Food, Drink, and Clothes
Well, if you are in a "country club church" all of that is very important. After all, everyone goes around judging each other by each other. Everyone is measured by someone else. Listen, did you notice that girl with her dress too high? Did you see the boy with all those rings in all those places protruding out of his body? Did you see what she was eating? Oh, they just aren’t our kind of people. But that is why God hates our churches. They drag us down to the level of man and we sit around looking no higher than ourselves or the one next to us.
What does the Bible say about all this "country clubbing"? "We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise… For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends." 2 Corinthians 10:12, 18.
That is why churches (the organizational structure) are so dangerous. All Biblical history proves that they eventually lead away from God to man. They claim that they are the "representatives of God" and that by obeying them, you are obeying God. What a farce. That is what the Mormons believe. That is what the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe. That is what the Catholic Church believes. That is what the Muslims believe. That is what the Jews believed. All churches that teach that are of the devil.
All organized and structured churches and religions will tell you the same in some form or another. But that has never been true in Biblical History. Never did God work through an organized religion hierarchy. He always worked through individuals. Most of the time it was through individuals, outside of the organization, that He had to call to speak to the organization since they were no longer obeying or listening to Him. What a trip! Those organizations which claimed to be of God, were the very ones God was attempting to contact and bring back to Him. Most of the time the organized churches refused to listen to God. They were too busy playing god and hating His servants. Remember Revelation 3:20? He is outside their churches.
Okay, so back to our original questions about food, drinks and clothes. Do these things have anything to do with our eternal salvation? NO!!! In fact, Jesus wanted to make it quite plain that none of that had anything to do with your eternal salvation. In Matthew Jesus said, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important…". Matthew 6:25. Matthew 15:17 says, "Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?
As we learned in our last two sections, the only thing needful for salvation is obedience to the Ten Commandments. Nowhere in the Ten Commandments does it talk about food, drink or clothes; nowhere! Now, if Jesus said not to worry about these things, why are we and our churches so consumed with them? Because, they are a smoke screen that the devil uses to keep us out of heaven. So blow away the smoke and let’s come back to truth. "So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God." Romans 14:22. Good advice.
But you say, doesn’t the Bible teach us not to wear jewelry? If you have to ask that question, than you don’t know. And that is the problem. Most people know nothing about the Bible. They have only listened to and parroted what they have been told by others who don’t know their Bibles. So let’s take a look at this jewelry business.
The text that is most used comes from 1 Peter 3:3. "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes." There you say, "See, I told you we were not to wear gold and jewelry." Oops, you forgot the "fine clothes". But then, since we like fine clothes, we will conveniently forget about that part. And so it goes. We pick and choose what we want, and throw the rest away. We use only that which we keep and can hurl at others. It is all hogwash.
Let’s take a closer look at this text.
First of all Peter does not say, "Don’t wear gold jewelry and fine clothes". He says, Don’t let YOUR BEAUTY come from gold jewelry and fine clothes. That is a big difference. You see, God never changes the rules for eternal salvation. He can’t say something is okay for eternal salvation in the Old Testament, and then say it is not okay in the New Testament. As we learned in the first two sections, Jesus NEVER changes His eternal truth for salvation.
In the Old Testament you will find where everyone wore jewelry. Judges tells of Gideon, a man of God, who, after defeating the Midianites, asked, "that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder. (It was the custom of the Ishmaelites to wear gold earrings.)" Judges 8:24. In Exodus the Lord told Moses, "Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for Me and from each man whose heart prompts him to give. These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows…" Exodus 25:1-6.
These items were not stashed in a bank. They were used in their every day living and wearing. Fine linen was used for their clothes and bed sheets. Gold and silver were used for bracelets and rings, etc. God had and has no problem with us wearing any of this. So what is the problem? Pride!!!
Paul says, "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God." 1 Timothy 2:9.
Psalms 49:20 states, "A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish." God is not against riches. He does have a problem with our working for "food, drink & clothes" to the detriment of our salvation.
Proverb 23:4, 5 states, "Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle." Does that sound like most of us who ended up in prison? Maybe we should start listening to God.
Going back to Peter we find that our beauty is to come from the inside. If you want to wear jewelry, go ahead, but don’t let it be your beauty. If you are looking into the eyes of Jesus, you will fall in love with His character of love and you will want His beauty to shine out of you.
Now though, that is where our eternal salvation comes in. And again, that is why we cannot judge others by outward appearances. I can judge by the Ten Commandments, but I cannot judge by dress, food and drink. You will have to stand before the judgment seat of Christ one day. You will have to answer to Him for what you have and what you do with it. Me, I just have to love you!
Let’s take food. Of itself, not a problem. It has nothing to do with eternal salvation. But, if you make food your idol, your god, and it controls you, and you are overweight, then you are breaking the Ten Commandments. Same goes with drink and clothes. That’s where you have to be very careful in what you do and how you do it. You have a higher standard to meet than just the eyes and ears of those around you.
This is where Paul comes into being. In 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17 he says, "Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple." Now that is heavy.
Now, that is heavey. That encompasses food, drink and clothes. Jesus says not to worry about these things. He is correct. I don’t worry about them because I finally came to the point to where they have absolutely no meaning in my life. I only eat to live, drink to keep from getting thirsty and wear or not wear what is necessary to accomplish my daily tasks. Everything I do is for God’s glory. If you are using these things to destroy your temple, the temple that God has created, then you are in deep trouble. That just proves that you are not a Christian and are living for this world.
If you are wasting God’s money on these things beyond what is needed and necessary for living; you are stealing from God’s work and breaking the Ten Commandments. Are you coveting food, drink and clothes, etc? That also is breaking the 10 Commandments.
Now we come to drugs, alcohol and tobacco and other substances that are harmful to the body temple of God. If you use these things and they are in the process of destroying your body temple, now it becomes a salvation issue. Now you are breaking the Ten Commandments by killing yourself and committing adultery against God. It may be a slow suicide, but you are still destroying the body temple just the same. (This only has to do with what we take in voluntarily.)
Personally, I am a vegetarian. It has been proven that a vegetarian will live many years longer and healthier than one who is not. When I, at the age of 40, was going through the reception process into prison, I had to go through the doctor’s line and get examined. When it was all done, the final doctor looked at my chart and then at me. He looked again at my chart and then back at me. I could tell there was something puzzling him. Finally he asked me, "How old are you?" I told him I was 40. He said, "You have the health of a 10 year old." In all that we do, do to the glory of God.
You see, all this eating, drinking and clothes stuff are not for eternal life, but for our present life. Besides, Adam and Eve wore no clothes until they sinned. And God laid down our best eating choices in the Garden of Eden. Let’s turn to Genesis and see what God thinks is best for us to eat.
Genesis 1:29, 30 says, "Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food. And it was so."
An all vegetarian life style right from the beginning. Why? Because God knew that it was the healthiest. He wanted us to live forever so we could have a very long and happy relationship with Him. He would be very sad if we ended it too soon. Yet that is just what we are doing, going through life quickly and miserably and ending too soon what could have been a long and wonderful relationship with God and His creation. Slow down and live longer.
So, not only am I a vegetarian, but I don’t drink alcoholic beverages or use tobacco in any form. I stay away from coffee and live a wonderful, healthy life without any of those things burdening me.
While doing time in a prison, there was a gentleman there who had been in for a long time. He was one of those who worked out on the weight pile (when weight piles were still around) and worked hard at keeping fit. After a few months he came up to me and stated that he had been watching me. He could tell that I was different from all the other inmates.
He also noted that I didn’t eat any of the meat served in the cafeteria. (I could see where this conversation was going.) He wanted my meat. He was looking for a way to trade whatever he had for all my meat. But after explaining to him why, he was impressed. He decided to cut back on all meat except fish and see what that would do.
In two weeks he was back. He told me that he felt better and could workout longer and better. He then said that he was going to go off all meat for one month to see what would happen. At the end of the month, he was a total vegetarian. He looked better, felt better and his attitude was better. His mind was clearer and he was happier. That is what God wants for us. It all starts with what we eat.
Here is an interesting note. In “The Story of Civilization III” by Will Durant, page 34, he states, “The Roman army conquered the world on a vegetarian diet,...”. Garbage in, garbage out. Fill your bodies with the nuts, fruits, grains and vegetables that God created for us to eat, and you will find your bodies and minds becoming healthier and happier.
The food restrictions of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy were for a very specific purpose. Not for their eternal salvation, but for their physical health and happiness. But it was phrased in a spiritual context because that is what they understood. They would never have understood cholesterol count, blood pressure and heart rate. But by obeying what God told them, they were the healthiest people on the face of the earth. You can be too.
Oh, by the way, not only does the scientific community back up the facts that a non-meat diet is healthier, but let’s look at the Biblical account and see what it has to say. Again, in Genesis chapter one we have God giving man the perfect food group. What was the result of that healthy life style? Well, in chapter 5 we read where most everyone who lived after sin, and before the flood, lived over 900 years. Wow, I can handle that.
Now let’s look at what happened when God allowed man to eat meat. In Genesis 9:3 we read, "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything." Why did God allow man to eat meat after the flood? Because the longer man lived, the more vile he got. So God had a simple way of shortening our life span. He allowed us to eat meat. In chapter 11 you will read that the life span of man started to drop, drop and drop. After the flood, Noah, a veggie, lived another 350 years for a total of 950 years. But his sons didn’t live much over 600 years. Their sons didn’t live much over 400 years. Then they dropped to 200 and finally, they were lucky to reach 150 years. By the time of David and Solomon, we read were 70 and 80 years are about all we can eke out.
As our modern society has become more health-wise, we have realized how deadly our eating habits are. So as we have become better eaters, our life spans have been improving. How totally biblical. This concept of healthy living was very well known among the Hebrews.
When Daniel was taken captive to Babylon, we read where "Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way… But the official told Daniel, ‘I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age?’… Daniel then said… ‘Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.’" "At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead." Daniel 1:8-15.
Now about wine.
You may be saying, "Yes, but Jesus drank wine." Well …. Yes and no. Again, don’t just listen to what people tell you, THINK! Wine in the Bible does not mean what it means today. You should never take a twentieth century concept and force it onto a first century word. Instead, be intelligent. Be wise. Ask yourself if the word has changed in meaning over the centuries. That is the appropriate way to look at words that are in the Bible. Remember, the Bible was not written in the twentieth century. It was mostly written before Christ, and only a little bit was written in the first fifty years after Christ.
Now to the word "wine". In the Bible you will find that the word "wine" actually refers to grape juice, you know, Welch’s Grape drink. But you must understand, they had no refrigerators back then. Refrigerators were not invented until about the 1930’s. Therefore, if you had grape drink one day, in a week or so you had wine. That is why we have the confusion over "wine" in the Bible. "Wine" can mean both.
What you will find, in deep search of the Word of God, is that God made “wine”, the pure grape drink fresh from the vine, for our enjoyment. That is what He made at Cana when He turned the water into “wine”. The Bible is full of wonderful sayings about the pure “wine”. (Medically, pure grape juice is healing.)
On the other hand, the Bible also has a lot to say about the alcoholic "wine" which causes drunkenness and problems. The Bible is full of bad sayings about that kind of "wine" and drinking. The texts below will help you in understanding the differences. Keep in mind, God created us to be in full control of our faculties and minds. We are never to give up our control. That is what leads to sin. The Bible is all about self-control. You can’t have self-control if you are drunk.
Even Jesus, when offered a mixture of alcoholic wine to ease His pain on the cross, refused to accept it. He would not allow anything to reduce His ability to communicate with His Father. Should not we follow His example of self-control in all that we eat, drink and wear?
One last quick note: Only vegetarians will be in heaven. Boy, I bet that just woke you up. Now before you get all high and mighty, I know you are saying, "wait a minute, Jesus ate fish and He is in heaven." You are correct. But remember, I didn’t say only those who were vegetarians on earth, would be in heaven. I said only vegetarians will be in heaven. You see, in order to eat meat, an animal has to die. Since there is no death in heaven (remember, death comes from sin.) no meat will be eaten. Therefore, all those in heaven will be vegetarians.