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Should We Eat Pork?

People may enjoy pepperoni on pizza and ham sandwiches but is it really right? God forbade people from eating it. So what about today?


Leviticus 11 Told Us not to Eat Pork

1And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them,
2Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.
3Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.
4Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
5And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
6And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
7And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.



Leviticus 11 Provided a Standard for What an Unclean Beast Was

26The carcases of every beast which divideth the hoof, and is not clovenfooted, nor cheweth the cud, are unclean unto you: every one that toucheth them shall be unclean.



Deuteronomy 14 Told Us Not to Eat Pork

1Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.
2For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.
3Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.
4These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat,
5The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois.
6And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat.
7Nevertheless 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.
8And 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.



Avoiding Pork Was Not Ceremonial

A quick excuse people use when confronted with God's word is to claim the only reason the Jews were told not to eat pork was so they would be a peculiar people or so they would be a holy people. They claim it was for ceremony and not righteous living. Actually, God's standard is for all people and not just the Jews. The use of the word holy does not mean the Bible is talking about religious ceremony.

Numbers 15
37And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
38Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue:
39And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:
40That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.

Being holy refers to all the commandments and not all the commandments refer to ceremony. Deuteronomy 26:18-19 also speaks of all God's commandments in the context of holy.

Leviticus 20
1And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.
3And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.
4And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not:
6Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.
6And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
7Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
8And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.

The passage above has nothing to do with ceremony or sacrifices for sin. Again we see that holy refers to keeping God's commandments and not ceremony.

Deuteronomy 23
12Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad:
13And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee:
14For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.

The "paddle" was used a shovel. Proper sanitation is not a ceremonial thing, it is just proper living. Now that Jesus died it has not changed. We should still use the bathroom. In Exodus 26:14 God directed people to make the covering for the tent of the tabernacle to be made of badgers' skins. If unclean animals were a ceremonial issue the tent would be made out of clean animals.


Food Preservation Is not Given as the Issue

One theory claims God told the Israelites not to eat shellfish because they did not have refrigeration and it could be a problem. The theory suggests that we know why God forbade unclean meats. Therefore, we can alleviate the problem and God's commandments no longer apply. This reason is not found in the Bible. It is added by those who want to excuse away God's word. God did not give the reason. He does not have to give a reason. Christians want God to answer to them. Obviously this lie is not well thought out. If a person could immediately harvest shellfish and eat it would not have been forbidden back then. What about pork? The issue of refrigeration and spoiling of meat would be the same with pork, beef, venison or other meats but God separated some meats from others on a basis other than preservation. God said not to eat it without exception.


Jesus Let Demons Destroy the Pork Farmer's Herd

To know what Jesus would do, ask the question, "What did Jesus do?"

Mark 5:
1And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
2And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
3Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
4Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
5And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
6But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
7And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
8For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
9And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.
10And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.
11Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
12And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.
13And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

When the demons asked to enter the pigs, Jesus let them. If Jesus thought eating unclean meats was acceptable would he have allowed the living of the pig herders to be devastated? Jesus Christ did not condemn the pig farmers but he did allow their sinful way of life to be taken away. The Bible doesn't record Jesus eating pork but it does record him allowing for its destruction.


What Did Jesus Say About God's Commandments?

Matthew 5:
17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Heaven and earth have not passed away yet so why would God change his rules about food?


What Did Jesus Do?

Jesus said Luke 7:33-34, "For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!" When Jesus drank wine they mocked him calling him a winebibber. Was Jesus a "swinebibber". If Jesus had eaten pork the Jews would have accused him immediately and mocked him in whatever way they could. That we have no record of it shows Jesus did not eat pork.


Peter's Vision Was About People not Pork

People have looked at Peter's vision in Acts chapter 10 and said that that shows us it is acceptable to eat pork today. What is Acts chapter 10 about? It is not about a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. At first Peter did not understand. Verse 17 says, "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," God helped him and in Acts 10:28 we find, "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 showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean." Look at the first part of the verse. Peter said it was unlawful for a Jew to keep company with people from other nations. This may have been his belief. It may have been what was taught but it was not true. Was everything that Peter said and believed true? No it was not. In Galatians 2:11-12 we find, "But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision." The apostle Paul pointed out that Peter was wrong. What does it says elsewhere in the Bible? Leviticus 24:22 says, "Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God." The strangers were not to participate in some of the religious ceremonies but they were not prevented from associating with the Jews. If they were not allowed in the country this verse would not be included in the Bible. Peter had trouble understanding this and still felt the pressure from others as referenced in Galatians chapter 2. The reason for the vision is to show that Gentiles were acceptable. In Jeremiah 35 God had the prophet Jeremiah offer the Rechabites wine. They followed their father's commandment and refused. In the end the Rechabites were blessed as God never expected them to drink in the first place. There is no evidence to show God expected Peter to eat unclean meat. When Peter's vision was complete he never ate any of the unclean meats and was blessed. He realized the real meaning of the vision and told others that it was about the acceptance of Gentiles into the Kingdom of God.

What about a footnote in Acts 10 in some Bibles that says that is alright to eat these meats now? That footnote does not come from the reliable copies of the original scripture but is instead based on the intentionally errant corrupted texts and even then it comes from a footnote of a copyist and not from the alleged text of the Bible. It contradicts what Peter said about his vision. People trust a footnote added by an unknown man instead of God's apostle Peter. Such a note cannot be taken as the word of God.


An Appeal for a Minimum Standard

Acts 21
18And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.
19And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.
20And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
21And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
22What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.
23Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
24Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
25As 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.

Dealing with the Gentiles, it was hoped they could least follow four minimum standards; two of which were dietary in nature. We see an earlier letter found in Acts 15:20 which called for the Gentiles to abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. If the food restrictions from the law were done away with by grace it would not make sense do abstain from strangled meat or blood. Writing this some time after Peter's vision of the unclean animals affirms that the vision was about people and not pork.


What About Human Flesh?

Would you eat the flesh of a man? (Yuck! That is sick.) Why not? If there is no longer a prohibition against pork why should you hesitate to eat human flesh? (Double Yuck!!) If the passages against unclean meat have been eliminated then there is nothing in the Bible to prevent the consumption of people who have already died. As of 2014 new moms in Oregon can now take their placentas home from the hospital and eat them according to Fox News. Is that gross or what? Think about the consequences of saying all meats are now clean. To say ALL meats are clean is sick.


What Will Happen in the Future?

Jesus is coming back. Isaiah chapters 65 and 66 refer to his second coming.

Isaiah 65:
1I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.
2I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;
3A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;
4Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
5Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

Isaiah 66:
15For, 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.
16For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.
17They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.
18For 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.

The time period here is in New Testament times. It is when grace applies. Yet when he comes back, those who eat swine's flesh or pork will not be thought well of. Why? Well, because it was a sin in Old Testament times, Jesus didn't change it and it is still a sin in New Testament times.


Conclusion

God said eating pork was a sin. Jesus didn't eat pork. The apostle Peter didn't eat pork. The other apostles didn't eat pork. Eating pork is a stumbling block to the Jews and Muslims. As a Christian do you care if the Jews and Muslims repent of their sins and trust in Jesus as their saviour? Many eat pork because they lack faith in God. They won't obey God unless they understand the reason. Those with faith in God obey him whether they understand it or not. Eating pork is something that is against God's commandments. Eating people is wrong. So is eating pork.



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