Shema Yisrael Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad
"Hear Israel,Adonai is our God, Adonai is One"
(My Painting of Rebbe Y'shua as the Merciful Shepard)
Prior to the global flood all humans and animals were vegetarian if not vegan according to the Book of Genesis. Here is the first reference to food recorded in the Torah:
Genesis 1:29: And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food.Likewise to the animals:Genesis 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creeps upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for food: and it was so.Hence for both humans and animals the acceptable foodstuff was vegetarian, not animal products. this is confirmed,Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.This is what was eaten by both the humans and the animals. Then there came the day when Noah was called to prepare the ark. Note God's instruction:Genesis 6:21 And take you unto you of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to you; and it shall be for food for you, and for themNote that Noah brought "food for you, and for them..." Humans still did not eat animals, nor did the animals eat each other.
After the world was completely flooded and the people left the ark, God allowed Noah and his family to begin eating animals (there would have been nothing to eat for a year or more until the plants reseeded).Genesis 9:3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.Here Noah is told that even as humans were previously given vegetation to eat, now they would be allowed to eat animals under certain conditions.
4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall all of you not eat.
5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.
Verse four gives the fundamental condition: The blood must be completely drained. Other requirements were added under Jewish Halakha. These are known as Kashrut. Noahides are not under Jewish Halakha.
Note that the "life" is contained within the blood. Even if a piece of meat is drained of its blood according to these laws (even under the strict rules of Orthodox Kashrut), there is no way to remove it all. Therefore when meat eaten one will consume a portion of the creature's life. This realization moved some ancient cultures to perform various rites. For instance some Native American tradtions require one to ask for forviveness before eating an animal.
There is a price for this dietary allowence. Notice what happened: "...your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man."
Prior to joining the Rebellion humanity was free, pure and at peace with all life. As the foundational generation passed away this began to change. Humanity gradually darkened as it moved ever farther away from HaShem's goodness. Now, in part as a result of eating animals, violence of all kinds increased within and without human society. Note that nowhere are humans commanded to eat our fellow creatures, we are merely allowed to do so.
It is a fact that those societies that encourage the eating of their fellow creatures, especially those that have reduced animal life to a market commodity, usually have higher crime rates, wage more wars of aggression and so on. Violence begets violence.
Rebbe Y'shua said:John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.Animal eating, according to the Bible, is directly related to increased violence and history demonstrates this is true. As the Rebbe said, "Blessed are the peace makers," it seems clear that blessed also are they who show compassion to their fellow beings.
Balance is required.
Please be clear that we are not prohibiting meat eating with this study. Meat eating is allowed in the Bible, in Judaism and among the Noahide communities. Noahides, including Noahide Nazarenes, and Jews, including Messianic Jews, are commanded to drain the blood of the animals they eat and to not eat still-living animals (see my study on the Seven Noahide Laws for more on this).
For Noahides standard butchering methods suffice. The Torah further moderates what Jews may and may not consume. The Oral Torah adds still other requirements and restrictions, including how this bleeding process is to be done and by whom. For this reason Observant traditional Jews require an approved shechitah (kosher butcher) to prepare their meats. The rules for the Meshikihiyyim fall between these. As a Noahide you may eat anything you wish as long as you drain the blood. We recommend Noahides voluntarily abstain from pork and shellfish.
Most meat eaten today does not fulfill the minimum Jewish kosher requirements (the need for a shechitah aside). Recent undercover investigations have demonstrated that frequently these requirements are not satisfied even by so-called kosher slaughter houses, although they do meet the less stringent Noahide requirements.
We don't have much information about what Rebbe Y'shua did or didn't eat. We do know the Essenes were vegetarian (as were many of the mystics), including John the Baptizer. The only reference to Rebbe Y'shua eating is this:Luke 22:42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.One of the main proof texts people use to defend eating animals is Rav Paul's famous comment on this subject. Let's consider the context:
43 And he took it, and did eat before them.I Corinthians 8Rav Paul is clearly speaking here about not judging people due to what they eat. This is consistent with Rebbe's Y'shua's teaching:
1 Now as concerning things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love (o. agape) edifies.
2 And if any man think that he knows any thing, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.
3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.
4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one.
5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
7 Nevertheless there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
8 But food commends us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of your's become a stumbling block to them that are weak.
10 For if any man see you which have knowledge sit to eat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
11 And through your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
12 But when all of you sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, all of you sin against Christ.
13 Wherefore, if food make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world stands, lest I make my brother to offend.Matthew 15:16 And Yeshua said, Are ye also yet without understanding?
15:17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
In context this teaching at I Corinthians 8 is about the eating of foods that had been sacrificed to Pagan gods (whether meat or not). The issue was not about eating meat.
The Pagan temples supplied cheaper food because they had to do so many idolotrous offerings each day. They sold this food to the public for a discount. The question was whether the Meshiykhiyyim could take advange of these lower prices given the Torah prohibitions against eating foods sacrificed to idols. Some argued that since Torah forbids idolatry the food could not be eaten. After debate Rav James, Paul and other Messianic elders determined that IF the food was not eaten BECAUSE it was sacrificed to the gods (Acts 15:29) then it was not idolatry and hence was acceptable under the Noahide Nazarene and Messianic requirements.
This determination is consistent with the ruling in the case of Na'aman, the commander of the king of Aram's army, recorded at II Kings 5:18. Even though Na'aman's duties to the king required him to assist his disabled master as he bowed before the idol of Ba'al Rimmon (causing his own body to bend as well), Na'aman was not committing idolatry because he did so without any devotion to the idol.
Likewise Rebbe Y'shua's clarifications empower individuals to determine such matters for themselves. HaShem looks at the heart, the intention. This is one of the areas where Rebbe Y'shua disagreed with his fellow rabbis and Rav Paul's conclusion is in complete harmony with Rebbe Y'shua. This ruling is therefore applicable to Noahide Nazarenes and to authentic Messianic Jews.
Like the Apostle Paul, the Rebbe taught that food does not commend anyone to HaShem. Meat eating is not a deciding factor of one's spirituality from the biblical perspective nor is the meticulous following of rules. HaShem considers the heart, not externals.
During the Kingdom age (that follows the coming battle of Armageddon) balance will be restored as 'the lion lays down with the lamb' etc. (Isaiah 11) and all beings will return to a peaceful vegetarian diet. In the meantime, the decision is ours. One does not sin by eating nor by not eating. One should however understand the freedom we have been granted under the Noahide Covenant and the B'rit Hadashah (New Covenant) when considering such issues. This way ...everything you do or say, do under the authority of the Rebbe Yeshua, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Here is what HaShem really wants:Micah 6:6 Wherewith shall I come before Adonai, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?And Rebbe Y'shua teaches the same:
7 Will Adonai be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what Adonai requires of you, only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.Matthew 22:33 When the crowds heard how he taught, they were astounded;
34 but when the P'rushim learned that he had silenced the Tz'dukim, they got together,
35 and one of them who was a Torah expert asked a sh'eilah to trap him:
36 "Rabbi, which of the mitzvot in the Torah is the most important?"
37 He told him, "`You are to love ADONAI your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.'
38 This is the greatest and most important mitzvah.
39 And a second is similar to it, `You are to love your neighbor as yourself.'
40 All of the Torah and the Prophets are dependent on these two mitzvot."
Here's that Burger you ordered!
John of AllFaith