Are we allowed to eat meat today?
Gen. 1:24-31 Man is to eat of “every seed-bearing herb on the face of all the earth, and every tree on which there are fruits containing seed,” the corn and fruit from trees; the animals were to eat of “every green herb,” vegetables or green plants, and grass etc.
From Adam’s creation until Noah, man was a strictly vegetarian. Prior to the flood the distinction of clean and unclean were in reference to sacrifices (Genesis 7:8).
We can see from Genesis no animal was originally designed to eat another; nothing is given to any beast of the earth for food besides green herbs of the field. Prior to the flood the distinction of clean and unclean were in reference to sacrifices (Genesis 7:8). After the flood, (the time of Noah Genesis 9:3) mans diet was changed by God himself, who then permitted ALL animals for food (meat to be eaten; anything that moves could be for food.) God specifically commanded every living thing as food for them, the only prohibition, don’t eat it with the blood. “Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.” Those who insist on our being vegetarians because of God's command are wrong, in fact it is the very opposite.
When the Mosaic Law was instituted to Israel, certain meats were then forbidden for the Jews (Israel only -Leviticus 10:10, 11:4-7; Deuteronomy 14:7-8). This command was again changed when Jesus was crucified. The laws restriction came to its end as a requirement for believers and all meat was again allowed, as it is clean. In this new dispensation, after the cross, all meats are allowed for food, there is no prohibition of clean or unclean because we are no longer under the Law of Moses, that made these distinctions but are under a new covenant (Acts 11:8-9; Romans 14:14), but under the law of Christ.
The gospel brought liberty in this area. The New Testament teaching through the apostles explains that all food is now clean to eat, including pork (1 Tim. 4:1-4; Rom. 14; Acts 10:9-16).
Peters vision: Acts 10:9-17: “On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 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: Wherein were all manner of four-footed 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. Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate.”
Some people say that this food was not cleansed and all the Lord meant was people, not the food. But if this is true then what the Lord communicated was untrue. He used an example of what the Jews were known to be separate in their culture. If He did not actually cleanse the food as he stated then he did not cleanse the Gentiles either (Peter; kill, and eat. Peter responds- for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean, clearly referring to meat.
The Lord used the obvious- food, as an example of what Peter already was familiar with as unclean. The Lord then moved him from what he knew, to what he did not know. What Peter did not understand at first he did later through witnessing the work of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles. They had to learn about the new covenant that worked by grace which affected both foods and people. Acts 10:15: "What God has cleansed you must not call common."
Rom 14:2 states, “For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. “It was a matter of faith and practice. Paul gives the principle that those who have the freedom can eat what they want (even meat that was dedicated to an idol (1 Cor. 8:4-13). But we should not exercise this freedom if it will stumble those who do not feel they have that freedom, they lack faith (or simply choose not to).
Rom 14:3: “Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.” Vs.17 tells us the kingdom of God is not food or drink.” If someone thinks they may not be able to eat a certain food or worship on a certain day, it may be for their own conscience sake, not for someone else.
Paul’s solution 1 Cor. 10:27-31: “If some unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But if anyone says to you, "This has been offered in sacrifice," then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience' sake- the other man's conscience, I mean, not yours. For why should my freedom be judged by another's conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for? So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
What is written to the Church in the epistles after Peters revelation Col. 2:16: “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, … they are a shadow of things to come.” This is speaking of the Old Testament practices of Moses where they were judged.
Heb.13:9: “Do not be lead away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited their adherents” The writer is teaching us that people who promote special diets abstaining from certain foods like meats as a bible doctrine are bring one back under the old testament covenant- they are teaching diverse and strange teachings.
Paul goes as far as to say that this is more than legalism but demonic. 1 Tim 4:1-2: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, V:3-4 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving.” Notice the words ‘every’,
The word every is pas- meaning each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything. ‘Nothing’ is to be refused- making the explanation as clear as possible. The element of faith is what gives one freedom to eat everything as they did in Noah’s day.