to be received with thanksgiving, and some not to be received with thanksgiving as a food, and some sanctified by the Word of God, and some not sanctified for food.
Mark 7:18-19; Matthew 15:11-19
Jesus said: “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” – Matthew 15:11. This text is often quoted to justify people in eating the unclean things, as well as drinking strong drink. Before a man can get drunk, the strong drink must enter into his mouth but that does not defile him as the above text clearly states. Yet we read, that the drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
19. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20. Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21. Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”
3. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4. Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
It is easy then to see that lusting after the things God has forbidden is covetousness, and is a transgression of God’s law. Then, since God was to magnify the law of the intent of the heart, (Isaiah 42:21), and has magnified it, (Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28; I John 3:15), at all transgressions, both in the Law of the Clean and Unclean, and the Ten Commandments Law, first takes place in the heart. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” – Mark 7:21-23. This is sufficient on this point and no more need to be said on the two texts.
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28
21. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22. But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
27. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28. But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
I John 3:15
Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
Peter’s Vision – Acts 10:9-20
People who eat the things pronounced unclean in the Word of God in order to justify themselves like a drowning man grabbing for straw, are willing to risk their eternal welfare on the above point and go on eating the abominable things of God has forbidden. The part of the texts usually quoted is, “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 10:13-15”. This all happened about 41 A.D., and about eight years after Jesus had gone to heaven. Peter had been with Jesus during His ministry to the House of Israel and had been preaching the gospel at least seven years, and had never eaten any thing unclean. If Jesus had died to make the unclean animals, fowls, creeping things, and things of the waters, clean, Peter should have known it; but the fact that he had never eaten anything unclean shows that he had no knowledge of the repeal of the law of the clean and the unclean. The sheet was let down three times. Three men of the Gentiles were there for him to go with them to the house of Cornelius. Peter went with them as God had bidden him,
16. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
17. Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate,
18. And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
19. While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
20. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
21. Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?
It was an unlawful thing for a Jew to keep company, or come in unto one of another nation, “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. Peter said, “God hath shewed me that I should not call any man (not animals) common or unclean.” So it was the Gentiles God had cleansed and not the foods pronounced unclean. this is all that Peter got out of the vision, and we can not get any more out of it than Peter did.
We are told not to touch the unclean, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” – 2 Corinthians 6:17, 60 A.D., and nineteen years after Peter’s vision. we find unclean birds and frogs fifty-five years later, “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.” – Revelation 6:13 ; “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” – Revelation 18:2 So it’s easy to see that the law of the clean and unclean was not repealed, but still remains to give us a knowledge of the filth of the flesh.
2 Corinthians 7:1-2
1. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2. Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.
What did God put these things here for, if He didn’t put them here to eat? As we often hear this question asked we will give the answer: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” – Revelation 4:11. God has not told us what pleasure He gets out of the things He said were unclean for our food.
We find the law of sanctification in Deuteronomy 14:2-21 “And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat.” – Deuteronomy 14:6. All others are set apart from us as unclean. “These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat: And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you.” – Deuteronomy 14:9-10. So the fourth chapter of Timothy is one of the stronger texts in the Bible to prove that both the clean and the unclean are in the world now.
At Corinth they had an image of their gods in every shamble, and all things sold in the shamble were first offered to the idol to appease the wrath of their gods. So it was almost impossible to buy anything in the shamble without getting something offered to an idol. It was almost impossible to eat at anyone’s table without eating things sacrificed to an idol. Therefore, Paul told them what to do in such cases, in 1 Corinthians 8 and 11 chapters. He is speaking of things offered to idols, and not the unclean meats. See Hodges, “History of the Early Church”, page 27, and it will be easy to understand the sayings of Paul in these chapters.
The promises are still unto you, beloved, if you but heed the call: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” – 2Chorinthians 6:17-18; 7:1.