6 July 2010 (Shleshi/Bikkurim)|
Day #113, 5934 AM
Symbol of Uncleanness and Debasement
Calling someone a "dirty pig" or "filthy swine" seems to be one of the worst insults in practically every culture. The French insult you by calling you couchon ('pig') and the Germans Schweinhund ('pig-dog') And no wonder. For all of its intelligence, the pig remains one of the most disgusting creatures on earth. Like dogs, the pig is virtually unique in that it eats its own excrement (poop). It verily thrives on muck of every kind - faeces, dead insects, worms, rotting carcasses, tree bark, garbage/rubbish and even other pigs. They even eat their own baby-piglets. As animal garbage disposal units, they do a fantastic job, and that is no doubt what they were created for. And like all animals, they were designed by Yahweh to teach us a message: don't imitate the pig! What the pig does, do not do. Where the pig goes, do not go. And even if you put them in clean, hygenic conditions, they simply cannot resist eating their own poop. They are by nature filthy. Thus it was to the pig farm that the Prodigal Son ended up at at the end of his road of rebellion and debauchment. The Scripture says:
The pig is a clumsy, dirty, greedy and immoral animal. Immoral? Yes, immoral. Many species of animal we admire because they form life-long partnershuips with their mates and they remind us of the fidelity we are to show in marriage. The penguin springs to mind. But the pig is not only unfaithful it actually invites its friends to have sex with its mate! If the penguin represents fidelity, the pig represents swinging and debauchery.
"But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods (husks) that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything" (Luke 15:14-16, NKJV).
Most Christians believe that they are allowed to eat pork because of misunderstood or twisted passages of Scripture. Some claim the reason is that the kosher laws given by Yahweh were only 'ceremonial' and had nothing to do with health even though they are unable to explain why Yahweh chose the long list of animals we aren't allowed to eat in the firsty place. So you think eating pork is healthy? Consider the following facts:
- 1. The pig only excretes 2% of the uric acid it produces (like our urea which we get rid of in urine and faeces) - it integrates the remaining 98% into its body;
- 2. The bodies of pigs contain over 70 different types of latent diseases including parasitic worms like tapeworm, pinworm, roundworm, hookwork and many others;
- 3. If you eat poorly cooked pork containing these worms you are likely to injest their eggs in their body and so get the parasites and diseases yourself;
- 4. The worms from infected pigs can enter your body through your mouth, anus, nose or skin. Once inside, they attach to the inside of your intestines by means of hooks in their mouths, and multiply prodigiously;
- 5. If these worms manage to get to your brain they can cause memory loss. If they reach your heart they can cause heart attack. If they enter the eyes they can cause blindness. If they enter the liver, they can cause liver damage. Simply stated, once these worms get in you, they can pretty much destroy any and every organ of the body;
- 6. 17% of Americans in the USA and Canada (that's 1 in 6 people) suffer from trichinosis from eating trichina worms (roundworms) which are found in pork;
- 7. Once an infection reaches a certain stage, the diseases are incurable;
- 8. Pigs carry one of the most lethal influenza viruses known to man. The virus lives in the pigs' lungs during the summer and then effects the pigs and their human consumers in the cooler months;
- 9. People exposed to pigs have higher incidences of influenza and other fatal diseases;
- 10. Pork sausages contain pig lung so those who eat pork sausages tend to suffer more during influenza epidemics;
- 11. Pigs accumulate toxic chemicals (like sea scavangers such a crustaceans) so eating pig meat will give you high levels of toxic substances;
- 12. Pork meat has very little muscle-building protein and contains an excess of fat which can result in high levels of blood cholesterol in consumers - Torah forbids the eating of fat;
- 12. Pork-eaters are more susceptible to arteriosclerosis leading to cardiovascular diseases, malfunction of blood circulation in the brain, vascular pathology of the lower limbs, and much else besides;
- 13. Eating pork leads to gallstones.
I could list more but I think the point has been made. Pork is not only unhealthy but dangerous too! A common answer to all of these facts is that so long as you cook pork well, you'll be fine because all of these worms and viruses will be killed. Not true! Research conducted in the United States demonstrated 22 out of 24 people suffering from Trichura Tichurasis ate well-cooked pork. In other words, the deadly organisms present in pigs are not necessarily killed during cooking.
Can you understand why Yahweh has forbidden us from eating pork, dogs and crustaceans? Do you really believe in the light of these facts that the kosher laws were just invented for some obscure ceremonial reason? Might it not be that the Creator knew that these animals were harmful to humans if consumed and that there is a reason He has declared that they are not food? Is this not an act of love and compassion on His part?
Yahweh has declared in His Word, the Bible, that pork is not for human consumption. The reasons have nothing to do with 'rituals'. Taking the Scriptures together, we see that there are two reasons:
Let's be clear:
- 1. Because of what the pig symbolises by its lifestyle; and
- 2. Because the pig contains diseases, toxins and fat that can be deadly to humans.
Yahweh clearly links rebelliousness with pork-eating:
"...and the swine (pigs), though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. They are unclean to you" (Lev.11:7-8, NKJV; also Dt.14:8).
Antinomian (lawless) Christians try to excuse themselves by saying that kosher laws are for the Jews but not for them. Pork-eating was introduced by the Western Roman Church about a century after the resurrection as part of its effort to win unconverted pagans to Christianity who were pork-eaters. And yet you will find no evidence anywhere of either Christ or the apostles ever eating pork.
"All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations -- a people who continually provoke Me to My very face...who eat the flesh of pigs, and whose pots hold broth of unclean meat; who say, 'Keep away; don't come near me, for I am too sacred for you!' Such people are smoke in my nostrils, a fire that keeps burning all day" (Isa 65:2,4-5, NIV).
Their theological excuse is Peter's vision in Acts 10 some ten years after the resurrection. The apostle was praying on the roof and he had a vision in which the heavens opened. A sheet descended from heaven containing all kinds of four-footed mammals, repitles and birds. A voice then told him:
And that's where your ham-lover stops reading. However the story continues:
"Rise, Peter; kill and eat" (Acts 10:13, NKJV).
The voice spoke to him a second time:
"But Peter said, 'Not so, Master! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean (unkosher)'" (Acts 10:14-15, NKJV).
Peter did not at first understand the meaning of the vision and pondered it for some considerable time. Finally, the meaning came to him and it had absolutely nothing to do with eating unkosher food or with food at all!
"What Elohim has cleansed you must not call common" (Acts 10:15, NKJV).
Peter has here interpreted his own vision. Notice how he understands that the "common or unclean" meat actually refers to "common or unclean" people as understood by the talmudists of his day. Yahweh had to shock him into this understanding of accepting non-Jews by getting him to react in another area and so think things through. Without this vision, Peter wouldn't even have got near a non-Jew let alone enter his house because the rabbis considered non-Jews to be unclean or unkosher.
"You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But Elohim (God) has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean" (Acts 10:28, NKJV).
Therefore Peter's vision had nothing to do with being allowed to eat pork or unkosher food in general but in overturning the rabbinical exclusiveness by treating all men as equal.
And consider this: if Peter's vision had indeed been about Yahweh cleansing all kinds of food, why don't Christians get excited about eating cats, vultures or rats? Didn't the voice tell Peter to eat these too??
Also consider this: if this was so important, why did Yah'shua 'forget' to preach this truth to His talmidim (disciples) but instead use an obscure vision many years later that was bound to cause controversy and split the messianic community if it was actually about changing the kosher laws?
And finally, in spite of Peter's clear explanation of his own vision, why do antinomian Christians go and ascribe a completely different meaning?
You would have thought that this would have ended the discussion but people do so love to cling onto their false traditions and sins. So we must consider the last objection of the antinomians which are the words of Yah'shua when He says:
In other words, the argument goes, it's not what you eat that matters, but what you speak. Thus, they argue, eating ham sandwiches is now OK. However, as honest students of Scripture know and admit, this entire passage is about the man-made traditions of the Pharisees and their wrong attitude towards Yahweh and His mitzvot (commandments):
"Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean'" (Matt 15:10-11, NIV).
Since Mark 7:1-23 and Matthew 15:1-20 are parallel to each other we here analyse the passage from the Gospel of Matthew.
If you read the above passage you will clearly understand that the whole incident was initiated by the Pharisees who were unhappy with the talmidim (disciples) of Yah'shua (Jesus) for eating without WASHING their hands. Washing hands before eating any clean-food was supposedly one of their rabbinical revelations.
"Then some Pharisees and teachers of the Torah (Law) came to Yah'shua (Jesus) from Jerusalem and asked, "Why do your talmidim (disciples) break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!" Yah'shua replied, "And why do you break the mitzvah (command) of Elohim for the sake of your tradition? For Elohim said, 'Honour your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.' But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to Elohim,' he is not to 'honour his father' with it. Thus you nullify the word of Elohim (God) for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: "'These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'" Yah'shua (Jesus) called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.'" Then the talmidim (disciples) came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?" He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit." Peter said, "Explain the PARABLE to us." "Are you still so dull?" Yah'shua (Jesus) asked them. "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the HEART, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean'" (Matthew 15:1-20, NIV).
When the Pharisees criticised His talmidim (disciples), Yah'shua (Jesus) accused them of nullifying Yahweh's actual mitzvot (commandments) for the sake of their tradition. Yah'shua (Jesus) then goes to cite the Torah at Exodus 20:12 or Deuteronomy 5:16 "honour thy father and mother" and Exodus 21:17 or Leviticus 20:9 "that whoever curses a parent shall be executed". Yah'shua (Jesus) made no distinction between His Father's Law (the Torah) and the one He adhered to.
The Pharisees broke the commandment of Yahweh by refusing to take care of their parents in their old age because because of some bogus vows they had made to Yahweh based on their false tradition which allowed them to neglect their aged parents, thus breaking the Law of Moses and earning them Yah'shua's condemnation.
Citing the Old Testament again, Yah'shua further says:
He then accused the Pharisees of merely paying lip-service to Elohim (God) and not serving Yahweh with a true heart. Then He calls the crowd and says what goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean' (Mt.5:11). In Matthew 15:17-18 He explains that eating (clean food) with washed or unwashed hands is not an offence because we eat to fill our stomach and this eventually is excreted. But what matters is one's respect towards Yahweh and obeying His commandments.
"These people come near to me with their mouth and honour Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. Their worship of Me is made up only of rules taught by men" (Isaiah 29:13, NIV).
Mathew 15:18 clearly point out that the issue is a matter of the HEART rather than of diet - it is man's filthy-mindedness which makes him unclean - the attitude of his heart (v.19). The next verse very explicitly states that eating (clean food) with UNWASHED hands does not make a man unclean.
To sum up, this issue was never about clean or unclean food - the only food that lay before them was kosher - the issue was whether it was necessary to wash your hands before eating or not. Yah'shua (Jesus) turned this on the Pharisees by saying that their issue was their unclean hearts.
And now a final and vital point: If Yah'shua (Jesus) had indeed come to replace one Law Book (Torah) with a new one, where is that new book? Unlike the Torah which contained books exclusively created as a 'Law Book', no such equivalent exists in the New Testament. Yes, it is true, that Yah'shua (Jesus) modified some laws, specifically the ones He came to fulfil (animals sacrifices, for instance), and yes, it is true, He added some more but He never replaced the Torah as a whole. The things He said, the mitzvot (commandments) He gave, all confirm that He was working within the framework of Torah, not replacing it. If He had been, we would have been given a new Rule Book to replace the old one. And as we have seen from the passage we have studied in Matthew, He still wanted those who broke the law on dishonouring parents to be executed. Is it not an odd thing - a perverse, thing, indeed - that antinomians not only countenance disrespect of parents but positively affirm we can eat filthy pork?
Lawlessness was never godliness and those who reject Torah are taking a grave risk with their salvation for in so doing they blaspheme the Most High and accuse Him of being changeable! The pig is not a good symbol but represents something vile in Scripture. It does not matter how intelligent we may be so long as we have filthy hearts and filthy habits. Movies like Babe and Gordie which are designed to condition us into viewing pigs as something sweet, clean and cuddly, are serving the enemy's agenda. Yes, we should treat animals with kindness, as Torah teaches, but we should not call food what Yahweh says is not food.
You have seen the evidence, so what will you choose? To go to the end of the road with the Prodigal Son or to remain true to your Heavenly Father as Yah'shua (Jesus) did? The choice is yours.