Meat to Eat
FOOD GOD PERMITTED US TO EAT
At the end of the Tribulation period (future), at the battle of Armageddon this is what God says - “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 The LORD will judge all flesh; and the slain of the LORD shall be many. "Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves, to go to the gardens after an idol in the midst, eating swine's flesh and the abomination and the mouse, shall be consumed together," says the LORD” (Isa 66:15-17).
Early Church provided the following laws to the new converts – 3 related to eating. You will find them all in the law, and things strangled in half a verse: “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well” (Act 15:28-29).
Yeshua said to the church, “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality” (Rev 2:14).
This refers to dry blood like blood sausages and meat with its wet blood (Ezek. 33:25; Gen. 9:4; 1 Sam. 14:34; Lev. 19:26; 17:10, 13-14; Acts 15:29). (Lev. 17:11) “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”
Ezekiel 33:25: “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “You eat meat with blood, you lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood. Should you then possess the land?
Genesis 9:4: “You shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood”.
1 Samuel 14:34: Then Saul said, “Disperse yourselves among the people, and say to them, ‘Bring me here every man’s ox and every man’s sheep, slaughter them here, and eat; and do not sin against the Lord by eating with the blood.’
Leviticus 19:26: ‘You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying.
Leviticus 17:10: ‘And whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people.
Leviticus 17:13-14: “Whatever man of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who hunts and catches any animal or bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust; for it is the life of all flesh. Its blood sustains its life. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.’
Acts 15:29: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.
A) Blood is not to be eaten as it is to be poured out "as" WATER (Deut. 12:16; 15:23), also consistent with putting it on the Altar etc. Therefore 1) Blood is in liquid form not to be eaten. Therefore no partaking of blood in liquid form, this means no blood soup, blood in liquid form e.g. medium or rare steaks. Also 2) emptying the main supply of blood, so that the flesh is not remaining in the blood. Blood is in reference to the organs that are carrying the blood - veins, heart to be emptied - this happens at the slaughter house. And therefore no partaking of flesh that stays in its blood, being marinated in blood as so many stores do with red meat to make it redder. Bottomline – cook it so that it no longer has liquid blood – this is acceptable as per the law.
B) Meat must not be eaten from the animal while the animal is alive or with its blood (Gen. 9:4). Some places keep the animal alive and cut them up while they eat them.
C) In your dwellings you must not eat the blood (Lev. 7:26), meaning if you have visitors or family that want to eat it then don't, because you will be responsible.
Now in reference to killing the animal - the killing of an animal must not be slow - e.g. strangled or make a hole and let the blood drain out - same thing - they are strangled (from oxygen). It needs to be quick, e.g. they slit the throat, then the Jewish people hang it so the blood drains out. The other way, once killed quickly, is to cut it open and the blood gushes out as many of the slaughter houses do (when they clean it). The key is not letting it stay in its blood once killed, nor killing it slowly.
So similarly, when the sacrifice is made it is the same principle - killed quickly, get the main system free of blood by gutting or draining. The Jewish gutted the burnt offering. Lev 1:12-13 And he shall cut it into its pieces, with its head and its fat; and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire upon the altar; but he shall wash the entrails and the legs with water (removing excess blood on the exterior by washing it but the interior there is blood). Then the priest shall bring it all and burn it on the altar; it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD."
What about Sushi - Raw fish?
Rabbi’s believes it is acceptable under the law to eat Sushi because the blood in the meat is a different type than that of animals and birds. In Leviticus 7:26 “Moreover ye shall eatH398 no mannerH3808 H3605 of blood,H1818 whether it be of fowlH5775 or of beast,H929 in anyH3605 of your dwellings.H4186 WhatsoeverH3605 soulH5315 it be thatH834 eatethH398 any mannerH3605 of blood,H1818 even thatH1931 soulH5315 shall be cut offH3772 from his people.H4480 H5971
Rashi - foremost Torah commentator - says on this verse:
[And you shall not eat any blood...] whether from birds or from animals Excluded [from this prohibition is] the blood of fish and locusts. - [Torath Kohanim 7:143]
We see something interesting here. There are four types of Kosher creatures: Animals, Birds, Fish and Locusts. We can divide these into two categories: animals and birds, which are warm blooded creatures, and fish and locusts which are cold blooded creatures. Did John the Baptiser cook his locusts?
Those that fall into the warm blooded category, need to have both Shechitah - ritual slaughter, and draining of the Blood, as opposed to the cold blooded group, which doesn't need either Shechitah, nor removal of blood. Though fish do not have to go through the extensive blood draining process that animals and fowl do, there is still a Rabbinic prohibition of drinking a cup of fish blood due to appearing as though drinking a forbidden type of blood.
I agree that there is a distinction between meat and fish - Ezek. 29:5; 1 Cor. 15:39 – so not all meat is the same and not all blood is the same. That’s why they don’t use fish’ blood on the altars. And yes Lev. 7:26 is referring to Birds and Animals BUT it doesn’t limit it to only those, it just calls them out. By not calling them out doesn’t mean it is excluded. It is talking about the animals sacrificed to the Lord (fishes were not part of it), and God was telling them how to eat it - not with the Blood. Fish weren't mentioned because it wasn't part of a sacrifice. So when we read Gen. 9:2-4, covers all living – eating flesh with its blood. Therefore I conclude that we are not to eat Sushi as it contains liquid blood.
Neither Yeshua or any disciple ate anything that God said was unclean. Yeshua didn’t change the law concerning food. He didn’t make unclean food clean. He made unclean people clean if they came to Him.
What is the law concerning food? Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'These are the animals which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth: Among the animals, whatever divides the hoof, having cloven hooves and chewing the cud--that you may eat. Nevertheless these you shall not eat among those that chew the cud or those that have cloven hooves: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; the rock hyrax, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; the hare, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; and the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. They are unclean to you.
'These you may eat of all that are in the water: whatever in the water has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers--that you may eat. But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you. They shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination. Whatever in the water does not have fins or scales--that shall be an abomination to you.
'And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, the kite, and the falcon after its kind; every raven after its kind, the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after its kind; the little owl, the fisher owl, and the screech owl; the white owl, the jackdaw, and the carrion vulture; the stork, the heron after its kind, the hoopoe, and the bat. 'All flying insects that creep on all fours shall be an abomination to you. Yet these you may eat of every flying insect that creeps on all fours: those which have jointed legs above their feet with which to leap on the earth. These you may eat: the locust after its kind, the destroying locust after its kind, the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind. But all other flying insects which have four feet shall be an abomination to you. 'By these you shall become unclean; whoever touches the carcass of any of them shall be unclean until evening; whoever carries part of the carcass of any of them shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening: The carcass of any animal which divides the foot, but is not cloven-hoofed or does not chew the cud, is unclean to you.
Everyone who touches it shall be unclean. And whatever goes on its paws, among all kinds of animals that go on all fours, those are unclean to you. Whoever touches any such carcass shall be unclean until evening. Whoever carries any such carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. It is unclean to you. 'These also shall be unclean to you among the creeping things that creep on the earth: the mole, the mouse, and the large lizard after its kind; the gecko, the monitor lizard, the sand reptile, the sand lizard, and the chameleon. These are unclean to you among all that creep. Whoever touches them when they are dead shall be unclean until evening. Anything on which any of them falls, when they are dead shall be unclean, whether it is any item of wood or clothing or skin or sack, whatever item it is, in which any work is done, it must be put in water. And it shall be unclean until evening; then it shall be clean. Any earthen vessel into which any of them falls you shall break; and whatever is in it shall be unclean: in such a vessel, any edible food upon which water falls becomes unclean, and any drink that may be drunk from it becomes unclean. And everything on which a part of any such carcass falls shall be unclean; whether it is an oven or cooking stove, it shall be broken down; for they are unclean, and shall be unclean to you.
Nevertheless a spring or a cistern, in which there is plenty of water, shall be clean, but whatever touches any such carcass becomes unclean. And if a part of any such carcass falls on any planting seed which is to be sown, it remains clean. But if water is put on the seed, and if a part of any such carcass falls on it, it becomes unclean to you. 'And if any animal which you may eat dies, he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until evening. He who eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. He also who carries its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. 'And every creeping thing that creeps on the earth shall be an abomination. It shall not be eaten. Whatever crawls on its belly, whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet among all creeping things that creep on the earth--these you shall not eat, for they are an abomination. You shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creeps; nor shall you make yourselves unclean with them, lest you be defiled by them. For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. For I am the LORD who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. 'This is the law of the animals and the birds and every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth, to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten.' " (Lev 11:1-47)
Mammals That Chew the Cud and Part the Hoof
Fish With Fins and Scales
Birds With Clean Characteristics
Types of locusts that may include crickets and grasshoppers
Animals With Unclean
Marine Animals Without Fins and Scales
Birds of Prey, Scavengers and Others
Some Christian Barriers to unclean food – Verses:
Mat 15 “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” So does this mean we can eat what we want? Isn’t this a contradiction to Acts 15:29 when 3 of the 4 laws to the early church was no to eat certain things. In Context Yeshua is not referring to food but about cleaning the food/washing of hands Mat 15:20 "....these are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man." He spoke to Jewish people who understood what was good to eat but they had added washing hands before eating. This is not in the scripture but in the Talmud! They believed if the hands are dirty it defiled the food and the person.
Acts 10:28 God tells people to kill and eat unclean animals while in a trance. So does this mean God changed his mind and now Peter needs to go eat unclean animals? No, Peter knew that was not the case but that He needed to visit Cornelius – an unclean man/Gentile (Act 11:18). Similarly, when God gave a dream to Pharaoh of 7 fat cows eaten by 7 thin cows, he wasn't supposed to make some cows fat or thin or make one eat the other. It was a message on years of plenty and of famine. Yeshua didn’t die to make unclean food clean, but unclean people clean.
Peter ~10 years after the resurrection still didn’t eat unclean animals and was shocked when God asked Him to (Acts 10). He KNEW God wasn’t telling him to actually eat it but that it meant something else. Acts 10:28 he tells Cornelius that God showed him not to call any MAN clean or unclean (Act 11:18). Yeshua didn’t die to make pigs clean but humans clean. “God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life."
Then years later the early Church is given 4 laws, 3 refer to not ingesting/eating certain types of food. In Acts 15:29, “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols (this is food), from blood (food), from things strangled (food), and from sexual immorality (intercourse). If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.
Gen. 9:2-3 "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you". Seems God gives no restriction except not eat with the blood (Gen. 9:4). Prior to this point Noah only ate vegetables as per Gen 1:29, God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.” Even the animals ate grass like Isaiah 65:25 (in the future). Then some animals defected and were known as “unclean”. It was common knowledge what were clean and unclean animals – Noah had more “clean” animals enter the ark than “unclean” animals. What do you think Noah (who was righteous) would have eaten? Later the Israelites who were under Egyptian rule for 430 years, ate everything like most westerners today, so God had to tell Israel what to eat and what not to eat because they forgot what was passed down from Noah.
1 Tim. 4:1-5 Do not abstain from eating what God gave for food. Today things like the following doctrines are in the church e.g. sin to drink wine, sin for a man to pray for a woman, sin to marry, sin to eat cow (parts in India). Let's take the example of not eating beef in some places in India, it would fit the context of 1 Tim. 4. Paul is not going against God’s word by encouraging people to eat anything, but to eat what God created to be received with thanksgiving. Verse by verse commentary on 1 Tim 4:1-5.
1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons
1Ti 4:2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
(Deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons – twisting the word. God’s Law of clean and unclean foods are NOT doctrine of demons. Beware of calling good evil and evil good! How dare people call the laws of God demon teaching – they are coming against God. Paul now gives a list of the specifics that of the doctrine of demons).
1Ti 4:3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth
(So the demons are teaching contrary to the Word of God like 1) “forbidding to marry” ... like the Catholic church to the leaders teach today. The Bible affirms to get married if you want or if you burn with passion but never forbidding marriage. 2) Abstaining from foods God created to be received (eaten) with thanksgiving – What did God create to be received? Cows, lambs and not to eat pork, shell fish etc (Lev 11; Deut 14). What God created to be eaten - some regions say we are not to eat, like cows in India.
1Ti 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving (the word “for” is the same word "because" every creature that God made for nourishment is good. Not every creature on the planet is good for food, like a poisonous snake. Feel free to pray over it next time you eat it and see what happens. The previous verse sets up the context. God is not saying that every creature is good for food but that every creature that God created for food is good and not to be refused).
1Ti 4:5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer (...it is sanctified/set apart by the Word of God (law of God) describing what food is. Is the word of God just a random feeling or is it something concrete backed up in scripture? The word of God defines the food to eat “Clean animals” and those “not sacrificed to idols.” In addition to the Word, it needs to be prayed over, giving thanks. Therefore God says be Holy as I am Holy in the very passage/context regarding food (Lev. 11:44-45)).
Heb. 9:10 “Concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation” Referring to the sacrifices of meat and drink offerings. This word “food” is translated from the Greek word literally meaning meat. Just like the various washing is not food but of preparation of the temple and sacrifices.
Rom. 14:3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. This is in reference to doubtful things as verse 1 says. Doubtful things that aren’t called out in Scripture. Those who read the epistle knew God Law and would know that this is in reference to doubtful things like – when or how much to Fast (abstaining from food). Or like food that God created to be received with thanksgiving but sold in the market place – not knowing if it was sacrificed to idols. Therefore it is doubtful.
Rom 14:17 “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Then Paul says “I know and am convinced by the Lord Yeshua that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.” At face value, this would contradict the message by the early Church leaders to the church e.g. abstain from Blood, things strangled, things offered to idols. Because no Laws or fasting (eating and drinking) establishes righteousness, it is Christ in us that makes us righteous. However, it is in Holy Spirit who empowers us to walk Holy, set apart for Him. Not to live like we want but live as defined by the law of God. The righteous, as Paul says, do not come by anything or anyone else except by Holy Spirit. He enables us to live righteously. Just like Yahweh says in Ezekiel 11: 9-21 “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose hearts follow the desire for their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord God.
For a verse by verse commentary on Romans 14
Gal. 3:11: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” Vs. 24 “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith” Test this – so can a person have sex with an animal as it isn’t repeated in the NT scriptures? Obviously not. If there is no law there is no repentance – because the law is the knowledge of sin. Gal. 3:1-2 sets it up and defines what law is being talked about – “works of the law” – meaning everything associated with the temple: the ordinances/sacrifices, temple, cleansing, etc. This was the tutor to bring us to Christ and the need to have our sins washed away “before whose eyes Yeshua Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified” (Gal. 3:1).
Col. 2:14-17 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. And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 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: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Nail the law of ordinances (everything related to the temple) to the cross as it is the fulfillment of the sacrifice (Is. 53, Ps. 22). Remember Yeshua said I will break down this temple and in 3 days will raise it up – referring to his body – He replaced the temple. Same as Heb 9:10 meat and drink offerings regarding the temple. Yeshua did away with the temple including the festivals and the festival Sabbaths related to the temple (Day of atonement, Passover = Holyday (Deut 16:1-16), New moons = Monthly sacrifices (e.g. Num 10:10); Sabbath (rest days – temple related, not the 7th day Lev. 23:39).
Then highlights the “added law” which isn’t written in the Scriptures but in their own books like the Talmud. These are commandments and doctrines of Men. They include things that are not in the scripture like washing of cups and hands before eating.
Col 2:18-22 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances (Touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using; after the commandments and doctrines of men?)
There are many Scriptures regarding not eating food offered to idols so we are going to focus only on those after Yeshua was resurrected. For example eating Halal, Various pagan festivals, Halloween candy etc.
Yeshua and first Church leaders clearly tell us NOT to eat things offered to idols!
Do not to eat Food Offered to Idols
Early Church leaders clearly review all the things that were being preached concerning the law and all the law is good.
(Act 15:20) But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
(Act 15:29) That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
(Act 21:25) As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.
Yeshua rebukes 2 different churches for eating things sacrificed to idols (Rev 2:14) But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
(Rev 2:20) Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols
Apostle John says
(1Jn 5:21) Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
What does this look like? Keep self from bowing down to them should be a given and everything associated with it – burning incense to them, eat things offered to idols.
Paul makes statement of separation from idols, telling Christians to come out of the world and don’t partner with them (2 Cor. 6:14-18). “What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God”
Can eat Food Offered to Idols?
Paul seems to be contradicting Yeshua and the early church leaders by saying you can eat things offered to idols as long as you 1) Don’t know it was offered to idols 2) IF you are more God conscious and not Idol conscious when eating it 3) Anything that would make your brother stumble like eating things offered to idols.
Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse. But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. (1Co 8:4-13)
Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being. Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience' sake; for "THE EARTH IS THE LORD'S, AND ALL ITS FULLNESS." If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience' sake. But if anyone says to you, "This was offered to idols," do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience' sake; for "THE EARTH IS THE LORD'S, AND ALL ITS FULLNESS." "Conscience," I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man's conscience? But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks? Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1Co 10:18-31)
Conclusion: Do not eat things offered to idols, especially if you know it is offered to idols, like being told on the packaging it is Halal or Halloween sticker. Our Heavenly Father is a Jealous God. If you were in the days of the early Church whose words would carry more weight? Yeshua and the early Church leaders or Pauls? Paul isn’t contradicting them but calling out the “exceptions”. Now if you don’t know if it is offered to idols, don’t fret trying to find out. If it is what God said you can eat it per Deut 14, then eat it, giving thanks to Him. Do not be idol conscious but be God conscious, giving Him the glory. Christians shouldn’t be eating foods offered to idols, especially amongst themselves. BUT if a Christian goes to a non-believer’s house then ask no questions regarding “if the food is sacrificed to idols” eat it but if they say it is offered to idols then don’t eat it for their sakes. A form of witness to them.
Romans 14 verse by verse commentary – You will notice nothing mentioned about Sabbath, nothing about the Lord’s Day but everything about “doubtful things.”
ROMANS 14 verse by verse commentary – You will notice that nothing is said about the Sabbath, nothing about the Lord’s Day, but everything about “doubtful things”! Things not called out specifically in the scripture. Paul is writing to those who know the law of God (Rom. 7:1).
ROMANS 14 COMMENTARY
(Rom 14:1) Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.
Paul told Timothy that all scripture (OT) was used for correction, reproof (2 Tim 3:16). But if it is not in there how can they judge? Therefore do not dispute over doubtful things, like which day or how many days to fast or IF the food in the market place has been sacrificed to idols and you don’t know about it.
(Rom 14:2) For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.
(Rom 14:3) Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.
(Rom 14:4) Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
Notice he is comparing meat to vegetables as people typically sacrificed meat to idols vs. vegetables and sold it in the market place. So they don’t know if all the meat was sacrificed or some. "They are unsure" (doubtful things) so they ate only vegetables. If they knew, then they shouldn’t eat it (Rev 2:20; Acts 15:29). Now that they were unsure if the meat was sacrificed to idols, then they can eat it based on 2 conditions (1 Tim 4:3-5): The WORD OF GOD (Lev 11 – God clearly says what meat can be eaten e.g. lamb, beef not pork or shell fish etc. Also not certain it is offered to idols) and PRAYER (1 Tim 4:5 – blessing, thanksgiving). But if the person wants to fast meat but only eats vegetables.
(Rom 14:5) One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
(Rom 14:6) He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.
(Rom 14:7) For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.
(Rom 14:8) For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.
(Rom 14:9) For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
Paul continues talking about doubtful things like abstaining from food and choosing a day to do that – fasting. The day “a person” esteems more than the other like fasting, not a day God esteemed above another like the Sabbath. If it is a day we esteem – it is between God and us.
Also please note, we are either to esteem one day or all days. But not all days are to be alike. “Alike” is not on the original. I esteem the Sabbath because He esteemed it, I esteem Monday as a fast day, Wednesday as a Bible Study day, etc. They are set aside for a specific Kingdom purpose.
(Rom 14:10) But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
(Rom 14:11) For it is written: "AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS TO GOD."
(Rom 14:12) So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
This seems like a contradiction with 1 Cor. 6:2 where Paul says "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge?" (1 Cor. 6:2-4). Paul is saying do not judge over doubtful things (not in the scripture 1 Cor. 5:1-5; 6:2-4; 2 Tim. 3:16) but judge with righteous judgment (things not doubtful). And when you do measure yourself before you judge another, for the same measure you use it will be measured back to you (e.g. Rom. 2:12; Matt. 7:1-2; 1 Cor. 11:31). As we are all going to give an account. This is something we are to remember and will help keep us.
(Rom 14:13) Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way.
Do not judge another over “doubtful things” and thereby putting a stumbling block or cause for our brother to fall. They may be offended because of this doubtful judgement which is based on nothing! And this offense is worse than the actual deed they might have done which you will be accountable for!
(Rom 14:14) I know and am convinced by the Lord Yeshua that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
(Rom 14:15) But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
(Rom 14:16) Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;
Is Paul really saying “nothing” is unclean and thereby contradicting the early Church Acts 15:29 and what Yeshua said to the Church (Rev. 2:14,20)? Or is Paul saying there is nothing that is unclean of ITSELF - by the original design made by God, for an intended purpose nothing is unclean. For example, by the Lord Yeshua we would not be eating blood, eating an animal that was strangled, eating anything offered to idols knowingly (Acts 15:29). However when it is doubtful (not sure if it was sacrificed to idols) then don’t grieve our brother by judging him for eating it, or if he is offended don’t eat it so that he doesn’t judge all your good work as evil.
(Rom 14:17) for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
(Rom 14:18) For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.
(Rom 14:19) Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
Kingdom of God is spiritual so it is obviously not eating and drinking! He is not saying you can eat everything you want thereby negating what the Church Leaders & Yeshua’s words “do not eat things offered to idols” (Acts 15:29; Rev. 2:14,20). He is saying focus on righteous living, peace and joy IN AND ONLY IN THE Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit will help you, and help all things will fall into place. Don’t put the cart before the horse. We will pursue love and peace and building one another up. Sometimes love and edifying includes expelling a person like Paul did in 1 Cor. 5:1-5. Because the focus is the saving of the soul.
(Rom 14:20) Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.
(Rom 14:21) It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.
(Rom 14:22) Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
(Rom 14:23) But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.
Paul summarizes doubtful things: If you don’t know if it is sacrificed to idols and it meets God’s standards for food then eat it, thanking Him and don’t just another. If someone will be offended by you, then don’t eat it or drink it. For example; some people believe that no one should drink wine and some people believe they can. This is doubtful, there isn’t a scripture forbidding to drink wine but the opposite in certain situations is given. Yeshua made water into wine, He drank wine, the Lord’s supper had wine, Communion is wine, Paul told Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach’s sake. But if someone shouldn’t drink wine because it can make them stumble – previously an alcoholic, - then don’t drink it in front of them or put it around them and thereby making them stumble. This is not love. Also don’t tell someone not to drink wine when the law of God doesn’t forbid it. This concludes Paul’s message on doubtful things and how to judge within it.