When God gave Moses the law prohibiting the eating of pork and other unclean animals, He had a scientific reason for doing so. God knew what He was doing when He forbade the eating of certain kinds of flesh. God had the welfare and best interests of Israel at heart when He gave Moses the law at Mount Sinai, and He knew that if Israel would observe certain laws of sanitation and diet, disease would not be able to fasten onto their bodies.
The first covenant that God made with Israel after He delivered them from Egypt was a covenant of health. In this covenant, God stated that if Israel would abide by his laws, commandments and statutes, disease would not come upon them as it did upon the Egyptians, and He would be their Healer.
And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his com-mandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptian; for I am the LORD that healeth thee.
This covenant is repeated in:
And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.
Again in Deuteronomy 7:11-15;
11 Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments and the statutes and the judgments which I command thee this day, to do them.
15 And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.
Three different times God promises to keep Israel in perfect health, if Israel would observe and keep his commandments, statutes and judgements. In other words, one of the purposes of the giving of the law was that Israel might be strong and healthy. This was the purpose for God’s laws concerning sanitation and diet. When America gets back to the observance of the divine laws of health, sanitation and diet, as well as the other commandments, statutes and judgements of God, disease will disappear from our midst, just like it did in Israel, when she left Egypt.
Psalm 105:37 says;
He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.
Nearly three million Israelites came out of Egypt, a population almost the size of Chicago, and there was not one sick, diseased, infirm, afflicted, feeble person among them; and they didn’t have any doctors, hospitals, sanatoriums, drug stores, aspirins, Salk vaccine, penicillin or Hardacol.
Israel observed and kept God’s laws, stopped taking into their bodies those things that produce disease, and God, in fulfilment of His promise, healed them.
A few years ago, the State Department of Public Health of Illinois, published a seven page pamphlet entitled “Thrichinosis”. This was Circular Number 64. This pamphlet stated that 16% of the people of the United States, or some 22 million, persons were suffering from the disease called Thrichinosis, which comes from eating pork.
God knew all about the trichinella spirals that infest the body of swine and other unclean animals, and to prevent the disease from afflicting human beings, God forbade the use of swine and other unclean animals in the human diet, being just a simple method of disease prevention. Scientists are now learning the value of the divine dietary laws.
Because the subject of the eating of pork is once more becoming a question of national concern, I want to give you a few facts that you should know as you come to your own decision in the matter of eating pork.
In Leviticus 11:7-8; God told Israel,
7 And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.
8 Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.
I have heard ministers refer to the pig and say, “The ceremonial uncleanness of the pig has nothing to do with the ceremony”. The ceremony was given at about 1490 B.C., but in Genesis 7, which was almost a thousand years before the giving of the ceremony, God told Noah how many clean animals and how many unclean animals he should take into the ark.
If they were clean and unclean then, the giving of the ceremony a thousand years later would have nothing to do with making them either clean or unclean. They were not ceremonially unclean; they were scientifically and physiologically unclean, and because of their physiological uncleanness God prohibited their use as food.
God prohibited the eating of pork and unclean animals because He wanted to stamp out trichinosis and other diseases. Trichinosis is a disease that we don’t read much about in the newspapers or magazines, but it is a serious health problem.
The pamphlet on “trichinosis”, published by the State of Illinois Department of Public Health, has this to say:
“Trichinosis is a disease in which the muscles of the body are infested with tiny worms called “trichinae”, too small to be recognised with the unaided eye. There may be thousands of them - or only a few. In its acute form, the disease is extremely painful and weakening; sometimes it is fatal”.
“Trichinosis is incurable, except as the body eventually walls of the worms, but since the worms are acquired in food, the disease can be prevented - and prevention is, so far, the only way to bring it under control”.
“The extent of the trichinosis problem can be seen from the fact that a study of autopsies made in various parts of the United States revealed evidence of the infection in as high as 35% of all the bodies examined. Authorities on the subject estimate that 16%, or some 22 million persons may have this strength-draining disease”.
Then the article goes on to say that in the last fifty years, surveys have repeatedly shown that 1.5 % of all hogs in the United States have trichinae, and that every man, woman and child in the country stands a good chance of eating some infected pork, two or three times a year.
Dr. Sylvester Could, an authority on trichinosis, made a study on the number of infected hogs, which was 15,000 out of every 1,000,000 hogs, and figured that the average American consumes two hundred meals of pork containing trichinae during his life-time.
Dr. Edward T. Wilkes, writing in Better Health, September 1950, made this statement: “Millions of people suffer, and no small number die, because of apathy toward our national plague – trichinosis”.
The pamphlet by the State of Illinois Department of Public Health says: “Swine acquire the worms by eating offal or garbage containing scraps of raw infested pork, or the flesh of infested rats, mice, or other animals. Rats and mice get them by eating infested meat from garbage, or through cannibalism. Similarly, dogs, cats, and other carnivorous animals may get trichinae with raw meat or the flesh of some diseased animal”.
“Bears frequently have trichinae, and a few cases of trichinosis in man have been traced to uncooked bear meat. The grass-eating domestic animals - cattle, sheep, goats and horses - are not likely to have the worms, except in rare instances, such as laboratory experiments, since such animals do not eat meat”.
Whatever the source, this is what happens after trichinosis meat is eaten by man:
“As the meat is digested, the worms still in the larval stage, about 1/25 inch in length, are freed from the oval shaped, cocoon-like capsules, or cysts, in which they have lain coiled. The capsules are only about 1/5 inch in diameter. The digestive juices dissolve the capsules. That frees the worms and they pass from the stomach into the small intestine. There they settle in the folds of the inner lining and attain maturity in about two to three days. Then they mate, but continue to grow, reaching maximum size 4 or 5 days later, or about 6 to 7 days after entering the body. Full-grown females measure about 1/8 to 1/16 inch in length, while males average about half as long.
“About five days after reaching the intestinal tract, the females begin to give birth to their young, which are born alive, not in the usual form of eggs. Each female produces 1,000 to 1,500. Production of young may extend over several weeks. Adult worms may be found in the body even months after the original infection”.
“Since the female trichinae settle deeply into the intestinal lining, the new-born larvae - which measure about 1/250 inch in length -- are deposited directly into the tissue. The larvae are then carried to the heart in the veins and then are circulated throughout the body in the arteries.
“After this distribution by the blood stream, the trichinae larvae work their way into the major muscles, penetrating among the fibres. From ten to fourteen days after penetrating the muscle fibres, the larvae reach their full length of about 1/25 of an inch. They then begin to make their capsules thin-walled and transparent, which may be seen about two weeks, a total of perhaps six weeks after the original infection”.
“Now what about the symptoms of trichinosis? These symptoms vary in different persons, according to the intensity of the infection. Among the reported cases, five or six people die of the disease out of every hundred who become infected with the trichinae. In fatal cases, death usually occurs between the third and sixth weeks”.
“There are three stages of development of the larvae, and the symptoms vary according to these stages:
In the first stage:
During which the trichinae develop in the intestines and produce their young, there may be no symptoms at all. Or the person may have nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain during the first week. He may also have weakness, tension and pain during the first week. He may also have weakness, tension and pain in the muscles, muscular twitching, swelling of the eyelids, and some fever may be present. Doctors have difficulty in diagnosing these symptoms. The first symptoms have been diagnosed as ptomaine poisoning, intestinal flue, malaria, typhoid fever, appendicitis, colitis, peptic ulcers, gall bladder trouble and other ailments.
In the second stage:
Nine days to two weeks after infection during which the larvae are distributed through the body, there develops more severe muscular pain and fever. The symptoms produced at this stage have at times been diagnosed as scarlet fever, mumps, frontal sinusitis, rheumatism, undulant fever and other diseases. When the larvae invade the muscles of the heart, the disease may be diagnosed as any number of heart diseases. When the larvae lodge in the brain and meninges (meninx), it has been diagnosed as meningitis and other diseases.
Professor. Maurise C. Hall reported that, in a study of cadavers from hospitals, out of 222 cases of trichinosis not one was correctly diagnosed. A U.S. Public Health Report makes this statement:
“From the above, it appears that diagnoses of approximately fifty disease conditions may be made, and in practically all cases the actual basis of these conditions is the presence of trichinae”.
In addition to trichinosis the LORD had other reasons for prohibiting the use of swine’s flesh for food. It had an entirely different digestive system from clean animals. The swine assimilates practically all of its food in about three hours, while it takes the clean animals about twenty-four to digest its food, during which the impurities are removed by the wonderful digestive apparatus that is found only in clean animals, those that part the hoof and chew the cud.
Then the hog has a sewage system in his body put there for the purpose of helping him eliminate the poisons that accumulate in him, because of the unclean food he eats and because the poisons are not eliminated during digestion. This is a drainage system for removing poisons that accumulate in the body consisting of tiny tubes running through his body and emptying out through some small holes that you can find on the inside of his forelegs just above the foot.
I am aware that most ministers and teachers now take the position that under this Christian dispensation of grace, all these dietary laws were done away with and we now eat any kind of meat we want. In support of this position, they refer to Acts 10:10-16; -
(Where Peter had the vision of the sheet of animals let down from heaven).
Let us read it:
10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance.
11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter, kill and eat.
14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
This is the passage of Scripture that is used in an attempt to prove that God has now cleansed all unclean animals, and they may now be eaten. But that was not the purpose of the vision at all. If anybody ought to know why the vision was given, certainly Peter ought to know.
And Peter tells us why the vision was given in Acts 10:28.
Peter was prejudiced against Gentiles, and God had to remove that prejudice from him by this vision.
Listen to verse 28;
And he said unto them, Ye know 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.
The purpose of this vision was not to show Peter that all these animals were now clean. Peter says it was for the purpose of showing him that he should not call any man common or unclean. Now Peter ought to know more about it, having been there himself, and having been the one who had the vision, than twentieth century theologians who got here just about two millenniums too late to be able to take authoritatively on the subject. I will take the word of Peter in preference to all the theologians, seminaries, and institutes in the world today.
Another Scripture quoted when this subject comes up is:
1 Timothy 4:1-5;
1 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:
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 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.
4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
We are told that the Word of God now sanctifies all meats, and all may now be used for food. But that is not what this Scripture says. It is referring to meats, which God “hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth”.
God specified in the Old Testament, which meats were to be received with thanks giving. He said we were neither to eat nor to touch the swine. The words “every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanks-giving”, is followed by a modifying clause which is completely ignored by those who say we may now eat unclean meats. The modifying clause tells us what meat is to be received with thanksgiving.
This is the clause:
“For it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer”. The Word of God referred to here was the Old Testament. The New Testament was just in the process of being written. But the Old Testament specified what meats were created by God to be received with thanksgiving, thus sanctifying, which means, “setting aside”, those particular meats for food purposes. Every creature thus sanctified, or set aside, was not to be refused.
Now that is the only sensible meaning that can be gotten out of this passage. It is an amusing thing that ministers, who take the position that we may now eat any kind of meat, do not actually believe their own preaching. If we are to understand that all unclean meats are now to be eaten, why is it that such ministers don’t eat lizards, monkeys, alligators, polecats, turkey buzzards, rats and mice?
Isaiah 66:17, - classes swine’s flesh along with the mouse.
If one is now clean, so is the other.
God did not give us these laws of sanitation and health for ceremonial purposes. He gave them so that, in the words of Exodus 23:25, He might “take sickness away from the midst of thee”. Doctors seem to know more about this than theologians. That’s why pork is forbidden in practically all-restrictive diets.
[Some point to 1 Corinthians 10:25;
Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no questions for conscience sake”.
Then they use that as their Scriptural authority, to eat pork.
But to understand the Scripture properly they must read all three chapters, namely:
1 Corinthians Chapters 8 to 9 and 10.
In 1 Corinthians 8:1 we read;
NOW as touching things offered unto idols, - - - - - - -.
That is what it is all about.
It was concerning meats offered unto idols. Paul taught that an idol could make no difference to the meat sold in the meat market. But it could not affect the conscience of the one weak in the faith if that person knew that it had been offered to an idol. And we must all seek, not our own but our neighbour’s welfare.
See 1 Corinthians 10:24, 31-33;
24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.
31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, not to the church of God:
33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
21 It is good neither to at flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
The Lord Jesus did not die on the Cross to cleanse the pig, but the sinner. The pig is just as unclean and as unhealthy to eat after the Cross as before. The pig is still a scavenger as God created it, and still not made for human consumption. The same as the Law of Gravity and all the other natural laws of God remain unchanged - F. W. C. Neser]
Reprint from "Kingdom Digest" of America, by permission