Keith Hunt - Vegetarianism - God's ideal diet? Restitution of All
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Vegetarianism - God's ideal diet?

What did the Lord teach to Adam and Eve?


                              by

                          Keith Hunt



     There  are  those  who  are  vegetarians  because  they see
that our animals  are  polluted  from  man  made  "shots"  of 
this  or  that substance.  They  are  well aware that most
commercial meats are not anywhere  as  wholesome  as  they  used
to be 50 years ago and more.
     These  people  decide  to  become vegetarians from a modern
"health" viewpoint,  and if they can not obtain natural "organic"
meats they will eat no meat. I admit I am one of them, and eat
very very little meat unless I can obtain "organic" meat.
     But  there  are  thousands of "religious" vegetarians who
are non meat  eaters  BECAUSE they think the word of God teaches
that it was the Lord's original plan for mankind to eat only
fruits,seeds,grains,and nuts.
     No better illustration of this teaching and belief can be
found than in the adult Sabbath school lessons of Jan/Feb/March
l993, published by the Seventh Day Adventist Church:

DIVINE DIET(GEN.1:29;3:18).

     "What  did God originally intend for us to eat? Gen.1:29.
What did He add after the fall? Gen.3:18. Before  they  sinned,
Adam and  Eve ate fruits, seeds, grains, and nuts.......When  did
God finally give His consent for people to eat meat, and why?
Gen.9:1-3. What restrictions did God place on eating meat?
Gen.7:2. Think  about it: Why does it make sense now more than
ever to return to God's original diet......"

     The  scripture  that  religious  vegetarians  use  to 
support their argument that God's original plan was to have
humans eat only no meat foods, is Genesis 1:29.
     We shall see that when you take the WHOLE written word of
God, when  you  do as Jesus said we should do, and that is "Man
shall not live  by  bread  alone, but by every word that
proceedeth out of the mouth  of  God"(Mat.4:4)  - when that is
followed we shall see that Gen.1:29 is NOT teaching that God
originally intended mankind to be vegetarians.
     Is  ALL  vegetation  good  for  food?  Of  course it is not!
Some vegetation if eaten  will KILL YOU! Even some of the seed
bearing vegetation is harmful to you. So Gen.1:29 is NOT an all
encompassing simple formula as to what God intended our first
parents to eat. God would have had to spend some in-depth time
with them concerning diet and  what  they  should  and  should 
not eat to remain healthy and strong.  We need to remember that
the first chapters of Genesis only hit  the  high  spots  - much
more than what is recorded for us must have transpired.  Are  we 
to assume that after God blessed and sanctified the 7th day
Sabbath, He never instructed Adam and Eve on how to keep that day
holy? Are we to believe that after God created sex He never gave
our first parents any instructions on sexuality?
     What about husband and wife relations, are we to understand
that God gave no lessons of instruction on this topic to Adam and
Eve before they fell into sin?

     The  Bible gives us no time frame from the 7th day of
creation to the serpent leading Eve into sin - it could have been
a number of weeks, months or even years. In any event, knowing
God to be the loving, kind and merciful person that He is, it
would be very improbable that He did not give much more detailed
instructions on many important subjects that Adam and Eve would
need as they began the beginning of their lives.

     I have written very extensively on the law of Gen.1:29
concerning eating foods bearing seeds. In a nut shell (pun
intended) the main teaching that God is giving us in Gen.1:29 is
NOT that we should, or that He originally wanted us to be
vegetarians, but that the vegetation we should eat should be seed
bearing and green. In other words or as an example, what this
verse in Genesis is teaching is that things like mushrooms or
moss were not created to be food for the health and wellbeing of
mankind. There is a teaching of "limitations" of what vegetation
is to be eaten in this verse. This limitation teaching is the
theme and main point of what God said to Adam and Eve in 
Gen.1:29,30 and NOT that they were only to eat vegetation.

     Now  ask  yourself  this  question, if it was the Lord's
original "state of the art" plan for mankind to be vegetarians,
then would you not suppose those Christians who were following
God's original design to be the stronger - the more spiritually
stronger - the less spiritually  weaker? Of course you would I
think,for they would be the ones going back to the way it
supposedly was before sin entered the world.  You  would think
the Bible would hold up such people as the "strong in the faith."
Well hold on to that for a while, and if you believe the
vegetarian only eater is the more stronger in the faith, then 
you  are  in for a big surprise, right out of the very
Word of God.
     Before I give you that eye opening verse that will "blow
your mind" (if you've never read it before), first, I want you to
understand a very important point of Bible STUDY. God has caused
His word to be written down as a jig-saw-puzzle. He has 
deliberately and methodically done this so people will be led
astray and deceived - blinded from His truths. Until God removes 
that blindness through the power of the Holy Spirit, not only
can no one come to Christ to be saved from sin, but they can not
understand God's word. Oh, they may understand little portions of
it, but their errors will outnumber by far the truths they have.
You need to look up and read carefully these scriptures that
prove what I have just said is true: Rev.12:9; Acts 4:8-12; John
6:44,65; Mark 13:11,12; Mat.13:10-16.

     Even  those  who have been called and chosen by the Father
are to "Study to show thyself approved unto God,a workman that
needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2
Tim.2:15). 
     It was Jesus who said "Thy (the Father's) word is
truth"(John 17:17). He was referring to God's inspired word as
found in the Holy Bible. This only is truth, not some writings of
a man or woman.
     I want you to turn to Isaiah the 28th chapter. Notice what
Isaiah says in verse 9, "Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom
shall he make to understand DOCTRINE?" A very good question
indeed, then he gives the answer,  "them that are weaned with
milk, and drawn from the breast."                                
                      
     But in what way does being "weaned from the milk" mean? 
Isaiah was inspired to tell us in the next verse, "For precept
must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line; line
upon line; here a little and there a little."
     God  has  put His word down like a jig-saw-puzzle - you must
hunt and search for all the pieces of any particular area or
topic before you can know and understand the truth of any
doctrine.
     Just as Jesus spoke in parables to the vast population NOT
so they would better understand but so they would NOT UNDERSTAND,
so they would not "get it" but be left in darkness and sin. So,
God has written His word a little here and a little there, a line
here and a line there, in order that those who will not study to
show themselves approved, rightly dividing(putting together) the
word of truth, searching it out and fitting it together like a
jig-saw-puzzle, will, "....go and fall backward, and be broken,
and snared, and taken"(Isaiah 28:13).

     So let's put what we have just discovered into practice.
Sometimes God has given us a line of truth in Genesis within the
context of a certain topic and another line of truth on the same
subject in another book of the Bible far away from Genesis. And
this is the case here on this question as to the original diet
God intended Adam and Eve to follow. We find more to this puzzle
way over in the book of......TIMOTHY! Yes, way over in the New
Testament.
     Turn to the first book of Timothy and chapter 4. Paul was
inspired to foretell about the latter days and a time when some
would "depart  from the faith" in verse one. They would become so
hardened in their false beliefs that were doctrines of demons,
that their minds would be branded and just about impossible to
change to acknowledge the truth. I hope dear reader your mind is
not seared to the point where you can not admit your errors and
rejoice in the truth.
     We  see  in  verses 3-5 that Paul mentions TWO wrong
doctrines in particular. One is "forbidding to marry" and we
certainly have that doctrine around us today. One large Christian
church still teaches its priests to remain single, and there are
others who teach people not to marry when they are within God's
law to do so.
     But  now on to the second false doctrine that Paul talks
about in some detail.  Paul is telling us that some would depart
from the faith in the latter days and teach that we should
abstain from "meats" or food, of what kind? - creatures is the
answer(verse 4).
     The word used here for "creature" is the same as James 1:18.
We humans of flesh and blood are "creatures" in that sense of the
word. So are cows, sheep, goats, and pigs and horses for that
matter, as well as all birds and fish.                           
            
     Is Paul in these verses telling us that we are now allowed
to eat anything that moves, creeps, wiggles or crawls?  Some say
he is and that God's laws concerning clean and unclean meats is
no longer in effect today.
     As we carefully  examine the words Paul uses we can see that
is NOT what Paul was teaching.  The meats that Paul was saying
some would tell you to abstain from, were to be received with
thanksgiving OF  THEM  which believe and know the truth.  Again,
let me ask, what is truth?  I gave you the answer earlier - God's
word is truth said Jesus. And we are to live by every word of it
He told us (Mat.4:4). God's word in Lev.11 and Duet.14 gives us
the laws of the clean and unclean creatures. Nothing in the New
Testament teaches that New Covenant Christians are set free from
the physical laws of health that were set down by the Lord under
the Old Covenant, and even before that covenant came. But all of
that proof must be given in another study on CLEAN AND UNCLEAN
MEATS.
     Notice verse 4 and 5. Every creature is good and nothing to
be refused  FOR, verse five says, "For it is SANCTIFIED by the
WORD OF GOD and prayer."  Those creatures that are to be received
with thankfulness by those who know the truth, are FIRST of all,
sanctified by God's word - set apart by God's word. God's word
sets them apart for you  -  tells you which kind of creatures are
given to you for food to eat. It is not prayer that is first, you
can not just pray over any slimy unclean creature and ask God to
bless it to your bodies health when He has never sanctified it by
His word for you to eat.
     Those who know the truth, those who know what meats are set
apart as fit to eat in God's word, can receive it with a thankful
heart.
     These  sanctified creatures are to be received and not
refused as some in the latter days would teach.
     Remember when Paul was writing this there was no large scale
meat pollution of clean animals like there is today. Yet even
with our polluted planet it is possible to obtain organic natural
meats that only acid rain has contaminated, then acid rain has
contaminated many organic vegetables also.
     This prophecy of Paul's should make would be "vegetarianism
is God's original design"  preachers SHAKE in their boots!  Paul
said that in the last days a departing from the faith would
include a doctrine from demons that would teach people to abstain
from meats/creatures which God created to be received - as given
in Lev.11 and Duet.14.
     And that brings me to that word in verse three - CREATED!
The Greek phrase reads "which God created for reception." 
     When were these clean, sanctified by God's word, creatures 
made  clean? Sometime after the fall of man, or after Noah's
flood?  No,they were CREATED clean, from the very beginning when
God made them during those 7 creative days.
     Genesis 7 tells you that Noah took seven pairs of CLEAN
animals into the ark and only two of a kind from the unclean. The
animals were clean and unclean before the flood. Paul was
inspired to tell us they were made this way WHEN they were
created.
     Paul tells us they were created to be received by those who
would know the truth. Did Adam and Eve know the truth? Sure they
did! God walked and talked with them - instructed them in the way
they ought to go. He had Adam give names to the animals, surely
at that time God instructed him about which were created clean
and which were created unclean - which were fit for him to eat
and which were not.

PAUL AND THE ROME CHURCH CONTROVERSY 

     Even  during the apostolic church age this argument of
eating or NOT eating meat arose in a least one of the churches of
God. And who did the Lord inspire to judge the matter, why the
man who undoubtedly was the Churches most scholastic minister -
the man who was highly educated and a past expert in Pharisaical
teachings - the man Paul.  
     This  man was a student of the Old Testament and Jewish
teachings and traditions. More important, he claimed he was
personally taught by  Christ  -  see  Galatians  1:11,12.
Certainly he had many of the gifts of the Spirit and was not
afraid to use the scriptures to prove his point.                 
                          
     He  was  not slow to use the first few chapter of Genesis to
bear evidence to his stand. I would like you to note how he
backed up instruction to Timothy about women teaching in the 
church (l Tim.2:11-14).  He  used  the  book  of  Genesis  to 
prove his point concerning  physical  circumcision and faith to
the Romans and Jews, in his book of Galatians.
     Paul was very well versed in the scriptures.                
      
     There  arose among the members of the church at Rome the
issue of eating all things (within the laws of God) and eating
herbs only.
     In other  words the issue of vegetarianism as opposed to
those who were not vegetarians. Here was the grand opportunity
for Paul to wax eloquent and put the record straight not only for
those at Rome but for the whole New Testament church from that
time on.               
     Surely if any man knew the truth of Gen.1:29 it would have
been Paul. If he had been fully taught by Christ and the Holy
Spirit that Gen.1:29 taught God's original ideal for mankind was
vegetarianism, he now had the opportunity to proclaim that truth
to the Church in straight forward language. He could have easily
said as Jesus often did, "from the beginning" it was not so or it
was so. He could have easily quoted Gen.1:29 as he did with other
Genesis verses, to prove the faith of the herb only eaters was
the correct one from an "original" point of view. He could easily
have upheld as "stronger in the faith" those who taught
vegetarianism as God's original ideal as found in Gen.1:29.      
                                        
     But he did NO SUCH THING! It would seem from what he did say
the verse in question in Genesis DID NOT ENTER HIS MIND for one 
second. He did not allude to it, quote from it, give it as an
example, or even come close to it in any way.                    
 
     Now look at what he DID say. You will find it in Romans
14:1-2.   
     "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to
doubtful disputations.  For one believes that he may eat all
things: another who is weak, eateth herbs."                      
                  
     Notice carefully, Paul is not talking about someone who is 
PHYSICALLY weak in body or health, but one who is weak "in THE
FAITH." 
     Now who would you say could be "weak in the faith"?  A
person who understands God's basic 10 commandments, who knows the
7th day Sabbath should be kept holy, who has repented and
accepted Jesus as their savior, who has been baptized in water -
could he/she be still looked upon as weak in the faith, not
knowing too much else about the  Bible, still having lots to read
and learn about God's way of life?
     Yes  I  think they could be described as "a babe in Christ"
- "weak in the faith". Many coming into the Church of God at Rome
were from a pagan society, they knew very little about what God's
word said on many aspects of living. They were still looking into
the word to see how they would change their thinking, acting, and
customs. Few would have come from the background that Paul was
raised in, even many of the converted Jews had much to learn
about the REAL truths of God's word, most of them had followed
the traditions of the Pharisees or some other Jewish sect. There
would be many in the church who would be as Paul said, "weak in
the faith."

     Some understood that God's word sanctioned the eating of
MEAT - "may eat all things." In passing, there are those
who say this is "doing away with" the clean and unclean food laws
of the Old Testament, but does Paul mean by the use of the phrase
"may eat all things" that a person can now eat the plant DEADLY
NIGHT SHADE, or POISON mushrooms? Of course not! The "all things"
that Paul is referring to is ALL THINGS WITHIN the LAWS of God.
     Paul said, "another who is weak" and we have seen he was
referring to weak in KNOWLEDGE, weak in the UNDERSTANDING of the
faith, those, some at least, believed you should ONLY eat herbs
and vegetables.

     These are the two verses that should "blow you away" as I
told you earlier that I would give you. There is just no way
around it, the truth of the matter is pretty plain to see if you
are willing to see it. In Paul's mind (and he was as spiritually
strong in knowledge as any one, being directly taught of Jesus -
Galatians 1) those who believed that it was God's original
intention, or that it was spiritually more faithful, to be a
vegetarian, were WEAK IN THE FAITH! They just did not understand,
they had, at least on this point of the faith, some growing in
strength yet to attain.

     Paul did make it very clear in the following verses that the
meat eater and the vegetarian were to accept each other as full
members of the body of Christ. They were not to condemn each
other. They were both at liberty under God, to either eat meat or
not eat meat. Both were fully received by God as His child.
     There is no law of God that says you MUST eat meat. God has
given the clean and unclean food laws to show which creatures He
created to be good food for humans, but He never said a person
MUST eat meat as a way of life. It is interesting in passing that
the PASSOVER and those participating in it were to eat LAMB! So
all circumcised men and all women were to eat lamb at least once
a year under the Old Covenant. Under the New Covenant this was
replaced by BREAD and the fruit of the VINE. So, from the death
of Christ forward no person has to eat ANY meat, at any time, if
they do not want to.

     Eating meat or not eating meat is a PHYSICAL thing.
Spiritually it has NO influence on God at all. It is NOTHING to
Him. He allowes His children to eat or not eat meat. God shows no
more favor to the one or the other.
     This eating meat or not eating meat is strictly PHYSICAL
unless the vegetarian WANTS TO MAKE IT A MATTER OF FAITH, wants
to make it into a spiritual issue, then if they do, Paul was
inspired to write that from THE FAITH point of view, the
vegetarian was "weak in the faith" - there was no scriptural
ground for their belief that it was God's original design for
mankind to be herb eaters only. To take it one step further, by
saying such a stand was equivalent to being "weak in the faith"
would indicate that the opposite, understanding God gave clean
animals to be eaten by Adam and Eve from the beginning, was to be
"strong in the faith."

WHAT ABOUT THE EXAMPLE OF DANIEL?

     Many religious vegetarians who want to take their stand on
the platform of "the faith," will try to use the example of
Daniel as found in the book of daniel, chapter 1 and verses 1-20.
     
     The Seventh Day Adventist study lessons before cited were
true to the context when they wrote:

     "Daniel's test case was not so much over the benefits of
vegetarianism as it was over his loyalty to God."

     Notice verse 8 of Daniel chapter one. He was determined in
his heart "not to DEFILE himself with the portion of the king's
meat, nor with the wine which he drank...." 

     This section of Scripture does not tell us what the king was
eating or drinking but whatever it was it would have DEFILED
Daniel. As this young man knew the health and food laws of God he
was not going to defile himself by breaking those laws.
Obviously, if he had eaten the king's food he would have
compromised his faith.  
     Nothing in this section of God's word shows vegetarianism to
be spiritually superior or to be God's original ideal diet for
mankind.

THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS

     It is recorded that Jesus was sinless, that He came to this
earth and set us the PERFECT example of how to live - mentally,
spiritually, and physically. His life in word and deed is the
ultimate in perfection. He said that He did only what His Father
in heaven wanted Him to do and to speak.
     Jesus often had confrontations with the religious leaders of
His time. Many of those encounters involved PHYSICAL things,
customs and rites, such as eating with unwashed hands. Sometimes
Jesus would answer by taking them back to BEFORE Moses and to
God's original law and ideal.
     The laws of clean and unclean meats had been a part of daily
life among the Jews. Here was Jesus magnifying the laws of God,
restoring them to their correct understanding and application,
talking about the way things should be in the lives of His
followers, setting the example in word and deed. If He knew that
it was Scripturally correct from Gen. 1:29 that God's original
ideal for mankind and especially His children, was to stop eating
meat and become vegetarians, you would think that somewhere, at
some time, during those three and a half years of public
ministry, He would have corrected the situation, at least for His
followers of that time and those to come afterwards. BUT HE NEVER
UTTERED A WORD ON THE SUBJECT!!

     Even after His resurrection, and His return to the Father in
heaven and the coming of the Holy Spirit to reveal all the truth
and to bring all things to remembrance that He spoke, was anyone
(that was used to write the New Testament) inspired to affirm
that God's original ideal was to have all people as vegetarians.
Not one word about this in the New Testament - complete SILENCE!
And when something is said about the issue of eating or not
eating meat, the person who believes as a matter of FAITH, is
regarded by the inspired Paul as "weak in the faith."

     Jesus set us an example. Did Jesus eat meat? He observed the
Passover all of His life - so He ate LAMB at least once every
year. The Bible is full of examples of the men and women of God
eating meat, eggs, fish, butter, and milk!

     Yes, in today's polluted societies, we need to be careful
about the eating of meats, fish, milk, and the like, but then we
need also to be careful about our choices of flour, rice, and
sweets, for they can be terribly polluted also and/or robbed of
all their natural goodness through refining processes.
     I have seen far too many none meat eaters, who think they
are returning to God's original ideal in diet, eating, as a way
of life, white flour products, white rice, white sugar, too many
refined sweet products, and drinking soda pops by the carton.

     God's design for us was to follow His food laws as laid out
in His word. 

     I will publish other articles under this food law heading as
time permits.

                             ................

Written January 1993

FOOT NOTE:

     Some would say that in God giving man dominion over all the
earth He was given the power over all creatures to rule and
subdue them, so the horse would serve man, the donkey and the
mule, the ox, even the elephant etc. He could train them and
build circuses BUT they would not be for food, not even the
"clean" animals, the argument would go.
     This falls in the light of God giving man dominion over the
FISH of the seas! If a man was to be a vegetarian why would God
hive him rulership and dominion over that which was in the sea?
The sea and that in it would be of no concern for mankind if God
had told him to be a vegetarian and he was only to eat nuts,
grains, seeds, and plants.
     Man has never used the large sea creatures as cargo carriers
of merchandise, so why at the beginning of man's creation was he
told by the creator that he could have dominion over the fish of
the sea, if he was not to eat of those fish? Surely nobody thinks
this means that God was telling mankind he could catch fish to
put in a glass tank and watch them swim around during the evening
time while relaxing in his tent or hut because they would have no
TV to view.
     Surely no one believes this was the Lord's instruction for
man to catch fish, for Adam and Eve to catch fish, and put them
in a big pond so Cain and Abel could watch them swim around.
     I suggest that by God telling Adam and Eve RIGHT FROM THE
BEGINNING that they had dominion over the fish in the seas, He
was telling them that the fish of the sea were for FOOD. As I
have said in the body of this article, God would have spent a
number of hours and lessons of instruction to inform Adam and Eve
about His food laws - the clean and unclean animals, birds, fish
and creeping things, that He had created to be good food for
mankind to eat. He would have spent some time with them
instructing them about what green see-bearing plants were good
for food, as some of them if eaten can make you sick, or even
kill you within a very short time.
     
     Verse 28 and 29 of Genesis chapter one, are GENERAL
statements only. They tell us God gave to the first man and woman
creatures of the sea, land and air, the plants and vegetation of
the earth that was green and seed bearing, for food. These verses
are GENERAL STATEMENTS and not all encompassing instructions as
to what God told Adam and Eve about His food laws. In the same
way Genesis 2:24,25 are not all encompassing verses about
marriage and sex. The lord would have given them any number of
lessons and instruction on both marriage and sex, as well as
childbirth and delivery.


 
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