Sunday, November 6, 2016

Nope - God never suggested pork was "clean"....

Back in 2004, when YHWH caused me to find my natural father’s side of the family in Germany, my husband and I immediately planned a trip to visit them. Knowing that pork is the main meat staple in Europe, we asked our then-rabbi what to do when served pork by my “new” relatives. His response was, “Paul said to eat whatever is put in front of you”; and as “proof” he sent us to 1 Corinthians 10:23-33. (The writings of Paul, as you know, seem to contradict everything YHWH ever commanded – although NOTHING could be further from the Truth!)

The thing is, back then, we didn’t know any better and so we flew to Germany and ate whatever my relatives placed in front of us. (Somehow, this didn’t “feel right” and we always said a silent prayer asking YHWH’s forgiveness “just in case” it was wrong.)

The “it was wrong” feeling kept returning to nag me long after we returned to the US – and then one day it hit me like that proverbial ton of bricks: YHWH said not to eat “unclean” meat … so why would it have been okay to ignore this command, just because we were vacationing in Germany? Why would pork in Germany be considered “clean” enough for YHWH’s people to consume?

Something was obviously amiss, and I suddenly got the same feeling about our “rabbi” as I had years before with the Baptist preacher who had “led me to the Lord” back in January 1995: The theology degrees of both of these learned pastors had done nothing to help them see the TRUTH of the Bible because both of them viewed Scripture through their Christianity-colored glasses that suggest Torah is just for the Jews! (This left me thinking: “Really? Only the Jews are supposed to be holy/set apart? So much for the “one in Christ” thing, eh?”)

Well, the thing is, what we couldn’t get around was a little thing called “FACTS” – and the first fact was: YHWH set down the Torah commands which He said would stand FOREVER (Psalm 119:89, Isaiah 40:8, 1 Peter 1:25, etc.) and, contrary to popular belief, Torah was NEVER abolished. (Why would God abolish His own Divine Instructions in Righteousness without which we would have NO blueprint for moral, holy living?)

And second the fact was: Yeshua came to proclaim the Kingdom and to preach and teach TORAH face-to-face, and to do everything His Father had commanded him to do (Deuteronomy 18: 15-18 and John6: 35-40). And the third fact was: The Apostles taught the same thing! They, as mere human beings, had NO RIGHT to teach contrary to YHWH's commands and Yeshua's teachings!

Luke 4: 43 "But he (Yeshua/Jesus) said, "I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent."

Luke 8: 1. And it happened after these things that Y'shua was going around in the cities and in the villages and was preaching and declaring the Kingdom of Elohim.

Acts 28: 23 "From morning till evening the Apostle Paul explained and declared the Kingdom of God and tried to convince people about Yeshua from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets."

Acts 24: 14. But this indeed I (Paul) acknowledge, that in that same doctrine of which they speak, I do serve the Elohim of my fathers, believing all the things written in Torah and in the prophets.

With those reminders, I began to beg YHWH to please show me HIS Truth concerning this “unclean meat” issue – and guess what: He eventually caused me to find it! Take a look at just this example that shows why my husband and I should never have eaten any pork in Germany:

1 Corinthians 10:23. Everything is in my power; but everything is not profitable. Everything is in my power; but everything does not build up. 24. Let no one seek his own things, but also the things of his fellow-man. 25. Whatever[1] is sold in the flesh-market, you eat, without an inquiry on account of conscience: 26. For the earth is Master YHWH’s, in its fullness.

27. And if one of the pagans invite you, and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you, without an inquiry on account of conscience. 28. But if any one will say to you, This meat is derived from a sacrifice;[2] don’t eat it, for the sake of him who told you, and for conscience’s sake. 29. The conscience I speak of is not your own, but his who told you. But why is my freedom judged of, by the conscience of others?[3]

30. If I by grace partake, why am I reproached for that for which I give thanks?[4] 31. If you therefore eat, or if you drink, or if you do anything, do all things for the glory of Elohim. 32. You be without offense to the Jews and to the Gentiles, and to the assembly of Elohim: 33. Even as I also, in everything, please every man;[5] and do not seek what is profitable to me, but what is profitable to many; that they may live. (AENT)

FOOTNOTES:

[1] “Whatever” is sold in the marketplace refers to meat that has the potential of being “sanctified by the Word of YHWH.” Rav Shaul did not give license to buy pork or unclean meat from the marketplace; see 1 Timothy 4:5. In addition Rav Shaul says in 1Cor 10:25: "Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience." (Sterns’ Complete Jewish Bible). The context of this verse is important. First, of course, Rav Shaul is not saying here that "all food is okay to eat."

The fact that Rav Shaul lived a kosher, Torah observant life amply supports this. Here, Rav Shaul is talking to the Messianic community of Corinth, and he and they know to only eat Kosher. So this verse is not permitting the eating of pork, or shellfish, or anything that is not "food" as declared by Yahweh.

Secondly, in this part of chapter 10 of 1 Corinthians, Rav Shaul returns to the topic he introduced in chapter 8 – that of food sacrificed to idols. Rav Shaul is explaining how the food that was prepared has no hold on you – that since you are living a life of obedience to the Word of Yahweh, then the food that Yahweh permits, provides the same sustenance for you as it would if you knew its "chain of custody" (to use a legal phrase) – meaning, if you could trace the path of the animal from its owner to the meat market, and you therefore knew it was handled entirely kosher, the meat has the same value to you and your body as it would if you were not able to trace its chain of custody.

However, if you find out that it was sacrificed to an idol, even though you could still eat it because you know that that sacrifice possesses no power over you, you should not eat it so as to show the "unbeliever" (vs 10:27) serving it to you, in a teaching opportunity, that his sacrifice was not valid and that you will not participate in what the unbeliever intended it to mean. See Rav Shaul 's own clarification of this in the verses just prior to 1 Cor 10:25. In 1 Cor 10:19-21, Rav Shaul says you do not want to partake at the table of our Master Y’shua and at the table of demons – instead take courage and show the unbeliever the error of their ways.

[2] All Believers can determine whether meat is unclean pork or shellfish or whether it could be sanctified according to the Word. In this case khanpa designates “Pagans” and refers to whether the meat was sacrificed to a pagan idol. If someone informs you that the meat came from an animal that was sacrificed to an idol, do not eat it. See also Acts 15:28, 29, Exodus 34:15, this is no license to eat unclean food.

[3] Conscience refers to the discernment of right and wrong, based on Torah as the Word of YHWH. “Conscience” among the household of Faith is neither arbitrary nor variable, but a “group conscience” of the “Kedoshim” (Set Apart people). As Torah is being written upon the heart, Jeremiah 31:33, each soul is to recognize and support the work of the Ruach haKodesh within the Body. Paul is not at “liberty” to break the Word of YHWH and eat meat sacrificed to idols.

He is addressing the frail and immature “conscience” of those who struggle to leave paganism. When a Believer voices Torah conscience, the rest of the body is obligated to support them, even if some think otherwise. Paul refers to the Believers in Corinth as carnal babes who can’t digest solid food and who are struggling to receive truth; they are contentious and walking in the flesh (1 Cor 3), much the same as the modern Christian church who uses these verses to endorse violation of Torah, which is simply a poor attempt to “justify” the weak carnal flesh.

[4] If the food appears kosher and you have prayed unto YHWH, why should you be reproached if you didn’t know the full quality of the meat? If the host knows about removing blood, and states that precautions have been made, and you pray that it be acceptable, is that not enough? Otherwise a person would be required to be present when the meat was prepared. Nowadays, kosher food companies supervise both the slaughter and the preparation of meat in the kitchen. Absent these things, the next best thing is to do the best you can, offer a prayer, and do not let worry ruin the meal or offend a well-meaning host who gave it their best effort.

[5] Diplomatic and kind to all, but never teaching against Torah. See 1 Corinthians 9:21. Only a fool would think Rav Shaul to be a man pleaser, as though he postured himself as a social butterfly to win popularity; this thinking is merely projecting one’s own ideals. Rav Shaul preferred the Malchut Elohim; he could have been a “big boy” in the “traditional” Jewish world, but he left it behind for Mashiyach.

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