last message of mercy

Questions Concerning Clean and Unclean Meat

The following questions and answers deal with God’s instructions to us concerning clean and unclean meat. Are these instructions still valid today or did the death of Jesus somehow change them? One thing to understand here is that in the beginning it was never God’s design that anything, including animals, should die. The diet God originally gave to mankind and animals is spoken in Genesis chapter one:

“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 (food). 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 (food): and it was so.” (Genesis 1:29, 30)

The original diet was simple and plant-based. It wasn’t until after the Flood when God instructed man to eat certain types of meat that were considered clean and fit for food because the waters wiped out all the vegetation (Genesis 7:2-3; 9:1-3). Later, God reminded His people of the difference between the clean and the unclean by having Moses write it in the book of the Law (see, Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14). Please keep in mind that, just as the instructions concerning writing up of a certificate of divorce were only given “because of the hardness of [our] hearts”, these instructions concerning meat-eating were added accommodations as well. Jesus spoke of divorce in this way:

“They (the Pharisees) say unto Him (Jesus), Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered (accommodated) you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.” (Matthew 19:7, 8)

Like meat consumption, in the beginning divorce was not in God’s original design. It was accommodated (or, permitted) due to the hardness of our hearts. God did this because He knows our moral development at every stage and, if man was going to continue to divorce, then please do it within these guidelines. Likewise, if man was going to continue to eat meat after the Flood, then please do it within these guidelines, however, “from the beginning it was not so”, nor will it be on the new earth which God will make:

“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind … And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them … The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat (food). They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, saith the LORD.” (Isaiah 65:17, 21, 25)

In Isaiah chapter 11 God tells us the reason why no one (man nor animal) will hurt and destroy others:

“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:6-9)

Coming into the knowledge of the LORD will be the result of God’s Law being written in our minds and hearts (Hebrews 8:10, 11) to the point that we “shall not hurt nor destroy” anyone, nor any thing. Why? Because God never hurts nor destroys anyone! John tells us that “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and Paul says, “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law.” (Romans 13:10). Therefore, as it was in the earth’s beginning, “there shall be no more death” upon the new earth:

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death (of any of God’s creatures), neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain (of any of God’s creatures): for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)