Question: God told man not to eat swine in the Old Testament. Did he ever change His mind on this? Or anything else for that matter.
Answer: Thank you for the question JB.
God does not want us to eat pork. God never changed His mind about that or anything else for that matter. That is why we can always count on Him and His words to be true, (Malachi 3:6).
Leviticus 11 contains the Health Food Laws of God. While breaking them is not a death sentence for our soul, God is abhorred by those who consume unclean animals, whether or not they are pigs.
Turn your Bible with me to,
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.
God is speaking to Moses, and God will explain which animals we can, and cannot eat.
Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.
God is telling us, we can eat animals like cattle and those from the deer family as an example. They have a parted hoof, and chew their cud. God spelled it out very clearly here.
However, God figured we might have some questions, so in verses 4-8 He explains which animals we are specifically forbidden from eating in order to remove any doubts.
In verse 7 God explains,
And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.
The pig, that would be swine which is pork is unclean food, these are God’s words.
God did not say it was unclean because it likely contains viruses that make you sick. God said the way He created the animal makes it unclean for you to consume. Pigs are pigs, they have always been pigs and God never changed them. They were unclean then, and they are unclean today.
Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.
God could not have made it any more clear. Pork is unclean food, and God commanded us not to eat it. When God tells us not to do something, we should listen. He is our Creator, and truly knows what is best for us.
I want to document for you what God thinks about those who eat pork.
Turn your Bible with me to,
4 Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels.
5 Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.
God clearly explains, those who eat swine which is pork, are like smoke in His nose.
What do you do when smoke gets in your nose?
You cough, and you blow your nose to get rid of the irritation. God considers those who consume abominable animals, including pigs an irritation.
Do we really want to cause our Heavenly Father irritation over a piece of meat?
Look, God created us. He knows what is healthy, and what is harmful to us. Further, it has been proven scientifically that pork is bad for your health, so stay away from it. Live longer, and healthy all while following God’s Laws, then we all win.
JB, if we keep reading Leviticus 11 we will find all of the creatures God does not want us to eat. From those in the water, (Leviticus 11:9-12), to those that fly in the air, (Leviticus 11:13-20).
You will notice, most of the clean animals do not eat meat, certainly not animals who scavenge for survival. Hey, they are all good creatures, they all serve their own purpose for God, but being on our plate is not one of them.
Unfortunately, many Christians are led to believe God cleansed pigs, but that is simply not true. We are going to document that so we properly understand this subject from all angles.
Turn your Bible with me to,
1 Timothy 4:3
Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
In the prior verses, God explains in the latter days, that would be today there will be false teachers among us. Some will say we cannot marry if we keep the Christian faith. Others, will say we cannot eat any meat at all, even the meat God created to be received. That is our take away here.
‘Abstaining from meats which God created to be received‘. Those people already know we cannot eat unclean meat, they are simply distorting the Word by saying we cannot eat any meat at all.
God never said that.
God said we can eat meat. We can eat the animals God designated for us to eat in Leviticus 11, the animals that were ‘created to be received’. Pigs were not meant or created to be eaten, and God already told us that.
1 Timothy 4:4
For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.
This is the verse people often use to say we can eat pork, but they totally miss the point in the last verse.
Hey, of course every creature of God is good. God told us that way back during the Fifth and Sixth Day of Genesis, (Genesis 1:21, 31). God created everything to serve some good purpose.
However, the qualifier here was in verse 3.
Every creature can be used for meat “which God hath created to be received“.
God did not create pigs to be received on your plate. God created them for other good purposes, but not to be your breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Nowhere in the Bible will you find that God cleansed pigs, or that God said you may now eat pigs. God said very specifically, pigs are unclean, they are an abomination to you, and those who eat swine are like smoke in His nose. That never changed.
In order for God to have cleansed pigs, He would have changed their DNA, and everything about them, keeping it secret from you. God does not do that.
Look, pigs will eat anything, even you if you fall into their pen. Pigs also do not sweat which means the toxins inside them do not come out as easily as they do in other animals. Rather it is retained in the fat of the animal. No wonder science discovered they are bad to eat, but God knew all along.
God created pigs, He created you, and He knows they are not healthy for you to consume.
To finish documenting the point, we are going to cover Acts 10 and learn a story concerning one of the 12 Apostles named Peter, and a man named Cornelius.
Cornelius was a Roman soldier, a Captain over 100 other men. Being a Roman meant he was a Gentile, this is very important to understand. Cornelius was a devout man who loved God along with the rest of his household.
Due to his faith, God sent an Angel to Cornelius who told him God heard his prayers. The Angel instructed Cornelius to send some of his men to Joppa to visit Peter who would tell Cornelius what he must do, (Acts 10:1-8).
As these men traveled toward Joppa where Peter was, Peter went on top of his house to pray. During his prayer, Peter became very hungry and a vision appeared before him. Heaven suddenly opened, and a great sheet descended with “all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air”, (Acts 10:9-12).
God’s voice came out of Heaven and told Peter to eat, (Acts 10:13).
But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
On this sheet that came down from Heaven were all sorts of unclean animals, no doubt all of them were unclean. Peter is telling God, hey, I do not want to eat those unclean animals, I have followed your Health Laws since birth.
And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
Some believe God cleansed unclean animals here, but that is absolutely false. We are going to learn this vision is symbolic of God cleansing the Gentiles, and we know Cornelius was one of them.
We have to remember, throughout history God was only with the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and even then He only communicated with the High Priest essentially. It was not until the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that Salvation became available to all of us, and as the veil was torn from top to bottom, this signified we could all now commune with God, (Matthew 27:51, see: Jesus Christ Became Our Passover Lamb).
Let us continue.
Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate.
Now God told Peter to eat these unclean animals three times, but Peter refused every time.
Peter was smart enough to know the vision had nothing to do with eating unclean animals, it meant something else. Peter just did not understand what it meant, but he would.
Peter met the three men God sent to him, and then traveled with them to Caesarea where Cornelius lived. Peter entering the home of Cornelius encountered his entire family who was waiting for him.
And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
Peter now realized what the vision meant. The unclean animals in Peter’s vision were symbolic for people God once considered unclean, but who are now cleansed by God through the Redeeming Blood of Jesus Christ.
You have to remember, throughout history God constantly told the Twelve Tribes of Israel to stay away from the people of the land. These people (Gentiles) were idol worshippers and served false gods, that is primarily why they were considered unclean by God.
I also want you to note Peter was not a Jew as you think of the word today, rather one from the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
Cornelius then told Peter he wanted to “hear all things that are commanded thee of God”, (Acts 10:33).
34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.
35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
God has never been a respecter of persons. Yet, Christ’s sacrifice opened the door of Salvation for all, cleansing all, and grafting all people into God’s Household, (Ephesians 2:19).
Cleansing pigs and other unclean animals have no basis, they were merely symbolic.
Nowhere, I mean nowhere do we find anything about God saying it was okay to consume unclean animals. The entire point of the vision was to document to Peter, that he was to share the Word’s of Christ with all men, who once were considered “unclean”, now no more.