Mark 7:18-23 is given sometimes in the issue of clean and
unclean foods. Nothing from outside put into the mouth can
"defile" a person, hence I presume the argument is that it does
not matter what we eat, or to put it another way, the food laws
given to Israel by God through Moses (in Lev. 11 and Deut. 14)
are no longer laws we need to observe today.
And yes, it is very true that SPIRITUALLY speaking there is
nothing physical that we can put in our mouth to eat that defiles
us in the spiritual way.....UNLESS....and I come to the unless
If you become a Christian, but you either do not know, or
have not been taught about God's food laws, you are blinded or in
the dark about the Eternal's laws on diet, about the clean and
unclean food laws, you will eat whatever you like. You are
ignorant of such physical matters, and if the Lord does not
reveal those particular laws then you will go your way doing your
thing on what you put into your mouth.
Such a person in that situation is NOT defiling themselves
"spiritually" - mind and heart is fine, they are ignorant of
certain things within God's word. Will they be saved in
that condition? YES, I fully believe they will be, for what we
are talking about is physical things we eat. A physical law maybe
is being broken but it will not affect the heart and mind,
because of the attitude of the individual, who has not had
certain truths revealed to them, especially physical laws. And
God will save such a person, they can and will be in the Kingdom
So in that sense and within that situation, as Jesus said,
there is nothing from without, being eaten, that can defile a
person spiritually......UNLESS.....and there is an unless.
If you know God's laws on this matter, if you are not
blinded, if you know the will of God, if you know what He has
written in His word on this...yes, even a physical matter,
if you KNOW to do right and good, and you do it NOT, THEN IT HAS
BECOME SIN TO YOU ( see James 4:17).
Now we have moved from the physical blindness into the realm
of spiritual rebellion, into the sphere of SPIRITUAL DEFILEMENT.
The heart and mind is NOW affected, it is no longer just a
matter of the physical, but rebellion against the way and
precepts of God, it has now become the defilement picture.
It has now become a whole new ball-game so to speak.
And it is no longer really anything to do with a certain
"unclean" whatever you are going to eat, it is now a matter of
the mind...."Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it
not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17).
Now we can understand Isaiah 66: 15-18. Here at Jesus'
coming, the Messiah coming in power and glory (verses 15-16 ) are
people with hearts and minds that God KNOWS, which mindset
results in works and thoughts and yes in religious type works,
and yes, also eating that which God has forbidden to eat (verses
By the time Jesus, the Lord, returns we have had Elijah
coming and restoring all things (see my study on "The Elijah to
come") and we have had the two witnesses in Jerusalem teaching
and preaching the truths and Word of God to most of the world
(Rev.11). The knowledge of God will have been sounded near and
far. People will have heard, and been taught truths of the Lord
as never before in the world. Many though will have an attitude
of plain rebellion on many things they will have heard, both what
we call spiritual things and also what we could call physical
The people in Isaiah 66:15-18 will be rebelling against many
of the laws of God, including the laws of what we should put into
our mouths to eat, and....well just read what is written and
you'll get an up-front, pull no punches, as to what God is going
to do to such person with this attitude of mind. Their attitude
of mind affects even some physical matters such as food eating.
And again I say it is not what they are eating per se that
defiles them, but the attitude of mind behind it all.
So indeed in some cases what goes into the mouth, anything,
does not spiritually defile that person. On the other hand if the
heart and mindset does know to do good, and they do it not, but
rebel against the Eternal, then that situation with that person
has moved into the spiritual realm, and it then does become a
spiritual salvation matter.
This is all just another example as to why Jesus told people
that they had to "count the cost" when they decided to answer
God's call to be His child....there is a lot more to it, being a
Christian, than what most people have been led to believe.
But the end result of serving the Father in all His ways is
without equal, it will be eternity with Him as His son or
Written July 2003