In last week's Health Tip, we examined Romans chapter 14. Some have tried to use that portion of Scripture against what we teach here at Hallelujah Acres by saying that only people who are “Weak... eateth herbs (vegetables).” But we learned that this portion of Scripture has absolutely nothing to do with people being physically “weak” because of eating veggies, but rather everything to do with people who are “weak in the FAITH” having a problem with people eating flesh offered to idols. This week we will take up the last portion of Scripture people have used to not only refute the teachings of Hallelujah Acres and claim that what we teach is NOT Biblical, but it is this portion of Scripture our critics have used to make some of their most harsh and unkind criticisms. Let’s take a close look at that portion of Scripture and see if it supports the charges our critics have been making:
“Now the spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. Speaking lies in hypocricsy and having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 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. For every creature of god is good, and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” ~ I Timothy 4:1-5Some have tried to use this portion of Scripture against Hallelujah Acres by saying that when we seek to discourage people from consuming animal source foods; we are teaching the “doctrines of devils.” Let’s take a closer look at this portion of Scripture to see if it really teaches what they claim... Over 40 times in the New Testament alone, when the translators of the King James Bible in 1611 came to the word in the Greek that meant "bread, act of eating, table, food, nourishment, or flesh” they translated them all into the same word, "MEAT." Thus whenever we come to the word "meat" in the New Testament, the only way we can know what the word really means is to go to a good concordance, which is a book containing the Hebrew and Greek background word meanings. Only there can we find the most accurate translation for our current day English language usage. Permit me to share a few Scriptures that use the exact same Greek word from which the word "meat" originated in I Timothy 4:3...
- Jesus said in John 4:34, “My MEAT is to do the will of him that sent me.”
- In 1 Corinthians 10:3 we read, “And did all eat the same spiritual MEAT . .
"...forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from ‘foods’, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every ‘creation’ of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.”Clearly, this Scripture has absolutely nothing to do with the consumption of animal flesh! Rather Paul, the writer of this portion of Scripture, is writing to Timothy, warning him that there would come along some individuals who would “depart from the faith” by teaching such things as “forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats (foods), which God has commanded to be received with thanksgiving . . .” But for argument's sake, let’s assume that the word “meat” in I Timothy 4:3 is talking about animal flesh for a moment. If you will read I Timothy 4:1-3 you will find that the false teachers being referred to here were those who would teach: “forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats . . .” Friends, Hallelujah Acres has never taught “forbidding to marry” or “commanding to abstain from meats!” All Hallelujah Acres has ever done is try to discourage Christians from consuming things that would be harmful to their bodies. Hallelujah Acres has never “COMMANDED” anyone to abstain from eating “MEAT” or anything else! Clearly, anyone who tries to use I Timothy 4:3 to refute or condemn the teachings of Hallelujah Acres, is misusing Scriptures for their own ends, and is really ignorant of what the Bible is actually saying here! What was going on here in I Timothy 4 was that the apostle Paul was warning young preacher Timothy about false teachers, that they would make up rules contrary to the Bible — such as not allowing marriage nor allowing the eating of certain wholesome foods (verse 3). They would insist that others in the church follow these rules that they had made up. And we know from history that such individuals did come along in the early church. Some taught that the physical body was evil and that all physical desires, including marriage and even the pleasure of eating foods that God had created, should be avoided. Paul wanted Timothy to know that God is the Author of marriage, and that God is also the One who created our bodies and provided good food to nourish them. God created these things for us to receive with thanksgiving. God also knows what we should eat in order to keep our bodies healthy, strong, and spiritually alert. That is why God gave mankind the Genesis 1:29 diet. Our bodies haven't changed since Bible times in terms of what is required to keep them healthy.
In ConclusionAs we conclude this 9-part series, let’s refresh our memories with what we have learned in the previous 8 Health Tips dealing with this subject:
- We have seen that God, immediately after creating that first human - Adam, placed him in a garden and told him that his food was to be the raw fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts growing in the garden and that God had designed man’s physical body to be nourished with. In fact, God said of these raw plant source foods: “to you it shall be for meat (food).” See Genesis 1:29.
- Some 2,500 years later, when God was still the dietitian, there was no meat on the menu when the children of Israel had to depend on God for their food while in the wilderness. When we examined that portion of Scripture, we see that God fed them with “manna” (a vegetarian diet) every day for 40 years. The people complained about the manna and God did give them some flesh to eat, but their desire for flesh greatly displeased the Lord. (See Exodus chapter 16 and Numbers chapter 11)
- In Daniel chapter 1, some 3,400 years after man had left the Garden of Eden, Daniel requested a diet that contained no “meat,” but rather one comprised of “pulse” (veggies). After being on that veggie diet for just 10 days, “...was found none like Daniel, Hannaniah, Mishael, and Azariah . . . and in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” Furthermore, most Bible readers fail to recognize that after the 10-day trial diet was complete, Daniel and his companions were authorized to continue their vegetarian diet because of its wonderful results. (See Daniel 1:16)
- As we come to the very last book in the Bible, the book of Revelation, we see God describing the future home of believers thusly: “and he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every; month . . .” (See Revelation chapter 22)
Did God have it right from the very beginning or does man have it right today?Man’s way of eating has brought so much needless sickness, and suffering, pain, and early death! Isn’t it about time we chose “God’s Way” of nourishing our physical bodies? As for Rhonda, and me, we are going to continue to eat foods compatible with our biological makeup and the teachings of the Bible! We are going to continue, as we have done in the past (myself for 40 years and Rhonda for 24 years), to allow God to be the dietitian in our home — and I encourage you to do the same!
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you the way of life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live!” ~ Deuteronomy 30:19Next week, the good Lord willing and if the creeks don’t rise too high we will return with another exciting issue of the Hallelujah Health Tip. Trust you will join us and that you will share these Health Tips with friends and loved ones.