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NOTE: The word "meat" here simply means "food."
NOTE: The original diet for the human race was a vegetarian diet of fruits, grains, and nuts. God added vegetables to Adam and Eve's diet after they sinned and could no longer eat from the tree of life.
NOTE: The Bible teaches that our physical health is extremely important to God. Jesus spent as much time healing as He did teaching. There are several Bible principles we can follow to improve our health and lengthen our lives.
NOTE: Just imagine! When God's people came into the promised land, there was not one sick or feeble person in the whole nation.
NOTE: God wants our bodies to be His holy dwelling place. Therefore we must choose to make them a wholesome place for His residence.
NOTE: We should strive to live so that all of our habits--even our eating and drinking--will glorify God.
NOTE: Alcoholic beverages are clearly forbidden by Scripture. The word "wine" in the Bible can mean either fermented or unfermented grape juice. The same is true of the word "cider" today. Proverbs 23:29-32 gives the Bible description of fermented wine, and God says that we should not even look at it! The only wine Christians should use is "new wine," which is unfermented, sweet grape juice.
Isaiah 65:8 New wine is found in the cluster.
NOTE: Any substance or unhealthful practice that damages the body or shortens one's life must be laid aside. Suicide by degrees is still suicide. This, of course, includes harmful drugs (such as tobacco in all of its forms) and the many drinks that contain a popular yet highly detrimental drug called caffeine. God says that He will destroy people who knowingly wreak havoc upon their body temples.
NOTE: To make things simple for us, God has placed all living creatures into one of two categories: clean and unclean. He permits us to eat those that are clean but has declared the unclean creatures to be unfit for food. All mammals that are clean have two characteristics. They must: (1) have cloven hooves, and (2) chew the cud. For example, a pig has cloven hooves but does not chew its cud, so it is unclean.
NOTE: Most fish are clean for food. However, eels, sharks, and catfish are among the exceptions. All creatures in the water that do not have both fins and scales are unclean and should not be eaten. Examples include shellfish, turtles, frogs, shrimp, oysters, etc.
NOTE: The list in Leviticus 11 indicates that birds of prey, carrion, and fish eaters are unclean. However, all the foraging birds such as quail, chickens, and turkeys are clean.
NOTE: No, God's categories of clean and unclean beasts have existed since Creation. Noah was told to take clean beasts into the ark by sevens and unclean by twos. This was long before Moses' law.
NOTE: Yes! The Bible is too plain and clear to misunderstand. At His second coming, the Lord will destroy those who know what His Word requires, yet eat swine's flesh (pork) and other unclean foods.
NOTE: Temperance means completely avoiding things that are harmful and using moderation in the things that are good.
NOTE: The health laws God gave to His people thousands of years ago were scientifically far ahead of their time. Only in recent years have we recognized how truly great are the benefits they offer!
NOTE: All that Adam and Eve lost when sin entered will be restored in God's new kingdom, including the original vegetarian diet. There will be no slaughtering or devouring of animals in the new earth.
NOTE: When we decide to obey God's health laws, He puts a new spirit within us that will give us the power needed to live healthfully (John 1:12).
Understanding Peter's VisionMany have tried to use Peter's vision of the great sheet (Acts 10:9-28) to justify eating unclean animals. They say it proves that Jesus taught His disciples it was acceptable to eat any living creature.However, each time the sheet came down and Peter was asked to kill and eat the unclean animals, he responded, "Not so, Lord for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean." Acts 10:14. Notice that even after three and a half years of listening to Jesus' teaching, Peter had not received the slightest hint or impression that eating unclean food was permissible. It is also interesting to note that in his vision, Peter never took anything to eat from the sheet.Peter's vision of the sheet was never intended to sanctify the eating of unclean animals. Peter himself explains the meaning of the vision in verse 28: "God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean." Again in verse 34, Peter summarized the point of the vision when he said, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons."God's message to Peter had to do with cleansing people, not animals. This vision was given to impress the Jewish disciples that they should not call the Gentiles unclean, and that the gospel was to be freely proclaimed to all peoples of the world.Does Prayer Purify Food?The warning in 1 Timothy 4:1-5 against a latter-day apostasy involves a number of heresies - following devils, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from certain foods. Perhaps the greatest misunderstanding has arisen over verse 4, where it is stated that "every creature of God is good." This verse means that every created thing has been made for a purpose. But some suppose it means that every animal is fit to be eaten if it is earnestly prayed over and blessed by the prayer of thanksgiving. This would mean that praying over a buzzard, cockroach, mole, or bat would make it good for food. Such an interpretation would be absurd and dangerous. "Be not deceived God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7.To prevent us from drawing any wrong conclusions, Paul hastened to add: "For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer." Verse 5. So the Word of God must first approve it, and then the prayer of thanksgiving will sanctify it to be eaten.It is helpful to note that the word "meats" in the original language is not limited to flesh foods. The Greek word "broma" simply means "food." We can know that Paul's discussion does not involve biblically unclean animals, because the meats that some had forbidden were foods "which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth." Verse 3.It is easy to find in the Scriptures a description of the food God created to be received with thanksgiving (Genesis 1:29 3:18 Leviticus 11:1-22). This passage was written to those who "believe and know the truth." God's Word is the truth. Only those who "believe and know" His Word will be led to those things that are "sanctified" and created to "be received with thanksgiving." Those who "sanctify themselves" while continuing to eat unclean meats will be destroyed at Christ's second coming (Isaiah 66:15-17).