5 Scriptures that Prove God’s Food Laws are Still Binding

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The majority of Christian denominations today would agree that the dietary laws of God written in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 are already done away with, that the death of Jesus Christ made that specific law obsolete and not binding anymore.

However, if one should take enough time to read the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, there is NO SINGLE PASSAGE that made this assumption true.

As a matter of fact, the Bible is clear that the food laws of God are still very much valid and beneficial today as it was thousands of years ago.

In this post, I will share with you 5 scriptures telling us that the food laws of God were never rendered powerless, that every Christian should follow it if they want to please God.

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Photo by Stijn te Strake on Unsplash

Scripture #1: Genesis 7:2

“You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female.”

In this passage, God commanded Noah to take with him in the ark clean and unclean animals. This happened thousands of years before God made a covenant with Israel.

God does not have to explain to Noah which of the animals is clean and unclean because Noah has already observed God’s commandments.

Noah is not an Israelite.

Thus, the argument that the dietary law only applies to the Israelites is faulty.

Scripture #2: Isaiah 66:17-28

“Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves, to go to the gardens after an idol in the midst, eating swine’s flesh and the abomination and the mouse, shall be consumed together, says the LORD. For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory.”

This scripture is a prophecy revealed to Isaiah.

It is a future event waiting to be fulfilled.

Pigs and mice are just some of the unclean meats listed in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14.

If God intends to stop reinforcing His dietary law the moment that Christ was crucified, then why do we find this prophecy talking about God destroying those people eating unclean meat?

It only makes a PERFECT sense when we know God still wants us to follow His food law today and in the future.

Scripture #3: Acts 10:12-16, 28

“Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.  But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven… 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.”

This incident is about Peter’s vision.

Many people assume that God is showing here Peter that eating unclean meats now already acceptable.

People often use this to back up their claim that Christians are now free to break God’s food law because of the vision of Peter. But a careful analysis of this scripture would show us the opposite.

First, notice that ONLY four-footed beasts and creeping things, and fowls of the air mentioned here and not sea creatures. If God wants to declare that all foods now are clean, then it would not be difficult for God to include sea creatures.

Second, Peter did not IMMEDIATELY make a conclusion that God is telling him that the food laws are now done away with. Instead, Peter responded, “Not so, Lord; for I have NEVER eaten any thing that is common or unclean.”

This means that even after about 30 years after Jesus’ death, Peter and other apostles never ate unclean animals – this clearly go against the common assumption of Christians today.

Third, God is showing Peter that Salvation is now available for Gentiles, a group of people whom the Jews refer to be “unclean”. This is God’s intent as what we see in the later verse 28, saying “but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.”

Scripture #4: Matthew 8:28-34

“And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and PERISHED IN THE WATERS. And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.”

So what is Jesus (Yahshua) our Saviour has to say about clean and unclean meat? Simple, He wants us to still follow God’s dietary food laws.

In this post, Jesus allowed the demons to possess a herd of swine. Jesus knows that swine or pigs are never intended for food.

We know that Jesus never waste food as evidenced by an incident in Matthew 15:26, where He commanded the disciples to pick up leftovers after feeding a great multitude. Jesus allowed the wastage of pigs because He knows it should never be eaten.

Scripture #5: Revelation 18:2

“…And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.”

Revelation is a book of prophecy talking about future events. In this passage, the Bible still retains the distinction between the clean and unclean meat. This scripture only shows that God’s word is consistent.

Conclusion

From these scriptures, it is clear that God’s food laws are binding. God, in His infinite love and wisdom, gave us the Food Law. Since He made us, it is clear that He knows what’s best for us, including the food that we should consume.

The food laws are more than just a commandment for our physical health, but it is also a way that to show our faith in God by trusting Him that what He tells us for our own good.

To learn more about this vital topic, please request your free copy of the booklet, “What Does the Bible Teach About Clean and Unclean Meats?


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18 thoughts on “5 Scriptures that Prove God’s Food Laws are Still Binding

      • What do you think about acts 15, mainly 13-29 and acts 21 mostly 15-25? From these scriptures, it’s clear that Mosaic law including the food laws are an unnecessary yoke, and that we aren’t obligated to follow them. What are your thoughts on this?

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      • Hi Chase,

        That’s definitely a false and twisted understand of Acts 15.

        “Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20 but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood” (Acts 15:19-20).

        So, if the Jerusalem council concluded that we only avoid idols, sexual immorality, strangled things and blood, does that mean we are to disregard the rest of God’s commandments? Is it okay to kill, steal, dishonor our parents? Obviously, NO!

        So, the traditional interpretation of false churches today are wrong.

        If you wish to learn more, please read my full explanation here: https://becomingchristians.com/new-covenant/did-the-acts-15-jerusalem-conference-free-us-from-keeping-gods-law/

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      • Hey Josh, I read your response to my question about acts 15 and acts 21, and I have some disagreements and some follow up questions.
        I agree that verse 1 of acts 15, the issue of circumcision is brought up, however our interpretation of verse 5 differs. “It is necessary to circumcise them, and* to command them to keep the law of Moses.” To me, this verse with the use of “and” expresses more than just circumcision. Had the verse stated, in keeping with the law or according to the law of Moses, I could agree with you, but it says and command them, so I disagree with your take on the next verses upto verse 11. It seems to me that you’re infatuated with circumcision because in your answer, you’re inserting it in every verse when it’s not mentioned at all past verse 5. In 8 and 9, “So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, “and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” There’s no mention of circumcised verses uncircumcised, just us and them. Now one definitely is circumcised and the other is mostly if not all uncircumcised, but I’m sure that the uncircumcised group has probably eaten some unclean meat as well on various occasions, yet the Holy Spirit didn’t care and made no distinction. Going to verse 11, “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.” Again no mention of circumcision, you’re simply adding it in your answer to drive home your point that this is all still about circumcision. We agree that it’s grace that saves us not circumcision or the food that we eat. We’ll come back to verse 10.

        Back to verse 5, the law of Moses. I’m going to quote you from your answer here:
        What did the Pharisees mean when they said, “Law of Moses?”

        Obviously, they are referring to the need to circumcise as well as some of the rituals and ceremonies related to circumcision written in the law of Moses. They could also refer to the temple worship rituals that include animal sacrifices.

        In this verse, when the “Law of Moses” was mentioned, it NEVER included the laws and commandments of God that define sin and righteousness.
        You say they could also refer to the temple worship rituals that include animal sacrifices. Could they or did they? To me this sounds like you’re not 100% concrete on what is totally meant by the law of Moses. It definitely covers circumcision in this instance, and by default rituals regarding circumcision, but temple rituals involving animal sacrifices? Hasn’t that already stopped? Are we making it official right here? So we’re getting rid of circumcision, rituals concerning circumcision, and rituals involving animal sacrifices, but definitely not rules on food. Why not? Why is food so important here when it has nothing to do with salvation and Christianity isn’t based on works? It seems to me, (and objectively I can be guilty of this too) that you’re assuming what is included and not included in the meaning of the law of Moses. So you’re picking and choosing what constitutes to be done away with within the law. It can’t be the whole law, it’s only circumcision; well I guess it could be temple rituals involving animal sacrifices too. You see what I mean? Next you stated that when the law of Moses was mentioned in verse 5, it never included the laws and commandments of God that define sin and righteousness. How do you know that 100%? And why can’t it? If you’re born again after receiving Jesus Christ and have the Holy Spirit living inside of you, then you are righteous before God through Jesus, and God doesn’t care or even see your sins. His law is written on our hearts, and if we continue to seek Him, we will become more and more like Him becoming more holy and righteous as we grow closer to Him. There’s no need to beat a dead horse, and to constantly pound the law onto us when we are naturally and willfully living out our lives the way Christ intended us too. Let me ask you, why do you look at acts 15 and think if this is all that is acknowledged, then all else must be permissible? Is it really that black and white to you? If the gentiles can come to the faith regardless of circumcision and adhere to the four statutes put in place, then according to you, they can learn the scriptures and over time realize what they truly can eat and not eat and how they should act as a follower of Jesus. So why can’t they just simply grow closer to God as they learn more over time and naturally live their lives as they believe God wants them too? God’s nature shines through the scriptures, and what He likes and dislikes is very evident as well. So couldn’t the gentiles learn to be more godly as they continue to learn and grow? You wouldn’t have to immediately bring up the 600+ laws on day one, right? Most cultures, christian or not, all agree that murder is bad, that kids should listen and obey their parents, and stealing is in fact wrong. My guess is these weren’t issues concerning anybody at the time, so no mention of it was necessary. However, just because it’s not talked about, doesn’t mean that it is just all of a sudden allowed or permitted. So why assume that anything not mentioned in acts 15 would be allowed? I have told my wife that if she ever had an affair on me and was honest about it and chose our family over the other guy, then I would forgive her and we could move on in our lives together. I don’t want her to have an affair, nor have I given her a hallpass to go out and do so. But I want her to know that I love her enough, honor our family and my vows for better or worse enough that she could still stay with me and our family despite that ever happening. And I hope that she appreciates how much I love her and our kids and how committed I am to our family that she remains faithful out of love and admiration towards us, instead of just obedience and obligation and wondering who’s going to get the house and win custody of the kids. Giving somebody all the freedom in the world to do what they want, and then seeing how they choose to act and live with that freedom is a great way to see how much they really truly love and respect you. Don’t you think?
        Going back to acts 15 verse 24(b) “You must be circumcised and* keep the law”-to whom we gave no such commandment-
        There’s that “and” again, plus I just wanted to point out that the interpretation one makes for the law has a lot to do with what this verse means to him/her. You think it’s just circumcision, maybe a little more, and I think it’s certainly more, and we’ll get to why soon enough. Skip to 28/29: For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.
        I would like to point out verse 28 no greater burden. At no point in acts 15 does it ever say or imply that these rules will change or increase later on after you’ve learned more scripture. Nor does it say just for now until you learn about clean and unclean meat. Now I would like to go back to acts 15:10 and ask your take on this.
        “Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?”

        What exactly do you think they and their ancestors couldn’t bear? Do you honestly think that from the time of Abraham to 30 years or so after Christ’s death on the cross when this was written that they struggled to circumcise their kids? Do you think throughout their lives they really contemplated the thought of having their foreskin? Since you’re circumcised as a baby, I would imagine this to be a very easy tradition to uphold. Can you provide examples or statistics of how often they screwed up or nearly screwed up the rituals to circumcision? Also, the food laws: you grow up eating what your parents feed you, and I’m guessing in the Jewish communities, you probably wouldn’t find a lot of unclean food. Since children learned the law growing up, I would assume the market on unclean food wouldn’t be very successful. So I would assume this yoke that nobody could bear is most definitely not circumcision, and probably not food, so what could it be? How about the 600+ laws that nobody other than Jesus could abide and uphold? I mean that is a pretty huge yoke and only He was capable of bearing it. And since He fulfilled the law, and we inherent His righteousness; we have already fulfilled the law through Jesus. And with the Holy Spirit living inside us and guiding us, as long as we focus on He who is worthy and grow closer to Him and study His word, we will fulfill the lives that God has in store for us.

        Acts 21:20(b)-25 paraphrased
        “You see brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law; “but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs…Take them and be purified with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads, and that all may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you are nothing, but that you yourself also walk orderly and keep the law. “But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. ”

        Again acts 21:21 not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. Here it’s not just circumcision, and not even according to the custom, but customs. Go back to verse 20 zealous for the law. Is it the whole law or just circumcision? I mean it seems really weird to me that they’re going to arrest Paul and beat him over this in the next chapter over abdicating to keep foreskin. To them they’re practically born without it, so why is it such a big deal that the gentiles are allowed to keep theirs? If they’re this mad over circumcision, then imagine how mad they would be about doing away with food laws or those 600+ laws to follow – that they built their whole life around? I think that’s the root of this problem and not circumcision. We still fight over it today. “If you’re really saved, you accept being under God’s law. You won’t willfully sin, not ever.” Why wouldn’t Paul address grace verses circumcision right here? Instead he gives the four rules from acts 15, and nowhere in that chapter does it ever specify that your food laws will change more as you learn and grow in scripture and your relationship with the Lord.

        I really don’t mind if anyone wants to follow the food laws from the old testament. It’s just the fact that it’s an obligation for christians to follow the food laws that bothers me. To me and the vast majority of christians, it’s very clear in the new testament that we are not obligated to follow those food laws from Leviticus and Deuteronomy. And I think acts 15 and 21 when broken down strongly demonstrate that. I really don’t see how it can be twisted to insert old testament food laws here.

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      • Hi Chase,

        Thank you so much for your reply and I could see how zealous you are on the topic.

        I would like to keep my reply brief and simple.

        It is obvious that when the Acts 15 mentioned Law of Moses, it didn’t refer to ALL the laws you find in the OT because if it is, then we wouldn’t be keeping the Ten Commandments anymore.

        You see my point? If it is true that it is okay for us to eat unclean meat, then why did Isaiah in 66:17 end-time prophecy still called swine and mouse as abomination?

        Why would Peter say that he hasn’t still eaten unclean meat in Acts 10:14 years after Christ’s resurrection?

        Why would the Apostle John still retained the distinction of clean and unclean birds in Revelation 18:2?

        I know it’s difficult to accept the laws of God because our mind is naturally against it.

        Please keep in mind that keeping God’s law doesn’t mean you’re denying His saving grace. Keeping God’s law is only the right response if you want to dedicate your life to Him.

        If you wish to learn more about clean and unclean meat, please read:

        https://becomingchristians.com/2014/07/01/5-scriptures-that-prove-gods-food-laws-are-still-binding/

        https://becomingchristians.com/2014/02/27/5-compelling-reasons-you-should-also-observe-gods-food-law/

        God is loving and caring. In His great love, He gave us the food laws to guide us in choosing the right type of food. If you still want to eat whatever you want, you can go ahead. But as for me, I’ll follow the wisdom of God. He is our Creator and He perfectly knows what’s good for me.

        Regards,
        Joshua

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    • I believe the food laws are also for us today, God didn’t change the law, but my preacher says in Galations 5:7-19 Paul is mad at the Galatians because they are going buy the old laws, I don’t know about Paul I think this was his second letter the them. I don’t think the food laws has anything to do with the cross. They are for us to eat what is good for us, why would God change that, he didn;t. My preacher is new and I don’t agree with him alot.

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    • Hi Sharingsfromsam!

      Thanks for bringing those verses up.

      I believe you’re referring to Romans 14:14.

      Sadly, a lot of Christians don’t really read the full context of this verse.

      This is a huge topic which I hope I can write an article about in the future. But for now, let me give you a quick answer.

      I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Romans 14:14

      There are two types of uncleanness in the bible. I can be used to refer to food or it can be used for ceremonially unclean people.

      Let me quote a portion of this article (https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-new-covenant-does-it-abolish-gods-law/does-romans-14-abolish-laws-on-unclean-meats) here:

      In Romans 14 Paul uses the word koinos, which means “common” (W.E. Vine, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 1985, “Unclean,” p. 649). In addition to the meanings of “common” and “ordinary” (see Acts 2:44; Acts 4:32; Titus 1:4; Hebrews 10:29), the word also applied to things considered polluted or defiled. This word, along with its verb form koinoo, is used in Mark 7:2, Mark 7:15-23, where it obviously refers to ceremonial uncleanness.

      Koinos and koinoo appear throughout the New Testament to refer to this kind of ceremonial uncleanness. Something could be “common”—ceremonially unclean—even though it was otherwise considered a scripturally clean meat.

      An entirely different word, akathartos, is used in the New Testament for those animals Scripture specifies as unclean. Both words, koinos and akathartos, are used in Acts 10, where Peter distinguished between the two concepts of uncleanness by using both words in Acts 10:14.

      ________

      If you wish, you can read the article for further information.

      For your second verse:

      11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Matthew 5:11

      Not to sure how this is related to the food laws.

      If you have other questions, please let me know.

      Regards,
      Joshua

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  5. Nice write up!
    May I add another proof of keeping the food laws existed after Mashyach returned to The Father?

    James & Peter were teaching the gentiles to abstain from consuming blood and unclean meat.

    Food offered up to idols was a term in the 1st Century. Most all Isrealites knew what it meant. Today…very few people understand it.
    The Greeks took over the Temple and most of Israel for a brief period.
    They brought their idols and slaughtered pig ON THE SACRED ALTER to offer up to their statues.
    It defiled the Temple badly.
    The Maccabees books explain all this.
    Food offered up to idols is always PIG. And pig is NEVER ok to eat. It is meat but not food. (Cat, Dog, Rat, Bat, Lizzard all have meat…but they are not food.)

    Another fun fact:
    A Sabbath Day’s Journey is a distance measurement of apprx 1/8 of a mile. Based on ridiculous pharisee “laws”. How far they could travel from their homes on the Sabbath.

    Like

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