To answer that question let’s take a look at what God had to say in The Old Testament out specific foods that were not to be eaten and also foods that were permissible, but first let’s talk about the beginning of food.
Before God created man He created light and then He created the atmosphere also known as firmament Heaven. Then He repositioned the earth to divide the waters called seas and dry land. Then He caused the earth to bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed after its kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw this was good. Notice God provided food for animals and man before they were created.
So what did the man eat in God’s Garden. He ate fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and grains. The Garden was full of healthy foods, but there were some foods that were not good for man and God told man not to eat from a certain tree. As you know man did disobey which caused him to die spiritually. Notice he did not eat any meat in the Garden.
Man was originally intended to live forever in his natural body, but because of sin man could no longer live forever in his natural state therefore is destined to die. Adam lived to be 930-years old before he died. Adam’s children and grandchildren lived longs lives as well. The oldest man, that the scripture tell us, is Methuselah which lived to be 969-years old.
As time passed God was very displeased with man because of a terrible thing that had happened. In Genesis 6 we find that “the sons of God” saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. The sons of God are not natural men. This is teaching is controversial and I’m sure I some of you will not agree, and that’s okay. These “sons of God” were not men but were fallen angels. These fallen angels took natural women, born of men, by force and these women bear sons of these angels. The sons of the sons of God grew to be giant men both in physical stature and also in control over the people. These giants were very wicked and corrupted all of mankind except for Noah. God knew he had to destroy this race of giants and all the corruption in the earth so He chose the only one man that had a personal relationship with God to survive what was to come. You know the story of Noah and the Ark so I will not go into that detail now.
Notice in Genesis 6:3 God decided it was no longer good for man to live to be hundreds of years old. God shortened man’s life expectancy to 120-years. So, how did He do that? Notice in Genesis 9:3-4 God gave permission for man to eat flesh as long as it is not alive and the blood is drained out of it. My theory is that when men started eating the flesh of animals and fish is when his life expectancy dropped to only 120-years of age.
In book of Leviticus God designated that there are certain foods that are clean and certain foods that are unclear. Let’s look at Leviticus 11 Amplified Version
- AND THE Lord said to Moses and Aaron,
- Say to the Israelites: These are the animals which you may eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.
- Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, any of these animals you may eat.
- Nevertheless these you shall not eat of those that chew the cud or divide the hoof: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not divide the hoof; it is unclean to you.
- And the coney or rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not divide the hoof; it is unclean to you.
- And the hare, because it chews the cud but does not divide the hoof; it is unclean to you.
- And the swine, because it divides the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud; it is unclean to you.
- Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you.
- These you may eat of all that are in the waters: whatever has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, these you may eat;
- But all that have not fins and scales in the seas and in the rivers, of all the creeping things in the waters, and of all the living creatures which are in the waters, they are [to be considered] an abomination and abhorrence to you.
- They shall continue to be an abomination to you; you shall not eat of their flesh, but you shall detest their carcasses.
- Everything in the waters that has not fins or scales shall be abhorrent and detestable to you.
- These you shall have in abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, for they are detestable: the eagle, the ossifrage, the ospray,
- The kite, the whole species of falcon,
- Every kind of raven,
- The ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, every species of hawk,
- The owl, the cormorant, the ibis,
- The swan, the pelican, the vulture,
- The stork, all kinds of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat.
- All winged insects that go upon all fours are to be an abomination to you;
- Yet of all winged insects that go upon all fours you may eat those which have legs above their feet with which to leap on the ground.
- Of these you may eat: the whole species of locust, of bald locust, of cricket, and of grasshopper.
- But all other winged insects which have four feet shall be detestable to you.
- And by [contact with] these you shall become unclean; whoever touches the carcass of them shall be unclean until the evening,
- And whoever carries any part of their carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening.
- Every beast which parts the hoof but is not cloven-footed or does not chew the cud is unclean to you; everyone who touches them shall be unclean.
- And all that go on their paws, among all kinds of four-footed beasts, are unclean to you; whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening,
- And he who carries their carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening; they are unclean to you.
- These also are unclean to you among the creeping things [that multiply greatly] and creep upon the ground: the weasel, the mouse, any kind of great lizard,
- The gecko, the land crocodile, the lizard, the sand lizard, and the chameleon.
- These are unclean to you among all that creep; whoever touches them when they are dead shall be unclean until the evening.
- And upon whatever they may fall when they are dead, it shall be unclean, whether it is an article of wood or clothing or skin (bottle) or sack, any vessel in which work is done; it must be put in water, and it shall be unclean until the evening; so it shall be cleansed.
- And every earthen vessel into which any of these [creeping things] falls, whatever may be in it shall be unclean, and you shall break the vessel.
- Of all the food [in one of these unclean vessels] which may be eaten, that on which such water comes shall be unclean, and all drink that may be drunk from every such vessel shall be unclean.
- And everything upon which any part of their carcass falls shall be unclean; whether an oven, or pan with a lid, or hearth for pots, it shall be broken in pieces; they are unclean, and shall be unclean to you.
- Yet a spring or a cistern or reservoir of water shall be clean; but whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean.
- If a part of their carcass falls on seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean;
- But if any water be put on the seed and any part of their carcass falls on it, it shall be unclean to you.
- If any animal of which you may eat dies [unslaughtered], he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until the evening.
- And he who eats of its carcass [ignorantly] shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening; he also who carries its carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening.
- And everything that creeps on the ground and [multiplies in] swarms shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten.
- Whatever goes on its belly, and whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has more [than four] feet among all things that creep on the ground and swarm you shall not eat; for they are detestable.
- You shall not make yourselves loathsome and abominable [by eating] any swarming thing that [multiplies by] swarms, neither shall you make yourselves unclean with them, that you should be defiled by them.
- For I am the Lord your God; so consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am holy; neither defile yourselves with any manner of thing that multiplies in large numbers or swarms.
- For I am the Lord Who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God; therefore you shall be holy, for I am holy.
- This is the law of the beast, and of the bird, and of every living creature that moves in the waters, and creeps on the earth and multiplies in large numbers,
- To make a difference (a distinction) between the unclean and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten.
At first thought the laws given here seem only to have been made obsolete by Jesus. He taught that it is not what goes into the mouth but what comes out of it that defiles a man (Matt. 15:17-20), and Paul said that when the complete and perfect came, the incomplete and imperfect would become void and superseded (I Cor. 13:9, 10), for "there is nothing unclean of itself" (Rom. 14:14 KJV). But while all these specific laws have become void, we must not lose sight of the fact that they are "superseded" by the underlying spiritual principle, which is just as binding. Christ's teaching relates to the whole area of our living, including our eating and drinking, and is dominated by the principle, "Whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God" (I Cor. 10:31). We do well to remember that it was Jesus Christ Himself who said, "Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law...; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill" it (Matt. 5:17).
- Matthew 15:17-20 Amplified Version - "Do you not see and understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the abdomen and so passes on into the place where discharges are deposited? But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what makes a man unclean and defiles [him]. For out of the heart come evil thoughts (reasonings and disputings and designs) such as murder, adultery, sexual vice, theft, false witnessing, slander, and irreverent speech. These are what make a man unclean and defile [him]; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean or defile [him]."
- Mark 7:19 Amplified Version - "Since it does not reach and enter his heart but [only his] digestive tract, and so passes on [into the place designed to receive waste]? Thus He was making and declaring all foods [ceremonially] clean [that is, abolishing the ceremonial distinctions of the Levitical Law]"
- 1 Timothy 4:3 Amplified Version - "Who forbid people to marry and [teach them] to abstain from [certain kinds of] foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and have [an increasingly clear] knowledge of the truth."
- Hebrews 13:9 Amplified Version - "Do not be carried about by different and varied and alien teachings; for it is good for the heart to be established and ennobled and strengthened by means of grace (God's favor and spiritual blessing) and not [to be devoted to] foods [rules of diet and ritualistic meals], which bring no [spiritual] benefit or profit to those who observe them."
To finally answer the question is yes all foods are permissible to eat. However, even though all foods are permissible does not mean that they are healthy for you. Most Jews still practice the Leviticus Law and those that do have a much less sickness and disease rate than those that eat unclean foods. Pork is the most commonly eaten unclean food that people have been consuming and is the worst possible meat we can eat and its one of the main causes for sickness and disease in the world today.
Why did God distinguish certain foods clean and unclean? Was it to establish religious rules to burden the people? No, when God allowed man to start eating meat after the flood man’s life expectancy was reduced to 120-years. The designation of meats that were unclean was because these meats have a negative effect on the body. In other words the eating of unclean foods shorten our life expectance to be less than 120-years because they can cause a wide variety diseases. Meats are good protein sources that are necessary to our living a healthy life, however, we must abstain from eating the unclean foods in order to live a long healthy life.
There are so many food choices today and many of the foods that are considered everyday foods you may not have considered them as unhealthy, i.e., dairy, catfish, shrimp, crawfish, lobster, clams, mussels, and pork. Not only are certain foods we consider as “everyday foods” healthy, but there are many additives in the preparing and cooking of foods that are making us unhealthy, i.e., lard, unsaturated fat, salt, margarines just to name a few. You will be amazed when you take a look at the “everyday” food products in grocery stores that are actually unclean. The most comprehensive website I’ve found that gives a list of clean and unclean (healthy and unhealthy) food products is found at http://www.theisraelofgodrc.com/CUPL.html
Hosea 4:6 (Amplified Bible) - "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you [the priestly nation] have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you that you shall be no priest to Me; seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children."
Hosea 4:6 was written especially to the Israelites, but I also a profound statement that I think this statement also applies to the foods we eat. We are unintentionally poisoning ourselves by eating the wrong foods because of “Lack of Knowledge!” We are dying prematurely because of "Lack of Knowledge."
Please feel free to send your questions by e-mail to Chet at email@example.com