Updated: Sep 3, 2022
VICTORY OVER APPETITE
Failing in little things can have huge consequences. Eve took a little fruit, Judas gave a little kiss. Daniel chapter one shows that victory over appetite has massive consequences both immediately and later...
Jesus said "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much." Luke 16:10
This chapter is arguably the most important chapter in Daniel and the Bible because it sets the stage for victory over sin - through the control of appetite and the promise of God that I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me - Philippians 4:13.
Adam failed on the point of appetite and lost Eden. Christ gained the victory over appetite in the wilderness of temptation (Matthew 4) and restores Eden.
DANIEL CHAPTER 1
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring [certain] of the children of Israel, and of the kingʼs seed, and of the princes;
Children in whom [was] no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as [had] ability in them to stand in the kingʼs palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
And the king appointed them a daily provision of the kingʼs meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel [the name] of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the kingʼs meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which [are] of your sort? then shall ye make [me] endanger my head to the king.
Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the kingʼs meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
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 kingʼs meat.
Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.
As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
And in all matters of wisdom [and] understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians [and] astrologers that [were] in all his realm.
And Daniel continued [even] unto the first year of king Cyrus.
Danielʼs book BEGINS in a period when Babylon, the kingdom of the north had just defeated Egypt, the kingdom of the south and Godʼs people had come under Babylonian dominion - see "the King of the North" in Daniel Chapter 2. Eventually the Persian king, Cyrus came from the east with other kings, dried up the Euphrates, Babylonʼs river, overthrows Babylon and liberated Godʼs people.
Danielʼs book ENDS in a period when the end-time King of the North has just defeated the end-time King of the South and Godʼs people come under the dominion of the king of the north. Eventually King Jesus returns from the East (Matt 24:27) with other kings, dries up Babylonʼs support, overthrows end-time Babylon and liberates His people. (See Daniel 11:40-12:1-2).
The Empire Of Babylon
Chapter 1 begins with the story of how Daniel came to be in the great city of Babylon. Because Godʼs people were breaking His commandments the Lord permitted Babylon to conquer them. God passed sentence on the last king of Judah, “Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown...I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come [Christ] whose right it is; and I will give it him.” Eze 21:26-27. The book of Daniel traces how the dominions were “overturned” successively from Babylon to Persia, then to Greece, then to Rome. Each nation would demonstrate its principles and each would prove itself unworthy of dominion. Finally the judgment comes and Christ alone is seen to be worthy to rule, then He “whose right it is” takes the throne.
Throughout all, God is seen behind the scenes guarding the destiny of His people and working out His own will, that sin and rebellion will never rise again.
Jeremiah the prophet foretold that Godʼs people would serve the king of Babylon 70 years (2 Kings 20:17-18; Jer 25:3,9-11]). In three raids, the last being in 586BC, Jerusalem and its sanctuary were destroyed.
Verse 1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
Because of sin God allowed Babylon to punish Israel. Jeremiah foretold that Israel would be in captivity to Babylon for 70 years.
Jer 25:1 says that Nebuchadnezzar attacked “in the fourth year of Jehoiakim,” whereas Dan 1:1 says that the attack was “in the third year.”
Archaeology has shown that both the Jews and Babylonians of that time reckoned the reignal years of kings by the “accession year method.” In this method the year the king came to the throne was not counted as his official “first” year. The “first” year began at the next New Years Day. We know from Josephus (citing Berosus) and a Babylonian chronicle, that Nebuchadnez- zar was on a military campaign in Palestine against Egypt when his Father died and he succeeded to the throne. Hence Daniel and Jeremiah are in perfect agreement. Jeremiah synchronized Nebuchadnezzarʼs 1st reignal year with Jehoiakins 4th year, whereas Daniel was taken captive in Nebuchadnezzarʼs accession year, which he identifies with Jehoiakimsʼs 3rd year.
The first of Babylonʼs three attacks on Jerusalem was in 606-605BC. See a narrative by the historian Berosus whose lost work is quoted in Josephus, Against Apion, (1.19) and D.J. Wiseman, ed. Chronicles of Chaldean Kings, 1956.
Nebuchadnezzar means, “May Nabu (a babylonian god) protect the son.
Nebuchadnezzar reigned from 605-562BC. and is mentioned on thousands of bricks and in many cuniform tablets (baked clay tablets.
Verse 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
Many years earlier Babylon had sent men to Jerusalem with a get well present and to enquire about the sun having gone back 10 degrees as a sign that king Hezekiah would be healed.
“But pride and vanity took possession of Hezekiahʼs heart, and in his self-exaltation he laid open to covetous eyes the treasures with which God had enriched His people. Not to glorify God did he do this, but to exalt himself in the eyes of the foreign princes. He did not stop to think that these men had not the fear or the love of God in their hearts, and that therefore they were not safe confidants. His indiscretion prepared the way for national disaster. The ambassadors carried to Babylon the report of Hezekiahʼs riches, and the king and his counsellors planned to enrich Babylon with the treasures of Jerusalem.” The Signs of the Times, 09-01-02
As a punishment Isaiah prophesied that the treasures would be taken to Babylon and royal children as well (See 2Kings 20, esp. v 17-18). Dan 1:1-2 mentions the first raid which began the fulfillment of the prophecy.
The Land of Shinar is simply a term for Babylonia.
His God - The chief God of the Babylonians was Marduk.
He was popularly called Bel - “lord.” His main temple was called Esagila, in the court stood the great tower, Etemenanki, which was the heart of Babylonian worship.
Treasure house - Possibly Esaglia. Archaeiologists unearthed a secular treasure house associated with the palace. It was a kind of museum and it is not impossible that many treasures from Jerusalem were displayed there.
Daniel 1 mentions two peoples, two kings, two temples and two gods.
Verse 3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring [certain] of the children of Israel, and of the kingʼs seed, and of the princes.
Ashpenaz - The meaning unclear but has been thought to be of Persian origin. Many foreigners won rank and honour in the service of the Chaldeans. Many court officers were literal Eunuchs. Assyrian pictorial representations of court life show that the king was surronded by advisors without facial hair. An Eunuch is a castrated male. As Daniel was under the command of the master of the eunuchs it appears that Daniel was castrated. (cf. 2 kings 20:18; 2 Kings 24:17). The fact that Daniel never mentions a wife also suggests this.
In the first raid of 606BC Princes of royal blood were selected from among the Jews and were taken to Babylon to be trained for governmental service. Among these was Daniel.
The word “children” can refer to youths. See Strongʼs Concordance.
Verse 4 Children in whom [was] no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as [had] ability in them to stand in the kingʼs palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
Those who were to serve in the kings court were to be without physical imperfection. They would represent Babylonʼs finest to any who visited. God also required unblemished individuals for service in his temple (Lev 21:18)
They were also individuals of rare intellectual skill. Daniel apparently consented to learn though some would no doubt be error. This shows that it is not a violation of Biblical principle to learn error if required to do so. Such knowlege enabled him to witness to Babylonians more effectivelly
The “language” Daniel learned would have included:
Akkadian, the national language of Babylon.
Summerian, the langauge of traditional religion.
Aramaic , the language of international commerce and diplomacy.
Verse 5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the kingʼs meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
“...the king considered that he was not only bestowing great honour upon them, but securing for them the best physical and mental development that could be obtained.”E.G. White, Counsels on Diet and Foods, p29-30.
“In the food provided for the kingʼs table, were swineʼs flesh and other foods which were proclaimed unclean by the law given to Moses” E.G. White, Youth Istructor, 10, 29, 1907.
The three years were inclusive reckoning, i.e. parts of three years.
Verse 6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
The meanings of their names are unclear but the following have been suggested:
Daniel - "God is my judge"
Hananiah - "Yaweh is gracious"
Mishael - "who belongs to God"
Azariah - "Yaweh helps"
The names collectively describe their experience.
Verse 7 Unto whom the prince of the eu- nuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel [the name] of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
“By giving them names significant of idolatry, by bringing them daily into close association with idolatrous customs, and under the influence of the seductive rites of heathen worship, he hoped to induce them to renounce the religion of their nation and to unite with the worship of the Babylonians.” E.G. White, Prophets and Kings, p481.
The meanings of the Babylonian names they received are uncertain but contain the names of Babylonian Gods.
Daniel - Belteshazzar In Babylonian - “Bel lit shar usar.” “Bel, a Babylonian deity (cf. Dan 4:8) protect the hostage of the king.” That Daniel should be given such a name may be testimony to friendship Daniel had formed with the chief of the eunuchs (see v 9).
Shadrach Corresponds to the Assyrian saduraku and Babylonian Saduraku, meaning “I am put in much fear.” Information on the names from, Symposium on Daniel, Review & Herald publishing, p126.
Mishael - Meshach Corresponds to the Akkadian name Me- saku, meaning “I am of little account.”
Azariah - Abednego Corresponds to the Akkadian, Abad Nabu, meaning “servant of the shining one.”
Verse 8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the kingʼs meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
“When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what [is] before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou [be] a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they [are] deceitful meat..” Prov 23:1-3.
“After careful consideration from cause to effect, Daniel ʻpurposed in his heart that he would not defile himself...ʼ” E.G. White, Manuscript Release Vol.12, p122.
“...-that temperance alone is the foundation of all the graces that come from God, the foundation of all victories to be gained.” Temperance 201
True temperance teaches us to abstain entirely from that which is injurious, and to use judiciously only such articles of food as are healthful and nutritious. SOT04.20.82
Babylon desired to:
Change their education
Change their names
Change their diets.
Daniel had not to having to learn from Babylonians or to having been given a new name, but He was unwilling to dishonour God by consuming unclean animals, alcohol and things offered to idols.
Verse 9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. “The good behavior of these youth obtained for them favor.” E.G. White, Manuscript Release Vol. 12, p123.
Daniel had previously broken down predjudice. Without having done so his request would probably have been rejected.
Verse 10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which [are] of your sort? then shall ye make [me] endanger my head to the king.
It is commonly thought that a vegetarian diet will produce weakness but Godʼs Word reveals the opposite. See on verse 15.
Verse 11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
Melzar means ʻsteward.ʼ Note: Daniel did not jump the chain of command but respected peoples position and spoke to the Melzar.
Verse 12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. Zeroa - Things sown, plants, cereals, veg- etables, fruits & nuts] to eat...” Not only did Daniel and his friends refuse unclean foods they also refused clean meat! They chose a plant based diet like the diet God gave mankind in the beginning (Gen 1:29) and God blessed them.
Whatever Daniel & his friends requested in place of the kings food they were sure to offend. Had they wanted to they could have requested the flesh of clean animals that had not been offered to idols and which had been prepared in a Kosher manner. Their request for a vegetarian diet suggests that they knew it would afford them maximum physical benefit and that they may have been used to such a diet in the past.
“They decided that as flesh-meat had not composed their diet in the past, it should not come into their diet in the future, and as wine had been prohibited to all who should engage in the service of God, they determined that they would not partake of it.” SDABC, Vol. 4, p1166-1167.
Verse 13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the kingʼs meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
Daniel expected that a physical change would be apparent.
Verses14 & 15. So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 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 kingʼs meat. It is commonly thought that a vegetarian diet will produce weakness but Godʼs Word reveals the opposite. Within 10 days Daniel and his friends “appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the kingʼs meat.” (Dan 1:15). This is not surprising as God designed man to function on a vegetarian diet (Gen 1:29). Those who follow Godʼs dietary laws gain PHYSICAL benefits. The issue of clean and unclean foods is not merely ceremonial.
See Appendix on Diet and Vegetarianism.
Verses 16 & 17 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse. As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
Spiritual and mental development are here associated with God dietary practices. God blessed them with health, knowledge and wisdom which led to them being exalted over all others.
“Blessed [art] thou, O land, when thy king [is] the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!” Ecc 10:17.
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1Cor 10:31. True Christians consume only those things which will maintain their health in order to glorify God.
Verse 18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
Verse 19 And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
Verse 20 And in all matters of wisdom [and] understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians [and] astrologers that [were] in all his realm.
Verse 21 And Daniel continued [even] unto the first year of king Cyrus.
Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, recognized Danielʼs outstanding gifts and exalted him to the position of statesman in the worldʼs most powerful empire. God honoured Danielʼs faithfulness by making him a prophet in a foreign land. Daniel continued till, and beyond the first year of Cyrus, the Persian who overthrew Babylon.
“Daniel was but eighteen years old when brought into a heathen court in service to the king of Babylon...” E.G. White, Testimonies Vol 4, p570.
The dream of Nebuchadnezzar occurred “In the same year that Daniel and his companions entered the service of the king of Babylon...” E.GWhite, The Sanctified Life, p34.
Therefore Daniel began his three years training before he was 18. This means that Daniel was born after the discovery of the book of the law and the reforms under Josiah.
Daniel thus lived when the book of the law was rediscovered and was being proclaimed. He lived at the time of Huldah the prophetess, and he was vegetarian.
WHAT CAN WE LEARN?
Victory over appetite, (“eat for strength.” Ecc 10:17) leads to victory in other areas. See 1Cor 9:25. Mankind fell over appetite, and Christ, at the beginning of His ministry, overcame appetite in the wilderness.
Daniel represents the end-time faithful. See Vegetarian Christians.
The experiences of Joseph & Daniel are very similar:
Both captives in foreign lands.
Both passed an inital test. cf Gen 39:7
Both had name changes. cf. Gen 41:45
Both were revealers of dreams. cf Gen 40:8
Both given oppourtunties after magicians had failed (Gen 41:8, 24).
Both rose to become prime ministers. Danielʼs use of terms that are only found in Genesis, in the story of Joseph, indicates that Daniel was aware of the similarity of his experience to that of Joseph , e.g. In Daniel 1:20 the word Daniel uses for “magicians” is not a Babylonian word, and the word is only found in Genesis 41:8
“The history of Joseph and Daniel is an illustration of what He will do for those who yield themselves to Him and with the whole heart seek to accomplish His purpose.” E.G. White, Education, p57.
The vegetarian diet has a beneficial effect upon mental ability and even morality:
“Arachidonic acid...interferes with the manufacture and storage of acetylcholine ... a decrease in brain acetylcholine is associated with impaired mental function- ing1... arachidonic acid is found almost exclusivelly in ANIMAL PRODUCTS.” Dr Neil Nedley MD, Proof Positive, p276. 1. Moriyama T, Uezu K, et al. Effect of dietary phosphatidylcholine on memory in memory deficient mice with low brain acetycholine concentrations. Life Sci 1995;58(6):PL111-118.
“Russian scientists have found that a single meat meal can increase a particular stress hormone called 17hydroxycorticosteroid (17-HCS)...such large stress-provoking molecules are able to stimulate the lower portions of the brain...such as the pituitary gland where many hormones are produced...Lower brain areas are where our more animalistic and less rational faculties reside... 17-HSC may unbalance rational thinking in favour of more impulsive behaviours.” Dr Neil Nedley MD, Proof Positive, p276.
“A meat diet changes the disposition and strengthens animalism. We are composed of what we eat, and eating much flesh will diminish intellectual activity. Students would accomplish much more in their studies if they never tasted meat. When the animal part of the human agent is strengthened by meat eating, the intellectual powers diminish proportionately. A religious life can be more successfully gained and maintained if meat is discarded, for this diet stimulates into intense activity lustful propensities, and enfeebles the moral and spiritual nature. ʻThe flesh warreth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.ʼ” E.G. White, Counsels on Diet and Foods, p389.
“Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect, that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.” E.G. White, Counsels on Diet and Foods, p363.
DIET & HEALTH IN SCRIPTURE
A BIBLE STUDY ON DIET & HEALTH
Are Health Principles part of Bible religion? 3John 2 “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
Why did God give health rules?
Exo 23:25 “And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.”
Do Godʼs Health rules have anything to do with eating and drinking? 1Cor 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
Isa 55:2 “...eat ye [that which is] good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.”
What perfect diet did God give people to eat when He created them? Gen 1:29 “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and ev- ery tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” Gen 2:16 “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat”
After sin man lost access to the tree of life and God gave them vegetables, “the herb of the field.” (Gen 3:18). After the Flood God allowed clean meat, saying that He had allowed it “even as the green herb,” (i.e. an addition God had given because of sin but which God never intended. Gen 9:3). The permission to eat clean meat given in Gen 9:3 shows that God had not previously allowed flesh foods. Flesh was a new addition even as He had previously added the green herb.
The distinction between clean and unclean animals was given to Noah, from whom all races come. It did not originate with the Jews or the Mosaic law. See Gen 7:1-2.
Because God loves us and knows how our bodies work, what items did He call unclean and forbid us to eat?
Lev 11:4 “Nevertheless these shall ye not eat...the camel...the coney...the hare...theswine...Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that [shall be] an abomination unto you.”
Could eating Pork, when one knows what God commands, jeopardize oneʼs salvation? Isa 66:15-17 “For, behold, the LORD will come with fire...They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one [tree] in the midst, eating swineʼs flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.
Didnʼt the distinction between clean and unclean end at the cross? Rev 18:2 “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.”
Acts 10:14 “But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.”
Note: These passages were written long after Calvary and the distinction between clean and unclean still exists. Isa 66:15-17 above shows the distinction will exist till the Second Coming.
Does the Bible forbid Alcohol?
The word “wine” in the English Bible is usually translated from the Hebrew “Tirosh” and “Yayin” and the Greek “Oinos” and can refer to fermented or non-fermented grape juice.
Those texts speaking favourably of wine or using it to symbolize good things refer to UNfermented grape juice. Those texts condemning wine or using it to symbolize evil refer to fermented intoxicating wine.
Prov 20:1 “Wine [is] a mocker, strong drink [is] raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”
Prov 23:31-31 “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, [when] it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.”
Rev 17:2 “With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
Does the Bible condemn Tobacco?
1Cor 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are.”
What else should Christians avoid?
Caffeine is the worldʼs most widely used addictive mind altering drug. Caffeine increases the risk of developing many cancers. Increases the risk of miscarriages. Increases blood pressure and the risk of heart attack. Increases calcium loss leading to osteoporosis. Increase the risk of a miscarriage. One cup of tea or coffee reduces iron absorption by 39-72%. Am. J of Clinical Nutr 37:416-420, 1983.
We should not harm our body temples (1Cor 6:19) by using Caffeine products.
What solemn reminder is given to those who ignore Godʼs Health Rules? Gal 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
What fearful and shocking truth about health involves our children? Deut 12:25 “ Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do [that which is] right in the sight of the LORD.”
Exo 20:5 “...visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me.”
What more fearful, sobering fact does the Word of God reveal? Rev 21:27 “And thereshall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lambʼs book of life.”
Eze 11:21 “But [as for them] whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord GOD.”
What should every sincere Christian do at once? 2Cor 7:1 “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 1John 3:3 “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Can I really give up these bad health habits I have? John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:”
Php 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
What thrilling promises are given about Godʼs new Kingdom? Isa 33:24 “And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein [shall be] forgiven [their] iniquity.”
Rev 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Since Health is truly a part of Christian living, are you willing to follow Godʼs Health principles?
MISUNDERSTOOD BIBLE TEXTS
MISUNDERSTOOD TEXTS EXPLAINED
Is the distinction between clean and unclean foods part of the JEWISH ceremonial rituals which Christ abolished at the cross?
The distinction between clean and unclean animals was in place long before the Jews and the ceremonial law even existed (See Gen 7:2; 8:20). Jesusʼ death did away with the Jewish sacrifices and ceremonial laws but it not change unclean animals into clean animals. Isaiah tells us that those who eat unclean food, when they know God forbids it, will be destroyed at the 2nd Coming. (Isa 66:15-17).
JESUS ATE MEAT so isnʼt it OK?
Jesus lived while the ceremonial law existed so He was required to eat meat as part of certain Jewish ceremonial ordinances - Passover etc. Today we donʼt need to eat meat. Jesus never ate unclean foods, or meat containing fat and blood, (Lev 3:17). Neither did He eat flesh contaminated with heavy metals due to sewerage and pollution, or flesh containing, growth hormones, antibiotics, or drugs given to combat the ever increasing animal diseases of our time. Today clean, safe, properly bled meat, such as Jesus ate, is becoming harder to find.
The Bible does not forbid the eating of clean meat but we should seek the best diet available in our circumstances (1Cor 10:31).
Meat eating is only a temporary measure. In the BEGINNING there was no death, no meat eating (Gen 1:29). In the END there will be no more death, no more meat eating (Isa 65:25). Meat eating occured in the PAST it will not occur in the FUTURE. What we need to know is what would Jesus eat if He were here in the PRESENT? How can we know? The answer is by studying the Bible and the testimony
of Jesus. The diet that God gave to those who typify the end-time faithful shows that Godʼs people in these end-times ought to adopt a vegetarian diet where possible. (See study - Vegetarian Christians).
Didnʼt Jesus cleanse all animals? Didnʼt He command Peter in a vision to SLAY AND EAT common & UNCLEAN ANIMALS. (Acts 10:10-17)?
God was not here commanding Christians to eat unclean animals. The unclean animals in the vision symbolized the Gentiles. The Jews had thought that the Gentiles were unclean and that association with them would make a Jew “common” (i.e. unclean through contact). Peter knew that the vision was symbolic, but at first he was unsure what it meant (See Acts 10:17). Later he realized that through this symbolic vision God was showing him not to “call any MAN common or unclean.” Notice Acts 10:17 and Acts 10:28. See also Acts 11:18.
Can we eat anything, because Jesus said “NOT THAT WHICH GOETH INTO THE MOUTH DEFILETH A MAN...”? Matthew 15:11; Mark 7:15
As Jesus was always in harmony with “It is written,” (Matt 4:4) He cannot here have been contradicting the law and the testimony of Scripture which prohibits the eating of unclean foods (Isa 8:20; Lev 11)? The context shows that Jesus was an- swering the Pharisees who had said His diciples were “defiled” because they had broken a “tradition” OF MEN (v 2) and eaten with unwashed hands. The issue did not involve unclean foods. Jesus explained how disobedience defiles, not breaking the traditions of men and eating with unwashed hands. In vs 19-20 Jesus said “...out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: THESE acts of disobedience are the things which DEFILE a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” Those who eat unclean food, when they know that God has forbidden it, defile themselves, not by the unclean food itself, but by breaking Godʼs command not to eat it.
Is it a sign of weakness to be a vegetarian? Canʼt Christians eat anything, “For one believeth that he may eat ALL THINGS: another, who is WEAK, eateth HERBS...Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind....” Romans 14:1-2, 5, 17.
This passage leads to questions such as:
Can Christians eat anything? Did Jesus do away with the dietary rules He lovingly gave Israel? Is it a sign of weakness to eat the diet God gave man in the beginning - the vegetarian diet (Gen 1:29)? One fact clarifies everything: Rom 14 wasnʼt about vegetarianism vs meat eating, but about foods offered to idols or not. In those days meat was often sacrificed by pagan traders to idols. Acts 14:13 shows that the meat the pagan sacrificed was “clean” by Godʼs standards (oxen are clean). However some called “WEAK” believed that meat offered to idols became unclean and were so fearful of eating meats sacrificed to idols that they only ate vegetables (See verses 1-2). Those believers who were strong in the faith and realized that an idol is “nothing in the world” (1Cor 8:4) and that idols could not change the meat, ate without concern. However, Paul added: “But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.” (verse 15). The strong and considerate believer would not offend a weak brother by eating meat which had been sacrificed to idols in the presence of a “weak” brother. Verse 17 shows that our entrance into the kingdom of God does not require us to eat meats which might offend those weak in the faith.
Today Christians who adopt the vegetarian diet God designed for man (Gen 1:29; 3:18) do not do so because they are weak in the faith or because they are concerned that meat has been offered to idols. Rather it is because they wish to maintain their health and avoid the ever increasing disease in animals.
“There is NOTHING UNCLEAN of itself: but to him that esteemeth anything unclean, to him it is unclean.” Romans 14:14
Some were offended because others were still keeping Jewish holy days (verses 5-6). Others were offended that some were eaing meats that had been offered in sacrifice to idols. Some called “WEAK” were so fearful of eating meats sacrificed to idols that they only ate vegetables (See verses 1-2).
Paul elaborated on the “weak” brethren in 1Cor 8:8-12 where he counseled against becom- ing a stumbling block to them.
“And through thy knowledge shall the WEAK BROTHER brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their WEAK con- science, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if MEAT make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.” 1Cor 8:11-12. Compare this language with Rom 14:13- 15, “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in [his] brotherʼs way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that [there is] nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him [it is] unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with [thy] MEAT...Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.” The food offered was not unclean food (Acts 14:13) but was only esteemed soby the weak brethren. As an idol is “nothing in the world“ (1Cor 8:4) neither did it actually change the food. The only things truly unclean are those things God has declared unclean. (See Lev 11). However, if someone thinks (esteems) something unclean then to them it is unclean and God expects them to avoid it rather than go against their conscience.
Arenʼt all foods clean now? “Unto the pure ALL THINGS ARE PURE...” Titus 1:15 The verse is discussing people, not food. To the pure, “all things,” i.e. their mind and conscience, etc. are pure. The last part of the verse says, “...but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” Compare Heb 10:22.
“Let no man therefore judge you in MEAT, or in DRINK...Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Colossians 2:16 The context shows that this refers to ceremonial “ordinances” (v 14) - Meat offerings, drink offerings,
ceremonial sabbaths and holy days. (See Num 29:39; Lev 23). These were “shadows” pointing forward to Christʼs life, death, and ministry, and were blotted out at Calvary. We should not therefore be concerned if anyone condemns us for no longer observing these things. This passage does not refer to the distinction between clean & unclean which existed long before the Jewish ceremonial law (Gen 7:2).
The Jerusalem council did not command Gentiles to abstain from unclean foods. Does this mean we can eat them? Acts 15:28-29
Just because unclean foods were not mentioned by the council it does not follow that the Gentiles were permitted to eat them. Blasphemy & lying were not mentioned by the council but these things, like unclean foods, are forbidden elsewhere. Unless clearly abolished, everything God required in the Old Testament continues in the New.
“ALL THINGS ARE LAWFUL for me, but not all things are expedient.” 1Corinthians 10:23 Does this mean that eating unclean foods is now lawful?
“ALL things” here refers to all of a certain class of foods, because blood and things strangled, for example, were clearly forbidden (Acts 15:28-29). The context shows that “all” here refers to all foods God has sanctioned, whether offered to idols or not. However, because this might upset some weak in the faith who did not believe it was lawful to eat things offered to idols, the text continues, “but not all things are expedient [helpful].” Paul is certainly not saying that a Christian can lawfully eat ANYTHING regardless of its effect upon their health! He already made it clear in Rom 12:1 that the preservation of health is a Christian duty.
Can we eat anything? 1 Corinthians 10:25 says, “Whatsoever is sold in the shambles [market place], that eat, asking no question for conscience sake.”?
This is not permitting the eating of ANYTHING, because blood and things strangled, for example, were clearly forbidden (Acts 15:28-29). The context shows that it refers to foods offered to idols (verse 20). Christians were not to ask if the food at the market had been offered to idols, as an idol is nothing (1Cor 8:4) and even if it had been offered to an idol it made no difference to the food. All things which defile must be avoided (1Cor 3:16; Dan 1:8).
Can we eat anything because 1 Corinthians 10:27 says, “If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; WHATSOEVER is set before you, EAT asking no question for conscience sake.”?
Must Christians eat whatsoever is set before them!? Of course not! For example blood and things strangled are clearly forbidden (Acts 15:28-29). The context and the next verse (v 28) shows that Paul here refers to things sacrificed to idols. If invited to an unbelieverʼs feast, believers were not to ask if the meal had been offered to idols, as an idol could make no difference to the meal. If, however, one suspected that the meal contained things God forbids, then one should ask, and avoid that which God has forbidden.
Arenʼt all things good for food now? “...in the latter times some shall depart from the faith... Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to ABSTAIN FROM MEATS [Gr. bromata - FOODS], WHICH GOD HATH CREATED TO BE RECEIVED with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature [Gr. ktisma - CREATED THING; animal, vegetable or mineral] 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.” 1 Timothy 4:1-4.
The foods discussed here are limited to those which God “created to be received,” and have been “sanctified by the word of God and prayer,” i.e. God sanctified plants for manʼs food (Gen 1:29) and later the God sanctified clean meats. (Lev 11). Every created things, plant, animal and mineral, is “good” for its purpose, and of those things sanctified as foods, nothing
is to be refused on account of some man made command. The passage cannot be made to say that ALL created things are good for food as that would obviously be false! Those who teach that the vegetarian diet is recommended today are not commanding anyone to abstain from foods God has sanctified.
Some see the Roman Catholic Churchʼs stand which forbids priests to marry, and the churchʼs stand forbidding certain foods on certain days, as a fulfilment of this passage.
Are Health Laws and eating and drinking really important to me personally? If I love the Lord isnʼt that enough?
OBEDIENCE is a life and death matter. Eve disobeyed God and ate what He had forbidden. Christ became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them THAT OBEY HIM.” Heb 5:9. “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matt 7:21. Love to Christ is involved, and He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15. When we truly love God we will gladly obey without making excuses.