Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving head to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 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. 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.
1 Timothy 4:1-5
Wow! How relevant this verse is for us today, as we are surrounded by these very activities on a daily basis. Turn on the news, and it does not take long to hear a story that supports one or more of the issues mentioned above. Politicians speaking lies in hypocrisy. Pastors, bishops, popes, and others, confessing to know Christ, but who clearly have departed from the faith; speaking lies, giving in to those seducing spirits. Look how many people, even in the church, are refusing to marry, but are living with their boyfriend/girlfriend as if they were married. And then…suddenly, the verse seems to switch gears, and begins to speaks about those abstaining from meat. It might seem out of place, but it’s not.
All of these issues tie together. It starts when one departs from the truth, and begins to listening to the world (those seducing spirits, and doctrines of the devil.) Over time, just as we believers are changed and sanctified in Christ, those following the world are changed and conformed to the ways of the world. It should not surprise us when non-believers fight to kill the unborn. Worry about climate change. Vote for Politician’s who stand for things which clearly go against the word of God. That is is common practice to live with another person, but refuse to marry. Refusing also, to use or eat animal products. (Many protesting against others doing so as well.)
So, how does eating animals, link together with the other issues? The more a person refuses to acknowledge God, the farther and more depraved he will become, straying from the things of God. Remember, God gives us a free will, and with that free will, he eventually gives us over to our sin; having a seared conscience. That is why you see women, who were created to birth children, to be caregivers and comforters, so angrily defend ‘their right to kill’. God has given them over to their sin.
Focusing on the food part, is it wrong for a Christian to be Vegan? According to God’s word, YES!
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. 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. (1 Tim.)
Refusing to receive a gift from God, is sin! We are to be grateful and thankful for what God has provided for us. That is why being a vegan for worldly reasons, (not due to food allergies), is a sin. A person choosing to be vegan, is refusing God’s blessing. They are believing the lie that the world has spoken and choosing to follow the doctrines of the devil. Veganism is NOT a new thing! It goes back, way, way back as a form of worship to a false god.
Wait! Adam and Eve were vegans… actually, they were vegetarians, not vegans. They also lived in a different dispensation that we do today. After Noah’s flood, God gave us the right to eat meat.
Wait! What about the Daniel diet? He was under the law, but choose to be vegan…
Many people read Daniel 1:12, and interpret, (which we are not to do), that passage to mean that Daniel became a vegan. That could not be farther from the truth! For a time, yes… Daniel was fasting animal products. However, when you continue to read on, one easily can see, it was temporary.
In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. Daniel 10:2-3
If Daniel was a vegan after Daniel 1, then Daniel 10 would make no since! So, in reading the scriptures, we see we cannot use Daniel as a means to support veganism.
Wait! We can eat meat, but not any meat… actually we can. We are not under the law. When you read Acts and Romans, you will see that this was an issue for the early church. However, you will also discover when reading, that because Christ fulfilled the law, we are no longer bound to the law. In fact, if we put law before grace, we are NOT fully trusting that what Christ did for us on the cross is complete.
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. Galatians 5:4
One thing to remember when reading God’s word, is that we need to be aware of what dispensation we are reading about.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
By rightly dividing the truth, we will know if we are reading something written FOR us, or TO us. OK, let me explain, (quickly). There are seven different dispensations within the word of God. The dispensation of innocence, conscience, human government, promise, Law, grace, and yet to come, the millennial kingdom of Christ. Take Exodus, for example, this book was written for us, not too us. Take the four gospels…believe or not, the gospels were written for us, not to us! The new testament, or the age of grace, which we are in today, did not actually start until after the stoning of Steven. Just as Moses was the man God choose to speak through, during the dispensation of the law, the apostle Paul, is who we are to follow today. Yes, we can learn and gain a lot from the other books of the Bible, as the entire book is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, etc. (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Knowing the different dispensations, and whose writings we are to follow today, make a huge difference when reading and understanding God’s word.
So back to the food issue… How awesome it is, that God gave us a verse we can use to defend our rights to eating meat! If fact, if we believers follow vegan ways, we are actually refusing God’s blessing to us!
Another important part of the verse is this.
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. (1 Tim. 5)
This shows us just how important it is for us to give thanks to God for our food before every meal. It is not just a ritual; our prayers have power! When we thank God for the foods he provides, our food becomes sanctified. Remember, we live in a fallen world. That means even our best foods are ‘trash’ compared to what God had originally intended for us. We need all the foods we consume to be sanctified in order for it to do any good in our bodies.
Versus like this are also a good reminder that nothing we do is secular. There is no such thing as secular and holy; another lie that the world would have us believe. Everything we do, eat, sleep, work, play…all should be done with the mindset of holiness.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2 Corinthians 10:5
How important it really is to take every thought, every idea, captive; and compare it to what the Bible says, so that we don’t become entangled in an idea or a concept that goes against God’s word! This is exactly what has happened to those who oppose the word of God, they are exulting themselves against the knowledge of God. How careful we have to be as believers…how easily we can be lured away from the word, finding ourselves following after the worlds ways. We need to daily ask God to reveal the areas in our lives in which we have gone astray. Be daily in the word, so that when confronted with a lie, your spirit stirs, and you can rightly divide the word of truth.
There are certain truths;
There is only one true God. Genesis 1:1, Revelation 22:13
Humans and animals are not equal! Genesis 1:26-28
Marriage is God ordained, and ONLY between one man and one woman. Genesis 2:18, 2:22-24, 1 Corinthians 7:2 and Ephesians 5:31
There are only two genders, male and female. Genesis 1:27
Abortion is murder! Psalm 139:13-16, Jeremiah 1:5, Job 31:15. The argument that ‘It is my body, I should decide, even fails. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
While we need to be good stewards of the resources God gave us, we don’t need to worry about climate change or other natural disasters that the world worries about; for we know how the world is going to end. (Read Revelation).
We do not need to fear the world, give in, or compromise. We are to love the sinner, not the sin. And we do so without apologizing or compromising. We are to be set apart, different from the world. We are to be attractive, because we are different. Attractive, because despite the craziness of the times in which we live, we have a peace that those of the world do not have. We can boldly go out into the world, knowing that God will hold us in his protective hands. It is OK to be different; we should be different! So, enjoy that cheeseburger. And don’t fear being confronted with today’s issues, for God has already given us the answers, we just need to seek them out in His word.
As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. Psalm 18:30