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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fractured Word: Part II

Food and the restriction of it was the very first issue between man and Yah. Yah said not to, and man decided otherwise. Satan planted the seed that forbidding oneself from what was pleasurable was not truly what Adonai meant when he put man in the garden. Satan does the same thing today with the Word- planting doubt in the minds of men. Here are the examples….

In Mark 7, Yeshua has a confrontation with the Pharisees about the disciples eating without washing their hands. In their tradition, this meant they were unclean and thereby defiled the food they touched, making it unclean. Yeshua defends his apostles by saying the Pharisees are holding them to traditions, not law. He is not condemning the practice of washing the hands, but rather the enforcement of those traditions on the same level as the law created by the King of Heaven- in other words, pretending that man’s wisdom can be of equal weight to the Father’s. Now read verse 19.

Does your Bible say that by answering this, Yeshua declared all foods clean? If it does, you have a corrupted Bible. This verse was not in the original texts. By ‘contemporizing’ the Word, the devil has been able to slip in what he likes and eliminate what he wishes. If you have never studied it, do a search on the differences between the Alexandrian and the Antiochan texts. You will likely find many different opinions, but keep in mind 3 things as you read: 1.) Yah promised to preserve his word for us forever, so there has to be a right and a wrong set of scrolls if they differ so much, 2.) According to Romans 3, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of Yah (and where is Alexandria vs. where is Antioch?), and 3.) nowhere in scripture is Egypt spoken of in a good way, so why would the very Word be sent to Egypt? This slight of hand by the devil is the basis for most believers putting things in their mouths that the Father calls an ABOMINATION! He doesn’t say they aren’t really good for you, or that they have to be handled carefully to make them clean, HE SAID NO!!!!!! And once again, man has determined (based on the counsel of the devil) that Yah did not really mean that.

It is important to remember this key verse in Mark 7, because it will be reference point as we go through the other verses that are central to the question of whether we are still to separate clean and unclean foods. The next of which will be Acts 10 where Peter has a vision. In this vision he sees a sheet being lowered from heaven and hears the voice tell him to kill and eat. But what was on that sheet was a mix of animals that Peter called unclean or common. The voice says not to call what the Lord has made clean common. Many argue that it would seem pretty clear that the Father was sanctifying all meats here. But even after awakening from the vision, Peter did not understand it. He did not awake and understand that all foods were now sanctified. He did not understand the meaning of the dream until he went to the home of Cornelius, and the meaning that came to him was not that all foods were now declared clean. The meaning was that Yeshua had died to sanctify the Gentiles, too, and that the Jews were not to treat them as inferior. Yeshua did not die for animals, so how could his death sanctify meat? Yet that’s not the only lynch pin in this passage.

In verse 14, Peter declared that he had never eaten anything common or unclean. Peter was still observing the law! Surely if Yeshua had declared all meats clean back in Mark 7, this apostle who was himself the one chosen to preach to the Jews (Galatians 2:7) would have know about it. He was a constant companion of the Lord himself! So along with Paul we now have Peter keeping the law long after the resurrection.

Acts 15 is also commonly quoted as evidence that believers were not required to keep the law. When the Jews tried to force the issue of circumcision of new believers, the council in Jerusalem met to decide how to handle it. They wrote a letter to the new believers that said they would lay no heavier burden on them than to abstain from fornication, from blood, from strangled meats, and from meats offered to idols. But there are some major questions to ask if the interpretation of this verse says what it appears to at first glance. The first would be why the Jerusalem counsel had the authority to supersede the instructions to eh Messiah himself! If Yeshua declared all foods clean in Mark 7, why were these apostles creating new restriction on the believers? If all foods were now declared clean, that would include blood, foods offered to idols, and anything strangled, right?

It is also odd that we teach new believers not to steal, lie, murder, and a host of other things when this letter clearly says all they had to do was abstain form these 4 things. We must be missing something in this interpretation of the passage. We need to go back and examine the whole letter. If we read past the part where it lists the 4 things to abstain from, there is a verse that says “For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.” In other words, they would learn the rest as they went. Most of the new converts were coming out of pagan religions where ‘worship service’ consisted of strangling an animal, offering the meat to an idol, drinking the blood, and the fornicating with the temple prostitutes. This was their jumping off point, not the whole of their instruction.

How about these verses from Colossians 2:
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” (16-17)
“Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not); Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?” (20-22)

The first one seems to say that we ought not let anybody judge us for anything that we do, whether it be what we eat or what holidays we celebrate, but to understand it in context, we need to keep reading. The verses following that say that we are no longer subject to ordinances, but it says specifically those rudiments based on the COMMANDMENTS AND DOCTRINES OF MEN. Men did not make the law, Yah did. We are not following the laws of men when we observe the Torah. It also says that observing the Sabbath and new moon festivals ARE a shadow of things to come, not were a shadow of things that did come. They were still future events when this letter was written. If the law were done away with when Yeshua supposedly declared all foods clean in Mark, he would have written to them that those laws were a shadow of things that had already been fulfilled and no longer binding.

1 Timothy chapter 4 talks about food and the role it will play in the End Times. Paul warns here that false doctrines will circulate which will mislead people about their right to eat meat. The word used in the Greek is brōma, which means solid food and not specifically meats. When I read this verse, I think of all the different diet gurus who have rules which prevent people from eating eggs, milk, bread, and a host of other foods that they declare to be unfit for human consumption even thought the Word says otherwise. There are many such false doctrines running rampant through churches everywhere, and even prophets for profit who sell their own eating plans and supplements rather than the gospel.

Going further in, we find the exhortation expanded to say that “every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” (4-5)

We have two contextual clues to examine here. The first is where it says every creature of God. This could mean every creature God made, but what does it mean that the food is sanctified by the Word? Do we have to rub the Bible over our meats to sanctify them? Remember that this verse was written long after the resurrection, and is part of a set of letters in which the reader is told that ALL the scriptures are profitable for doctrine (and there was no New Testament at the time). The food is sanctified by the Word when it is in line with what the Word calls food. If we throw out the law and just use the New Testament to decide what to eat, this verse makes no sense. Nowhere in the epistles are we given instructions for sanctifying our food by scripture and prayer. The creatures of God listed in Leviticus and Deuteronomy are those acceptable for sacrifice- the clean animals.

Finally, I want to go back to the Old Testament for a look at what Yah says about those who follow his ways. Contrary to false teachings, the whole of OT prophecy has not been fulfilled. We have yet to see the war of Ezekiel 38 or the Antichrist of Daniel’s vision. Isaiah also has prophecies in the back that have yet to be fulfilled. One of them, found in chapter 65, talks of the day in the future when He will judge the world and what He says about those whom he will accept and those he will not. In verse 4 we read that there will be those who do what is right in their own eyes, including eating the flesh of things the Father specifically called unclean, and yet these rebellious people would call themselves holy, and to Him they are a stench.

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