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God’s End Time Vegetarian Diet: Bible Truth or Human Invention?

Part 1: Romans 14 and Related Texts—Meats, Drinks, and Sabbath Days
David Qualls

Preface
In Part 1 of this study we examine commonly used texts in the New Testament that seem to support a non-vegetarian diet or at least seem to neutralize the issue. Part 2, Restoring God’s Diet for the Last Generation, undertakes a Biblical study of diet across the salvation timeline with special focus on the end times. Those who are confident of their knowledge of the topic of Part 1 may choose to go directly to Part 2.

Table of Contents for Part 1
Introduction Texts Used to Oppose Vegetarianism and Other Healthy Lifestyle Practices Romans Chapter 14 Matthew 15:11 Acts 10:9-16 1 Corinthians 10:19-33 Colossians 2:14-17 1 Timothy 4:1-5 Bible Answers Romans Chapter 14 Colossians 2:14-17 Ceremonial Meats, Drinks, and Sabbath Days Texts Similar to Colossians 2:16 Matthew 15:11 Acts 10:9-16 1 Corinthians 10:19-33 1 Timothy 4:1-5 Summary of Part 1 Endnotes

Introduction
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has long been known as a denomination that maintains certain health standards and encourages its members in a healthy lifestyle. In fact, members are bound by the following solemn vow:
Baptismal Vow. Candidates for baptism or those being received into fellowship by profession of faith shall affirm their acceptance of the doctrinal beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the presence of the church or other properly appointed body.

Baptismal Vow Number 10 (out of 13) says the following:
Do you believe that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; and will you honor God by caring for it, avoiding the use of that which is harmful; abstaining from all unclean foods; from the use, manufacture, or sale of alcoholic beverages; the use, manufacture, or sale of tobacco in any of its forms for human consumption; and from the misuse of or trafficking in narcotics or other drugs?

Furthermore, Number 21 of the 27 Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church states the following (in part):
21. Christian Behavior: We are called to be a godly people who think, feel, and act in harmony with the principles of heaven. For the Spirit to recreate in us the character of our Lord we involve ourselves only in those things which will produce Christlike purity, health, and joy in our lives… It also means that because our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, we are to care for them intelligently. Along with adequate exercise and rest, we are to adopt the most healthful diet possible and abstain from the unclean foods identified in the Scriptures. Since alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and the irresponsible use of drugs and narcotics are harmful to our bodies, we are to abstain from them as well. Instead, we are to engage in whatever brings our thoughts and bodies into the discipline of Christ, who desires our wholesomeness, joy, and goodness.

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What God hath cleansed. and whether we die. 15But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat. 22Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. 7For none of us liveth to himself. If you are familiar with these texts and simply want to see our discussion of them feel free to skip forward to the section entitled. We then set about to explore the biblical basis for the healthy lifestyle practices adopted by the Adventists since its inception (Part 2). and joy in the Holy Ghost. but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. and giveth God thanks. we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore. 20For meat destroy not the work of God. 11And saw heaven opened. Rise.com . 19Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace. and no man dieth to himself. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 5One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. 2For one believeth that he may eat all things: another. Matthew 15:11 Christ speaking to the Pharisees: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man. as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners. that call not thou common. doesn’t the New Testament (NT) make it clear that the health laws of the Old Testament (OT) were removed at the cross? Aren’t we Christians free from the restrictions placed upon the Hebrews of former times? In this paper. 8For whether we live. nor to drink wine. and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. kill. and approved of men. because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. and creeping things. Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: 10And he became very hungry. 18For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God. regardeth it unto the Lord. 9For to this end Christ both died. now walkest thou not charitably. and things wherewith one may edify another. or is offended. eateth herbs. for he giveth God thanks. to him it is unclean. who is weak. and would have eaten: but while they made ready. All things indeed are pure. and peace. 11For it is written. As I live. and a certain vessel descending unto him. and he that regardeth not the day. to the Lord he eateth not. and he that eateth not. and fowls of the air. Destroy not him with thy meat. he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. 10But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. and drew nigh unto the city.Many people question what the basis is for some of the stands that Seventh-day Adventists take on this issue. and every tongue shall confess to God. that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean. After all. 23And he that doubteth is damned if he eat. that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. He that eateth. Acts 10:9-16 9On the morrow. Not so. eateth to the Lord. and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus. 13And there came a voice to him. Bible Answers below. every knee shall bow to me. this defileth a man. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. Peter. Yea. we live unto the Lord. or is made weak. 3Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not. but not to doubtful disputations. to the Lord he doth not regard it. Romans Chapter 14 1Him that is weak in the faith receive ye. 4Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth. and let down to the earth: 12Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth. and revived. Lord. we will simply read the passages that are commonly used to back up the claim that diet is not an issue Christians should be concerned about from a moral standpoint. and eat. but righteousness. and rose. saith the Lord. 21It is good neither to eat flesh. Texts Used to Oppose Vegetarianism and Other Healthy Lifestyle Practices First. as they went on their journey. but that which cometh out of the mouth. 1 Corinthians 10:19-33 converted by Web2PDFConvert. and wild beasts. 15And the voice spake unto him again the second time. 14But Peter said. 13Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather. for whom Christ died. 16This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. 6He that regardeth the day. we set about to examine the NT texts commonly used to back up this claim (Part 1). he fell into a trance. 16Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 17For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink. or die. we are the Lord’s. that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. 12So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 14I know.

19And the king communed with them. 27If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast. he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his converted by Web2PDFConvert.. and not to please ourselves. giving heed to seducing spirits. and ye be disposed to go. neither to the Jews. Who are the ones spoken of as being the “weak” ones? Unquestionably. ten days. 21Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord. and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.com . but not to doubtful disputations. and took it out of the way. or whatsoever ye do. who is weak. having their conscience seared with a hot iron. I say. that they may be saved. Hananiah. Mishael. he made a shew of them openly.. or in drink. 32Give none offence. I beseech thee. or of the new moon. 4For every creature of God is good. and the fulness thereof. that eat. 18Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in. whatsoever is set before you. and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s.. In the next chapter (Romans 15:1) Paul admonishes. 3Forbidding to marry. 28But if any man say unto you. asking no question for conscience sake: 26For the earth is the Lord’s. but the profit of many.. nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. or in respect of an holyday. 12Prove thy servants. 15And having spoiled principalities and powers.. Bible Answers Now we turn to a discussion of the above passages. not seeking mine own profit. if it be received with thanksgiving: 5For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. and the fulness thereof: 29Conscience. nor to the Gentiles.19What say I then? that the idol is any thing. of Meshach. and to Mishael. and Azariah: 7Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar. 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy. 6Now among these were of the children of Judah. Romans Chapter 14 1Him that is weak in the faith receive ye. Daniel. but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience? 30For if I by grace be a partaker. not thine own. eat not for his sake that shewed it. and of the table of devils. hath he quickened together with him. of Shadrach. and doctrines of devils. and to Azariah. This is offered in sacrifice unto idols. 16Let no man therefore judge you in meat.. or of the sabbath days: 17Which are a shadow of things to come. and let them give us pulse [vegetables] to eat. or drink. but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me. but it is implied. But now let’s turn to a well-known story in the book of Daniel. Daniel 1:5-20: 5And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat. 14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us. but all things edify not. nailing it to his cross. 8But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat. it is those who choose to eat only herbs (vegetables). Colossians 2:14-17 13And you. which was contrary to us. and nothing to be refused. Hananiah. Mishael.” Clearly. why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 31Whether therefore ye eat. in this passage those who eat only herbs are considered “weak” in the faith. that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith. they sacrifice to devils. that the king enquired of them. nor to the church of God: 33Even as I please all men in all things. 20And in all matters of wisdom and understanding. which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. but the body is of Christ. 1 Timothy 4:1-5 1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly. 11Then said Daniel to Melzar. and water to drink. being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh. 2For one believeth that he may eat all things: another. but every man another’s wealth. and to Hananiah. that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice. “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak. 22Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? 23All things are lawful for me.” Paul doesn’t mention the word “strong” here for the non-vegetarians. We want to know what is being said and what is not being said. and among them all was found none like Daniel. and commanding to abstain from meats.24Let no man seek his own. having forgiven you all trespasses. The vegetarians are the ones spoken of as being “weak. and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table. Let us allow Scripture to interpret itself. asking no question for conscience sake. of Abednego. 25Whatsoever is sold in the shambles. eateth herbs. do all to the glory of God. triumphing over them in it. then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. eat. and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years. or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? 20But I say.

of whom are all things. we would have to answer. 11And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish. because knowledge. was causing certain Christian converts to avoid eating flesh food altogether. and lords many. Two primary issues facing the new church were that of (1) meat offered to idols.” their conscience did not allow them to eat food offered to idols. their religion was more restrictive in that they believed they must follow a rigorous set of rules to remain free of guilt. 7Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol. The fact is. would we consider Daniel and the three Hebrew worthies “weak” in the faith? Were they weak for insisting on eating only vegetables? If we are honest with the Word. apart from charity. they chose not to eat flesh foods altogether. the Father. and he that regardeth not the day. ye sin against Christ. for whom Christ died? 12But when ye sin so against the brethren. Paul’s main point in this chapter is that the strong should not be a stumblingblock to their weaker brethren by callously exercising their own “liberty. and one Lord Jesus Christ. 2And if any man think that he knoweth any thing.” Charity (love) is better than mere knowledge. but charity edifieth. Let’s turn over to the book of 1 Corinthians. neither. Summarizing his point. 13Wherefore. only puffs up. These two issues plagued the Christian believers of that era as we shall see below.] The parallels between this passage and Romans 14 are unmistakable. 8But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither. “meat” means food in a general sense. 5For though there be that are called gods. It meant nothing to him. instead opting for herbs only. The issue is not one of dietary concern or of clean versus unclean meats in dietary sense. Under threat of death.” To do so would be to “sin against Christ. “flesh” means animal flesh food. he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. It has no real power. Continuing in Romans 14:5-6 we read: One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. they stood firm for their beliefs and refused the king’s meat and wine and instead opted for a simple vegetarian diet. He realized that an idol was nothing. What is the issue in 1 Corinthians 8? Simply this: Certain Christians had knowledge that an idol is nothing. shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols. to be on the safe side.realm.) 6But to us there is but one God. Paul states that if necessary he will not eat “flesh” food so as not to offend his brother. and we in him. and (2) whether the ceremonial law was still binding. He that regardeth the day. They were being offered an enormous incentive to obtain the best training and opportunities that could be afforded them. Knowledge puffeth up. are we the better. These Christians believed they should not eat food that had been offered to idols. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. Scholars estimate that this book was written about one year apart from the book of Romans. So what makes the difference between them and the vegetarians spoken of by Paul in Romans? Perhaps Paul can give us a clue. Daniel and his companions were standing with utmost courage against the great Babylonian conquerors. It’s just a stone or piece of wood. and we by him. But Paul knew better. if we eat. lest I make my brother to offend. [Please note that the word. while the word. regardeth it unto the Lord. He really could care less if his food had been consecrated to an idol. the same is known of him. No. if meat make my brother to offend. 9But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. by whom are all things. we know that an idol is nothing in the world. and that there is none other God but one. and their conscience being weak is defiled. 4As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols. The old pagan practice of offering flesh food to idols before bringing it into the market place to be sold. are we the worse. “Weak” would just not be a good word to describe these faithful Hebrew exiles. What is meant by this passage? Some have assumed that Paul is talking about the Seventh-day Sabbath and that he is admonishing the Christians in Rome to allow everyone to make up his own mind in regards to what day is to be considered special converted by Web2PDFConvert. whether in heaven or in earth. and wound their weak conscience. the issue is that of food being offered to idols and how fellow Christians should relate to each other in that regard. Let’s ask a simple question: In the passage above. strong in the faith. (as there be gods many. Being “weak. we know that we all have knowledge. to the Lord he doth not regard it. 10For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple. But for others. 3But if any man love God.com . 1 Corinthians Chapter 8: 1Now as touching things offered unto idols. Therefore. They were captives in exile. I will eat no flesh while the world standeth. if we eat not. He was at “liberty”.

1b an image cast by an object and representing the form of that object. Once again we read that no man should judge another in respect of meat.”—Strong’s Concordance. imposed on them until the time of reformation. 10Which stood only in meats and drinks. and carnal ordinances [margin—rites.. 15Having abolished in His flesh the enmity.for worshiping God. Note that in the next few verses we insert the marginal readings from the KJV to help clarify the meaning. 3For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this Man have somewhat also to offer. shadow. 6And it shall come to pass. Notice what is included in these rites and ceremonies: meats. being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh. and divers washings. He should not be a priest.. for to make in Himself of twain one new man. hath he quickened together with him. ceremonies. and a worldly sanctuary. 1Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances [margin—ceremonies] of divine service. correct? It’s really no one else’s business. which was contrary to us. drinks and sacrifices. which is the sabbath. that could not make him that did the service perfect. or in respect of an holyday. whether they will walk in my law. holy days. On the Seventh-day Sabbath. Behold.) Notice.. Exodus 16:4. they were not to go out and gather the manna. Colossians 2:14-17 comes close and we will examine it. 15And having spoiled principalities and powers. that I may prove [test] them. and rites (rituals) are used to describe it. I will rain bread [manna] from heaven for you. God tells the Children of Israel that they should go and gather the manna “every day. so making peace (Ephesians 2:14-15). but on the seventh day. and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day. But we note that the passage does not state this. Hebrews 9:1. let’s think about this phrase. 5. That in fact.. “every day alike. But first. there is an important exception. let’s look at another Bible verse that uses this same phrase. 26Six days ye shall gather it.” But then in verse 26. the old ceremonial law is being described. (Emphasis supplied. or in drink. 26. or of the new moon.com . outline. Learning about this passage will help us to understand what Paul is talking about in Romans 14:5-6. Now. ordinances. or of the sabbath days: 17Which are a shadow of things to come. This would be an assumption that is not necessarily warranted by the context. or sabbath days. triumphing over them in it. and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us. There would not be any to gather. in it there shall be none. Surely this is proof positive that diet and Sabbath-keeping is something everyone should decide between them and God.. even the law of commandments contained in ordinances. 9Which was a figure for the time then present. What is abolished? The law. 4For if He were on earth. who hath made both one. We note that in this passage. having forgiven you all trespasses. as pertaining to the conscience. What does the word shadow signify in this context? The Greek Strong’s number 4639 [skia] means: “1a shade caused by the interception of light. or no. 14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us. 1c a sketch. 9-10. So we see that the “every day” phrase earlier in the chapter really means every day that was not a Seventh-day Sabbath. but the body is of Christ. in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices. that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in. let’s turn to Hebrews and see what it says. But which law? The law of commandments contained in ordinances. Notice that this is saying almost the same thing as in Colossians except here it is slightly more specific. Words like example. these were blotted out and nailed to the cross.. What is that talking about? Well. ceremonies]. drink. converted by Web2PDFConvert. seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things… (Hebrews 8:3-5). 16Let no man therefore judge you in meat. 5Then said the LORD unto Moses. is it? Let’s turn to a parallel passage in Ephesians and see if there are any clues: 14For He is our peace. and took it out of the way. Neither can we find any other statements by Paul that would clearly indicate that this passage is talking about the Seventh-day Sabbath. nailing it to his cross.” Does this really mean that some Christians truly esteemed every day the same? For a clue. and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily. Colossians 2:14-17 13And you. he made a shew of them openly. we turn to Colossians 2:13-17 to see what this passage has to say.

and Sabbath Days The ceremonial system of meat and drink offerings and sacrifices and ceremonies served as a shadow. 32. Beginning with verse 4 and throughout the remainder of the chapter. in the new moons. Monday. Now. the weekly Sabbath is enshrined in the heart of the Ten Commandment Moral Law written in stone by the finger of God (Exodus 20:8-11. which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations. This is tied to a particular day of the month and thus could fall on any day of the week. Exodus 31:18). Additionally. Verses 24. 2Speak unto the children of Israel. on the sabbaths. feast days. and say unto them. offering according to the commandment of Moses. God describes the festivals. 4 ¶ These are the feasts of the LORD. verse 27 designates “the tenth day of the seventh month there shall be a day of atonement. Tuesday.Ceremonial Meats. What are the “sabbath days” mentioned in Colossians 2:16? Is this not the Seventh-day Sabbath? Let’s look at Leviticus 23 for a clue. and the charge of the sons of Aaron their brethren. “And in the beginnings of your months [new moons] ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the LORD. in the service of the house of the LORD. What was the source of that light? Christ. Let’s now examine some Bible verses that use language similar to that found in Colossians 2:15 and Ephesians 2:15. it was known has a “high Sabbath” (John 19:31). ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. This happened before sin entered into the world.” Putting these together. What cast the shadow? The cross of Christ. Verses 7. 21. 35. 39 mention “a” sabbath. When a festival sabbath day happened to fall on the weekly Seventh-day Sabbath. even these are my feasts. 5In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover. Thus it was not a shadow pointing forward to Christ like the ceremonial sabbaths. God introduces His topic: feast days and holy convocations.”—“a sabbath of rest” (v. etc. and associated sabbath days. and 36 designate that the people “shall do no servile work therein. continually before the LORD: And that they should keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation. even holy convocations. Remember that we want Scripture to be its own interpreter. and on the set feasts. But note that this is not part of the festivals. remember we are trying to understand in Colossians 2 and Ephesians 2 what law was abolished or blotted out or nailed to the cross. In verses 1 and 2. even in the feast of unleavened bread. 2 Chronicles 8:13 Even after a certain rate every day. Drinks. Concerning the feasts of the LORD. 3Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest. Texts Similar to Colossians 2:16 Numbers 28 talks about meat and drink offerings no less than 20 times. converted by Web2PDFConvert. 6And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. and on the solemn feasts. an holy convocation. and on the new moons. and in the feast of tabernacles. the light of the world (John 1:9). 1And the LORD spake unto Moses. it is as eternal as God’s Moral Ten Commandment Law. we find there to be a total of seven ceremonial sabbath days. and in the feast of weeks. by number. For example. saying. three times in the year. according to the order commanded unto them. 7In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.” 1 Chronicles 23:31-32 And to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the LORD in the sabbaths. Note that this chapter contains a listing of the old Jewish festivals. Furthermore. He then talks about the Seventh-day Sabbath. 32). 25. But note that these were not the weekly Seventh-day Sabbath.com . 8. The Seventh-day Sabbath is set apart and mentioned at the beginning before God then goes into topic of the festivals and their associated sabbath days. We can tell this by the fact that verse 4 starts back up again by re-introducing the topic: “these are the feast… even holy convocations. we note that the weekly Sabbath was institutionalized by God back at the very beginning during Creation Week (see Genesis 2:1-3). which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. Numbers 28:11 speaks of monthly offerings. Let’s examine a series of Old Testament verses that should help us.” The paragraph mark (in the KJV) shows a logical break at the beginning of verse 4. Instead. and the charge of the holy place.

Thus. Psalms 81:3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon. or in respect of an holyday. and for the holy things.2 Chronicles 31:3 He appointed also the king’s portion of his substance for the burnt offerings. for the morning and evening burnt offerings. and understand: 11Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man. fulfilling and ending it at the cross. Ezekiel 45:17 And it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings. Matthew 15:11 Here Christ is speaking to the Pharisees: “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man. So..com . and meat offerings. to make reconciliation for the house of Israel. I am weary to bear them. or of the new moon. drinks. the new moons and sabbaths. to wit. and drink offerings. the issue is how we are to treat our brothers and sisters who sincerely believe in adhering to a stricter set of rules regarding food offered to idols. Isaiah 1:13-14 Bring no more vain oblations. or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come. in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering. Instead. but that which cometh out of the mouth. we recognize that the issue is not about dietary clean and unclean animal flesh or about the weekly sabbath. and in the sabbaths. it is about whether the ceremonial holy days.. her feast days. saying. and for the set feasts.” how should we interpret it? We recognize that this is clearly talking about the old shadow. 1Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees. it is iniquity. ceremonial law of the OT that was done away with by Christ. but the body is of Christ. both of the new moons.” Is Jesus saying that whatever we eat won’t defile us? Let’s look at the context to see what Jesus is talking about. on our solemn feast day. Hear. it is about whether we will be a stumbling block or not. and sabbath days. or days. of the sabbaths. and the burnt offering. God asks us to “remember” the weekly Sabbath day as a memorial of what He has done (Exodus 20:8-11).. and for all the work of the house of our God. Hosea 2:11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease. and the meat offering. Note that the “sabbath days” is plural. and all her solemn feasts. and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths. 10And he called the multitude. 2Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. the calling of assemblies. incense is an abomination unto me. Ezra 3:5 And afterward offered the continual burnt offering. To confuse this with the shadow sabbaths of the ceremonial ordinances of the Mosaic law is to wrest the Scriptures to our own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). “Let no man therefore judge you in meat. but that which cometh converted by Web2PDFConvert. in the time appointed. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me. this defileth a man. in the feasts. her new moons. and her sabbaths. I cannot away with. and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel. of the new moons. Note also that these are said to be a “shadow of things to come. and for the continual burnt offering. when we come to Colossians 2:16-17 where it says. and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated. and for the new moons. for the set feasts.” We remember that the Seventh-day Sabbath was instituted before sin entered into the world after the fall of Adam and Eve. as it is written in the law of the LORD. which were of Jerusalem. Nehemiah 10:33 For the shewbread. and in the new moons. and other aspects of that law are still binding upon Christians. The weekly Sabbath was instituted at the very beginning by the Creator God Himself as a memorial of His completed work (Genesis 2:1-3). and the peace offerings. and said unto them. In the heart of the Ten Commandments. and for the continual meat offering. or in drink. even the solemn meeting. when we read Paul admonishing us to not judge another man in meat. and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the LORD.

he fell into a trance. 10. deceit. and wild beasts. It was always. blasphemies: 20These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. “the commandments of men” (v. for I have never eaten any converted by Web2PDFConvert. except they wash their hands oft. Honour thy father and thy mother. out of the heart of men. foolishness: 23All these evil things come from within. in sharp distinction to the “commandment of God” (v. 2And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled. Not so. Declare unto us this parable. with unwashen. let him die the death: 11But ye say. as the washing of cups. and creeping things. which they have received to hold. 21For from within. that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man. Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive. and goeth out into the draught. Peter. it demonstrates that Christ was upholding His laws of the Old Testament. wickedness. In fact. And many other things there be. hands. that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly. 22Thefts. Rise. and. that is to say. but only with the way in which it was to be eaten —whether with or without ritual hand washing. which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. that is to say. and drew nigh unto the city. 7Howbeit in vain do they worship me. The Pharisees were insisting that Jesus and His disciples were breaking the law by not washing their hands (in a ceremonial sense). he shall be free. as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. and let down to the earth: 12Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth. 19Because it entereth not into his heart. as they went on their journey. 9On the morrow. and fowls of the air. which came from Jerusalem. eat not. Mathew 15:1. that defileth the man. it cannot defile him. blasphemy. fornications. and they defile the man. 7) against which Jesus protested. and is cast out into the draught? 18But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart. they eat not.19For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts. 18And he saith unto them. 8) as set forth in the Scriptures. and eat. 14But Peter said. adulteries. teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.. 1Then came together unto him the Pharisees. Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders. Had Jesus at this time eliminated the distinction between clean and unclean flesh foods it is obvious that Peter would not later have responded as he did to the idea of eating unclean flesh foods (Acts 10:9-18). The parallel passage in Mark chapter 7 is even more clear as to what the real issue was. those are they that defile the man. Whoso curseth father or mother. and pots brasen vessels. 13And there came a voice to him. but eat bread with unwashen hands? 6He answered and said unto them. 15-20. 16If any man have ears to hear. and all the Jews.out of the mouth. fornications. false witness. The problem under discussion between Jesus and the Pharisees had nothing whatever to do with the kind of food to be eaten. Lord. What is the issue according the Jesus? According to verse 20. and would have eaten: but while they made ready. covetousness. 13Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition. Mark 7:1-23. that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him.14And when he had called all the people unto him. 9And he said unto them. holding the tradition of the elders. adulteries. murders. This people honoureth me with their lips. that ye may keep your own tradition. but into the belly. murders. and of tables. 11And saw heaven opened. and understand: 15There is nothing from without a man. and certain of the scribes.. Full well ye reject the commandment of God. he said unto them. pride. It was the Jews who were breaking God’s law while at the same time enforcing their own man-made traditions. proceed evil thoughts. purging all meats? 20And he said. this defileth a man. by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me. kill. Hearken unto me every one of you. 2. an evil eye. as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners.3 Acts 10:9-16 In the following passage Peter receives a vision that will alter his worldview in a dramatic way. the issue is whether a person is defiled by eating with unwashen hands. they found fault. 4And when they come from the market. 12And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother. lasciviousness. and here specifically the tradition that declared food eaten with hands improperly washed (in a ritualistic sense) became the cause of defilement. 10For Moses said. thefts. and a certain vessel descending unto him.com . 5Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him. 11. 17And when he was entered into the house from the people. ye hold the tradition of men. To apply vs. Are ye also yet without understanding? 17Do not ye yet understand. and defile the man. let him hear. Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites. his disciples asked him concerning the parable. 15Then answered Peter and said unto him. Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: 10And he became very hungry. If a man shall say to his father or mother. but their heart is far from me. That which cometh out of the man. Let’s read it and see what the real issue was. It is Corban. 8For laying aside the commandment of God. 3For the Pharisees. but rather was denying the validity of oral tradition [of the Pharisees]. and exclusively. a gift. The context makes emphatically clear that Jesus was not calling into question in any way the precepts of the OT. except they wash.. as it is written. 16And Jesus said. 15–23 to the matter of clean and unclean meats is to ignore the context completely.

nor adulterers. What is God trying to teach him? A little later. that they may be saved. but the profit of many. That would include the issues of food offered to idols. shall inherit the kingdom of God. but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me.” Is Paul echoing a libertine. But is this what is being said here? Let’s let Peter tell us in his own words what lesson he learned from this dramatic vision. This is offered in sacrifice unto idols. anything goes philosophy here? Let’s go back a few chapters to 1 Corinthians 6:12. were not to be treated as common or unclean as was typically done by the Jews of that era. but I will not be brought under the power of any. All things are lawful unto me. the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house. asking no question for conscience sake: 26For the earth is the Lord’s. nor idolaters. I say. 25Whatsoever is sold in the shambles [market]. Are all things truly lawful for Paul and other believers? Paul answers our question for us a few verses back in the same chapter (verses 9-10): Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators. and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s. neither to the Jews. eat. 27If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast. asking no question for conscience sake. nor revilers. Some wonder about Paul’s statement in verse 23.said unto them. or whatsoever ye do. 16This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. they sacrifice to devils. and the fulness thereof. nor abusers of themselves with mankind. and ye be disposed to go. not seeking mine own profit.. We continue in verse 17. whether the ceremonial law was still binding. and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? 20But I say. or come unto one of another nation. why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 31Whether therefore ye eat. after going with the men to visit Cornelius and finding himself in the midst of a group of his friends and family. but all things edify not. 28But if any man say unto you. but only those things that were in question in his discussion with the Corinthian believers. but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience? 30For if I by grace be a partaker. nor extortioners. Nor thieves. 1 Timothy 4:1-5 converted by Web2PDFConvert. Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean.. Once again as we saw in the above passages.” The issue was the separation of the Jews from the Gentiles. that eat. that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice. but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me. Paul is dealing with the issue of food offered to idols. whatsoever is set before you.thing that is common or unclean. Notice that Peter is wondering what this vision is all about. where we see Paul use the same phrase. 1 Corinthians 10:19-33 19What say I then? that the idol is any thing. 32Give none offence. nor effeminate. behold. 21Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord. nor to the Gentiles. It is apparent from the context that Paul is not saying that everything is lawful.24Let no man seek his own. “All things are lawful for me. Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company. What did Peter say was the issue? “God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table. Many have concluded that this passage is removing the distinction between clean and unclean animal foods set forth in the OT. that call not thou common. What God hath cleansed. nor to the church of God: 33Even as I please all men in all things. God was trying to teach Peter that the Gentiles. and of the table of devils. and the fulness thereof: 29Conscience. but every man another’s wealth. do all to the glory of God.com . and stood before the gate. 15And the voice spake unto him again the second time. whom God had created. or drink. and possibly certain other errors that had begun to creep into the early church (Gnostic errors that we will look at below). 22Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? 23All things are lawful for me. but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me. eat not for his sake that shewed it. but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. but all things edify not. This is a continuation of his overall discussion beginning in 1 Corinthians 8 that we examined above. nor covetous. not thine own. nor drunkards. Peter relates to them the lesson that God had been trying to teach him with the vision (verses 26-28): Peter.

and from things strangled. and in its fasts from animal meats. giving heed to seducing spirits.4 (Emphasis supplied) What foods are being talked about here? The text clarifies it for us. which God created for partaking with thanksgiving by the believers. and nothing to be refused. in Genesis 9:3 (after the flood) God says. Because every creature of God is good and nothing to be thrust away.. “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you. God has given us common sense and wisdom to help us understand what is included in His permission to eat every herb. We recognize that sin has changed things. which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4For every creature of God is good. Fausset. Now notice in the Interlinear Bible how this is rendered: But the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith. and those knowing the truth. So..1 Timothy 4:1-5 1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly. and at other times.. concluded that dietary restrictions most certainly applied to the saints in New Testament times. during Lent. 1Co 10:25. history bears out that the Church of Rome forbade her priests and nuns from marrying and commanded church members to abstain from eating certain foods on Fridays. 3Forbidding to marry. He knew well what God was trying to teach. having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” Is that clear? The text provides us a qualification.” The early church was commanded to abstain from “blood. to you it shall be for meat. if it be received with thanksgiving”? In Genesis 1:29.. But would you and I eat Poison Ivy or the Poinsettia plant (think Christmas)? Are they not part of the herbs bearing seed? Yes.. After all. “And God said. To do so would be presumptuous. Note that Paul is warning Timothy that in latter times there would arise people that would forbid to marry and command church members to abstain from meats. which is upon the face of all the earth. Yes. Could that be something we need to take into consideration in our diet for today (the worsening curse of sin on God’s creation)? Acts 15:29 plainly debunks the notion that the apostolic church considered all food permissible to eat. A refutation by anticipation of the Gnostic opposition to creation: the seeds of which were now lurking latently in the Church. “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost. Furthermore.” Again. Paul saw prophetically that this heresy would become more widespread in the church. The curse is resting more and more heavily upon the earth as sin deepens in the world. good — (Ge 1:31 . and to us [the apostles]. The OT clearly lays out what was permitted to be eaten. they understood that God’s dietary guidelines had not been removed at the Cross. 26) was the starting-point of the error as to meats: Oriental Gnosis added new elements. it tells us that only those foods that God created for eating are to be eaten. what is Paul talking of in 1 Timothy 4:1-5? Let us note what the highly respected Protestant commentary by Jamieson. Evidently. “every creature of God is good. And note that Peter did not take away from that vision that he should now start eating unclean meats.” Let’s ask the question. that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith.com .. and every tree. after careful deliberation and under the watchful guidance of the Holy Spirit.” Clearly the apostles. in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed. the hedonistic and riotous partying of Mardis Gras (French for “Fat converted by Web2PDFConvert. God tells us. But no one in their right mind would eat these things. only those foods “which God created for partaking with thanksgiving by the believers. and those knowing the truth. then we have just handed the cannibals of New Guinea a biblical basis for pursuing their practice of eating the flesh of their fellow human beings. In fact. Sure enough. every creature .forbidding to marry.. and Brown (published in 1871) says about this text: 1 Tim 4:4. and every tree? The answer is.. remain. saying to abstain from foods. not to call an man unclean or common. 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy. enjoined under the penalty of mortal sin. If we believe that is the case. 20).5 Note that they attribute what Paul is speaking of as referring to the Gnostic heresy that thought that creation was inherently evil. doesn’t the text say. Did God say we could eat every herb bearing seed. That did not change in the NT. and nothing to be refused. if it be received with thanksgiving: 5For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. The old Gnostic heresy is now almost extinct.. Otherwise Peter would not have protested in the vision of Acts 10 (see above).. Behold. Judaism (Ac 10:11–16. and doctrines of devils. I have given you every herb bearing seed. but its remains in the celibacy of Rome’s priesthood.. 5. Some mistakenly assume from the above text that God is telling us that we can eat literally anything so long as we receive it with thanksgiving. Ro 14:14. . even as the green herb have I given you all things. and commanding to abstain from meats.

Oklahoma Seventh-day Adventist Church. 2004). David Qualls is an active member of the Tulsa. 278. along with the sacrifices and other ceremonial aspects of the Mosaic law were fulfilled by Christ and are thus non-binding today. the Moral Law of Ten Commandments. 3. Sr.C.html#32 (accessed March 2. Inc. drink. Freely reproduce these materials | A statement regarding donations To Email the GCO editor: larry@greatcontroversy. pp. However. http://www. Acts 10:9-16. Seventh-day Adventists Believe. Mark 7:15. Fausset. The Interlinear Bible (Lafayette. Colossians 2:14-17. WA: Logos Research Systems. and ceremonial sabbaths. Summary of Part 1 We have examined Romans 14. R. He has served in several self-supporting ministries and currently resides near Tulsa with his wife. happy. is still binding on all people today. We demonstrated that the shadowy aspects of the OT.... 16th Edition (Hagerstown.. but by the grace of God returned to the faith of his youth with a strong desire to serve God and to help others prepare for His soon coming. Originally published in 1871.adventist. Critical and Explanatory.org/beliefs/index. A Commentary. IN: Sovereign Grace Publishers. holy days. 32-33. 2000).Tuesday”) is the last chance to eat. on the Old and New Testaments (Oak Harbor. 5. Revised 2000.org converted by Web2PDFConvert. 1 Corinthians 10:19-33.27 Fundamental Beliefs (Hagerstown. he desires to let God use him to spread the true gospel and to help others avoid being blown about by every wind of doctrine. and stored inside of the ark of the covenant. D. 2004). 2. 1 Timothy 4:1-5 and associated passages in answering the charge that these texts nullify the OT dietary restrictions imposed by God upon His people.com . MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association. Taking an active interest in current theological issues within the Remnant Church. We aim to demonstrate that God is very interested in our living a healthy.html (accessed March 2. Mathew 15:11. Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual . 4:1-5. F. R. 4. The Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary (Washington. Go to Part 2: Restoring God’s Diet for the Last Generation ENDNOTES 1. Green. http://www. written by God’s finger in stone. 1 Tim. Jamieson. we will examine God’s ideal for us in the area of health. Having earned degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In the next section. A.adventist. he currently works in the software development field for a large telecommunications firm.: Review and Herald Publishing Association.. Jay P. 1978). 1997). Raised a Seventh-day Adventist by godly parents. Ruth.org/beliefs/church_manual/chapter6. and be merry before the 40 days of fasting of the Roman Catholic Lent commences the next day on Wednesday leading up to Easter 40 days later. the ceremonial law contained in ordinances was nailed to the cross. D. including the health laws. D. Brown. abundant life here on earth as we prepare for the next life. Nichol. p. 1985). he turned his back on God in his teens. Part of this Mosaic Law dealing with the non-ceremonial aspects are also still binding upon us today. MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association. 1988). 1 Ti 4:4. We have allowed Scriptures to interpret Scriptures showing that these passages do not take away God’s plan for our diet or for the keeping of the Seventhday weekly Sabbath. The old festivals.