How to Live Longer, Pt. 4

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:31, 1 Timothy 4:1-5, 3 John 1:2
This is a continued series on diet and what the Bible says about what we should eat and not eat. Are these guidelines only for Jews? And isn't it legalistic to try and follow these guidelines?
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Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join our hosts, Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw, speakers for the Amazing Facts Ministry, as they now open the Bible and discuss themes that affect your life today. Stay tuned because the next 15 minutes will deepen your understanding of God's Word.

John Bradshaw: Hi, friends, and welcome again to Bible Talk, where we talk about what the Bible says to us today. I'm John Bradshaw, and with me is Gary Gibbs. Hi, Gary.

Gary Gibbs: Hi, John. We have been talking about a very interesting topic that I think our listeners have really wanted to look into.

John: The Bible says a lot about one of the most discussed questions in modern society today. Everybody's concerned with their health, and health care, and prescription drug plans, and all of that. But God's got a prescription for good health found right there in the Scriptures.

Gary: You've taken us back to Genesis, where we've looked at the original diet of man, and if I remember correctly, it was fruits, nuts, and grains, wasn't it?

John: That's exactly what God wrote on the menu of our grandparents back in the garden of Eden. That's right.

Gary: But then you showed us that after the Flood, because all the vegetation had been destroyed, God then gave us permission to eat flesh foods.

John: Yes, he did. And you notice, this is interesting, and I don't think it's a just coincidence that after the flood and after the change in diet, people started to live much shorter lives.

Gary: When they went from 930 years average down to 175 in the same number of generations.

John: 175 is still a pretty good, long life, but that's a whole lot shorter than 900-odd years. Then when God added that into the diet if you like, he said that there are still some of these things you don't want to eat. God told Noah, way before the Jews, that there were clean animals and unclean animals. Eat the clean-that would be a sheep, a cow, a goat, a deer. Eat the clean animals, but don't eat the unclean-the pigs, and the frogs, and the squirrels, and so on like that.

Gary: And we've looked carefully at a number of New Testament texts. We've looked at whether this was Jewish or not. We've looked at what Jesus said in Mark seven about it doesn't matter what goes into the mouth, it's what comes out of the heart.

John: Remember what he was saying there...he was talking about the ceremonial hand washing. Jesus was saying, "You hypocrites, you wash your hands so punctiliously, but your heart is what needs washing." That's what he was driving at right there. Let me, if I can, pick up on a point you've made. We've talked about whether this is Jewish or not, unclean foods, that prohibition is just for the Jews. Have you ever noticed how a lot of Christians, whenever they don't like something, they come on and say that it's a Jewish thing? You ever noticed that?

If someone doesn't want to tithe to the Lord, they'll say, "Well, that tithing thing is just for the Jews." If they don't want to keep the Sabbath, "Why, this Sabbath thing is a Jewish thing." If they want to eat unclean foods, "Why, that prohibition is just for the Jews."

I think you're going to find that God had these good principles because they're timeless and they're for all people.

Gary: Wasn't Jesus Jewish?

John: Sure, he was Jewish, but that doesn't mean that everything he instituted was merely for the Jews. He instituted the Communion service, very Christian, you understand. These are principles that were to last forever, until Christ returns.

Gary: Doesn't Paul say in Romans, the salvation is of the Jews?

John: Why, sure.

Gary: Salvation's for everyone.

John: Surely it's for everybody. No doubt about that. Good point. I think, something that we need to remember that in the everlasting Gospel, the last Gospel message to go to the world. It says in Revelation 14, Verse 7, "Fear God and give glory to Him." Now, Gary, do you want to give glory to God?

Gary: Oh, definitely.

John: St. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:31, "Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." So he's saying that even eating and drinking ought to be done to God's glory. It's a good thing to remember that. The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and we want to treat it like that way because we want to love the Lord and want to honor and glorify Him.

Gary: John, whenever we talk about this topic, I know a lot of people; family members and friends, are going to still say, "But you sound like you're legalistic. You're telling us we have to do this in order to be saved."

John: I don't think a person has to do anything in order to be saved. Before you jump all over me, let me explain that. Once we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and repent of our sins, all we do then is yield to Jesus and allow him to live his will, his life, out within us. The things that we do in our lives become a response to having been saved, not things that we do in order to procure salvation.

Gary: But then let me ask you,

John: Say I just say "OK, I'm not going to eat these unclean things" but I go out to Grandma's to eat and she has some pork in the beans, what do I do? Is eating a little bit of pork, is that really going to bother me if I do it in moderation, I do it here and there? What's the point? You're saying it's not a salvation issue. If I do it, is it going to make me lose my salvation?

John: Let me turn that on its head. Are people saved by not committing adultery?

Gary: I don't know what the answer to that would be! [laughing]

John: The answer to that question is, "no." We are saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ.

Gary: Right. John. Right. So you're going to Grandma's for lunch. Sorry to take it in this direction...I don't mean to be unseemly, but say somebody tempts you with a little adultery.

Gary: At Grandma's?

John: Well, it could be anywhere. You never know. Grandma was away and well anyhow, let's not paint too specific a picture. You say to yourself, as unlikely as this is at Grandma's, "Maybe just a little adultery isn't going to hurt me, because after all I am saved." See, that's just illogical, isn't it?

Gary: It is.

John: When you love the Lord, Gary, no one is going to say that a little isn't so bad. If you love the Lord, you're going to say, "No, I want to please God and honor Him completely" and stay right away from anything that displeases Him.

Gary: You really don't want to do it, because I've been in this situation...not with the adultery, but with the pork, where I just don't want to do it.

John: Because it's not God's will for your life.

Gary: That's right.

John: A saved person is going to say, "What's God's will here?" You know, we talk about it, we sing about it in church, we pray about it. Get down to the nuts and bolts. Do we live it? Do we really live like we want God's will entirely to be worked out in our lives?

Gary: That's right. John, there's a text we've not covered. I think we've covered every text that I've ever heard where people say, "You can just eat whatever you want, really doesn't matter." But we've not covered the one that says, "If you pray over it, then it's OK." And we find that text in 1Timothy 4.

John: Now I'm going to challenge you a little bit here, and anyone who's clinging onto that. Because the Bible doesn't specifically say, just pray, it's OK. Let's read the passage here. Maybe you'd like to read it here, in 1Timothy, chapter four. And we'll walk through this together.

Gary: Let's do that. 1Timothy 4:1, "Now the spirit speaks expressly that in the latter times" the last days. Now I believe we're living in the last days. Don't you?

John: Amen. Sure, we're there right now.

Gary: So the spirit of God says, in the last days, "Some shall depart from the faith."

John: OK.

Gary: "Giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils."

John: Right. Very important.

Gary: So we're going to have these doctrines of devils in the last days. Now here are some of that, number three. Verse 3, "Forbidding to marry." That's a doctrine of devil.

John: OK.

Gary: It says you shouldn't get married.

John: I agree with that.

Gary: "And commanding to abstain from meats."

John: OK.

Gary: "Which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth."

John: So what you're saying then is that when we say the Bible forbids certain articles of one's diet, "commanding to abstain from meats" that's a...

Gary: Doctrine of devils.

John: OK.

Gary: And it's last days. We're living in the last days and here you are saying these things. Now look at verse 4, For every creature, "Every creature, John" of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving. For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer."

John: OK. I see what the text says right there. And I also think that taking that line is adding more to the text than God intends to be added. Now let's look in verse 3, "Forbidding to marry." This is a doctrine of devils. That's right. There's nothing in the Bible that says we should forbid marriage and we must live a celibate, unmarried lifestyle. "Commanding to abstain from meats." Now in the Greek language in which this was written. The word there does not mean meat.

The Greek word is broma and it means foods. So here it's not specifically talking about meat, but notice what it says is. It says, "Commanding to abstain from meats or foods which God has created to be received with thanksgiving."

But there are some animals and some foods that God did not create to be received with thanksgiving. He never created the slug for you to eat it with thanksgiving. He never created the possum for you to eat it with thanksgiving, or the pig, or the camel, or the oyster, or the shrimp for that matter,see.

Gary: Well there are a lot of people who are very thankful to get those things. I've been to France. And I can't believe what they eat in France. But it's very similar in fact, to what I grew up in French, South Louisiana.

John: No doubt about it.

Gary: We ate a lot of those things. But I never ate the slugs.

John: No. [laughs]

Gary: Or the snails. But they eat them in France and they're delicacies.

John: I don't know how a snail ever got to being a delicacy. But anyhow, one man's poison is another mans pleasure.

Gary: It can't be the texture. I'm sure.

John: Look at what it says in verse 4, "Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving." Now sometimes you can make it...

Gary: So I just need to be thankful for my slugs and snails.

John: Can that possibly mean, every creature is good. I mean, are you going to go and eat a buzzard? Are you going to go and eat cockroaches? Is someone going to eat rats? And I know people may eat these things.

Gary: Yeah. In some places they may.

John: But I think common sense is going to tell you that's not God's plan A for anybody's life. Obviously God did not create every animal to be eaten and received with thanksgiving. Notice what it says in verse 5, that these things are sanctified, set apart if you like, by two things, the word of God and prayer. OK. You pray over it, that's one thing. You can pray over your camel all you want. But is it sanctified also by the word of God? Now where does the word of God sanctify certain foods? Back there in Leviticus 11, where God outlines what's clean and unclean.

So certainly receive it with prayer. But is it blessed, sanctified, by God's word? It's got to have both those things.

Gary: So the word of God sanctifies. And the word sanctify means to set apart.

John: Sure.

Gary: Make a distinction.

John: Absolutely.

Gary: So the word of God sets apart some foods. And he says, "These are OK. These are fit for human consumption." But it sets others aside, and it says, "These are not OK."

John: That's right.

Gary: And so if we will pray over the ones that have been set apart that are good, the ones he created and called good, to be received with thanksgiving. Then we can know that God will bless us. That's what you're saying.

John: Absolutely right. You got it. You can't just take any old thing off the meat wagon, and out of the back field, or whatever you like. Shoot it from a tree and say, well this is OK. I prayed.

Gary: Now John, does it really matter, let me ask you this. I think we've covered all these texts really well. But let me ask you a question. Does it really matter what we do? We're talking about keeping these bodies healthy. But these bodies are going to rust and decay, and turn decrepit, no matter what. God's not really concerned with these bodies. He's going to give us new bodies.

John: God is concerned, and he spells it out in 3 John, verse 2. That's just a little bit before Revelation. The Bible says, " Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." God shows there's a tight correlation between physical health and spiritual health. That link is there and God wants us to honor that.

Gary: Well I want to be healthy anyway.

John: Sure. [music begins]

Gary: And so God wants me to have the abundant life, even now. And therefore I want to follow his principles so I can enjoy life, and enjoy my family, and witness for him.

John: Isn't it just a matter of common sense? It's good common sense. And it's also good biblical sense as well. Friend, you've got to get our Bible study offer. Listen for that and call that toll free number. And be sure to join us again next time for more, here on Bible Talk. [music]

John: If you'd like more information on what we've been studying today. We have a comprehensive Bible study guide we'd love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the texts we've just discussed. And expands on the subject, including information you'll want to know. To receive this free, informative Bible study guide. Simply call, write, or email, and ask for BT 113. You wouldn't do this. The toll free number is 866-Bible-Says. That's 866-242-5372. You can write to us at: Bible Talk, po box 1058, Roseville California, 95678. Or email us at:

Bible Talk has been produced in association with Amazing Facts, in the studios of Life Talk Radio.

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