-A healthy message to an unhealthy world-
The Health Message in our Last Day Message
Today, we learn through the studies of the symbols in the book of Revelation, that God has a three-fold heavenly message for his people. These messages come in the form of Angels, starting in Revelation 14:6-10. The Greek word translated “Angels” is “aggelos” which simply means a “Messenger.” A messenger, or course, bears a message. This same Greek word is used to describe John the Baptist and his message as the “messenger” in Matthew 11:10. Before Jesus entered into Jerusalem, he sent people, his disciples, to Jerusalem first to make ready for him to be received there. Those he sent were “messengers” or as the Greek implies, “aggelos” because they bore a message, which was to make way for the entrance of messiah – John 9:52.
Because the book of Revelation is heavily written in symbols, we therefore conclude that these three angels in Revelation 14:6-10, symbolize three very important message’s, bore by the people of God, to our world in these last days. These are not three literal angels, since their messages include not worshiping the “beast” – verse 9. This beast has seven heads and ten horns, and is a mixture of a bear, a lion and a leopard (Revelation 13:1-2). This is obviously symbolic, since no such beast has ever existed. This very message which you are now reading is part of the three angels message, a message from God above. In this booklet, we will concentrate on the first angel’s message:
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” -Revelation 14:6-7.
The first and most noticeable thing we observe is that this angel bears the “everlasting gospel.” What is that everlasting gospel? Explains the angel, “…fear God and give glory to him…” First, to fear God means to “hate all evil” which includes pride and arrogance – Proverbs 8:13. To fear God also means to acknowledge that God is mercy (Psalm 118:4) and to obey him (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). Second, to give God true glory is to have Jesus Christ in our hearts, accepted in our lives as the true messiah and redeemer:
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
And to bear much fruit, which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, and temperance (Galatians 5:22-23)
“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” John 15:8.
Joined to this, is the part of this angels message which reads… “and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea…” Take note that this phrase is an exact expression by God himself found within the fourth commandment:
“Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy… for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hollowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11.
Notice that part of this heavenly message called “everlasting gospel” by this angel, is a reminder to worship the true creator. In keeping the Sabbath, we claim to worship the only and true God, for the very wording of the fourth commandment gives God that title as “true and only creator.” Without this commandment we can worship any other god and still keep the other nine commandments. None of the other laws specifically calls God the “creator” as does the Sabbath.
Since it’s true that this angel is urging the world to not only believe in Jesus Christ, but also to obey him, even his Sabbath law, then we learn by close examination that this angel is in fact calling the world to return to Gods true health principles by his plea to keep the Sabbath. How? Well the Sabbath means to “rest,” and resting is part of being in health. You’ll learn more of this in the section “The 8 Laws of Health.” God is not only calling the world to rest in Christ spiritually, but also physically, and the reason why is simple. When our minds are clear of worry and stress, when we are in health, when we are not sick, we can better discern the right from the wrong. We can better concentrate and understand when we study from his words. When we are healthy, disease does not interrupt us from learning and understanding eternal truths found within the Holy Scriptures. Health is part of the first angel’s message, because God is calling the world to “understand” clearly who he really is.
“Thy way, O God, is in the Sanctuary.” Psalm 77:13.
Not only David, but others have understood Gods ways by studying the Sanctuary:
“They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary. “Psalm 68:24
The earthly sanctuary was a “pattern” of the true heavenly sanctuary (Hebrew 9 – 10), where Christ the true high priest ministers on our behalf. When John looked up to heaven, he saw the Ark of the Covenant in this heavenly Sanctuary (Revelation 11:19). Let’s quickly see how the Sanctuary teaches the truth about the plan of Salvation.
[Find some time to study the following chapters: Exodus 25 (note verses 8-16), Exodus 26 (note verse 30) Exodus 27 (compare verse 2 with Revelation 9:13), Exodus 30, Leviticus 16 and Leviticus 24.]
Picture yourself virtually walking into the sanctuary, starting from the entrance. You first walk into the “outer court,” where you first see the Alter of sacrifice. This pictures the death of messiah Jesus. What’s the first thing a believer does when he becomes a believer? He “believes” in the “sacrifice” Jesus the true Lamb of God did. As you continue walking in, you find the bowl of water. This symbolized baptism, the next step a Christian takes after believing. Now, visualize yourself walking into the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary. The three things you’ll find in there are the Table of shewbread, the Alter of incense and the Seven branch candle sticks. These symbolizing:
1) Table of Shewbread: Jesus the bread “that came down from heaven” (John 6:35) and his words “spiritual food, the scriptures” (John 5:39) that the believer now studies intensively in his walk with Jesus.
2) Alter of Incense: The believer’s prayers, which ascend up as sweet incense to the throne of God (Revelation 8:3).
3) Seven Branch Candlesticks: Jesus being the “light” of the world (John 8:12) in this new converts life, shining in this dark world for all to see his example of a Christian life.
In the last apartment of the sanctuary you will find the 10 commandments, the written character of Christ manifesting itself in the life of the true believer. The whole plan of salvation is put together in plain view in this divine “blue print” called the Sanctuary.
King David understood the mystery of the prosperity of the wicked and of death when he said:
“Until I went into the sanctuary of God: then understood I their end.” Psalm 73:17.
Great truths can be learned by simply studying the biblical sanctuary. Let’s learn of one of these truths now:
Within the very heart of the Sanctuary was the “Ark of the Covenant.” Within this Ark, were the tables of Stone, engraved upon them the 10 Commandments. This Ark also contained two other things:
“And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubim’s of glory shadowing the mercy seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.” – Hebrews 9:3-5.
Not only do we find the 10 Commandments, the rule by which God wants his people to live by, we also find the Manna, and Aarons Rod, which was a long piece of branch, that budded. Let’s talk about Aarons Staff first. What does it mean when it says it budded?
“And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.” Numbers 17:8
Aaron’s rod budded Almonds. In other words, inside the Ark of the Covenant we also find Almonds. This verse in Numbers 17:8 however, says that it also “bloomed blossoms.” What does it mean when something blossoms?
“And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes.” Genesis 40:10.
When it blossoms, it means it shot forth “ripe grapes.” Aaron’s rod also yielded fruits. The Ark, therefore, contained some food; Almonds and Fruits. What about the Manna? We read the following verse:
“And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven.” Psalm 78:24.
While it is unknown what exactly the Manna was made up of, David likens the Manna to “corn of heaven.” The Hebrew word translated “corn” in this verse is “dagan” which means “wheat, grain, cereal” according to Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Definitions and Strong’s Concordance. Notice also the following verse:
“And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.” Numbers 11:7.
Strong’s Hebrew Concordance gives the idea that the word “seed” here means “seed of plants, fruits.” The Manna was of Grain, and Seed probably of a fruit.
We now have a list of foods that are found within the Ark, which was in the Sanctuary:
(Keep in mind that the earthly Sanctuary built by Moses was a model of the true Sanctuary in heaven built by God -Hebrews 8:2, 5).
This is the exact same diet Adam and Eve were given in the Garden of Eden before sin:
“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.” – Genesis 1:29-30.
From the very beginning God has always intended for man and animals to nourish themselves of the natural foods of the earth, namely, Fruits, Nuts and Grains. These are the “meats” that God has always wanted us to have as our diet. The word “meat” here simply means “food.” The lord does not, nor has he ever, wanted his creatures to survive by killing other of his creatures. Death has never been part of God’s plan for mankind, not in food, or in anything else. Death only came about because of sin. Adam and Eve’s diet is what we find within the Sanctuary, which we already learned is an outline of God’s plan of Salvation. This is not to say that what we eat saves anyone, but that it is something that will be the end result in the Christians walk with God, along with manifesting true Christian behavior (the 10 Commandments). This is why it is these foods are not found in the beginning of the entrance of the sanctuary, the beginning of the Christian walk, where the first thing we must do is simply “believe” in that lamb which died for us. It is rather found at the end, in the inner part of the sanctuary, at the part where the mature Christian is to now live his life according to the guidelines found therein.
Does God desire that we return to the original diet? Yes! Here are the reasons why:
1) We already learned at the beginning of this booklet that the Health Message is part of the three angels Messages to the world in the last days. When John wrote this, he was speaking of a time not his own. This can only be any time after his time, especially our time now, since Christ has not yet returned.
2) God desires to restore everything as was intended from the very beginning (Acts 3:21).
Let us examine this passage in Acts 3:21. It reads:
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” -Act 3:19-21.
Notice verse 20 says… “shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you.” This is not the 1st coming of Jesus Christ, since it says “who was first preached unto you.” How was Jesus Christ preached unto these people unless he had come some time before? Now notice the first part of verse 21… “Whom the heaven must receive until…” Notice that the heavens “must receive” Jesus until the “times of restitution of all things.” This means Jesus will remain in heaven until a certain amount of time. That amount is not certain, for no man knows when the Lord will return, but we are hinted as to when… “until the times of restitution of all things.” Jesus wont return until all is restored within his people (not within the earth in general: the earth will be destroyed and made new after his 2nd coming –Revelation 21:1). Restitution of what? None other then the sinless state God has always wanted for us to be in, the times of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We already learned about the diet Adam and Eve had while in this sinless state. God desires us to be sinless through the power and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ “my strength is made perfect in weakness” – 2 Corinthians 12:9. The bible calls us to be “perfect” by God’s strength (2 Timothy 3:17; Hebrews 13:20-21; Matthew 5:48). When the passage in Acts 3:21 speaks of the times of restitution of all things, it is speaking of a time when God’s people will be perfect; perfectly representing Jesus Christ here upon the earth, in everything, yes even in diet. The verse says restitution of “all” things. All means all, and Adam and Eve, in their perfect state, ate a perfect diet.
Some may ask: What about water? Does not the body need water to survive? Yet this is not found within the plan of salvation, or it’s model the sanctuary. Well, we already learned that the diet in the Sanctuary is the same diet found within the Garden of Eden. We also learned that God desires for his people in these last days to return to that diet. So, do we find water in the Garden of Eden in Adams time? Yes we do. There was a river that watered the Garden, and as it parted from the garden, it became four separate rivers.
“And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.” -Genesis 2:10.
In Adams time, it was perfectly safe to drink fresh water from this river, since there were no diseases, viruses or parasites of any kind. We do then find water as part of the diet God wants his people to have. We do not, however, find any form of liquor or sodas in the Garden of Eden.
Why did God allow Meat eating?
“We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick”
Through the many years as slaves in Egypt, eating flesh meat became a common thing to do. If you notice, they mentioned the fish, and then they mentioned some vegetables, but their question shows what they really wanted:
“Who shall give us flesh to eat?”
Again they cried at Moses, “give us flesh, that we may eat” –verse 13.
One will notice while reading through this whole chapter that God did not really want to give them the flesh meat for their diet. In fact, as they cried in their lust for flesh meat, God told them that they will get their desire; in fact, they will get a whole month of meat, even until it leaks from their noses (verses’ 19-20). So the Lord blew a strong wind, and in came the meat they so desired. Verse 31 says that the Lord brought them quail, and while the meat was yet in between their teeth, the Lord sent a plague, and they all died (verse 33). Take note reader, that the meat these people ate was not unclean meat, but rather clean meat according to the clean/unclean laws of Leviticus 11. Would God give them an unclean animal to eat? Yet, to show them he did not want them eating meat at all, whether clean or unclean, he allowed them to have the lust of their hearts, and they reaped what they sowed, sickness and death.
“Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live.” (Ezekiel 20:25)
What would you say were the laws God gave to the children of Israel that he did not really want to give them? Let’s look at three of the most basic of those laws and see if these are it:
The Sabbath: Because the immediate context of the whole chapter of Ezekiel 20 seems to be more about the Sabbath, I decided to comment on this one first.
Was God displeased with giving them the Sabbath day law? The verses in this same chapter immediately say “no.” First, the verse says “statutes” and “judgments” in the plural sense. There is only one seventh day Sabbath. Second, verses before show how God really did want them to observe the Sabbath, because it was to be a “sign” that God is the one who sanctifies them (verses 12; 20). The Sabbath is also seen to continue on forever. Evidently, the saints of God will forever observe it even in the New Heavens and the New Earth (Isaiah 66:23). This is proof that the Sabbath has not been abolished, and that God in Ezekiel 20:25 is not speaking about the Sabbath. How could God regret giving them the Sabbath but allow it to continue forever?
The 10 Commandments: These laws, recorded first in Exodus 20, set moral rules for the believer to live by. “Thou shalt not murder” and “thou shalt not steal” are certainly laws we wouldn’t dream of saying God did not want to give. Each law within the 10 commandments has a moral application to everyone of us. When we violate the first four of these laws, which most recognize as laws referring to mans relationship with God, we sin against our selves, because it is a sin to break Gods law (1 John 3:4). When we sin against ourselves we risk damaging our relationship and we offend God who made us in his image, thus losing our salvation because we have not turned away from sin. When we violate the rest of the 10 commandments we commit sins against our neighbors, which will again cause us to hurt ourselves spiritually and most of the times physically in the process. Was God displeased with giving these laws? The logical answer is no.
The Feast days: Time and place must be considered. When God through Ezekiel penned those words in Ezekiel 20:25, the feast days, while God found more pleasure in obedience (1 Samuel 15:22), he did in fact wanted them to observe them as laws because he desired them to see something special within these feast days, namely, that Jesus is the true lamb of God, which would be sacrificed for them in the not so distant future (John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7). Today, these feast days can still teach us much, but we know that they have all found their end at the cross, as Jesus is our paschal lamb, and so on. Yet in the times of Ezekiel, God wanted them to observe these feasts.
The only possible laws the Lord must have been speaking about in Ezekiel 20:25 would have to be the laws of clean and unclean meats as listed in Leviticus 11. The following are the reasons why this must be so:
-Reason 1: God has never desired the death of any of his creatures.
-Reason 2: As shown in Numbers 11, God does not desire our eating or neither clean nor unclean animals.
-Reason 3: Animal eating has never been part of the original plan for mankind’s health, and God desires we return to his original plan.
Every other law, for that time, were laws God ordered to be kept for some reason as to maintain order within the theocratic nation of Israel (as in the civil penalty laws -we believe God did not desire these as well) or for moral issues relating to salvation. The clean/unclean animal’s laws have nothing to do with the maintaining of a nation, nor with anything moral at that. Simply put, animal eating is just not necessary. We can get sufficient nutrients from the natural foods of the earth without eating flesh meat. The most convincing evidence is in the fact that meat eating came into the picture after the fall, and not before.
Why did Jesus eat meat?
We have accounts in the New Testament were we find that Jesus did in fact eat fish, and gave unto his disciples and followers fish to eat, the following is one of them:
(9) As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
(10) Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.
(11) Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
(12) Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.
(13) Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.
There are a couple of things we should keep in mind. Jesus meet his disciple’s were they were at in that time. They were raised eating meats, and in their new found faith meat eating is not to be the issue. This study is to show those mature Christians, who have already passed the baby Christian stage, and desire now “strong meat,” that is, deeper understanding of biblical truths, such Christians have spiritually entered into the second apartment of the sanctuary is now lives their lives according to what is found there, the moral law and the vegetarian diet as shown above. The bible teaches us that our walk is to be one that “shineth more and more unto the perfect day” –Proverbs 4:18. Light, representing Jesus, who is the truth, will logically also represent “the” truth. So as we walk in our Christian walk, we learn more and more, the light further increases in our lives, and deeper more profound truths begin to be understood, including the truth about health. We are not to stay where we are when we first become believers, we are to continue our walk through that path, through the sanctuary, and learn more and more about God and his truths found in his word. Yes, Jesus ate fish, and so did his followers at that time. Yet we are always to remember that further truth is to be revealed to God’s people through the ages until the Lord returns. Today, part of the truth, called the “present truth” includes an understanding of the biblical diet that the Lord is also concerned with.
How about lamb? Did Jesus eat lamb? We only have the account in the gospels that tell of Jesus eating the Passover with his disciples. We agree he did eat the Passover, but it should be noted that it was because he was to keep the entire law perfectly. We have no evidence that eating meat was part of his diet. We are not told anywhere in the bible that Jesus, being God himself, ate his own creations as part of his daily diet. His eating a lamb on Passover is perfectly reasonable, since he came for the very purpose of keeping the law and to die for us upon the cross.
(5) As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
(6) When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
(7) And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
If we notice something about the miracle Jesus performed, most were done in different ways, to teach us certain things. Why did Jesus heal this blind man like this? One reason is to show how through God’s natural resources, we can find healing. Jesus used the earth, wherein is found plenty of beneficial nutrients, to perform this miracle. Jesus, the great physician, used natural remedies! We read of four young men who through vegetable healed themselves of appearing older, making themselves actually look younger:
(11) Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
(12) Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
(13) Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
(14) So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
(15) And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.
What happened after the ten days? They looked younger? Any wrinkles and darkening they might have had under their eyes vanished!
Did You Know that the Greek word “therapeia” is where we get our English word “Therapy” from. This Greek word is found only four times in the New Testament:
-Matthew 24:45, Luke 9:11, Luke 12:42, and Revelation 22:2.
It originally means “service rendered by one to another, attendance, and cure” – according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon and Strong’s Concordance. Jesus, “healed them that had need of healing (therapeia)” according to Luke 9:11. This means that he got personal with these people, rendering service to them, and thus healing them not only with his miracles, but also with his friendship. In Revelation 22:2, we are told that it is the natural elements of the earth, the leaves of the tree in this case, which will provide “therapeia” for Gods people. See also Ezekiel 47:12. God has always taught that we can be healed of our many diseases is we simply change our diet’s to his original one, and use natural remedies found in his creations.
Notice with us the following verse:
(23) And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
If read in context one will notice that this verse is speaking about a world power which God will eventually destroy because of its deceptions. Some teach, and we agree, that it is speaking about the antichrist. Yet notice the word “sorceries.” In your Strong’s Greek concordance, you will notice the following definition for this word:
Used and translated only three times in the New Testament (Rev. 9:21, 18:23, Gal. 5:20 –here translated “witchcraft”) you will notice that it is “always” set in the context of sins that will prevent us from entering the kingdom of heaven. This greek word “pharmakeia” is where we get our English word “pharmacy” from and it literally means, “medication.” It is related to “magic” which is a form of witchcraft and spiritualism. These chemical medications, found in our pharmacies, are no different then the medications used by the occult to poison and/or control individuals. When we see a new commercial promoting some medicine, one benefit from it is mentioned, then in a fast tone of voice 6 to 8 side effects are warned of. Why? Because we are drugging our bodies with chemicals that the Lord does not approve of! We kill ourselves with unhealthy foods, then we want to treat the “bad feeling” we get without treating naturally the root cause. It has been found by researchers that a change in diet towards natural foods increases the body’s immune system which in turn helps it to combat more affectively viruses and diseases. We do not tell the person who does not “know” in an emergency to not seek medical help from a doctor at a hospital. But for those of us who know, God the greatest doctor has provided a natural way of healing that is far more beneficial than any chemical medication, and they have no side effects. Paul teaches us that our bodies are the “temples of the Holy Ghost” -1 Corinthians 6:19. We are to seek natural foods, and natural healings, and stay away from all evils, including “sorcery,” and in everything we do… “whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” -1Corinthians 10:31. If we do this; if we truly give God the glory in what we eat, then we are therefore heading and accepting the first angel’s message in Revelation 14:7, which calls the world to…
“… Fear God, and give Glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come.”
1) Matthew 15:11
2) 1 Timothy 5:23
3) 1 Timothy 4:1-5
4) Genesis 9:3
5) Acts 10:11-15
6) 1 Corinthians 10:24-33
Matthew 15:11: “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”
By simply reading the whole chapter, one will notice that these verses are more about eating with unwashed hands then on just eating. Jesus’ final words on the subject make this clear:
“These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” -Matthew 15:20.
When Jesus voiced verse 11, he was speaking about the “heart” –verse 18-19. Jesus explains how from the heart come, among other sins, evil thoughts. If a person, for example, teaches that it’s okay to eat pork when the bible says not to (Leviticus 11:7; Isaiah 66:17), this is contrary to God’s scriptures and is therefore an “evil thought” proceeding from his heart. Such a person will fall into the category of the people that Jesus was speaking about.
Conclusion: The issue here is not on eating, but on eating with unwashed hands. Jesus did not teach with verse 11 that it is ok to eat meat or pork, neither did he teach that it’s ok to eat with unwashed hands, for Jesus wouldn’t teach such a thing. What if the person eating with unwashed hands just finished handling a dead animal of some kind? Such a person could contract a fatal illness, and we can place the blame on Jesus’ words. On the contrary, Jesus was all for cleanliness. Jesus was a Jew, and cleanliness was a part of Jewish law. Jesus rather taught with these words to focus more upon the matters of the heart, which of course are of far greater importance.
1 Timothy 5:23: “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.”
Some claim that with this verse, we are allowed to drink “even a little” wine. Yet a closer examination of this verse reveals that this is not so. The verse says to drink the “little wine” for “thy stomach’s sake.” Alcohol (or liquor) will not help our stomachs; rather, it damages it, along with the liver. The verse also says, “… and thine often infirmities.” The word “infirmities” is the Greek word “astheneia” which means “weakness.” This same Greek word is translated “diseases” in Acts 28:9 and “sickness” in John 11:4. Alcohol is known for causing weakness of the liver over years of consumption and all sorts of diseases. Are we suggesting that Paul is saying to drink something that causes weakness as a remedy for weakness? The obvious conclusion then, is that Paul is speaking of “wine” as in fruit juices. The many nutrients and vitamins in fruit juices are known for healing various diseases in the stomach and liver.
Numerous examples of people chosen by God in the bible do not drink wine at all. Ill list two examples:
1) “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous.” -1Timothy 3:1-3.
The words, “given to wine” is translated from the Greek word “paroinos” meaning “near wine” according to Strong’s Concordance. In other words, it is literally meaning, “not even near wine.” The man or women desiring to work in the Lord’s work will not even get near any form of alcohol.
2) “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.” -Luke 1:15-16.
John the Baptist was fit to work in the Lord’s work, not only because he was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mothers womb, but also because he never distressed the Holy Spirit by filling his body (which is the temple of the Holy Spirit -1 Corinthians 6:19; 3:16-17) with disease causing toxins like wine. Don’t you desire to work for the Lord?
Conclusion: Paul here is not speaking about drinking wine with alcohol because alcohol will not help relieve illness nor will it benefit the stomach in any way. Rather, he is speaking about fruit juices like grape juice.
1 Timothy 4:1-5: “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.”
Let’s examine each verse one by one:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
Some have felt that this is speaking about the Adventist church, but note that Paul is saying that the individuals teaching to abstain from meats also teach not to marry. The Adventist church does not forbid to marriage. The Roman Catholic church does however forbid eating foods on certain of its holiday celebrations and does forbid marriage through its institutions of the nuns and priests.
Notice also that the Greek word translated “meats” in this verse is “broma” which simply means “foods.” When the bible is speaking about flesh foods, it translates it “flesh” – see for example Romans 14:21. This is not speaking about meat as food, but of non-meat foods. Further evidence of this is seen in the rest of this verse which reads… “which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving.” What did God create to be received (or eaten) with thanksgiving? It was natural foods, not flesh meat (Genesis 1:29). Flesh meat was merely “allowed” either because circumstances made it impossible to eat vegetables, like with Noah’s case after the flood when all vegetation was destroyed, or because of the ignorance of the children of Israel who complained so much that God allowed clean meats to be eating, yet with the warning that they would die, and they did (Numbers 11:33). Thayer’s Greek Definition defines “broma” as “that which is eaten, food.” Normally this word is used in general of foods (plural). But here we have added information about this broma, that God created it to be received with thanksgiving. Animals were not created to be eaten, but natural foods were.
For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
Notice first, that it says “creature” and not “animal” or “beasts.” There are three other Greek words that are translated “beasts” that literally mean an “animal.” These Greek words are ktenos, therion and zoon. None of these are used in this verse. According to Strong’s Greek definition, the word translated “creature” here simply means “a formation, a produce.” Thayer’s Greek Definition has two meanings for this word:
1) thing founded
2) created thing
We learned with verse 3 that that “thing founded” that God created to be received, or eaten was natural foods, and not animal meat.
If our critics interpret this word to mean flesh, they will run into the following two problems:
It will include all types of insects!
If “creature” hear means anything other then natural products of plants, they will be forced to include insects in their reasoning. But, we’re sure they wouldn’t dare say that a spider was created to be eaten; that it is “good and not to be refused.” Shall we add some worm to that plate as well?
It will include THEM!
This word “creature” can also include human being. Notice the following verses:
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” -Mark 16:15.
“Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” James 1:18
Would our critics suggest that Paul was advocating cannibalism?
The only logical conclusion is that Paul is talking about those who would forbid the eating of foods that God originally created for our diet.
For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
This word “sanctified” in the Greek means to “make holy.” Notice that it says it is sanctified by “the word of God” and by “prayer,” not just prayer. This means that the prayer will have to agree with what the word of God says in regards to that food! Where in the word of God does it teach pork can be made holy for food? Or humans for food? In other words, we are not to just pray over a, lets say, a venomous spider to then then eat it, because eating a venomous spider, mosquito or any type of forbidden insect is condemned “by the word of God” – Leviticus 11:23. Our prayer should rather be that God sanctify the “broma” of natural foods which is in accordance with the proper diet God wants us to have.
God does in fact want his people to return to the original plan he had for mankind with Adam and Eve. He wants our entire being to be changed, not just mentally, but physically as well. Eating foods that we should not being has been shown to affect the mind in such a way that it can dilute even our decision making. This is why Paul says to protect the body, because it is “the temple of the Holy Spirit” -1 Cor. 3:16-17. The Holy Spirit is the one helping us make right decisions, and by mistreating our bodies with unhealthy foods, we can end up closing our understandings to truths the Spirit might want to show us. Who can deny that it is more difficult for a sick person to study and rightly divide the word of God then for a healthy person? Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were children, “in whom was no blemish.” They were, “skillful in wisdom, and cussing in knowledge.” –Daniel 1:4. What did they eat? Natural foods. They refused to eat the filth upon the king’s plate, but told him to prove them for ten days as they eat only vegetables. The result? “Their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh then all the children which did eat the portion of the kings meat.” -Daniel 1:15.
Conclusion: The warning in verse 3 is against groups who forbid marriage and to abstain from “foods,” not flesh meat. Any act (such as eating certain things) that is against the “word of God” is not sanctified simply by prayer. It must be in agreement with Gods word as well.
Time and place must be considered when studying God’s word. At this time, the flood had just ended, and Noah had just exited the Ark. We are not told that there was vegetation, but rather that the earth was “dry” – Genesis 8:13-14. There was much food taken into the Ark for him, his family and the animals to eat some of which might have been eaten after they stepped out. Yet because this could run out, and the earth was simply “dry,” God provided a way for Noah and his family to survive. This is when he told them to eat of “every moving thing that liveth.” The only reason God told him he can eat animals at this time was so that they could survive:
“Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.” -Genesis 7:3.
God obviously didn’t intend for this practice to last forever among his people, since years after he showed how he did not want his people eating flesh meat (Leviticus 11:13, 33).
Another thought in regards to unclean animals is that God did not intend for Noah and his family to eat these, since of these sorts only two of each kind were to enter the Ark (Genesis 7:2). This means that if Noah and his family spent their time eating unclean animals like pork, their wouldn’t be pork today since there were only two pigs after the flood. Another reason why God never intended for Noah and his family to eat the unclean animals at this time, was because God has simply never allowed it. Even later when the Hebrews complained and begged for flesh meat, God set laws on not eating unclean animals (Leviticus 11).
Conclusion: God only allowed Noah and his family to eat animals after the flood because the flood destroyed all vegetable life on the earth, leaving it “dry;” so in order to survive God allowed the meat eating. Even though God allowed it here, he still allowed it with exceptions. One of them was to not eat the unclean animals, simply because there were very little of them (Genesis 7:2) and they are needed to cleanse the earth. Today we are not living in the condition Noah’s time was after the waters destroyed everything. There is plenty of vegetable’s to go around: thus animal eating is not needed for survival.
Acts 10:11-15: “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.”
Apparently this was a “vision” Peter had (verse 17). We need to study to understand what a vision actually means. If not, we run into numerous problems. For example, John had visions of a giant beast with ten horns and seven heads (Revelation 17:3). Daniel had a vision of a Lion with wings (Daniel 7:4). Are we to take visions literally? No, symbols in visions always symbolize something. Let’s examine the vision Peter had:
And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
Wherein were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
The first point we should notice is that Peter’s concerned in regards to eating unclean meats proves that Jesus did not abolish the animal laws as some would say. Peter, who was by birth a Jew, was among the group of disciples they later called “Christians” – Acts 11:26. Peter the Christian did not believe these health laws were abolished at the cross.
And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
After this took place “thrice,” which means “three times,” the vessel was taken back to where it came from, and Peter did not eat the unclean animals. Why do you suppose the vision occured three times? Take note that as soon as the vision ended, “three” men came to see Peter (verse 19). These three men then took Peter to a centurion man named Cornelius (verse 22-23) who was not of the Jewish nation, but was rather an Italian man (verse 1). When Peter arrives at Cornelius’s home, he finds many people there (verse 27). Apparently these people were not Jews, because Peter then says in verse 28 that it is not customary for Jews to gather together with people of other nations. The three men sent by Cornelius to Peter must have therefore also been non-Jews. Read closely Peters words:
“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 shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” -Act 10:28.
It was when Peter saw this company of non-Jews that he finally understood the vision he had previously seen. The animals he saw in the visions were “unclean” animals, yet Peter gives us the clear understanding that God was talking to him about “man” as verse 28 says, that it, people outside the camp of Israel. Peter then concludes:
Peter further declares:
“In every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” -Act 10:35.
After Peter’s powerful sermon, the Holy Spirit, which fell upon the Jewish disciples at first (Acts 2:4) now falls upon the Gentiles:
“And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.” -Act 10:45.
Clearly, the whole point of the vision Peter had, was not on eating meat or unclean meat, but rather about taking the gospel news to “all the world” and to “every creature” –Mark 16:15, even to non-Jews.
Conclusion: This chapter teaches that the gospel Peter was preaching to what he thought were common people, the Jews, must now be preached among the Gentiles, who were un-common or unclean to Jews. There is no indication that God was trying to teach Peter that he was now allowed to eat anything he’d like. By simply reading further on into the chapter, one can see that this is not the case at all. Peter, the Christian, still believed in the health laws even after the ascension of Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:24-33: Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.
Let us consider one thing Paul mentioned before we dissect this verse. Notice please verse 6 in this same chapter:
(6) Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
If you keep reading down, Paul gives a list of some evil things the Israelites performed after the Exodus. What was one of the “evil things” they “lusted” for? Turn with us to the Psalms:
And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust… He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea… They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths, The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.
One of the evil “lusts” Paul was speaking of in 1 Corinthians 19 included this incident when they lusted after meat eating. Now with this in mind, would Paul right after contradict himself and teach with verses 24-33 that we are allowed to eat any meat we’d like (remember, the meat they ate was a clean meat, see above)? Let’s examine those verses:
Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth. (25) Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: (26) For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.
Compared to verse 29, the word “wealth” above should be replaced with “conscience” for in context that is Paul’s concern. Now the word “shambles” in the greek means a “market” place. Thayer’s greek definition says that this is a place where “meat and other articles of food are sold.” This means that Paul is speaking of what we would call today a super market, where more then meat is sold therein. It should therefore be understood that when Paul says that whatever is set before us to eat at a neighbor’s home should be eaten except for that which violates the laws of God and hurts our bodies, including foods sacrificed unto idols. This point further stand when we consider what the rest of the bible says on this subject as well, a rule by which Paul himself lived by. Remember again the four Hebrews boys in Daniel 1. Just as Paul spoke about, certain articles of foods were placed in front of these boys to eat, including all types of meats and alcohol. Would Paul have argued that they should have eating the king’s meat? They did not, but rather ate the food God designed our bodies to consume. Remember what happened ten days later?
Conclusion: Paul’s concern is with the “conscience” of the individual. Our stance on God’s principles will further show other’s how dedicated we are to obeying our God and how healthy we live. With such an example, the honest individual will want to experience such a lifestyle which can in turn into a new found faith in Jesus Christ. When Daniel took a stand for God against meat eating, God made him a “favour” to the king (Daniel 1:9). When we stand for the truth, and follow God’s original plan for our bodies, our examples, as Daniel’s and Paul’s, will show to others that there is a better way to living life, a way which will in turn bless them spiritually as well.