Choose Pork or Jesus: Why You Can't Have Both
9 min Read:
Many Christians—including myself—have been taught that believers are allowed to eat pork. Specifically, most Christians believe that the dietary instructions given directly from the Most High have been done away with. That they are null and void. To the point, if this were true, than Jesus is not the true Messiah. This article will prove this statement once and for all. This topic is one of many gateways to understanding the tested and true Messiah.
I used to break this commandment on a regular basis. Put plainly: I thoroughly loved bacon! So please, do not think this article was written to condemn anyone who currently eats pork or shellfish. This is simply another doorway for one to recognize that the Law of Moses—which includes the dietary instructions—is the very image of Jesus Christ. It can be a pathway for those who truly desire to know what the Bible teaches, no matter the cost. When we say that one command is done away with, we say that Jesus Christ is done away with. I beg you take this seriously and write it with sincere love.
Don't you desire to search for truth? No matter the cost? I hope so, because our Messiah taught that the truth will set you free.
Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And
Your Law is truth.
I pray you will read this article in full, test it to Holy Scripture, and ask the Holy Spirit to give you eyes to see and ears to hear...
Are you willing to put your presuppositions aside and let the historic record keep the truth straight?
Do you want to follow the true Messiah of Scripture?
Will you follow a man-made Messiah who changes?
Is food that important to you?
Before we jump into the eye-opening truth, it's important to recognize where the tension lies. When our Creator delivered His people—the 12 Tribes of Israel—out of their bondage in Egypt, He gave them specific instructions that the people deemed the "Law of Moses." In this Law lies a set of dietary instructions. In fact, it is the definition of what God calls food. Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 preserve YHVH's definition of clean and unclean animals. This set of instructions informs the people of God what they can eat and what they cannot eat; what they can consider as food and what they can consider as unclean animals.
Here is a glimpse:
The Lord spoke again to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘These are the creatures which you may eat from all the animals that are on the earth. Whatever divides a hoof, thus making split hoofs, and chews the cud, among the animals, that you may eat. Nevertheless, you are not to eat of these, among those which chew the cud, or among those which divide the hoof: the camel, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you. Likewise, the shaphan, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you; 6 the rabbit also, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you; and the pig, for though it divides the hoof, thus making a split hoof, it does not chew cud, it is unclean to you. You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.
Leviticus 11:1-8 NASB
. . .
‘Now every swarming thing that swarms on the earth is detestable, not to be eaten. Whatever crawls on its belly, and whatever walks on all fours, whatever has many feet, in respect to every swarming thing that swarms on the earth, you shall not eat them, for they are detestable. Do not render yourselves detestable through any of the swarming things that swarm; and you shall not make yourselves unclean with them so that you become unclean. For I am the Lord your God.
Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth. For I am the Lord who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.’”
This is the law regarding the animal and the bird, and every living thing that moves in the waters and everything that swarms on the earth, to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the edible creature and the creature which is not to be eaten.
Leviticus 11:41-47 NASB
Many now realize that this portion of Scripture alone proves that believers in the Messiah cannot eat pork. Why? Because the Law of Moses, including these instructions, are the very image of our Creator and the very image of Jesus Christ (Messiah Yeshua). We were made in their image and their image never changes.
For I, YHVH, do not change;
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Yet, even with these transparent truths, many Christians believe Jesus Christ changed the Law of Moses. Specifically, many pastors, Bible teachers, and Christians believe and teach that Jesus changed the dietary instructions. They claim that Jesus declared all foods clean, ultimately concluding that believers can now eat pork. This is a misrepresentation of Mark 7 and Matthew 14, which context proves these passages to teach against the man-made traditions of the Pharisees regarding ceremonial hand-washings (which are not found in the Law of Moses) and do not provide a new definition of food. Frantically, pastors erroneously cite Peter's vision in Acts 10 as an instance where our Creator declares all animals clean for food. In reality, Peter clearly explains exactly what his vision meant in Acts 10:34-48 and again in Acts 11: "God has also granted to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life." Acts 10 has nothing to do with food or changing the Torah, but in fact uses the Torah to speak a truth to Peter that was keeping him from sharing Messiah with all nations. It was a profound vision that broke the man-made traditional barriers that kept Peter from sharing Jesus Christ with the rest of the world. The fact is that there is absolutely nothing in Scripture that permits believers to eat what YHVH permanently declared unclean and unfit for consumption.
Anyone can eat whatever they want; from vulture to poisonous tree frog and from cat to dog. But if we eat these unclean animals we are committing sin against the Most High. We are then being disobedient to the perfect instructions He gave to His people Israel (Paul makes it clear that believers today are grafted-into Israel; keep that in mind. Paul considers true believers 100% Israelites). Remember, followers of Messiah and children of God are called to be holy as He is holy. Therefore, we are only to eat what He declared as food in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. These are the instructions that Yeshua obeyed when he lived on earth and we are to follow his every move.
Scripture proclaims that Messiah is the same yesterday and today and forever, which means that this command cannot change. If Yeshua ate pork or taught others they could eat pork (even after his resurrection), he would be committing sin and thus could not be the Messiah. Our true Messiah is sinless, which is the ultimate necessity for him to be able to take our punishment of death upon his shoulders. This reality takes us to the targeted passage of this study: Matthew 8:28-34.
We can choose only one solution to this conflict:
Either Jesus Christ (Yeshua) is the true sinless Messiah
Jesus, in one way or another, taught that believers can now disregard and violate Scripture (Leviticus 11 & Deuteronomy 14) by eating pork.
How can we only choose one option here? Because Matthew 8:28-34 either proves that Yeshua considered swine unclean and not food, or he in fact commits sin which nullifies his eligibility of being our perfect Messiah. We cannot have both. We cannot have a Messiah that sins or teaches others to commit sin. That violates Scripture, specifically Deuteronomy 13, and would require his death as punishment.
Let's take a look at Matthew 8:28-34:
When Jesus came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs. They were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way. And they cried out, saying, “What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” Now there was a herd of many swine feeding at a distance from them. The demons began to entreat Him, saying, “If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.” And He said to them, “Go!” And they came out and went into the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters.
The herdsmen ran away, and went to the city and reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw Him, they implored Him to leave their region.
Matthew 8:28-34 NASB
Can you spot the dilemma? Most miss this because they are not familiar with the Law of Moses—which gives us the definition of sin. Sin is the transgression of the Law of Moses. Let's dissect this passage:
Yeshua is confronted by demon-possessed men.
There is a herd of pigs in the distance maintained by herdsmen.
The demons plea with Yeshua to let them enter the pigs.
Yeshua commands them to Go!—casting them into the swine.
The demons enter the herd of pigs and they run off the cliff to their death.
The people of the region are furious and tell Yeshua to leave the area.
The key here is that the swine were the livelihood of the herdsman. These herdsman were raising pigs for food. This is why the people came and ousted Yeshua immediately: because he destroyed their favorite food source!
Yeshua, by commanding the demons to enter the pigs and fall to their death, essentially stole and then destroyed the food and livelihood of those herdsman. Theft and destruction of one's property, are obvious sins. If swine is to be considered food, this is an instance of Yeshua committing blatant sin against other men. On top of that, he would be required to pay restitution for his theft and destruction of another's herd. We see no restitution or acknowledgment of sin in the record. Why? Because killing swine is not a sin—pigs were not to be herded or considered food, by the ultimate authority. Herding pigs for food is the sin. Yeshua was making this clear by destroying them. If this was a herd of cattle, this would have been a grave violation. Yeshua, by casting the demons into what would be a herd of oxen, would have been committing sin and thus would need to pay restitution. He would have violated YHVH's perfect Law. This is why we only have one choice: either Matthew 8:28-34 is an instance of Jesus committing sin, or this is proof that pig is never to be considered food.
You may be thinking, "but pork was only declared clean after Jesus died and rose from the grave!"
There are two major problems with this argument:
If Jesus knew there would be a change to the dietary instructions post-resurrection, he would have known that he was destroying this regions food and livelihood that he would soon be 'redeeming'; thus he would have been committing sin because he would have known it to be sin. If the animals were soon to be considered food and a viable "cash-crop," Jesus would have been stealing and directly destroying a major food source and viable commodity. The true Messiah would not have committed any sin, even if it's sinful nature would be experienced at a later time. (Listen to how silly it sounds: the idea that the definition of sin could ever change).
Based on the erroneous perspective that Mark 7 and Matthew 14 portray Jesus to "thus declare all food clean" or declare all animals to be clean and redefined as food, Yeshua would have already considered swine to be food. In other words, Mark 7 and Matthew 14, Jesus' supposed declaration that all animals can now be eaten, was proclaimed before his death, burial, and resurrection. Therefore, he would have been committing sin at that very moment. He would have been speaking contrary to the very commands of God! Besides, if Jesus truly meant that, the Pharisees would have seized him and had him put to death on the spot! Holy Scripture can never be changed. Those that attempt to change it or say that YHVH made a change to it, are required to be put to death.
Again, either one chooses to continue to eat pork, OR Yeshua never taught a change to the Law of Moses and he remains a sinless atonement for the sins of those who place their faith and trust in him. Pork, or Jesus. According to Scripture, we cannot have both.
Yeshua never committed sin. Scripture, especially the Apostolic Scriptures ("New Testament") prove that Yeshua kept the Law of Moses and taught others to do the same. Matthew 5:17-20 is one explicit example:
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
“For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:17-20 NASB
The reality is that Yeshua never made any changes to the Torah (Law of Moses/Law of God).
He kept it perfectly and taught all to do the same.
The dietary instructions stand firm today; and science proves that this is for our benefit (still, we keep the command out of obedience and trust of our Father).
The Law of Moses cannot change because it is the revealed unchanging image of YHVH and Yeshua.
We were made in this image, and called to repent and walk in this image.
Our salvation is in Yeshua alone. The Law of Moses was never to be kept in order for one to be saved. One cannot earn their salvation. However, the fruit of our salvation is that we fully repent and turn away from all forms of sin, because we love our Heavenly Father.
We are called to live exactly how Yeshua lived.
We keep the Law of Moses because Yeshua did and because he has redeemed us. If we continue in sin, we trample the grace and our precious Messiah.
Scripture says that believers prove their love by keeping our Creator's commands. This, is walking in the footsteps of Messiah.
Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Joshua 22:5 NASB
Until I realized this, I believed that the Law of Moses was too difficult to keep and that it was bondage. But Scripture proved me wrong and proved James to be true: the Law of Moses is the law of liberty—it is true freedom. When we walk in the Law of Moses, we walk in the very footsteps of Messiah Yeshua in true repentance as we walk in the perfect sinless image we were created.
Think about it logically: YHVH did not deliver His people from slavery in Egypt, just to put them into slavery shortly after at the foot of Mount Sinai under the Law. He was giving them freedom; true freedom on a physical and spiritual level! The Torah is not bondage, it is the exact opposite. James calls the Law of Moses the perfect Law of liberty. Why? Because the Law is the very image of Messiah Yeshua and our Creator YHVH. It is the straight and narrow path that avoids the hardships and slavery of sin.
Please. Prayerfully consider this. Search and meditate on the Scriptures. Ask the Father if this message is true. Ask for the Holy Spirit to give you eyes to see and ears to hear. Beg him for answers. Strive for pure truth. Then purify yourself as Yeshua is pure.
To take this message a step further, I highly encourage you to read the whole book of 1 John. Put the real Law-of-Moses-keeping-and-teaching-Messiah at the forefront of your mind. Again, asking the Father for eyes to see and ears to hear the truth. May you be blessed in your studies. May you be blessed as you strive to understand the Holy Scriptures. And may you be blessed as you humbly seek and follow the true Messiah of the Bible: Yeshua of Nazareth, the Son of the Most High, the entire Word made flesh.
Please, read 1 John. It will only take 15 minutes or so. You will no doubt be blessed by it.
Sean is a former Atheist who was finally awoken to the reality of our Creator—which lead him to the one place he thought he would never step foot: “Bible College.” During his studies, our Heavenly Father flipped his Christian worldview upside down in order to reveal the Whole truth of His perfect Word. As a follower of Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus), Sean encourages believers to deepen their faith, seek the truth, test everything, and be willing to walk in the true image they were created: the image of the Most High and His flawless Son.