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#2.4 STUDY THE SPIRITUAL CLEAN AND UNCLEAN MEATS

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#2.4 STUDY THE SPIRITUAL CLEAN AND UNCLEAN MEATS

Introduction 2.4

There is a teaching in the Old Testament of how an animal eats for his body to become clean or unclean meat. It is a type of how we should prepare and eat our spiritual food if we want our inner spirit man to be clean. This bible study therefore explains about the spiritual clean meat we should eat, and the spiritual unclean meat we should avoid. This is very important if we want to get the truth out of the word of God.

#2.41 Follow the scriptural method for obtaining clean meat

LEVITICUS 11:1-8
1 And the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them,
2 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which you shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.
3 Whatever parts the hoof, and is cloven footed, and chews the cud, among the beasts, that shall you eat.
4 Nevertheless these shall you not eat, of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he chews the cud, but does not divide the hoof; he is unclean to you.
5 And the badger, because he chews the cud, but does not divide the hoof; he is unclean to you.
6 And the hare, because he chews the cud, but does not divide the hoof; he is unclean to you.
7 And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven footed, yet he does not chew the cud; he is unclean to you.
8 Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcass shall you not touch; they are unclean to you.

DEUTERONOMY 14:3-8
3 You shall not eat any abominable thing.
4 These are the beasts which you shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat.
5 The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois.
6 And every beast that parts the hoof, and cleaves the cleft into two claws, and chews the cud among the beasts, that you shall eat.
7 Nevertheless these shall you not eat, of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the badger: for they chew the cud, but do not divide the hoof; therefore they are unclean to you.
8 And the swine, because it divides the hoof, yet does not chew the cud, it is unclean to you: you shall not eat their flesh, nor touch the dead carcass.

Note: It is clear that these scriptures do not apply to us in the same sense of physical meat, because we have the New Testament revelations from Jesus and Paul:

(Matthew 15:10-11) "And he called the multitude, and said to them, Hear, and understand;
Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."
(Mark 7:15) "There is nothing from outside a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are the things which defile a man."
(Mark 7:18-19) "Do you not perceive, that whatever thing from without enters into the man, it cannot defile him;
Because it does not enter into his heart, but into the belly, and goes out into the draught, purging all meats?"
(Luke 10:8) "And into whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:"
(Luke 11:41) "But rather give alms of such things as you have; and, behold, all things are clean to you."
(Romans 14:14) "I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself:"
(1 Corinthians 10:25-27) "Whatever is sold in the market, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:
For the earth is the Lord's, and its fullness.
If any of those who believe not bid you to a feast, and you are disposed to go; whatever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake."
(1 Timothy 4:4-5) "For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer
."
(Titus 1:15) "To the pure, all things are pure:"

It was also Paul who also said:

(Romans 7:14) "the law is spiritual:"
(Romans 15:4) "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning," and
(2 Timothy 3:16) "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

So we know that there is something in these scriptures for us today, which has a spiritual significance rather than a physical one.

#2.42 Spiritual food - the word of God

PSALMS 34:8 (David)
8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man who trusts in him.

PSALMS 119:103
103 How sweet are your words to my taste! yes sweeter than honey to my mouth.

JEREMIAH 15:16
16 Your words were found, and I ate them; and your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by your name, O LORD God of hosts.

JOHN 1:14
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us ...

JOHN 6:27 (Jesus)
27 Labour not for the meat which perishes, but for that meat which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give to you: for him has God the Father sealed.

JOHN 6:51-58 (Jesus)
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
53 Then Jesus said to them, Amen, amen, I say to you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
54 Whoever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him.
57 As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father; so he who eats me, even he shall live by me.
58 This is the bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers ate manna, and are dead: he who eats of this bread shall live for ever.

1 CORINTHIANS 10:3-4 (Paul)
3 And all ate the same spiritual meat;
4 And all drank that same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them: and that rock was Christ.

HEBREWS 6:5
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

1 PETER 2:2
2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow by it.

Note: Jesus is, of course, the Word of God (John 1:1, 1:14, Revelation 19:13), and when he told us to "eat his flesh" and "eat the living bread", he was telling us to feed our spirits on the word of God. The word of God is spiritual food of all sorts for the Christian:

(1 Peter 2:2) "the sincere milk of the word," ... for the babe.
(John 6:51) "the living bread", ... when grown from a babe.
(Hebrews 5:14) "strong meat", ... when grown to full age.
(Isaiah 7:15) "butter and honey", ... for knowledge to refuse evil and choose good.
(Psalm 119:103; Psalm 19:8; 1 Samuel 14:27-29) "honey" ... for spiritual enlightenment.
(Job 29:6) "butter", ... for washing our steps.

Butter comes from "the sincere milk of the word" (1 Peter 2:2), being churned over and over:

(Proverbs 30:33) "Surely the churning of milk brings forth butter."

It is equivalent to meditating on the word of God, or hearing and seeing the same scripture over and over again. Just as the meat of the body of the animal was said to be clean when it conformed to this pattern, so the substance of our spirit will become clean when we conform our spiritual eating habits to the same pattern.

#2.43 Physical hoof - foot spiritually shod with the word of God

EPHESIANS 6:15 (Paul)
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

NAHUM 1:15
15 Behold upon the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings, and publishes peace! O Judah, keep your solemn feasts, perform your vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through you; he is utterly cut off.

ISAIAH 52:7
7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, and publishes peace; who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation; that says to Zion, Thy God reigns!

ROMANS 10:15 (Paul)
15 And how shall they preach, except they are sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Note 1: These verses show that an essential part of the Christian armour is to have "your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;" (Ephesians 6:15), forming the association between feet and the word of God. This is emphasized by the feet washing of the Old Testament priests during their consecration (Exodus 30:18-21; Exodus 40:30-32) which was part of their cleansing process, and by Jesus, who washed his disciples feet (John 13:3-15) and said to them:

(John 13:14) "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also aught to wash one another's feet."

Obviously there was a spiritual significance to this, because Jesus said to Peter, "What I do you do not know now; but you shall know after." (John 13:7), and even an unlearned fisherman like Peter knew that he was having his feet washed. Spiritually then, feet washing is sharing the word of God with one another, this is how we wash one another's feet, preparing each other with the word of God as Jesus instructed. Thus we associate the physical hoof of the animal spiritually with the word of God.

Note 2: There are other scriptures also which associate our words with our spiritual feet:

(Genesis 3:8) "And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day:"
(Psalm 73:9) "They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walks through the earth."
(Proverbs 6:12) "A naughty person, a wicked man, walks with a perverse mouth."
(Jeremiah 6:28) "They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders:"
(Jeremiah 9:4) "and every neighbor will walk with slanders."

Spiritually a person can walk with his "voice" (Genesis 3:8), his "tongue" (Psalm 73:9), his "mouth" (Proverbs 6:12), or with "slanders" (Jeremiah 6:28; 9:4). Literally we know that a person walks with his feet, but spiritually one way that he walks is with the words that he speaks. Jesus said:

(Luke 10:19) "Behold, I give you the authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy;"

Our warfare is spiritual (Ephesians 6:12), and serpents and scorpions are figurative of evil powers. So we do not tread on them with our physical feet, but with the words that we speak. We command them in the name of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we can see again that we associate the word of God with the feet.

#2.44 Dividing the hoof - rightly dividing the word of God

2 TIMOTHY 2:15 (Paul)
15 Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Note: Having established the association between the physical hoof and the spiritual word of God on the feet, it is a small step to see that the physically divided hoof is equivalent to the word of God being rightly divided. In the Old Testament, the bodies of animal sacrifices were divided up. Abraham took "an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, ... and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another:" (Genesis 15:9-10), and during the consecration of the priests under the law of Moses, God commanded "you shall slay the ram ... And you shall cut the ram in pieces, and wash the inwards of him, and his legs, and put them to his pieces, and to his head." (Exodus 29:16-17). This Old Testament type, dividing up the flesh of the sacrifice and rearranging it, is fulfilled spiritually now by rightly dividing the word of God, that is, the flesh of Jesus (John 6:51-56), who was our sacrifice. The breaking of bread before it was eaten at the last supper is symbolic of rightly dividing the word also, as Jesus said:

(John 6:51) "I am the living bread",
(Matthew 26:26) "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body."

Just as clean meat could not be obtained unless the hoof was divided (See #2.41), so it is difficult to obtain spiritual truth from the word of God, unless it has been rightly divided (See #3).

#2.45 Chewing the cud - meditating on the word of God

JOSHUA 1:8
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate1 in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.

PSALMS 1:1-3
1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law does he meditate1 day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.

PSALMS 119:15
15 I will meditate2 in your precepts, and have respect to your ways.

1 TIMOTHY 4:15-16 (Paul)
15 Meditate3 upon these things; give yourself wholly to them; that your profiting may appear to all.
16 Take heed to yourself, and to the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this you shall both save yourself, and those who hear you.

Note: Meditating often implies pondering or turning thoughts over and over in the mind or heart. The word used in the Old Testament for meditate1 (Hb. הָגָת, Htr. hāgā) is used in this sense (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2; 77:12; 143:5; Isaiah 33:18), and is translated "studies" (Proverbs 15:28; 24:2). When used in connection with the tongue it is translated "utter" (Job 27:4), "speak" (Psalm 35:28; Proverbs 8:7), "speaks" (Psalm 37:30), "talk" (Psalm 71:24), and "muttered" (Isaiah 59:3). The general sense of the word seems to indicate "concentrating on", or "being occupied with", and whether done with the tongue or in the heart, these scriptures imply that the word of God is the centre of attention. In the New Testament, the verb meditate3 (Gr. μελέταω, Gtr. meletaō) used in (1 Timothy 4:15), primarily means "to care for", "to attend to", or "to practice", and if we consider this to be done in the mind, then the KJV translation "meditate" is correct; otherwise the translation "be diligent in" might be better. Repeated thinking upon, or muttering the word of God over and over, is spiritually equivalent to chewing the cud (Leviticus 11:1-8; Deuteronomy 14:3-8), and is essential if "clean meat", that is, spiritual truth is to be obtained. Just as clean meat could not be produced without chewing the cud, so spiritual truth cannot be certain without due meditation.

#2.46 Chewing the cud - repeatedly hearing God's word

JOB 34:2-3 (Elihu)
2 Hear my words, O you wise men; and give ear to me, you that have knowledge.
3 For the ear tries words as the mouth tastes meat.

PROVERBS 1:5 (Solomon)
5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain to wise counsels:

PROVERBS 8:33 (Solomon)
33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and do not refuse it.

PROVERBS 18:15 (Solomon)
15 The heart of the prudent gets knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

PROVERBS 22:17 (Solomon)
17 Bow down your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to knowledge.

PROVERBS 23:12 (Solomon)
12 Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to the words of knowledge.

PROVERBS 23:19 (Solomon)
19 Hear, my son, and be wise, and guide your heart in the way.

EZEKIEL 3:10
10 Furthermore he said to me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears.

ROMANS 10:17 (Paul)
17 Now faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Note: The fact that we can consider hearing the word of God over and over to be like chewing the cud, is evident from the expression, "the ear tries words as the mouth tastes meat." (Job 34:3). It is also one of the scriptures which show that our ears are one of our spiritual mouths. All of these scriptures show that whatever we keep on hearing, over and over, goes into our spiritual heart. Our spirit is made up of the words we hear, for Jesus said, "the words that I speak to you, they are spirit," (John 6:63), and when his words go into our heart, his spirit is in us. Thus there are many commands in God's word to keep on hearing his word, a few of which are:

(Proverbs 8:33) "Hear instruction, and be wise, and do not refuse it."
(Proverbs 22:17) "hear the words of the wise,"
(Proverbs 23:12) "Apply your ... ears to the words of knowledge."
(Proverbs 23:19) "Hear, my son, and be wise,"
(Ezekiel 3:10) "all my words ... hear with your ears."

Jesus also gave us a commands not to hear the wrong thing too often:

(Matthew 16:6,12) "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees ... Then they understood how that he did not bid them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
(Matthew 24:4) "Take heed that no man deceives you."
(Mark 4:24) "Take heed what you hear,"
(Mark 13:5) "Take heed lest any man deceives you:"
(Luke 8:18) "Take heed therefore how you hear:"
(Luke 21:8) "Take heed that you are not deceived:"

If we hear the wrong thing, over and over, then that will also enter into our spiritual heart and deceive us, and Jesus gave us a warning here not to let that happen.

#2.47 Chewing the cud - repeatedly seeing the word of God

DEUTERONOMY 6:6-8
6 And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart.
7 And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.
8 And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

DEUTERONOMY 11:18
18 Therefore shall you lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.

PROVERBS 4:20-23 (Solomon)
20 My son, attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

PROVERBS 23:26 (Solomon)
26 My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.

Note: These scriptures show that continually seeing the word of God, over and over, is another way to get God's word into our spiritual heart; our eyes being another of our spiritual mouths. This is why the word of God exhort us:

(Deuteronomy 6:8) "they shall be as frontlets between your eyes."
(Deuteronomy 11:18) "bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes."
(Proverbs 4:21) "Do not let them depart from your eyes;"
(Proverbs 23:26) "let your eyes observe my ways."

Reading the same scriptures, over and over, is thus equivalent to chewing the cud, and just as it will put God's word into our hearts, it will also put the wrong thing into our hearts if we keep on looking at the wrong things. Hence the instructions from God's word telling us not to look:

(Psalm 101:3) "I will set no wicked thing before my eyes,"
(Psalm 119:37) "Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity:"
(Proverbs 23:31) "Do not Look you upon the wine when it is red,"
(Isaiah 33:15-16) "He who ... shuts his eyes from seeing evil; He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure."
(Ezekiel 14:6) "turn away your faces from all your abominations."
(Matthew 5:29)
"if your right eye offends you, pluck it out and cast it from you,"

Putting God's word in our heart allows God access into our lives, and refusing the Devil's words will restrict his access into our lives.

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