In ACTS 10, Peter is praying on the rooftop when in a vision he sees lowered a sheet full of unclean animals. When it is made clear to him that YHWH has ‘cleansed’ these animals so they are no longer to be considered common or unholy, Peter answers a summons to the Gentile Cornelius’ house. Here the Gospel is shared with them and the first Gentiles are converted.
How did Peter understand this vision? He didn’t–until he went to Cornelius’ house. At any time did he go out and start eating unclean meats as a result of the vision? Of course not. The animals were a symbol for Gentiles, such was the Jews’ anathema towards those not of their race or religion at that time, because the Gentiles did not keep the unclean food Laws in LEVITICUS 11.
LEVITICUS 11:43 Ye shall not make yourselves abominable…neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them (unclean meats)…
EZRA 10:11 …separate yourselves from the people of the land…
PORK EATERS CURSED
According to YHWH’s Word, those who eat pork or unclean food bring a curse upon themselves.
ISAYAH 66:17 (TLB) Those who worship idols hidden behind a tree in the garden, feasting there on pork or mouse and all forbidden meats–they will come to an evil end, says YHWH.
Each year many people die or are diseased after eating or simply touching unclean animals or meat. Pork causes trichinosis, enteritis necrotans, and other poisonings. In Papua New Guinea, the children of whole villages have been known to succumb after feasting on under-cooked pork. Handling or eating armadillos has led to leprosy contraction. A man has died from bubonic plague after skinning a fox infested with diseased fleas. Seafood has caused cholera and other diseases including heavy metal poisoning. How many people sicken or die painful and horrible deaths after eating a simple hamburger or mince meat when the cattle are killed in the same abattoir as pigs?
It is a fact that Israel, where the keeping of swine is close to prohibited (and then only by Christians), has the lowest death rate and highest life expectancy in the world. Both Jewish and Moslem religious law forbid the eating of pork. Without doubt this protects them from untold affliction, disease, and premature death.
LEVITICUS 11 and DEUTERONOMY 14 lists the animals, fish, birds, and insects made for man to eat. All other creatures, some of which are listed also, were created for other purposes. Shellfish, sharks, catfish, and so on clean up the oceans and waterways. Buzzards, vultures, and other carrion eaters keep the earth free of dead animals. Wolves, lions, and other big cats kill and eat diseased animals. Swine are garbage disposal units too. As His creatures are all made for their purposes, so do all of YHWH’s Laws have a purpose.
ROMANS 14 is the last of these Scriptures concerning the eating of certain foods. Paul also touches upon the observance of certain days. He cannot be talking about unclean meat or pagan ceremonies outside the Law because Paul himself was a Law keeper. Obviously within the Laws of YHWH there were, among the Roman converts, differing opinions, levels of faith and spiritual understanding, discernment, and revelation. Paul thereby stresses the importance of not being a stumbling block to those who may be of a differing opinion or weaker faith. A Christian who imbibes should not, for instance, take alcohol to a Middle Eastern restaurant or to the house of a converted Muslim or ex-alcoholic. We are to be considerate of what we eat and drink, and when and with whom we do it. Despite the fact all clean foods are lawful, they are not necessarily advantageous spiritually or physically. Most important, we must be led by the Spirit.